DESOTO, Texas — We haven’t timed it, but an easy walk might be the slowest you’ll ever see these three move.
Jayla Hollis, Ja’Era Griffin and Rosaline Effiong are three-fourths of the fastest high school relay team – in the United States.
Perhaps only when they’re standing still, can you get an appreciation for how much and how fast these DeSoto Eagles have soared.
Seven state titles in nine years, but nothing quite like Saturday at the state UIL meet in Austin, and these 44.24 seconds for this relay team.
Exhausted, tired and champions – three of the four members of the team spoke with WFAA on Sunday evening.
Sophomore Ja’Era Griffin ran the first 100 meter leg. “All I know is, if I break stagger, then I’m already putting my team in a great position to be ahead, so my goal is to catch as many people as I can, and pass the stick off first,” Griffin said.
Junior Jayla Hollis then received the baton for the second leg. “I wanted to be able to either open it up or hold it so that I could give my – still give a good lead off to my third leg,” Hollis added.
She handed off to senior Taylor Armstrong who has committed to UT-San Antonio, and to some rest. She wasn’t available on Sunday evening to recount the record breaking experience.
Senior Rosaline Effiong ran the anchor leg. “I just thought finish it, and come across that line strong because my teammates, all of them put me in a good position,” Effiong said. “I’m just like bring it home.”
They set the national record on May 4 at Regionals with 44.44. Then topped it by two-tenths of a second on Saturday in Austin.
“It just went by fast – I don’t really remember anything,” Effiong said. “It didn’t feel like it was our fastest,” Hollis added. And Griffin finished the thought with “but our hand offs were good, so we knew it had to be something fast.”
In the biggest way possible and the most points ever (121) in a state track and field meet. “The races started and they were just winning gold and silver – bronze – gold and gold and gold – gold and more gold,” DeSoto head coach June Villers said.
It was a weekend these three runners will never forget – rewriting the national record books for the most decorated girls track and field team – ever.