Superlative Athletic Efforts By US High Schoolers in 1994-95
While high school records set during the just-completed school year won't receive formal approval until July, numerous new individual, team, and coaching marks are expected to go on the books. In this case, that means being listed in the 1996 National High School Sports Record Book, published by the National Federation of State High School Associations in Kansas City, Mo. Space does not permit a complete review of all pending new records, but here is a sampling:
Most touchdown passes thrown in a half: 8, Chris Redman, Louisville (Ky.) Redman led one of Kentucky's perennial football powers, Male High School. Amazingly, he threw eight first-half TD passes in consecutive games, which Male won 60-7 and 56-14, and wound up the season with 57 touchdown tosses, another national record.
Best pass completion percentage, season: 75.1 percent, Tim Couch, Hyden (Ky.) Leslie County High School in Hyden, Ky.
Most incredible game: While there's really no such record category, one contest certain to be talked about for years deserves special mention - the Texas Class 5A playoff game between John Tyler and Plano East high schools. Tyler won 48-44, but squandered a 24-point lead in the last 3:03. The game-winning touchdown, a 97-yard kickoff return, followed a spectacular rally by Plano East, which recovered three consecutive on-side kicks to trigger a late-game scoring binge. Altogether, 48 points were scored in the game's final 4-1/2 minutes. Footage of the wild finish aired across the country.
Three-point baskets: Chad Bickley of Valley Christian Academy in Santa Maria, Calif., established four new marks to become the foremost long-distance shooter in history. He set a pair of single-game records by making 21 of 39 three-point attempts and added new standards in corresponding career categories (507 of 1,443).
Career scoring: 4,506 points by Missy Thomas of Gibsland-Coleman (La.) High School. The 5 ft. 9 in. senior seldom put up gaudy numbers (she broke 40 just twice this past season), but she was extremely steady in averaging 25.3 points a game over four seasons. She first honed her shooting eye using a clothes-hanger basket hung on her bedroom doorknob.
Double championship: Winfield-Mt. Union (Iowa) High School achieved the rare feat of having both its boys and girls teams win state titles the same year. The southeastern Iowa school, which has only 87 students, triumphed in the state athletic classification that includes the greatest number of schools (167).
Consecutive perfect seasons: The Cherry Creek High School boys' tennis team in Englewood, Colo., recorded its 24th consecutive undefeated season. With 10 dual-match victories, the team extended its national record winning streak to 263.
Consecutive shutouts: 17, Klein High School in Spring, Texas. The boys team, which has lost only four of more than 70 games the last three seasons, erased one of the oldest marks in the National High School Sports Record Book. The former record stood for 30 years.
First girls championship: Long known for its rich tradition of schoolboy hockey, Minnesota became the first state to offer a girls tournament. Apple Valley High School won the ice-breaking event, played before 3,255 spectators. No other state has girls varsity ice hockey at this point, but more may follow as women's hockey is set to debut at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Home runs in a game: 5 (ties record). Shawn Gallagher of Wilmington (N.C.) New Hanover High School not only equalled the single-game slugging record, but he was also consistent, hitting safely in 51 consecutive games. The streak, five shy of Joe DiMaggio's major-league milestone, tied the national schoolboy mark set 10 years ago.
TRACK AND FIELD
Girls pole vault: 12 ft., 6 in., by Melissa Price of Kingsburg, Calif. This new category produced the only track and field record.
Long-Lasting Records: According to John Gillis, editor of the high school record book, two of the most enduring entries in the 296-page volume - the boys mile and shot put - are in the track and field section.
In 1965, Jim Ryun of Wichita, Kan., became the first boy to run a sub-four-minute mile, with a 3:58.3 clocking. No one has surpassed that, and only two other runners, in 1966 and 1967, have ever broken the four-minute barrier. (Metric "miles" of 1,600 meters have become the standard racing distance since the late 1970s.)
Michael Carter heaved the shot 77 feet in 1979. Hardly anyone has come close to that distance since.
* To purchase the record book, send $8.95 to National Federation of High School Associations, 11724 NW Plaza Circle, Box 20626, Kansas City, MO, 64195, or call (816) 464-5400.