These days, it seems like everyone in the world of sports is looking for the next "million-dollar baby." They won't have to look far, as this week the athletes to watch -- Texas Southern University's Tremedia Brice, Marcus Harris and Essence Jones (now that's a name) -- will be competing at the TSU Relays. The annual races are famous for showcasing the best in collegiate and high school track and field. "Competitors on the high school level, on the collegiate level, as well as up-and-coming Olympic hopefuls, they all get their start at the TSU Relays," says Christopher LeBlanc of the TSU Relay Committee. Celebrating their 54th birthday, the relays have blessed many a sprinter with the key to Olympic bling. Along with Wilma Rudolph and Carl Lewis, Leroy Burrell, Bob Hayes and Steve Riddick made their names with record-breaking performances on the TSU field.
This year, the Flying Tigers, led by another record-breaker, coach Clyde Duncan Sr., are hoping the sprinting skills of Brice and the long-jumping legs of Harris will keep their name permanently inked in the record books. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19. Rice University Stadium, 6100 South Main. For tickets and information, call 713-313-6829 or visit www.tsuball.com. $5 for students and children under 18; $10 for adults. - Felicia Johnson-LeBlanc
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We know, sword-fighting fans. The lull between Pirates of the Caribbean and its sequel has been too long. Get your fix at the NCAA National Fencing Championships this weekend, where 144 competitors will brandish their sabers, pes and foils for individual and team titles. Fencing is less about trying to kill people and more about agility and precision: The goal is to "hit" your opponent in the torso, causing the high-tech white suit to emit an electronic signal. Top teams hail from the likes of Harvard, Notre Dame and Columbia. (That's why people aren't stabbed: They have to live to become investment bankers.) Men's competition begins at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 17, and 2 p.m. Friday, March 18. Women compete at noon on Saturday, March 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 20. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. For information, call 713-355-2164 or visit www.hchsa.org. $2 to $10. - Julia Ramey