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Many in Marble Falls area knew Olympian Leo Manzano was headed to something special

LONDON — On the first day of physical education class, Marble Falls Middle School coach Clyde Reeder would tell the sixth-grade boys to run a lap on the track.

By 200 meters, most had slowed to a fast walk. But in 1997, something different happened.

Reeder, now retired, remembers a boy in jeans and boots who began the run in a sprint and continued the quick pace the entire lap.

PHOTO 1: Marble Falls High graduate Leonel Manzano celebrates winning silver in the men’s 1,500-meter final at the London 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 7. Photo by Sergey Ponomarev/Associated Press.

PHOTO 2: The standing room-only crowd at the Leo Watch Party at the R-Bar & Grill in Marble Falls reacts with joy as they watch former Granite Shoals resident Leonel Manzano capture a silver medal Aug. 7 in the men’s 1,500-meter race during the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Staff photo by Connie Swinney.

The student never faded or got tired. He was the only sixth-grader in Reeder’s 36 years of coaching who did that on his first day of sixth-grade PE class.

In fact, Leonel “Leo” Manzano has never stopped running. He just traded his boots and blue jeans for a Team USA Track and Field red uniform with Nike fluorescent green track shoes.