Sarah Lewis (right) and Maddie Johnson, both seniors, hug after winning the 4x400-meter relay in 3 minutes 59.18 seconds to set a new school record in the event and hold off Leander Vandegrift for a second consecutive District 25-5A track-and-field team championship with 124 points. The Lady Mustangs led the Lady Vipers 104-99 headed into the 4x400-meter relay, the meet’s final event. Vandegrift placed second in the relay by clocking 4:01.19 to finish second in the team standings with 115 points.
JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
AUSTIN — Fifteen Marble Falls High School track-and-field athletes finished in the top four of District 25-5A events April 15-16 to advance to the District 25 and 26-5A area track meet.
The area meet is April 23 at Mustang Stadium and Leonel Manzano Track at Marble Falls High School, 2101 Mustang Drive.
Ryan Becker threw the discus 153 feet 7 inches for gold, the Mustangs’ only district champion in any event.
Meanwhile, the girls varsity team successfully defended its district championship from a year ago. Leading with 104 points, Marble Falls was trying to hold off Leander Vandegrift, which trailed by five points.
With only the 4×400-meter relay remaining to decide the championship, Marble Falls runners Natalie Schulz, Sarah Lewis, Lauren Loader and Maddie Johnson prayed together and then focused on the task at hand.
The Lady Mustangs did not disappoint. They won the gold medal for the second year in the event and set a school record by clocking 3 minutes 59.18 seconds. The Lady Vipers were second in 4:01.19.
Marble Falls head coach Kyle Futrell figured the championship would be decided by the results of the relay. After all, the lead changed five times throughout the afternoon.
“We figured Vandegrift might be ahead (going into the final relay),” Futrell said. “Set a school record – that’s how you respond.”
In four decades of coaching at Marble Falls, this is the first time Futrell has won back-to-back track-and-field district championships.
The Lady Mustangs began the second day of the meet trailing Vandegrift 59-40 in the team standings. But they made that up by winning the first race of the day, the 4×100-meter relay. Lewis, Loader, Johnson and Morgan Hagood clocked 49.07 seconds — their fastest fully automatic time of the year — to jump ahead of the Lady Vipers, 60-59.
“To start with a win was a tremendous spark,” Futrell said. “And we had Hagood instead of Schulz. Morgan has done a tremendous job. They’ve all done such a good job of coming in and playing a role.”
The two teams traded leads throughout the afternoon until Schulz and Lewis finished first and second in the 300-meter hurdles and Loader placed second in the 200-meter sprint.
That set up the 4×400-meter relay.
“On the day it really mattered, when you get the points,” Futrell said, “they blew away the field and did it in a pretty good head wind. We tried to emphasis (April 16) was the day we were going to need it.”
The boys varsity team was seventh overall with 27 points and had three field athletes advance to the area meet. The Mustangs had their obstacles: injuries and Mother Nature. The last event of the meet, the 4×400-meter relay, was delayed by two hours because of bad weather. The relay team of Jacob Metcalf, Royale Brown, Jonathon Abney and Cole Woodrum clocked 3:39.95 for sixth place.
“The way they did it was the right way,” Futrell said. “We competed very hard. I’m pleased with the way they competed.”
The best example of the depth of the boys varsity division was in the long jump. Each athlete receives six jumps, and the standings changed after every round. Jacob Metcalf was third, then fifth, then second with a mark of 21-7 until Vandegrift’s Travis Brannan leaped 22-11 on his final attempt for silver. That pushed Metcalf to bronze.
“That’s a cool competition when you see kids compete like that,” Futrell said. “Jacob wasn’t fearful; he took chances in doing something special.”
RESULTS:Boys varsity (seventh place overall with 27 points; top four finishers advance to District 25-26-5A area meet) — 400: 6, Royale Brown, 52.88; 800: 9, James Ramos, 2:06.75, 16, Cooper Lawson, 2:15.22; 1,600: 13, James Ramos, 4:54.12; 400 relay: 7, Marble Falls (Metcalf, Brown, Carter, Manning), 44.63; 800 relay: 7, Marble Falls (Jonathon Abney, Jacob Metcalf, Christopher Carter, Seth Cozby), 1:32.09; 1,600 relay: 6, Marble Falls (Jacob Metcalf, Royale Brown, Jonathon Abney, Cole Woodrum), 3:39.95; discus: 1, Ryan Becker, 153-07, 7, Matt Downey, 126-09; 9, Sam Kohutek, 117-09, 16, Gabe Smith, 101-0; high jump: 7t, Michael Oosse, 5-10; long jump: 3, Jacob Metcalf, 21-7; shot put: 4, Jacob Bryer, 45-05.5, 5, Sam Kohutek, 43-0.5, 8, Ryan Becker, 40-7; triple jump: 5, Jacob Metcalf, 41-7.5.
Girls varsity (first place overall with 124 points; top four finishers advance to District 25-26-5A area meet) — 200: 2, Lauren Loader, 25.43; 400: 4, Maddie Johnson, 1:00.94; 800: 4, Tess Johnson, 2:23.99; 1,600: 9, Tess Johnson, 5:38.05; 100 hurdles: 1, Natalie Schulz, 15.35, 8, Sarah Cauble, 17.11; 300 hurdles: 1, Natalie Schulz, 45.03, 2, Sarah Lewis, 45.43; 400 relay: 1, Marble Falls (Lewis, Loader, Hagood, M.Johnson), 49.01; 800 relay: 7, Marble Falls (Morgan Hagood, Sydney Gibson, Trinity Ware, Sarah Cauble), 1:51.29; 1,600 relay: 1, Marble Falls (Loader, Lewis, Schulz, M. Johnson), 3:59.18 (school record); shot put: 4, Aspen Woerner, system not updated; discus: 11, Aileen Neri, 84.0, 13, Aspen Woerner, 82-05, 14, Amber Clark, 78-06; long jump: 1, Natalie Schulz, 17-7.5, 2, Lauren Loader, 17-4; 10, Sarah Lewis, 15-1.5; high jump: 3, Kaitlyn Rhodes, 4-8, 4, Lauren Loader, 5-0; triple jump: 2, Natalie Schulz, 35-7, 7, Morgan Hagood, 32-9, 9, Brianna Litte, 31-6.5.