JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — Many of Central Texas’ best track-and-field athletes will make their way to Mustang Stadium and Leonel Manzano Track for an area meet April 23.
Marble Falls High School is hosting the meet at the campus, 2101 Mustang Drive, beginning with the field events and the 3,200 meters at 9:45 a.m. The cost to attend is $4 for adults and $2 for children. Spectators should park in the visitors parking lot at the stadium off Manzano Mile after the traffic light at Mustang Drive.
The meet features the top four finishers in each event from Districts 25 and 26-5A and Districts 13 and 14-6A. Mustangs head coach Kyle Futrell said the venue will welcome 569 athletes, which is a smaller number than the Daybreak Rotary Club Mustang Relays earlier in the year that draws as many as 800.
“I believe the area meet is important, and it’s good for the sport,” Futrell said. “It’s one more step to get the best group to regionals. I think the area meet is good for getting higher-quality athletes to regionals.”
And, he said, it’s not about the quantity of athletes but the quality.
The best example, he said, might be found in the boys 300-meter hurdles for Districts 13 and 14-6A. Marcus McWilliams of Pflugerville High is seeded No. 1 with a time of 37.64 seconds, but on his heels — literally — is Kirema Macharia of Round Rock High, who turned in a time of 37.65 seconds. The two are continuing a rivalry that began at the District 13-6A meet the previous week.
“McWilliams has one of the nation’s fastest times,” Futrell said. “He’s the class of the field. With Macharia’s time, there’s not much difference. Anytime you’re under 38 seconds, that’s really fast.”
Other competitions in Districts 13 and 14-6A worth noting include:
• the boys 4×100-meter relay featuring Pflugerville Hendrickson, Round Rock High, Round Rock Stony Point and Del Valle. The Hendrickson Hawks have clocked 42.05 seconds, while the Round Rock Dragons turned in 42.5 seconds. Stony Point finished in 42.49 seconds, and the Del Valle Cardinals clocked 42.62 seconds. “The 42.05 is a standard that really stands out,” Futrell said.
• the Hawks’ 4×200-meter relay finished in 1:22.75. “In the 4×2, when you average 21.9 seconds per leg, you’re flying,” Futrell said. “That’s pretty fast.”
• Del Valle’s Albany Wilson enters the boys 200 meters with a time of 21.83 seconds. “That’s smooth,” Futrell said.
• the girls 1,600 and 3,200 meters featuring Madie Boreman of Leander Rouse. Boreman has been a top distance runner since she was a freshman two years ago. She has won state championships in track and cross country. She enters the area meet with the top times in both events: 4:59.75 and 11:08.96. The Marble Falls track record for the 3,200 meters is 10:59, which was set by former standout Anissa Angleosante.
• Shelby West of Round Rock in the girls 300-meter hurdles clocked 44.42 seconds.
• girls pole vault highlighted by Megan Gray of Buda Hays, Nicole Summersett of Austin Westlake and Haley Houston of Austin Lake Travis. Gray cleared 13 feet 9 inches at the District 14-6A meet, while Summersett vaulted 13-0 and Houston cleared 12-0, both at the District 13-6A meet. “For girls to clear 12 feet, it used to be that would be unheard of,” Futrell said.
Typically, District 25-5A performs very well at the area meet. Still, Futrell said, District 26-5A has some athletes expected to contend for spots in the Class 4A Region IV meet.
“I can tell just by looking they have the potential to be really good,” he said.
Those to watch in the 5A area meet include:
• Glorilisha Carter of Bastrop in the 200 meters (24.91) and triple jump (36-11).
• Marble Falls’ Natalie Schulz and Sarah Lewis led the District 25-5A field in the 300-meter hurdles, each breaking 45 seconds.
• Jessica Watts of Georgetown and Kylie Nothnagel of Cedar Park Vista Ridge both cleared 5-8 at the District 25-5A meet.
• With a mark of 153-07 in the discus, Marble Falls’ Ryan Becker has the farthest toss in the event.
• Travis Brannan of Cedar Park in the long jump (22-11) and triple jump (45-9).
• Georgetown East View’s Apollos Hester in the 110-meter hurdles in 14.69 seconds .
Futrell said he and assistant coach Anthony Torns aren’t doing anything differently in preparing their athletes for the area meet. Since only 11 Mustangs and Lady Mustangs qualified, Futrell said there’s a balance that’s needed.
“Once you get past district, I think the thing you have to guard against is becoming the super coach and fix everything,” he said. “We’re continuing to train … but we want them fresh and eager to compete (April 23).”