JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
BURNET — Burnet High School junior runner Abby Bullock is preparing for a return trip to the Class 4A state cross-country meet with the aim of adding to her trophy collection.
Last year, the Lady Dawg captured the bronze medal by finishing the state course in the 11 minutes 47 seconds.
She will be one of 156 runners at the Nov. 7 meet at Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Road in Round Rock. The race starts at 9:40 a.m.
Head coach Stuart Dixon said he asked Bullock what she wanted to accomplish this season several months ago.
Her answer: Win a state title.
“She wants to win it,” he said. “She’s focused to do better.”
He believes her previous state experience and knowledge of the course should bode well for Bullock.
“It greatly benefits you,” he said. “You’ve already done it once before. She has confidence. From my vantage point, it’s a positive.”
Getting back to the state meet was a huge challenge. At the Region IV meet in Corpus Christi, rainfall made the outdoor course spongy and muddy. And since the other classes also ran on the same course, it worsened with every race.
“We did not have a record-breading day,” Dixon said. “The winners were running nothing spectacular.”
Typically, coaches check the times of the other state qualifiers, but Dixon realized that wouldn’t help prepare Bullock because poor conditions didn’t give a clear indication of what runners can clock.
Still, the Lady Dawg has been running better than last year at familiar courses throughout the season, he said.
“We feel like we’re about where we need to be,” he said.