STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — One of the nation’s fastest 800-meter runners will be taking to Leonel Manzano Track at Mustang Stadium for the annual Daybreak Rotary Club Mustang Relays this Saturday, March 24.
Freshman Bailey Goggans will be competing in the 800 meters weeks after clocking the second fastest time nationally this year in that distance. She crossed the finish line in 2 minutes 11.62 seconds at the Dripping Springs Tigers Relays on Feb. 24.
The Daybreak Rotary Club Mustang Relay starts at 9 a.m. with the field events. The running events will begin at 1:30 p.m. The 800 meters is the second running event of the day.
If fans miss Goggans in the 800 meters, don’t fret. She will also run in the 400 meters, the seventh running event of the afternoon, and the 4×400-meter relay, the last event of the meet.
Head track and field coach Anthony Torns said people have been very interested in Goggans since her times hit the nation’s running web sites.
The challenge for Torns and his staff is to emphasize to Goggans the importance of improving, not running for elite times every single time she takes the track.
“We want to let her go out and run,” he said. “She’s going to have expectations of her own, and they’re high. As teammates and as coaches, we need to make it as normal as possible.”
But make no mistake. Torns sees the natural talent and fortitude, which are keys to being great.
“She’s one of those once-every-10-year kids, who has focus and determination and work ethic,” he said. “We don’t need to do anything exciting. We need to create the environment for her to be successful.”
While Goggans might be the biggest draw for fans, Torns made it clear she isn’t the only gifted athlete who’ll compete.
Look for junior Nomi Pegues in the 200 meters, 400 meters and the 4×400-meter relay. Torns noted that she ran well at the Kerrville Tivy Antler Relays on March 8.
“She ran the District (26-5A) runner-up (senior Kathryn Stieler) to the wire in the 400,” Torns said. “That’s the best I saw her run.”
He believes Pegues began the race too fast, so they have been working on her balancing each meter so the Lady Mustang has the energy to finish strong at the end.
Senior Sarah Cauble is running the 100-meter hurdles the best she has in three years, Torns said, while sophomore Payton Powers set a personal best at the Smithson Valley meet March 17 by finishing in 50.47 seconds in the same hurdles.
Sophomore Rylie Ulbricht, who is the starting point guard for the girls basketball team that finished its season Feb. 23, is beginning to hit her stride in the triple jump, Torns said.
Sophomore Jesse Stephenson cleared 9 feet 2 inches in the pole vault at Smithson Valley, while brother T.J. Stephenson, a senior, was second in the boy’s pole vault by clearing 14-2 at the same meet.
The Daybreak Rotary Club Mustang Relays is at Mustang Stadium on the Marble Falls High School campus, 2101 Mustang Drive.