STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
AUSTIN — Marble Falls High School freshman phenom Bailey Goggans entered the Class 5A state track meet May 11 expected to earn two medals.
She did just that, made more fans, and was the topic of many conversations throughout Mike A. Myers Stadium.
Goggans won gold in the 800 meters in 2 minutes 10.10 seconds and bronze in the 400 meters in 55.43 seconds.
Not bad for a runner who didn’t expect to be competing at the state meet as a freshman, she said.
“I’m really proud,” she said. “The experience has been such a blessing.
“Crazy,” she added. “I was not expecting that.”
In Class 4A competition, Llano senior Ray Dixon was seventh in the discus with a heave of 153 feet 1 inch.
Llano junior Courtney Reina was seventh in the Class 4A shot put in 38-1 3/4. Llano senior Meagan Riley finished sixth in the 3,200 meters with a time of 11 minutes 51.25 seconds.
About the only drama for Goggans in the 800 meters was how she, as the state’s top runner in the event, would be pushed to start the race. Head coach Anthony Torns told her to prepare for a fast start from the other runners in the hopes that the Lady Mustang would lose steam at the end.
That didn’t happen as Goggans easily beat second-place finisher, Dallas Highland Park junior Maddy Stephens, who clocked 2:13.
“I wanted to get a fast start and follow my form and do my best,” Goggans said.
The strategy was to run every 100 meters in 16 seconds, which would give her the 2:10 Torns believed she needed to sprint away from the others
“I was really happy with the running and the finish,” Torns said. “With what we had developed over the course of the year, she’d be able to hold them off. I’m happy for her.”
Goggans had only 85 minutes to rest between the two races. During that time, she fit in a half-dozen interviews for TV, internet, and print media then began the process of mentally preparing to medal a second time.
The freshman noted this 400 race was the toughest she has experienced because of Frisco Heritage senior Bailey Lear, who had the fastest 400-meter time entering the race. Lear won in 53.34 seconds.
Goggans said the race felt a lot faster, and it was different having runners who could stay right with her, which was something she hasn’t experienced since she ran at a Texas A&M University meet in January.
“I wanted to go out there and give it my all,” she said. “I wanted to sprint as fast as I could and finish strong. It was a great experience. I’m glad I got to experience that.”
Goggans credits her parents, Tracy and Wes Goggans, for her success. Tracy Goggans ran the 100 and 200 meters in the mid-1990s for Marble Falls. Wes Goggans was a fifth-place state finisher in the pole vault at Sulphur Springs in 1995 and 1996.
“My mom was an amazing runner,” Bailey Goggans said. “I want to be just like her.”
Tracy Goggans commended her daughter for handling the pressure of being the state’s top 800 runner.
At home, the family doesn’t look ahead. They make sure Bailey gets plenty of rest and approaches food as fuel in order to help her perform at her best.
“God has blessed her,” Wes Goggans said.
“We’re very thankful God has given her this opportunity,” Tracy Goggans said.
The couple noted Torns and their daughter’s other coaches have helped Bailey excel, and her hometown has been very supportive.
The runner said she’ll use this experience as motivation to get better and stronger.
“It’s an amazing experience,” Goggans said. “I’m happy to be here and have the honor to perform at my best. It’s a great experience.”
Check back with DailyTrib.com for more weekend state track results.