STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays is one of the most anticipated track-and-field events in the country, and during the 92nd annual event at Mike A. Myers Stadium on March 27-30 in Austin, several Highland Lakes athletes pushed themselves against the Lone Star State’s finest competitors.
One Highland Lakes runner even found herself racing alongside college athletes during the women’s 800-meter Invitational.
The highest finisher was Marble Falls sophomore high jumper Kason O’Reilly, who came in fifth in the event March 29 with a leap of 6 feet 7 inches. He cleared that height on this third and final attempt.
The most anticipated event was the girls’ 1,600-meter run March 29 with Llano sophomore Anna Casey, Class 4A’s top miler, and Marble Falls High School sophomore Bailey Goggans, who has the state’s best 800-meter time.
Casey was 17th out of a field of 32 in 5 minutes 9.59 seconds; Goggans finished 20th in 5:10.15.
“That was my fastest by far this season,” Casey said. “It was crazy running with girls like that, and it was really fast.”
Casey said she pushed herself very hard in the final 150 meters to get a better finish and was proud of her effort.
Goggans ran less than 24 hours after she competed in the women’s 800-meter invitational on March 28, finishing sixth overall in 2:08.38 for a new outdoor personal best. The invitational race featured eight collegiate-level runners; Goggans was the only high school athlete in the mix.
“That (mile) race is super hard coming off the eight hundred,” she said.
Olivia Baker, a 2018 Stanford University graduate, won the race in 2:05.08. Goggans finished less than a second behind University of Texas senior Gabby Crank.
“I learned how to run with all sorts of people,” Goggans said. “Each time is a new learning experience.”
Before the start of the 800 meters, Goggans had a chance to talk to Marble Falls High School graduate Leonel Manzano, who won silver in the 1,500 meters in the 2012 London Olympics.
“He told me to go out and have fun,” Goggans said. “He told me to relax and take control in the last fifty meters.”
She set a goal of qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800 meters. The qualifying time is 2:04.
Burnet High School junior Trey Grant was 23rd in the boys’ 100-meter dash in 11.24 seconds.
The Burnet boys 4×400-meter relay team of sophomore Jaxon Denton, juniors Braden McPherson and Trey Grant, and sophomore Tristan Shirley finished 22nd in 3:33.72, while the Llano team of seniors Joseph Pogany and Christian Kirby, sophomore Jared Beasley, and senior Matthew Grigg was 29th in 3:36.40.
The Llano boys 4×100 relay team of Beasley, freshman Abel Prince, sophomore Aiden Cuthbertson, and junior Quincy Prince was 36th in 45.01 seconds, while the Burnet team of Denton McPherson, junior Cameron Guenter-Long, and Grant was 38th in 45.05 seconds.
Llano senior Courtney Reina was 24th in the shot put with a throw of 37-9.25.