It’s on to the area track-and-field meet for Marble Falls High School after 10 athletes earned the trip during the District 17-5A meet April 3-4 at Pflugerville Weiss High School.
The area meet is April 17 at Leander Glenn, 1320 Collaborative Way. Individual athletes or relay teams needed to finish in the top four of the district meet to advance.
No Lady Mustang had a better day than sophomore Bailey Googans, who won the 400 meters in 55.67 seconds and the 800 meters in 2:11.30. She also ran the second leg of the 4×400-meter relay and helped Marble Falls to a third-place finish in 4:07.80. The other three relay team members are Emily Peterson, Anie Turquia, and Natasha Villalobos.
Junior Jesse Stephenson finished third in the 300-meter hurdles in 48.29.
“Super proud of you ladies,” head track coach Rick Powers to his athletes.
On the boys’ side, sophomore Kason O’Riley was the favorite entering the high jump, and he showed why. He won the event by clearing 6 feet 6 inches. Teammate Lance Long, a sophomore, was the silver medalist with a 5-08 jump.
“(O’Riley’s) gotten more confident competing on the varsity level and a high standard,” said boys head coach Chad Bishop said. “We moved him into the district meet last year as a freshman to give him that experience early. He’s a seasoned veteran.”
Sophomore pole vaulter Evan Kroese was third in the event after clearing 12-0, while sophomore Caleb Cuplin was fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 40-04.
Bishop said coaches decided to follow the same formula for Cuplin they used last year for O’Riley. Cuplin was on the junior varsity team throughout the season leading up to the district meet and had performed well. Assistant coach Kerry Graham suggested moving Cuplin to the varsity to see what he could do. Needless to say, coaches weren’t disappointed.
“He did a great job,” Bishop said. “I attribute that to our coaches. We want to instill confidence in our kids that they can compete at any level with anyone on any day.”
Junior Bryer Atkinson was fourth in the 3,200 meters in 10:07.26.
Bishop praised distance coach Chris Schrader, noting the runners have become faster throughout the year.
“The confidence level at what they train at is at a high level every day,” Bishop said. “They’re used to it mentally. He’s done a tremendous job mentally and physically preparing those kids.”