STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Marble Falls High School sophomore Kason O’Riley tied for fourth place in the high jump at the Class 5A state track-and-field meet May 10 at Mike Meyers Stadium on the University of Texas campus in Austin.
He cleared 6 feet 6 inches but then had three consecutive misses at 6-8. Before that, he missed only once at three other heights.
He cleared 6-2 on his first attempt, 6-4 on his second attempt, and 6-6 on his first attempt. Jumpers get three chances to clear a set height.
“I didn’t have the best day,” O’Riley said. “It was real early. My legs weren’t fresh.”
Early indeed. The event began at 8 a.m. O’Riley was on the infield at 7 a.m. to warm up.
Jumpers also had to deal with 55-degree weather.
The 5A state high jump competition featured nine athletes; eight are seniors. O’Riley, a sophomore, said that didn’t bother him as he’s faced age differences throughout the season.
The athlete noted he was disheartened to have exited the event by not clearing 6-8, a height he had cleared during the season.
“Especially at the state meet, it’s disappointing,” he said.
Lubbock Coronado senior Caleb Wilborn won the gold medal over Whitehouse senior Theron Cobb. Both cleared 6-9, but Wilborn had fewer misses at 6-8. Corpus Christi Miller senior Xavier Callandrat captured bronze by clearing 6-8 on his second attempt.
O’Riley wrapped up the season with three gold medals at events leading up to the state competition: the District 17-5A meet, the District 17 and 18-5A area meet, and the Class 5A Region III meet.
O’Riley said he appreciated the votes of confidence from those who predicted in February he’d be at the state meet. He also had his own prediction.
“I’m hoping to come back (to the state meet next year) and to win it,” he said.
Marble Falls sophomore runner Bailey Goggans is scheduled to compete in the 800-meter and 400-meter races Friday night. Check back at DailyTrib.com for results.