STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Marble Falls High School sophomore runner Bailey Goggans returned to the Class 5A state track-and-field meet May 10 with one goal: do better than she did in 2018.
And she did.
She set the new Class 5A state record in the 800 meters in 2 minutes 7.39 seconds en route to gold and successfully defending her title as well as achieved a new personal best in the outdoor 800 meters.
She also captured her second gold of the night, this time in the 400 meters in 55.26 seconds.
Last year, Goggans was third in the 400 meters.
“My first year, I didn’t have any expectations,” she said. “I wanted to do better than last year. I knew I could do it. My coach (Marble Falls High School distance coach Chris Schrader) is amazing. I’m truly happy.”
Goggans, who said she had more confidence going into this meet than the 2018 state meet, entered the 400 meters with the fastest qualifying time of any runner from regional meets at 55.43 seconds.
Once the race started, Goggans, who was in lane 5, was running about even with the others, who were ahead of her after the first curve. In the final 100 meters, she and Cesly Williams of Fort Bend Marshall were running neck and neck, but the Lady Mustang beat her by four-tenths of a second.
Though Goggans didn’t set a new personal best in this race, she said she was happy with the finish.
“The 400 is an adrenaline race,” she said. “I go out there and give it my all.”
Goggans ran the 800 meters in breathtaking fashion. In the No. 2 lane, she powered to first place after the first curve then kept a steady lead to complete the first lap.
By the time she reached the second curve of the last lap, Goggans had broken away from the pack.
The only question was whether she could break the state or conference record.
She did so as she propelled her way to the finish line, leaving all she had on the track. The old record, 2:09.27, was set in 2014 by Canyon’s Kaitlin Rodriguez.
Goggans peeked at the clock to see how close she was during the race.
“I was pushing through and ran a pretty good outdoor time,” she said.
She wanted to finish the first lap in under a minute and said she felt fatigued toward the end.
Still, Goggans did more than set the pace in the race: She left no doubt that she remains the state’s top 800-meter runner.
Silver went to Georgetown senior Maryn DeMaio, who clocked 2:13.13, while the bronze was captured by Frisco Liberty senior Nissi Kabong in 2:16.08.
Goggans noted she was a little tired after the 800. To help her recovery, she did a cool-down jog, ate a bagel, and ran the 400 meters in her head.
Goggans now prepares for the national outdoor season and was happy to finish her Texas season on the podium again.
“I’m really blessed,” she said. “I really wanted to do better this season. Hard work paid off.”