STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Marble Falls High School junior Bailey Goggans ended her summer running season with a fifth-place finish in the 800 meters at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle on June 15.
Goggans clocked 2 minutes 6.90 seconds to remain steady in her finishes the past several weeks.
“I hope she’s happy with her consistency,” said Marble Falls High School distance coach Chris Schrader. “She’s a 16-year-old girl who isn’t afraid. It’s not like you’re running against chopped liver.”
Indeed, the race featured most of the top distance athletes in the United States who were running under 2:10.
Schrader noted the girls 800-meter race had at least 10 runners, which made for a crowded track.
Goggans ran in lanes 2 and 3 for most of the two-lap race and stayed with the pack.
“If you’re trapped in the back, you’re done,” Schrader said.
Roisin Willis of Wisconsin won the race in 2:04.86, while New Jersey’s Victoria Vanriele was second in 2:05.15. Taylor James of Colorado, who beat Goggans at the Music City Distance Carnival in Nashville two weeks ago, was third in 2:06.48. Another Colorado runner, Marlena Preigh, was fourth in 2:06.70
The Lady Mustang outpaced El Paso Coronado graduate Jennelle Jaeger-Darakjy, the Class 6A state medalist. Jaeger-Darakjy was ninth overall in the Seattle race in 2:08.35.
Schrader said he believes athletes learn more from setbacks than successes. Among the lessons he thinks Goggans learned is taking every opponent seriously and walking onto the track with the intention of performing at her best.
“They hate to be beaten,” he said. “If they’re afraid, they’ll get beat every time. Bailey is crazy about competition. She doesn’t shy away from it. If my athletes are doing those things, I’ll be proud no matter what.”
The runner has enjoyed a phenomenal 30 days.
She won two gold medals at the Class 5A state track meet May 10. She successfully defended her gold medal in the 800 meters and set a new state record by finishing in 2:07.39, then followed that with a victory in the 400 meters in 55.26 seconds.
While she had to hold off Fort Bend Marshall’s Cesley Williams down the stretch of the 400 meters, she left no doubt she is the best 800-meter runner in the state, outpacing Georgetown silver medalist Maryn DeMaio by 6 seconds.
Goggans then traveled to Nashville for the Music City Distance Carnival on June 1, where she was second in the 800 meters in 2:06.61 and set a new outdoor personal best record.
Schrader said Goggans will take a much-deserved two-week break then slowly return to running. She’ll run one day and take the next day off in preparation for the upcoming cross-country season. She isn’t expected to race again until the middle of September.
Drills and working on her running form are priorities this summer.
“We don’t put pressure on her,” Schrader said. “We’ll have a good time and want her to enjoy running.”