Burnet freshman Hudson Bennett is on his way to the finish line at the Round Rock McNeil Invitational September 28 where he ran a new personal best time of 16 minutes and 41 seconds to finish 107th overall. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Ludecke Photography
The Marble Falls and Burnet high school cross country teams competed at the Round Rock McNeil Invitational at Old Settler’s Park in Round Rock September 28. Old Settler’s Park also will be the site of the state meet Saturday, November 9.
Marble Falls had two runners compete in the gold divisions, which pits the state’s best male and female runners in the same race, regardless of classification.
Marble Falls junior Bailey Goggans was 10th overall in the girls 3.2-mile race, coming in at 18:19.80 to break her own school record by 35 seconds. She set that record at the same meet last year. Head coach Chris Schrader noted that Goggans “went out in a blazing 5:25 (mile pace), a testament to her ever increasing fitness.”
“That’s impressive,” he said. “Not many 800-meter runners are that strong over cross country.”
Bailey competes in the 800-meter distance during track season.
Also in the race was Burnet junior Rose Flores, who was 332nd in 22:49. Flores ran in this 3.2-mile race for the first time, head coach Roy Kiser said.
In the boys race, Burnet freshman Hudson Bennett was 107th in 16:41 to set a new personal best, while Marble Falls senior Bryce Atkinson finished 172nd in 17:00.40.
Kiser summed up his Burnet runners’ finishes in these races.
“Hats off to both of them for pushing themselves to improve their performances,” he said.
Schrader was pleased with Atkinson’s finish.
“This was not a bad effort when you consider heat, humidity, and most of all race crowding,” he said.
In the 5A boys 5K race, the Mustangs finished eighth overall out of 34 teams. They were lead by by juniors Austin Flores, who was 10th overall in 17:07.10, and Shea Johnson, who came in 12th in 17:16.40. Sophomores Jet Zurita was 25th in 17:49.60, and Sam Valdez was 48th in 18:18.80. Junior Jonathan Randolph finished 163rd in 20:03.10.
Schrader said he was excited to see Johnson finish so strong in a highly competitive race. The coach promised there’s a lot more to come from Johnson. Schrader added that had Atkinson ran in the boys 5A instead of the earlier gold race, the Mustangs would have finished fourth as a team.
The future looks good for the Mustangs.
The Lady Mustangs competed in the girls 5A division and were led by seniors Jennifer Arreguin, who was 10th in 20:34.20 to set a new personal best, and Ambrie Lizcano, who was 13th in 20:41.18. Seniors Jaden Johnson was 51st in 21:57.80, and Nataly Mata was 151st in 23:53.60.
Schrader believes that when Goggans is in the same race, these Lady Mustangs will turn heads at the District 17-5A meet Wednesday, October 16.
The Mustangs and Lady Mustangs are hosting the Marble Falls Invitational at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, at Marble Falls High School.
Burnet will compete at the Lampasas Invitational in two weeks.
Boys gold division (658 runners): 107, Hudson Bennett (Burnet), 16:41 (new personal best); 172, Bryce Atkinson (Marble Falls), 17:00.40;
Boys 5A varsity division (258 runners — Marble Falls): 10, Austin Flores, 17:07.10; 12, Shea Johnson, 17:16.40; 25, Jett Zurita, 17:49.60; 48, Sam Valdez, 18:18.80; 163, Jonathan Randolph, 20:03.10
Boys 4A junior varsity division (724 runners — Burnet was 24th out of 59 teams. Kiser enter the Bulldogs here because of the heat and this race was earlier than the varsity race): 86, Clayton Atkison, 19:52.50; 102, Moses DeLuna, 20:04.30; 204, Eduardo Medina, 21:13.90; 234, Jose Rodriguez, 21:24; 402, Will Lewis, 23:12.80; 497, Jesus Gonzales, 24:18.40; 539, Diego Chavira, 24:54.90; 597, Ivan Carreon, 26:08.60; 692, Eddie Gramlich, 31:17.40.
Girls gold division (505 runners): 10, Bailey Goggans (new school record and personal best) (Marble Falls), 18:19.80; 332, Rose Flores (Burnet), 22:49.