Marble Falls High School senior Bryer Atkinson (right) prepares to make his move to take the lead and the win in the 1,600 meter at the Leander Lions Relays. He finished in 4:34.36 in the February 15 meet. Courtesy photo
Two Marble Falls High School runners are off to fast starts in the 2020 track season.
Junior Bailey Goggans won the 800 meters at the Indoor Texas Tech Shootout on February 15 in 2 minutes 7.88 seconds, beating the No. 2 finisher by a second.
Goggans ran a relaxed race and didn’t feel the need to set a quick pace early. Once she took the lead near the start of the second lap, she steadily increased her speed.
When the bell rang for the start of the final lap, Goggans was gone. No one could catch her.
She finished the final 200-meter lap in 32.64 seconds. Marble Falls distance coach Chris Schrader said toward the end of some workouts, Goggans will run two 200-meter races for endurance, and the fastest she finishes is in about 35 seconds. He was happy to see her finish the last race in under 35 seconds.
“That’s a good sign,” he said. “Indoor racing is tougher because there are more turns; there’s four laps and four turns.”
The indoor track is typically 200 meters, making the 800-meter event a four-lap competition. In the outdoor races, the 800-meter distance is two laps on a 400-meter track.
Goggans, the two-time Class 5A state champion in the 800 meters, currently ranks in the top five nationally in the event, Schrader said.
Also on February 15, Marble Falls senior Bryer Atkinson won the 1,600 meters at the Leander Lions Relays in 4:34.36. His splits were 66.93 seconds, 70.29 seconds, 73.32 seconds, and 63.57 seconds. He was the only Mustang entered in the meet.
“We weren’t trying to chase a time; we were just trying to win it,” Schrader said. “He took the lead and kept the pace.”
Atkinson, who committed to run for Tarleton State University, led most of the way until a Leander runner took the lead with 600 meters to go. Instead of reacting, Schrader said Atkinson simply ran with the leader until the last 50 meters.
On the final straightaway, Atkinson found another gear and flew past the field to cross the finish line first.
“(He) put on a distance running finishing clinic,” the coach said. “The interesting part of this scenario is that Bryer has done no speed work anywhere near resembling an average speed of 68.64 seconds.”
Marble Falls will compete at the Liberty Hill Panther Relays Invitational Saturday on February 22 at Panther Stadium, 16500 Texas 29 West.