Marble Falls High School junior runner Bailey Goggans won the elite girls 1,600-meter race at the Leander Vandegrift Viper Distance Festival on March 7. Her time of 4:53.63 is the third-fastest in the state so far this year. Photo by Briezie Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
A pair of Marble Falls High School runners crushed the competition at the Leander Vandegrift Viper Distance Festival on March 7 with one clocking one of the fastest 1,600-meter times in the state so far this year.
Marble Falls junior Bailey Goggans won the elite girls 1,600 meters in 4 minutes 53.63 seconds to set a new meet record. It’s also the third-best time in that event in the state. Vandegrift junior Gemma Goddard was second at 5:13.52.
Marble Falls senior Bryer Atkinson won the elite boys 1,600 meters in 4:26.53, setting a new personal best in the event. His last lap was completed in 64 seconds, and he took the lead for good in the final 100 meters.
“Our distance team is on a roll,” Marble Falls distance coach Chris Schrader said. “The elite events (are) based on fastest times.”
While Goggans and Atkinson continue their impressive runs this season, Schrader noted the team has six other boys running the mile in under 5 minutes: junior Shea Johnson, 4:42.26; junior Austin Flores, 4:45:38; sophomore Eric Nickowski, 4:45.17; sophomore Jet Zurita, 4:51.92; junior Jon Randolph, 4:53.33; and sophomore Sam Valdez, 4:55.77.
Three others — all underclassmen — are close to breaking the 5-minute mark: freshman Bryce Atkinson, 5:04.94; sophomore J.J. Castro, 5:05.71; and freshman Chris Talamantez, 5:07.48.
Marble Falls’ next meet is the Llano Yellowjacket Relays, which is 2 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at Llano Stadium, 400 Texas 71 East in Llano.