Marble Falls High School senior runner Bailey Goggans admitted finishing 12th out of 19 in the Music City Distance Carnival‘s 800 meters wasn’t what she expected.
“I’m a little disappointed in how I did,” she said. “I haven’t ran a big race like that in a while. I didn’t run the time I wanted to, but it was good practice. I wanted to go out and have a more aggressive race.”
She crossed the finish line in 2 minutes and 6.07 seconds. The Nashville event, held this year on Aug. 15, draws competitors from across the country and is a U.S. Track and Field-sanctioned race.
Officials divided the 800-meter runners into two races and placed Goggans in the second group, where she was the only high school athlete.
The group Goggans was in went out with a slower pace, which doesn’t really fit well with her running style.
“It’s harder to speed up,” she said. “You’re going to be tired regardless of how fast you’re running. I’m more of a power runner.”
She prefers to set the pace and then steadily increase her speed throughout the race.
By the time Goggans made the decision to pick up the pace in Nashville, she had expended much of her energy.
Despite the 19th-place finish, Goggans saw it as a learning experience. Unlike previous summer 800-meter races, where competitors start in one lane and stay in it for the duration, the Nashville started with everyone lined up side by side. Then, once the race started, the runners converged on the inside lanes, jostling for positions.
“So, they cut in and do all that stuff,” Goggans said. “It was good.”
Plus, she was running among collegiate and more experienced athletes and could learn from them.
“In practice, you practice getting stronger and getting fast, but you can’t practice the racing aspects,” she added. “I got a lot more knowledge to help me in future races.”
With her summer track season behind her, Goggans is taking a few weeks to rest before resuming her training. She said she can see how she has improved the past several weeks, including setting the two fastest times in the 800 meters for a high school female athlete on Texas soil.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this story reported Goggans finished 19th.)