Burnet High School sophomore Hudson Bennett edged out San Elizario High School senior Edwin Gomez (left) and Melissa High School senior Lucas Tauch for the gold medal in the 3,200 meters at the Class 4A state meet May 6. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography
Burnet High School sophomore Hudson Bennett won his first Class 4A state title Thursday, May 6, and broke his own school record in the process. He outpaced the competition in the boys’ 3,200 meters and crossed the finish line in 9 minutes 33.25 seconds.
“It feels surreal,” he said. “I think it’s starting to set in that I won. It’s amazing.”
Bennett is competing in the University Interscholastic League state track meet at Mike Myers Stadium on the University of Texas in Austin.
“He broke his old school record by two seconds,” said distance coach Jerod Rye. “He is the epitome of hard work and dedication — that’s the formula of success. It was a phenomenal race to watch.”
Headed into the meet, Bennett had the fourth-fastest time in the 3,200-meter race.
The Bulldog was part of a pack of runners for the first 6½ laps of the eight-lap race. Rye said that, with about 600 meters left, “a few of the kids started to separate,” including the Bulldog.
“At 600 meters to go, that was my plan was to take it to them,” Bennett said. “To hold them off till the very end.”
He broke and started to pull away from the pack with 200 meters left, Rye said.
However, San Elizario High School’s Edwin Gomez and Melissa High School’s Lucas Tauch stayed with him.
Still, Bennett proved to be too strong at the end, edging Gomez at the finish line. Gomez clocked 9:33.66 for silver, and Tauch finished in 9:35.25 for third.
“Hudson had to hold them off,” Rye said. “It was definitely a gut check. He got it done. I’m so proud of him.”
The runner said the win is a credit to many factors, including the people around him.
“My coaches because they were here all the time,” he said. “I think I gave it everything I had out there.”
To Rye, Bennett’s success comes down to his heart.
“I think some kids intrinsically are just competitors,” he said. “His willingness to win is as great as any I’ve been around. He’s so intrinsically driven. It’s amazing to watch.”
Bennett’s day at the state track meet isn’t over. He will grab some rest before the start of the 1,600 meters at 7:50 p.m. Thursday.
“A lot of (the same runners in the 1,600) ran that race (3,200), too,” Rye said. “It’ll be interesting and fun to watch.”