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Burnet’s Bennett repeats as 3,200-meter state champion

Burnet junior middle-distance runner Hudson Bennett showed once more why he is the best two-mile runner in Class 4A.

The defending state champion earned another state gold medal at the Class 4A state meet May 12 to go with his 2021 gold medal. He completed eight laps in 9 minutes 22.86 seconds to break the school record by 10 seconds and set a new personal best. Bennett’s winning time this year is 11 seconds faster than his 2021 state championship winning time. He entered the meet with the sixth fastest regional time.

“It feels a little bit less surreal than the last time,” Bennett said. “I felt confident going into it. I executed it really well.”

Hudson’s plan was to let other runners set the pace at the beginning. Toward the end of the seventh lap, the Bulldog had decided to go faster.

But Fort Worth Diamond Hill-Jarvis sophomore Angel Sanchez had the same strategy.

“I was really thinking of going (faster) at 600 (meters),” Bennett said. “But he started to pick it up at 700. I thought ‘he’s kicking for me.’ We were really close at the 400-meter mark. It was a 59-second last lap.”

Bennett used his powerful kick, which is the ability to go faster as the race is winding down, to take the gold medal. He credited his commitment to strong closings for yielding the state championship.

“I run really fast with short breaks,” Bennett said. “I really prepared for it. I really trusted my training. I think I was prepared to run this race.”

Sanchez clocked 9:24.11 to finish second, and Athens senior Micah Swann was third in 9:39.33.

Bennett still has the 1,600 meters to run at 7:50 p.m. Thursday, May 12. The meet is at Mike Myers Stadium at the University of Texas, 707 Clyde Littlefield Drive in Austin.

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