Featured Running 

Burnet, Marble Falls track athletes qualify for regionals

CAPTION: Marble Falls sophomore thrower Kylie Roberts is the District 23 and 24-4A area champion in the discus. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

Burnet and Marble Falls high school track-and-field athletes finished in the top four of the District 23 and 24-4A area meet April 17 at Gatesville High School and some even took gold.

They are Burnet middle-distance runner Victor Aviles in the 800 meters and pole vaulter Brayden Hill and Marble Falls sophomore thrower Kylie Roberts in the discus.

“Victor has some things to learn that he can start implementing,” Bulldogs head coach Ben Speer said. “He’s going fast and gutting it out. He’ll see better competition, he’ll have a better plan.”

Marble Falls head coach Austin Silva was especially happy for Roberts, noting she committed herself to her goal of extending her season by working on the event in the offseason.

“Kylie had her sights set on making it to regionals after last year’s area meet exit,” he said. “She put in the work necessary to make it happen, and she got it done. We are so proud of her for making it to regionals and accomplishing her goal. She’s about a foot away from accomplishing another goal of hers so, we’ll see what happens.”

Aviles was the first Bulldog to cross the finish line in his races, beating teammates Hudson Bennett and Isaias Zarate in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters. Bennett, who is the two-time reigning 3,200-meter state champion, finished fourth in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

“It’s interesting how the dynamics have changed and flipped,” Speer said. “They were reversed roles last year. Hudson was encouraging Victor. Now it’s the other way. It’s fun to see them compete and compete with one another. They know a lot of the guys running against them. They compete with them in clubs and cross country. The distance kids continue to push one another. It’s somewhat similar with pole vaulting.”

Aviles’ silver medal in the 1,600 says plenty about his competitiveness, Speer said.

“He caught a guy 30 meters ahead of him,” the coach said. “He needs a little more experience in running race miles. The more he races up, the better he’s going to be.”

Hill and Brady Rygaard finished first and second in the pole vault to put the Bulldogs atop of the podium. The two didn’t see the results at the district meet they wanted, Speer said, adding they were extremely motivated as they prepared for the area meet. The least surprised person about these finishes was Speer, who correctly predicted what would happen at area.

“They go to private events,” he said. “They’re very good friends with other pole vaulters as well. We expected to be back at the top of the medal stand, and they were. You have to be mentally tough, and you have push that (disappointment from the district meet) aside. They’ll have better competition at regionals. If they can stay mentally focused, they’ll be just fine. We set that bar — no puns intended — high. That’s what we expected.”

Other Burnet regional qualifiers were Grant Jones in the long jump and Grace Cullison in the triple jump, Kyleigh Mott in the girls discus and Asah Roy in the girls 1,600 and 3,200 meters.

“We knew Grant was really, really close in the 200 meters,” Speer said. “We were surprised he didn’t get out in the triple jump. There are long numbers out there in the triple jump. He was consistently behind the board. They had kids jump farther (than they had submitted to meet officials). Grant had a lot of fifth places: the 200, the triple jump and the 4×200-meter relay. I was pleased for him in the long jump to get third place. He was able to get it done. I’m glad he gets to go with us to regionals.”

Lady Dawgs head coach Crystal Shipley noted Salado’s runners ran a smart race against Roy.

“The Salado trio did an excellent job at keeping Asah on the outside,” she said. “Asah was incredible running almost in lane 2 the entire 3,200. In the 1,600, she stayed out in front until the last lap. She didn’t feel well and was having to adjust to the team of runners right on her and it was just something she wasn’t used to. We are so proud of her for pushing through in both of those races. She will be prepared at regionals.” 

Like Roberts, Mott set a goal and committed herself to reaching it, Shipley said.

“Kyleigh has had goals since the end of last year,” the coach said. “She barely missed a ticket in shot put as well, finishing fifth. She got a (personal record) and met her goal of getting to regionals. Each year, she has moved on to a deeper round. Last year at area, she barely missed regionals and was upset. She told us she would get there this year, and she did just that. She works early in the mornings with coach (Doug) Messer and balances softball and throwing. I know she and her dad work on throwing on the weekends and evenings as well. She is so determined and an incredible athlete and person. Coach Messer has done such a great job working on her confidence and working around her busy schedule. We are all so excited to see her continue to crush goals.” 

Cullison is making the most of her opportunities on the varsity, Shipley pointed out.

“We moved Grace to the varsity team for district,” the coach said. “She had been triple jumping on the junior varsity and getting better each week. I told her when we moved her up for the 200 and 4×200, I really wanted her to triple jump as well and do the best she can without putting too much pressure on herself. She has worked her tail off, even on weekends, getting faster. She is a kid that will do whatever you ask of her and will give you all she’s got, all with a great attitude. She wants to get better every day and I know her future is going to be amazing.” 

And though the Bulldogs’ 800-meter relay team didn’t advance, Speer was proud of the time of 1 minute and 33 seconds.

“I was excited about it,” he said. “You always want to finish running your best.”

Shipley pointed out Addie Houston also was running her best in the 200 meters though her season ended.

“It was a personal best at 26.80 seconds,” the coach said. “This is a huge deal, breaking 27 seconds. This was a new race for her right before district and I think going into her senior year, it will continue to get even better.”

Shipley summed up the feelings of many of her colleagues regarding this meet.

“We are so proud of our kids,” she said. “This was a new area for us. We are used to going south and (are) put with teams that will be at the state meet in many events. We know what to build on and prepare for next season.” 

And though Roberts is the only Marble Falls regional qualifier, Silva believes that changes in 2024.

“Although we were hoping to have more, we can’t forget that in 2021 we only had four area qualifiers, so our program is heading in the right direction,” he said. “With the majority of our area qualifiers finishing just outside the top four, I think our kids learned that they are capable, they have what it takes, and that they’ll be back. As a program, we took a big step in the right direction this year, and next year I believe we will take the next one. I’m confident the success our kids had this year will motivate them to want more next year. Can’t tell you how proud I am of their efforts and performances this year.” 

The Class 4A Region III track and field meet is April 28-29 at Bullard High School.

“It’ll be a tough regional meet,” Speer said. “They all have good times coming in. I think Victor has a good shot at getting to state in all three races. If he runs his similar time in the 800, I’m not sure anyone can beat him. It’s impressive to see what he has left. Hudson is still working. We’ve been watching him battle back. He’s has to race differently than what he’s used to. He’s going to be a better runner in the future because of it.”


District 23 and 24-4A area meet

April 19

Gatesville High School

BOYS (top four advance to the regional meet)

100 — 5, Adrian Martinez (Marble Falls), 11.27; 200 — 5, Grant Jones (Burnet), 22.63; 400 — 5, Zach Woody, 52.28; 800 — 1, Victor Aviles (Burnet), 2:01.25, 7, Nick Dahl (Marble Falls), 2:05.18, 8, Isaias Zarate (Burnet), 2:05.62; 1,600 — 2, Victor Aviles (Burnet), 4:33.42, 4, Hudson Bennett (Burnet), 4:35.59, 5, Tyler Hamblin (Marble Falls), 4:40.49, 6, Nick Dahl (Marble Falls), 4:40.49; 3,200 — 2, Victor Aviles (Burnet), 9:52.89, 4, Hudson Bennett (Burnet), 9:54.39, 5, Tyler Hamblin (Marble Falls), 9:56.47, 6, Isaias Zarate (Burnet), 10:11.32; 4×100 — 6, Marble Falls, 44.54, 7, Burnet, 44.67; 4×200 — 5, Burnet, 1:33, 7, Marble Falls, 1:35.91; high jump — 6, Garner Krause (Burnet), 5-8, 7, Riley Howell (Burnet), 5-8; long jump — 4, Grant Jones (Burnet), 21-5; triple jump — 5, Grant Jones (Burnet), 43-5, 6, Zach Woody (Marble Falls), 14-8, 7, Isaac Laranaga (Marble Falls), 40-8; pole vault — 1, Brayden Hill (Burnet), 14-0, 2, Brady Rygaard (Burnet), 13-9; shot put — 8, Jeremiah Bales (Marble Falls), 35-10

GIRLS (top four advance to the regional meet)

100 — 8, Journey Denton (Burnet), 13.37; 200 — 7, Nashla Crott (Marble Falls), 26.70, 8, Addie Houston (Burnet), 26.80 (new personal record); 400 — 7, Camryn Courtney (Burnet), 1:04.95; 800 — 5, Maya Calderon (Burnet), 2:37.45, 6, Kori Haile (Burnet), 2:45.27; 1,600 — 4, Asah Roy (Burnet), 5:34.96, 6, Maya Calderon (Burnet), 6:07.80; 3,200 — 4, Asah Roy (Burnet), 11:48.71, 6, Autumn Stires (Burnet), 13:10.54; 300 hurdles — 5, Wrigley Mulhollan (Burnet), 50.52, 8, Jareyli Luna (Burnet), 53.07; 4×200 — 6, Marble Falls, 1:50.20, 7, Burnet, 1:51.52; 4×400 — 5, Burnet), 4:15.35; high jump — 7, Jacque Contreras-Green (Burnet), 4-8, 8, Sadie Harris (Marble Falls), 4-8; long jump — 5, Zaria Solis (Burnet), 16-6; triple jump — 4, Grace Cullison (Burnet), 32-01, 6, Zaria Solis (Burnet), 31-7 (new personal record); pole vault — 6, Katherine McCary (Marble Falls), 9-0; discus — 1, Kylie Roberts (Marble Falls), 116-6, 4, Kyleigh Mott (Burnet), 101-7; shot put — 5, Kyleigh Mott (Burnet), 32-0 (new personal record), 7, Kylie Roberts (Marble Falls), 31-3, 8, Trinity Collins (Burnet), 30-5

Related posts

Leave a Comment