CAPTION: Marble Falls junior Tyler Hamblin (left) and senior Nick Dahl celebrate qualifying for the Class 4A cross country state meet. Courtesy photo
Burnet and Marble Falls High School runners are moving on to the Class 4A state meet.
That’s because they finished high enough in the rankings at the Class 4A Region III meet Oct. 24 to do so.
The Burnet Lady Dawgs were fourth overall in the team standings to move on as a squad. Meanwhile Burnet junior Victor Aviles finished as the runner-up in the boys’ 5K race in 16 minutes and 2.30 seconds while teammate Isaias Zarate, also a junior, was eighth in 16:37.20. As a team, the Bulldogs finished seventh.
Meanwhile, Marble Falls junior Tyler Hamblin came in fifth in 16:23.10 and teammate Nick Dahl, a senior, was 12th in 16:47.50. The two helped the Mustangs finish 10th in the team standings out of 32 squads, which featured 160 runners.
This is the sixth consecutive year that head coach Chris Schrader has guided Marble Falls to the state meet.
Hamblin, a junior, was the first Mustang to cross the finish line in 16 minutes and 23.10 seconds for fifth overall in the individual standings.
“He had some allergy and foot problems going into (the District 24-4A meet Oct. 9),” Schrader said. “We were careful about how hard we trained him. He came prepared mentally and physically. The race was windy, and they went out cautious. It was downhill when the leader broke away. Tyler never gave up. He almost got fourth. He never backed away.”
Dahl, a senior, was the next Mustang to finish, clocking 16:47.50 for 12th in the individual standings.
“Nick did a great job considering he had allergies,” Schrader said. “I was really impressed with how he kept his composure.”
Junior Blake Cockrell was 65th in 18:17.20, while freshman Owen Martin finished 93rd in 19:30.30, sophomore Hunter Holder was 113th in 20:09.10, freshman Colton Rutland came in 145th in 21:33.30, and freshman Connor Yaklin was 153rd in 21:49.90.
Schrader said the runners thought they let him down because they didn’t qualify for the state meet as a team. He told them that wasn’t true and encouraged them to see the opportunity moving forward.
“Other teams came to play, and we handled ourselves,” he said. “I told them to go out and do what I asked you to do. I was proud of them. We tried our best. Three of our kids are freshmen, one is a sophomore, two are juniors and one is a senior. When I look at the results and I look at myself, they’re not at the same stage of development. They’re ahead of where I was. This is a chance if you stick to it. Do the little things I tell you, and you’ll be fine. I’m really proud of them. They fought till the end of the race. It teaches them resilience.”
He pointed out the Mustangs had a tremendous season, finishing as the district runners-up, which is a first in program history.
“It’s a good group for us to get back,” he said. “We only lose Nick. Graham Goggans and other eighth-graders are coming. They’re coming to train with us. We’ll get some good positives we wanted.”
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CLASS 4A REGION III
2, Victor Aviles (Burnet), 16:02.30; 5, Tyler Hamblin (Marble Falls), 16:23.10; 8, Isaias Zarate (Burnet), 16:37.20; 12, Nick Dahl (Marble Falls), 16:47.50; 59, Gustavo Vega (Burnet), 18:08.60; 65, Blake Cockrell (Marble Falls), 18:17.20; 71, Hector Vega (Burnet), 18:34.30; 73, Miguel Valdez (Burnet), 18:40.30; 78, Josvanny Ramierez (Burnet), 18:49; 93, Owen Martin (Marble Falls), 19:30.30; 113, Hunter Holder (Marble Falls), 20:09.10; 117, Hays Bennett (Burnet), 20:15.20; 145, Colton Rutland (Marble Falls), 21:33.30; 153, Connor Yaklin (Marble Falls), 21:49.90
Girls (two miles)
Burnet, fourth overall in the team standings with 184 points
16, Abby Bennight, 13:06.30; 27, Kaycie Banton, 13:34.20; 42, Brooke Bowman, 13:48.90; 49, Amelia Griffin, 13:57.50; 68, Marissa Aviles, 14:27.40.