Meet Recap: Leo Manzano Marble Falls Mustang Invitational

Marble Falls junior Bailey Goggans takes the win at Marble Falls

- Written by Paras Shah

It's fitting in the same year that the most famous Marble Falls High School Alum, Leo Manzano, retired from the sport, his former high school re-launched, branded, and executed a perfect morning for racing at the 1st Annual Leo Manzano Marble Falls HS Invitational. Double that with a brand new track where the races finishes and you have the makings of a perfect morning.

2nd year Marble Falls HS coach, Chris Schrader and a slew of volunteers have spent the last couple of weeks moving rocks, cutting down trees, marking, and measuring a fast course so kids, coaches, and parents coming to the meet for the first time would have a first class experience.

Speaking of first class, in the Girls Division 1 race, Bailey Goggans proved she's a force to be reckoned with as she took command of the race and her 20m lead at 800m soon turned into a thrilling 20 second victory and PR over surprise 2nd placer Amalie Mills. We say surprise because Amalie, Smithson Valley's 2nd runner normally, announced herself as the real deal and a threat to finish in the top 10 at the 6A state meet with a strong 18:37 finish. 

On the team side, the Vandergrift girls showed why they are ranked 6th in 6A and have the makings of a podium team in November. Emma Saia led the Vandergrift girls clocking in at 19:06 for 4th place in the race while her team registered at 50 second split. If a team wants to make the podium at the 6A state meet, they'll have to get it that pack in the 30-45 second range so look for Vandergrift to further tighten it up in the coming weeks and get it done. 

The boys Division 1 race had another coming out party for Jack Woods of Cedar Park. What results won't tell you is how far Jack has come and he's a real threat for a top 5 finish at the state meet in November. Jack's PR's don't resemble the top dogs in 5A but with his little cited performance at Woodbridge and his dominating of a good field at Marble Falls yesterday, Jack is one to watch. Running from the front, building a huge lead at 2 miles, and coasting to victory in 15:52, Jack led his team to a 2nd place finish and a 1:20 split. 

Smithson Valley on the boys side, led by new coach Trenton Hall, edged out Cedar Park by 6 points for a great team victory and firmly putting them in the conversation for a coveted spot at the state meet and maybe even bigger aspirations. Samuel Torres led the charge in 4th place clipping off 16:30 on the 5,0000m course, but then the real depth of the boys started to show. Kirk Zuber, Hunter Miller, Gilbert Wurn, and Garrison Mangan finished 5, 12, 13, and 17 respectively to run a 33 second split and scoring a low 51 points. 

The division 2 boys results was a storyline that was talked about all morning. The best team in SPC, St. Stephens Episcopal, met up against TAPPS legends St. Michaels Catholic Academy in a team race that was separated by a mere 10 points. St. Stephens packed up their squad near the front, going 2-3-4-5 but their 5th guy took a bit to cross the line in 17th place and 21:22. St. Michael's, led by Coach Augie Alcala, had the front end firepower of Mark Rivera who was 2nd in the race but first in the team scoring, but then the rest of Coach Augie's squad went 8, 9, 11, and 12 to finish 2nd against the Spartans. 

The division 2 girls race was met with little to no drama as Coach Coach Dan Adler's Lago Vista squad featured a scoring lineup of Caitlin Keeney, Esther Long, Courtney Kenney, Phoebe Gale, and Katelyn Coldicott scored 36 points to beat out St. Michael's 4 time defending state champion team by 49 points. The girls team at St. Michael's looks prime to do this again. The individual battle featured some stellar running and a kick to the finish between Camille Terracina and Kyra Gaddy of Buda Johnson. Kyra got the better of Camille, but for those of watching the race we were all treated to a stellar show. Kyra notched herself a 1 or so minute PR and look for her to be a girl on the scene that can run very fast at the district and regional meet. 

Thanks to everyone that came out and we look forward to hosting you all at the 2nd Annual Marble Falls Cross Country Invitational in 2020.