Reese Vannerson (2) and Nathanael Berhane (9) in a close finish in the 3,200m at the Texas A&M Bluebonnet High School Inv.
Photo Courtesy: Roderick Pernetter
The boys distance races at the Texas A&M Bluebonnet High School Invitational were absolutely loaded with talent. There were a few 2021 UIL 6A and UIL 5A state meet qualifiers from the 1600m and 3200m events and they were running like this was the state meet this weekend.
To make it clearer on how high the competition level was, there were four of the top five finishers from the 2021 UIL 6A state cross country meet and two of the top 10 in the 5A classification from. That includes the UIL 6A state champion and members of the UIL 5A team runners-up, Denton High.
Reese Vannerson (Houston Strake Jesuit) is one of last year's state meet qualifiers who competed and he looked comfortable going up against the other high level runners. In the 3,200m he kept pace with the lead pack over the first couple of laps as the lead pack of six runners came through the halfway mark in 4:38.
It was with two laps to go when he took control and the lead. The junior finished in approximately 2:13 for the final half-mile of the race to pull away with a pretty decisive win.
In the 1,600m, it was again Vannerson as one of the leaders, but this time he completely led things from the beginning. He entered the meet as the state leader in the event, but the field was perhaps even deeper than the 3,200m. Vannerson took the pace out at 30 seconds for the first 200m and came through the first quarter-mile just under 62 seconds.
BOYS 1600 METER RUN FINALS PLACE ATHLETE TEAM RESULT H# 1 Reese Vannerson 11 Houston Strake Jesuit 4:15.95 5 2 Nathanael Berhane 12 Wylie High 4:17.22 5 3 Kevin Sanchez 11 Austin Vandegrift 4:17.92 5 4 Ruben Rojas Betanzos 12 Katy Seven Lakes 4:20.40 5 5 Wyatt Athey 11 Denton High 4:22.06 5
SEEDED BOYS 3200 METER RUN FINALS PLACE ATHLETE TEAM RESULT H# 1 Reese Vannerson 11 Houston Strake Jesuit 9:13.19 1 2 Nathanael Berhane 12 Wylie High 9:13.69 1 3 Wyatt Athey 11 Denton High 9:16.10 1 4 Hudson Heikkinen 12 Plano West 9:24.26 1 5 Adrian Hahn Vadstein 11 Katy Cinco Ranch 9:30.57 1