Caeli Taylor of McMullen County brought her fight both early morning and late night to earn bronze medals in the mile and two-mile events at the 1A state track and field meet on May 10 at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas in Austin.
She persevered in a one-on-one race in the two-mile before taking third in 11:56.
With Jorja Bessonet of Cumby Miller Grove substantially ahead of the field on her way to a record-setting 11:19, Taylor raced with her at her side. Taylor held the lead on her much of the race, with a 1.8-second edge entering the final lap.
“I didn’t give up. I didn’t give in to the pain,” Taylor said. “I wanted it really bad so I just fought.”
Taylor had 13-anda half hours between finishing that race and returning to the starting line at 9:45 p.m. for the mile run.
In the mile, she kept pace with lead runners for the first two laps. Distance increased between her and that pair in the second half of the race, and she crossed the line in 5:31.
Taylor stated her determination to keep her fight against stiff competition after beating the field in the district, area and regional meets by substantial margins.
“I kind of knew, so I just tried to get my best time. If I got my best time there, then when I had competition, I know I could run a really good race,” she said.
Taylor, a junior, felt heartened by these state medals after being unsatisfied by an eighth-place finish in the cross-country state meet.
“My dream was always to come here and compete and it was tough where I was last time [at Vanderbilt Industrial] and this is my first year not getting sick and having to go back from the beginning. Getting sick takes a big toll. Not getting sick was another big boost of confidence. Doing what I did today was amazing,” she said. “It feels great knowing that I can do so much better in cross-country now. I ran an awesome two-mile time. If I can do that here, I can do that there. I’m a bigger fan of cross-country because I can see more.”
McMullen County also saw Brenda Beyer compete in two events.
Beyer was in third place after the first lap at 1:12 of the 800 meter run before taking fifth in 2:29. She finished ninth in the 400 meter dash in 1:03.