HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD

Dragons set new records, win gold at Texas Relays

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Round Rock and distance relays seem to be a match made in heaven. 

The Dragons won both the girls’ and boys’ 4x800-meter relays Saturday at the 92nd Texas Relays. 

The girls’ team of Lauren Willson, Riley Beard, Megan Nevlud and Amirah Creighton set a new school record with a time of 9:36.89, while the boys’ team of Andrew Fanous, Grayson McHenry, Kobe Yepez and Hayden Gray won with a time of 7:56.44, another new school record. 

“It was kind of scary because I didn’t know how far behind the other person was (behind me), but it was still encouraging,” Nevlud said of her anchor leg. “It’s really cool and really exciting to be here and it’s a great opportunity.”

The massive event at the site of the UIL State Championships later this year, features more than 7,000 athletes over four days. It also blends high school, college and professional athletes all on the same stage. 

“There’s a lot of energy here and everybody is just cheering you on, so it’s exciting,” Beard said. 

In the boys’ individual events, Yepez set a new school record in the 1600-meter run on Friday, running it in 4:17.17 and finishing third in the final. 

Rouse’s Emily Forster finished 4th in the 2000-meter steeplechase on Thursday. Cedar Park’s Kaitlyn Childress finished 10th in the 3200-meter run, finishing in 11:12.99, while Vandegrift freshman Taylor Mathis finished 16th in the same event. 

The Vandegrift boys’ 4x800-meter relay team of Aiden Seth, Evan Watkins, Sam Wells and Mason Wong finished 2nd overall with a time of 8:08.50. 

It was always obvious the Round Rock senior Ryan O’Keefe was fast, but he turned on the jets all week at the Texas Relays. 

O’Keefe, Collin Sullivan, Preston York and Hayden Gray finished fourth at in the sprint medley final on Friday. O’Keefe, Sullivan, Trevor Waz and Marquis Brown qualified for the finals in the 4x100-meter relay and finished fourth in the 4x200-meter final. 

“It’s a great experience, the competition is almost state and it gives you a taste earlier in the season so you can push yourself to get better,” O’Keefe said. “I push myself in practice and stuff like that happens. We try to make finals and prove to people that Round Rock is actually something.”

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