Taylor Clayton began his first trip to the UIL Track and Field State Meet early Saturday morning. He ended it more than 12 hours later.
The Decatur junior ran to a fifth-place finish in the 3200 meters that morning, and after the sun went down he took sixth in the 1600-meter race.
Clayton had a time of 9:38 in the two-mile – nine seconds better than his regional time.
Lytle’s Cesar Gonzalez just edged Kaufman’s Edwin Mu oz for the gold medal, winning by four one-hundredths of a second with a time of 9:19.78.
Sanger’s Jacob Perry took third in 9:23.
In the 1600, Clayton jumped out to an early lead and held it for the first couple of laps.
Atlanta’s Chris Ibarra and a few others eventually overtook Clayton. Ibarra went on to win by four seconds with a time of 4:20.79. It was his second gold medal of the night.
Clayton’s time of 4:30.26, was two seconds behind fifth-place finisher Kevin Nunez of Alvarado.
Decatur’s Brandon Rivera fell a little off the pace early in his 800-meter run. He made up ground quickly on the second lap and grabbed fourth with a tremendous finish.
Rivera had a time of 2:00.54.
Ibarra won gold again, with a time of 1:52.21 – only a half second off the Class 3A state record.