SPORTS HEADLINES

Rivera rolls to another win

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, April 19, 2014

Brandon Rivera’s victory tour will continue on to regionals.

The Decatur senior middle distance star blazed away from the field in the final lap to win the 800 at the Class 3A 9/10 area meet at Argyle Thursday.

Leading the Pack

LEADING THE PACK – Decatur’s Brandon Rivera runs away from the field in the 800 at Thursday’s area meet. The senior won a pair of gold medals at the 3A 9/10 area meet in Argyle. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Rivera ran 1:56.95 to win the race by more than three seconds over his nearest competitor from Ranchview.

“I felt great,” Rivera said after the race. “I probably could’ve went an extra 100 meters. I hope to stay unbeaten through state.”

Rivera advances to the Class 3A Region II meet at Texas A&M-Commerce April 25-26. It’s his fourth trip to regionals, and he is hoping to make the state final in the 800 for a second straight year. He finished fourth last year at the state meet.

Thursday, Rivera turned the first lap in 58 seconds.

“My first split was a little slow,” he said. “If it’d been at 56, I would have been at 1:54. I hope to be at 1:54 at regionals.”

The 800 win was one of two area gold medals for Rivera. He rallied from behind in the final 100 meters to pull off a victory in the 400. He passed a Celina runner in the final few steps for the win. Rivera’s time was 50.16. Second place was clocked at 50.23.

“I was hoping that I had some left after the 800,” Rivera said. “I tried to stay patient. I can’t take off in the first 200. I have to use my kick at the end.

“I’m close to a PR. I hope to run 49 next week.”

Rivera also garnered a silver medal as part of the Decatur’s 4×400 squad. Rivera joined Jacob Kevetter, Justin Myers and Grayson Muehlstein to run a 3:26.8. Celina, the defending 3A state champions, won in 3:24.41.

“I’m proud of the team. We got back down to a 3:26,” Muehlstein said.

After strong legs by Kevetter and Rivera, Decatur was in first place. Myers held his own, handing off to Muehlstein in second place by 10 meters.

“Brandon and [Jacob] did awesome as they always do. Justin did a great job getting me the stick in a great position,” Muehlstein said.

He pulled within five meters with 100 meters left but couldn’t quite catch Celina’s anchor leg.

“I felt good at the beginning and gained a lot of ground,” Muehlstein said. “I stayed behind him and planned to pass in the last 100 meters, but he had a good kick.”

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