Not even the heat could keep Dripping Springs senior distance runner Bryce Kalsu and junior Bobby Holt from nearly reaching the podium Friday at the UIL state track and field meet.
Kalsu’s 1:54.7 run in the 5A boys 800-meter run secured a fourth place finish in what was his final race as a Tiger. Holt also took fourth place in the 1600-meter run.
The athletes were two of four Tigers who hit the track at the state meet to close the 2018 season.
“I knew it was going to be a hot day out here, so I knew maybe not my best time was going to come out,” Kalsu said. “I tried to push that first lap, and thought I was in good position. I had a really good kick at regionals to win it, but I didn’t have that same kick today. It’s alright though, fourth is never bad.”
Four years of basketball and two years training with the cross country team is what Kalsu credits to getting him to the state meet. That type of preparation and constant competition helped Kalsu push himself to compete against the top runners in the state.
Meanwhile, Holt earned fourth place in the 1600 meters with an official time of 4:21.74. Holt mentioned his workout regimen of running, lifting weights and eating healthy as the key factors to getting him to the state finals.
“I knew going into it that it was a lineup of a lot of fast guys with relatively close times,” said Holt. “Regardless, it was going to be a fast race. I just tried to run smart and not take it out too fast. I just knew there was a core I wanted to stick with and try and capitalize at the end.”
Holt emphasized that it was an honor to run in the event and to be able to go up against the best in the state.
“I am very blessed.” Holt said. “It just feels good to compete with champions.”
Dripping Springs also had senior hurdlers Justin Wright and Hannah Biggs compete against the state’s best. Wright ran the 5A boys 110-meter hurdles and finished in eighth place with a time of 14.75 seconds. Biggs finished in 8th place in the 5A girls 100-meter hurdles in 15.23 seconds.
“They both went really close to their P.R. mark,” Dripping Springs hurdlers coach Ashley Laughlin said. “They ran clean races, and you know, with hurdles, that’s like the most important thing. I couldn’t be more proud of how they ran.
Laughlin lauded Biggs, who completed her third straight trip to the state meet in as many years.
“And Justin, this was his first time ever, so it was nice to see that he was able to hold in the nerves and have a good race,” Laughlin said.
From the three years of competing at the state track meet, Biggs said competing against the best athletes in the state was one of her favorite parts of the event.
“It’s crazy, it’s basically like the Olympics, but for high school,” said Biggs. “It’s really cool just to see who makes it, and this experience is just phenomenal.”