HIGH SCHOOL TRACK AND FIELD

Monte, O'Keefe bring home solid performances at state meet

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By the time Anthony Monte finished his 12th lap around the track at Mike A. Meyers Stadium on Saturday night, he was understandably a little tired. 

The Vandegrift junior set a personal best in the 3200-meter run early in the meet, finishing in 9:11.61 and finishing fourth overall. In one of the last events of the meet, he ran the 1600-meter run in 4:18. 53, good for eighth in the state. 

“That two-mile race earlier in the day was pretty intense, so by the time the one mile happened, my legs were a little shot,” Monte said. “But I feel good knowing that I got to state, it’s pretty cool.”

With a gap of more than 12 hours between his first race and his last, he said he was feeling just fine finishing the 1600-meter run about three seconds off of his personal best in front of a crowd that ballooned to more than 20,000 on Saturday. 

“I thought the crowd would be much more of a mental issue, but after doing Texas Relays earlier this year, you kind of get used to it,” Monte said.

Fellow Vandegrift runner Jordan Mathis placed ninth in the girls’ 3200-meter run, finishing in 11:07.47. Viper senior Kyla Peeples cleared 5 feet, 2 inches in the girls’ high jump to tie for seventh in her final high school event before heading to Abilene Christian next year. 

McNeil senior Julia Perry finished the girls’ 300-meter hurdles in 44.66 seconds, good for seventh place. 

Round Rock senior Kobe Yepez finished ninth in the 1600-meter run with a time of 4:24.74. 

Another Dragon senior, Ryan O’Keefe, competed in by far the most anticipated event of the meet and finished fourth overall in the boys’ 100-meter dash with a time of 10.50 seconds. He will play football at UCF next season and leaves Texas in early June. 

“It was a blessing to be able to come out here in my final high school athletics event and run against one of the fastest dudes ever,” O’Keefe said. “Being at Round Rock was probably the best four years of my life. I learned how to be a better person and a better man.”

Starke Jesuit senior Matthew Boling — who became an internet sensation when he ran the race in under 10 seconds earlier this season — set a new national record with a time of 10.13 seconds. 

As soon as the racers lined up, everybody in the stands held up their phones to capture the event. 

It actually gave O’Keefe some peace. 

“When I lined up, I saw everybody pull out their phones,” O’Keefe said. “I just wanted to go have fun and just do what I had to do. All my nerves went away.”

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