Run at Congress: Taylor bids to break four minutes in mile
Published Saturday, May 19, 2012
By Richard Greene
For his final race as a high-school student, Troy Taylor wants to shatter four minutes in the mile.
Saturday’s downhill course at the Congress Avenue Mile in Austin may be his stage to reach that unthinkable goal.
“My hope is to break four minutes, and I’m going to try,” said the Northwest senior and Rhome resident. “But I’m going to try to win it.”
Taylor took second last year at the prestigious event, running a 4:08. He finished two seconds behind champion Justin Brinkley of Kingwood.
After earning a pair of medals last week at the University Interscholastic League state meet, Taylor is looking forward to returning to Austin and the mostly downhill course that starts in front of the Texas Capitol and ends at the Congress Avenue bridge.
“It’s an andrenaline rush,” Taylor said. “It’s downhill and in a straight line. You can run some fast times.
“It’s a fun race. I had a blast last year.”
Though it will be his last race while a student at Northwest, he said the official final chapter for his high-school career was last week at Mike Myers Stadium. He took second in the 3,200, running a 9:05, and closed the state meet with a 4:10 to finish third in the 1,600.
“That was the last race,” he said. “This is for fun. I want to go down there and have a great time.”
Taylor will be one of four Northwest runners racing through downtown Austin. Sophomore Zack Kirkland will join Taylor on the North team after he ran a 4:18 this spring.
The North girls team will include Northwest sophomore Kellee McCann and freshman Katherine Chavez. McCann qualified with a 5:04 and Chavez with a 5:06.
“I’m so excited. It’s unbelieveable to be taking four kids to something of this magnitude,” said Northwest coach George Lutkenhaus, who will coach the North teams. “Maybe next year we can take five or six.”
Taylor used his performance last year in the race as a springboard for a strong senior year. Lutkenhaus hopes this year’s event can do the same for Kirkland, who just missed making it to state in the 800.
“We told him to relax. There’s no pressure, and let it all hang out,” Lutkenhaus said.
Chavez is coming off a sixth-place finish in the 3,200 at the state meet. She ran a personal best 10:53.
McCann will be racing for the first time since the District 7-5A meet. After a strong showing at the Texas Relays, she became ill the week of district.
“She’s fresh,” Lutkenhaus said. “This is her redemption race. I know she was disappointed getting sick at district.”
McCann broke five minutes on the course last year as a freshman, finishing 13th in 4:56.79.