AUSTIN — In a long distance race, the margin between the color of the medal around Judson Greer’s neck was barely even half a step.
The Melissa freshman won the silver medal in the Class 4A 3,200 on Friday morning at Mike A. Myers Stadium with a time of 9:47.64 that just edged out a hard-charging effort from Progreso’s Everardo Esparza, who claimed bronze at 9:47.94 with a major kick that had the crowd on the south end of the stadium cheering and waiting to see the result on the scoreboard.
“I could tell I was slowing and I try not to look behind me too much. With 50 meters left I had to speed up and give it what I had left,” said Greer, who will look for another medal when he runs the 1,600 on Saturday. “I needed to stay mentally in it. I’m really thankful I could go out here and compete well.”
Neither runner was in danger of not making the podium — fourth place was Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Eli Peveto in 9:58.41. San Elizario freshman Edwin Gomez won the gold in 9:38.79 by pulling away over the final 300 meters.
Greer sat in the middle of the pack for much of the race, either fourth or fifth, before moving up to third after six laps. He was out in front heading the final lap before Gomez overtook him.
“At the beginning I was trying to stay within myself and in contention,” Greer said. “At some point I got caught up, which happens, and then made a move. He ran a great leg.”
The silver medal goes with the bronze Greer earned at the state cross country meet in the fall. It is the second straight year a Melissa athlete took second in the event after Elijah Mackey’s silver finish in 2017.