First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week: Blake Beard, Valley

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Valley’s Blake Beard is the First United Bank Boys Athlete of the Week. [Joe Garcia III/ Press Pass Sports]
Blake Beard, Valley track, Jr. 

On the track: Valley won the boys Class 1A team title at the state meet in Austin last weekend with a total of 51 points, finishing a single point ahead of Cross Plains, and it’s not exaggerating it to say that it couldn’t have been won without Beard. Valley picked up 40 points by winning a pair of sprint relays and Beard led the way in both of those. Beard teamed with Adrian Valdez, Parker Hartman and Jaxon Edwards to win the 400 meter relay in 43.04 seconds, a school record. That same quartet combined to win the 800 relay in 1:29.68. While the other three runners got to enjoy the rest of the afternoon, Beard got no rest as he was scheduled to run the 400. Beard came through in that, running a 50.42, which was good enough for a bronze medal and six huge points for Valley. All told, Beard was responsible for all or part of 46 of Valley’s total points.

Coach John Stanaland: “It was phenomenal. He’s 100 percent a team guy. He’s going to do whatever I ask him to do and he’s going to do it for the team. That was kind of our mentality going into the state track meet. It’s really difficult for him to go from anchoring the last leg of the 4-by-200 and then he’s going to run the open quarter. That takes a lot of guts and that’s something he’s done all year long and he’s gotten a little bit better at it every single week. He went out and he left it all on the track for us. That was an important six points right there. We knew that if we got the stick to him and he was within striking distance that we had a good chance of winning it. The evidence was shown whenever he got the stick in second place in the 400 relay and kicked down and got it right there at the end.”

Beard: “I wanted to get gold in the 400 but I came up short, but we still won the meet and that’s what mattered most to me. If I would have gotten first (in the 400) we basically would have won right there. Since I got third we needed Parker, who was running the 200, to get at least one point, and he got sixth place and got us the one point which was the difference. In the relays we wanted to break the state records and of course win. We broke our school records. In the 400 I knew I needed to get below 50 to win it. I was just tired and I didn’t get it done. It was just one step closer to meeting that big goal. I am very happy and I know the team’s very happy too. We can’t wait to design our rings with that big old Texas stone out in front of the gym.”

About Beard

Favorite band or musician: Was listening to Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets” to get hyped up before running.

Favorite social media platform: Instagram

Favorite athlete: Sprinter Matthew Boling

Bet you didn’t know: Likes weightlifting

Parents: Donald and Cindy Beard

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