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Mustang 4×800 relay takes first at state

Mustang High School’s 4×800 relay team captured a state title May 15. Runners are Kyle Bussell, Jacob Thomas, Brendan Robeaux and Gabe Simonsen. Photo / Provided

EDMOND — Heading into the state track meet, Mustang wasn’t given a lot of credit as a possible title contender.
Those accolades went to other programs. However, the Broncos headed to Edmond Santa Fe Saturday with the intent of pushing their way to the top.
Led by Gabe Simonsen and his three state titles, the Mustang boys took third overall with 82 points. They were just one point away from beating runner-up Tulsa Union.
Westmore grabbed the boy’s championship with 107.
The first gold medal of the day went to the boys 4×800 relay team. Simonsen, Kyle Bussell, Jacob Thomas and Brendan Robeaux ran a 7:57.60 to win the title.
The Broncos held off Edmond Memorial and Broken Arrow, who were both less than a second behind coming across the finish line.
“The 4×8 was definitely the most fun today. It’s always fun to win with your teammates and just to see the effort they put in throughout the whole year and to execute it like that, it was really amazing,” Simonsen said. “We were definitely the underdogs going in that race, which is even better. It’s a better feeling.”

Mustang senior Gabe Simonsen passes Broken Arrow’s Blake Feron near the finish of the 1600-meter run at the 6A State Track and Field Championships. Simonsen said he was pleased with how his team performed. Photo / Michael Kinney

After running the final leg of the 4×800 relay, Simonsen turned around and earned another gold in the 3,200-meter run. He posted a 9:34.53, which was less than a second ahead of Blake Feron of Broken Arrow.
While the time was well off his own state record of 8:56.07, it was good enough for Simonsen to claim another title.
“It was a lot faster than I wanted it to be, but I was trying to get through that,” Simonsen said. “I had to just run that race smart, get out there with a win.”
Landon Smith came up just short of walking away with a championship in the boy’s high jump. The junior finished at 6-02, which was just behind Anthony Allen of Broken Arrow at 6-03.
Sophomore Jacobe Johnson was also just shy of bringing a state championship back home with him in the long jump. He hit for 22-feet-02, which was good enough for second place.
Johnson finished exactly one foot behind Kyland Wallace of Southmoore, who took the title.
In the 800-meter run, Simonsen took third, while Robeaux finished in fifth.
“The 800 was probably the most disappointing of the day,” Simonsen said. “It’s definitely not my main race or anything, but I hate losing. It always frustrates me. I don’t really care if it’s not my main event or anything. I just had to recuperate myself after that one.”
Simonsen closed out the day with what may have been his closest race of the season in the 1600-meter run. After trailing for the entire race, Simonsen had to sprint the final 100 meters to overtake Feron at the tape.
Simonsen finished with a time of 4:24.89. Feron was a split second behind at 4:25.85.
“Topping it off with the 1600 is really amazing,” Simonsen said. “Blake definitely gave me a run for my money there. Scared me a little, but I’m glad I came off with it. This really makes up for the past years in track missing out on executing my season well. I’ve had good track states forever. It was definitely fun to come out here and do that.”
In the final race of the day, the Broncos’ 4×400 squad came in fourth place. Robert Miller, Elijah Edwards, Zachary Warren and Robeaux posted a 3:24.26.
They were four seconds behind Southmoore, who won the event.
Although Mustang was unable to claim the team title, Simonsen was happy with how the team performed in his final race as a Bronco runner.
“I would say it’s a good way to close out my high school career,” Simonsen said. “I’m excited for college. I’ll hopefully be doing big things when I get up there in Stillwater.”

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