Burleson’s Limones chasing medal
Burleson junior distance runner Cesar Limones he will be facing long odds Friday when he competes in the 1,600 meters at the UIL Class 5A state track and field championships at Austin’s Mike Meyers Track Complex on the campus of the University of Texas.
Limones comes into the race with the slowest seed time of all nine competitors in a field that features two-time state champion Carter Blunt, a senior from Frisco Independence, and College Station senior John Bishop, who finished second behind Blunt last year in the 1,600 at state.
This will be Limones first time to run at state but he gained experience last fall running at the state cross country meet.
But he knows the odds are stacked against him Friday.
“I’d like to think [I have a chance to medal] but no I don’t think I have a chance [to medal],” Limones said.
Friday’s race strategy for Limones involves staying with the main group of runners and then count on his outstanding kick to finish strong.
“Cesar has the conditioning to handle any pace, he just has to stay focused and trust his conditioning, so he can show off his amazing kick,” Burleson assistant track coach Curtis Enis said. “His goal is to improve on his best time [four minutes, 26 seconds] and run to get on the awards stand.”
Since finishing second at the Class 5A Region I championships, Limones has been running a lot of 400’s to improve his kick.
Limones credits his endurance to running cross country under the direction of Burleson coach Ken Edwards. When Limones was a sophomore, Edwards predicted great things from Limones if he dedicated himself. Limones put in the work during the summer and it is paying off now.
“I wish I had applied myself a little more and tried a lot early,” Limones said. “That would have made things a lot better. I don’t really know what changed last summer. I just wanted to prove people wrong and show them that I was a good runner.”
Enis has seen Limones stand up to each challenge during the district, area and regional competitions which Enis said has made him have to be his best in order to advance.
“He has handled the pressure very well,” Enis said. “He seems to gain confidence with each round of the running playoffs.”
Enis called Limones “an extremely gifted and talented runner in regards to speed, who has put in the time by running mileage in the mornings and working his speed work in the afternoons. Combine that with a very competitive attitude and you have a very successful runner. He has had some really good workouts since a regionals and I think he is primed to go under 4:20. I am very proud of him and the way he has handled himself this track season.”