If the past two years are any indication, the best is yet to come for Cade Bethmann.
As a junior in 2016, the Arlington Martin runner broke a 25-year-old school record in the 800 meters on his way to the state track and field meet.
His new record didn’t last long. Bethmann, an Ole Miss signee, topped his previous best performance in this spring’s District 4-6A meet, posting a time of 1 minute, 51.53 seconds. He also set a school record recently in the 3200 meters. But he opted not to run the 3200 at regionals (April 26-28), where he hoped to reach state in the 800 and 1600.
“He’s someone who wants to do well,” Martin running coach Chris Capeau said. “He bought all-in and he puts the work in.”
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Although Bethmann’s driven to continually improve, it’s not all work and no pleasure. That is, he’s trying to enjoy the last chapter of his high school track career. Making state would represent a fun final challenge, he said.
“Honestly, just enjoy it,” Bethmann said of his mindset. “There should be some really good competition at state, the best in the nation.”
Bethmann’s one of the best in the nation himself. He won the 800, 1600 and 3200 at district — a sort of distance-running triple crown. Bethmann and Capeau decided not to have him compete in the 3200 at the area meet to save his legs some wear and tear so Bethmann competed in and won the 800 and 1600 there.
His track accomplishments are the continuation of a strong senior year for Bethmann. Last fall, he won the 4-6A cross country meet.
“His actions support his goals,” Capeau said. “He says he wants to be something and he’s really doing the things it takes to accomplish that. I’m sure there’s times he’d like to be sleeping, but he’s up here at early morning workouts or in the afternoon. … And he has fun with it. At the end of the day, it has to be enjoyable.”
Bethmann excels in part because he doesn’t run too much. Some of his distance-running competitors put in 70-plus miles a week in workouts. Bethmann, on the other hand, trains about 30 to 40 miles, but goes all-out on certain days. It’s a focused approach touted by Capeau.
“What Capeau emphasizes is we take easy days easy and hard days hard,” Bethmann said. “So what it does is create a situation where my body knows when it’s time to run hard and my body knows when to just get my fitness level up. When you always run as hard as you possibly can, you leave very little emotional energy to compete elsewhere.”
Bethmann’s not the only big-time competitor for Martin track. Junior Jadah Walker (long jump) and seniors Brooke McKeel (shot put) and Hillary Smith (triple jump) also headed to regionals with plans to make state.
“From field events to running events, we all push to do the best,” McKeel said. “We’re all representing the same team.”
Smith went into regionals hoping to top her personal best. She set that at area with a triple jump of 38 feet, 4 inches — a performance that was good for first place.
“I want to do my best,” Smith said. “I want to jump a 40. And if I jump a 40, I think I’ll make it to state.”
McKeel, who won district and area, hoped to top the 40-foot mark in shot put. Her previous best is a 39-9. “I have to push myself to have that mindset where I’m going to go get it,” McKeel said.
Like the seniors, Walker was eying a new personal record. Her best in a meet so far is 19-1. She hopes to jump closer to 20 feet.
“I can do it,” Walker said. “I know I can.”
The Martin and Lamar baseball teams will represent Arlington in the playoffs. The two were set to play one another Friday at 7 p.m. at Martin, and if the fourth-place Vikings can pull off the upset of the first-place Warriors, that could create a tie for first between Martin and Mansfield. Martin won the first meeting on Tuesday, but by just a 2-1 score.
Mansfield finishes up against North Crowley, a team that has struggled with a 4-9 district record. The Tigers won their Tuesday game 6-4 against North Crowley.
Further complicating the matter, Martin and Mansfield split their season series, so if Lamar wins on Friday, the district championship would be determined by tie-breakers.
Arlington ISD’s two representatives in the softball postseason, Martin and Arlington, began bi-district action on Thursday after the deadline. See dfwvarsity.com for updates.
Martin (26-9), the District 4-6A champion, met Keller Fossil Ridge (14-12), the fourth seed from 3-6A, in a best-of-three series. Arlington (15-10) had the daunting prospect of facing Keller (22-4), also in a three-game format.
Stephen English: email@example.com, @sbenglish74