More on Byers' record run

Posted by Staff Writer Eric Branch:
Sixteenth-place finishes typically produce more yawns than history, but Santa Rosa senior Reesey Byers had quite a notable middle-of-the-pack performance Saturday at the Arcadia Invitational.
Byers’ 16th-place finish in the 3,200 meters at the 43rd annual meet was a testament both to his ability and the talent at one of the nation’s most competitive high school track and field events.
Byers, a senior at Santa Rosa, became the first Empire runner to break the nine-minute barrier in the 3,200 with a time of 8:59.89. Byers broke the one-year-old Empire record of 9:01.32 set by Petaluma’s Sterling Lockert.
Still, Byers finished 10 seconds behinds the winner in a 27-man field at Arcadia, where 24 national records have been set and 125 U.S. Olympians have competed. Byers was one of 16 runners to break nine minutes, shattering the previous high school record of 11 set at Arcadia in 2003. The star-studded field accounted for the top seven prep times in the nation this season and 15 of the top 17.
Said Jake Hursyz of North Carolina, who won in 8:49.76, “If you want to run a fast, come to this meet.”
Byers ranks 19th in the nation and fifth in the state in the 3,200. He is one of two Empire athletes to be ranked among the state’s top 10 in an event.
Casa Grande senior Jacque Taylor ranks seventh in the 1,600 (4:59.04). Taylor was also part of Casa Grande’s 4×800 meter relay team, which has posted the state’s eighth-fastest time (9:29.88).