The indoor track and field teams have found early success this season on an individual level. Several athletes have already run personal bests. The intense pressure of the oval and the constant ability to see competitors makes the pursuit for excellence a mental battle.
Junior distance runner Lorne Strausbaugh said, “You can feel the finish line the entire race. I like the speed of it, the ability to blow past people on the final turn.”
Strausbaugh placed runner-up in 3,000-meter run and earned a fourth place finish in the mile at Youngstown State University in one of his best career meets.
Strausbaugh said, “I’ve just been trying to be grateful for what God gives me going into each meet. I just like to remind myself that it’s just a sport, and I’ve been trying to enjoy each race for what it is and what it brings.”
That mindset is key to success because measuring success in running can be difficult. In most sports scoring 25 points or running 300 yards is a success. In running, though, it is more about the process to get your personal best.
Strausburgh said, “My goals for this season are to be in Malone’s top ten in school history for the 800, set the school record for the mile with a time of 4:07 and make nationals. “
Mackie Keller, junior distance runner, also found success at Youngstown State. Keller finished second in the five-kilometer event.
Keller said, “I was going more after times more than experience. Now I’ve learned that running is not so much about times but more about the journey.”
Each runner has the goal of finishing well, but each strategy to achieve it is different.
Keller said, “I prefer to start out a little more relaxed and work my way up during the race. I have always preferred to catch people rather than be passed. With 150 meters to go I always kick. I will always have something left.
Seth Byrd is the Sports Editor for The Aviso