By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– These Icebreaker events act as a way to get into a rhythm of things with the season just starting up.
For freshman like McKay’s Zair Ku Beiza, it’s a way to get into the rhythm of how High School Athletics are like as they make the move up to this level from Middle School.
“It’s better than going straight into it, this is like a pregame. Like, ‘ok, time to get serious’ now it’s time to start taking practice seriously,” said Zair Ku Beiza. “So if you mess up in practice, it’s going to show up here. So you got to be good in both.”
For returners, like the Scots 6A State Qualifying team of 2016, it’s a way to get back into a rhythm running with one another. Something they didn’t do so until late last season.
“It feels good, we’ve made a lot of improvements,” said Israel Garza, who was on that 4×100 team that finished 11th in State in 2016. “Our runners really got faster…this year we got a better start than last year….it’s better to start now because each meet we get faster and faster and guys continue to get better.”
For others, it’s all about getting accustomed to little minor changes like with Marquita Ritchey adjusting to slightly higher hurdlers that she ran with last year with the 100 meter High Hurdles Wednesday.
“I’m actually really nervous but I’m really trying to clear my body and give myself a good relax shake0out,” “I’ve done my pre-ritual race stuff. I’ve listened to my music choice of the day, everyone makes fun of me, it’s the same three songs by Kayne West. Besides that I’m excited, I’m nervous and praying for the best.”
Outside of accidentally hitting herself in the throat to start the race, the senior felt comfortable on her performance as she looks to improve entering next Wednesday’s home three-way dual meet with Sprague and McNary.
“I had a lot of aderline, it’s really nice, but punching yourself in the thorat is not a great thing,” smiled Ritchey after her race out of breath as she describe the race. “It was little bit scary because usually no one really stands for the 300 hurdles but this whole section were lined with people. And with you running in the closest lane your like, ‘ok I can’t mess up, there maybe people I know if I fall’ that’s kind of scary.
“Do more speed stuff because I got over them fine, but I don’t have enough speed so I was like really tired, I’m so tired. But I was trying to like move my body but i couldn’t get it there quick enough,” said Ritchey on how she can improve on.
On the Blanchet Catholic side, Emily Collier was making the jump to distance running after being a sprinter in the past as she glided to the 1200 meter win Wednesday afternoon.
“I think it went alright,” said Collier. “I don’t know, I was really tired, I don’t know how your suspose to feel after, I’ve never done distance. I felt alright, I’ll get used to it.”
Collier, who’s ran the 400 and 800 meter races before, said that she’s taking that foundation into running the 1500 this year and possibly 3000 she said as she learns how to pace herself.
But the last sprint, that last kick, that’s where her sprinting background will come to help.
“From going from sprints to distance, it’s a giant leap because you have to pace yourself,” starts Collier. “But once you get to the 200 (meter) mark, you just start to sprint the 200 meter sprint. It’s how I think about it.”
The Cavaliers will be at the Regis Co-Ed Relays Thursday March 23 as the Scots will host McNary and Sprague on Wednesday, March 22.
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