Getting Up to Speed with Men’s Track

Ava Soleibe, Staff Writer

Strategy, a multitude of personal records, and palpable team culture is what characterized Issaquah’s home meet against Skyline and Bellevue.  

Distance running is a uniquely strenuous sport, requiring mental solidity as well as athleticism. One could watch a race like the 3200 meters (two miles) and be baffled that athletes are choosing to exert such concentrated effort and run in circles on a Wednesday afternoon. But these athletes’ commitment is sound, and it pays off.  

Issaquah swept the 3200 top three and racked up an astounding number of PRs. Senior Ty Lauritzen took first, ending the two miles with 10:22. Junior Oscar Ruiz finished second with 10:41, and freshman Nathaniel Laursen completed the sweep in 10:51, PRs across the board for each athlete. This strong showing for Issaquah is communicative of how resolute the distance team continues to be. Sophomore Ishaan Agarwal occupied fourth with a PR of 10:56, and freshman Jason Auffant took sixth in 10:57. 

The daunting 1600meters, a one-mile race, was a clash between Issaquah and Skyline. Senior Jonathan Liu took first with an impressive PR of 4:36. Sophomore Robert Fischer finished second in 4:43, saying, “Visualization, and planning for what splits I want to hit” is key for his races. Prior to the mile, Fischer shared, “I am excited and I am ready to go. I have not raced in two weeks, so I am refreshed.” 

The mid distance 800 meter-race, half a mile, was a double header, won by senior Hayden Stowe with his new PR of 2:07, and sophomore Ben Lucas coming in just 0.71 seconds later.  

Select runners will be heading to the Oregon Relays meet this weekend. Coach Ashley Maton says, “It is awesome they have the opportunity to go to Oregon, a really high class meet; it is good they get to compete at that level before the post season. We are conserving energy today and then will go and get that experience this weekend.” This strategy is visible during the meet: some runners opt out of racing and take long, bouncy strides on the turf, while others stretch out on the packed, sunlit bleachers, discussing the coming task. Sophomore Elliot McIntosh says, “I am just controlling the controllables.”  

Issaquah’s distance men will continue to run circles around their opponents this season, strategizing and remaining a stride ahead all the time.