Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Catching up with Burlingame HS runner, Rogan Meza...

Today's interview is with recently graduated Burlingame HS runner, Rogan Meza, who just recently finished in 4th place in the 1600m. at the CCS finals (Rogan is 3rd from the left in the adjoining picture). As disappointing as 4th place can be to any CCS track and field athletes, Rogan's 4th place finish was anything but disappointing as he completed a senior season with many accolades and achievements. If CCS gave out a most improved award for any of it's athletes, Rogan would have been one of the leading candidates as you will see below.

1) How did you get started in the sport of running (xc and track and field)?
Freshman year I didn't run cross country, only track. My family gave me the push to run.

2) What other sports did you participate in besides those two?
Freshman year I tried out for football and soccer but got cut from both. In sophomore I played basketball.

3) When do you feel like you made the decision to crank up your training and succeed in both sports?
The summer going into senior year.

4) Looking back at your senior season in cross country, what do you feel was your best race of the season?
I am going to say the state meet because I ran my personal best pace wise which was 5:27 pace. I ran that smarter than most other runners by going out slower and not going out with the leaders. My teammate, Max, went out in 5:00 and I went out in 5:10 but i came back in 16:54 and he came back in 17:16.

5) Before the summers before your junior season and senior seasons, what were the biggest differences training wise between the two?
I ran more consistently over the summer in senior than junior year. Not a lot of miles but a good base which really helped.

6) What were your PRs on the track following your junior season in the 800, 1600 and 3200? What are your PRs for those races now?
Junior year in the 800 I ran 2:13, 1600 was 4:46, and the 3200 was 10:28. Now in the 800 I run a 2:02, 1600 is 4:21, and the 3200 is 9:39.

7) You qualified for the state meet in cross country. Following that season, did you feel like you had a shot at the state meet in track and if so, what event?
I never felt like I had a chance to make state in track until league finals in the 1600. But in January and February I thought the 3200 was going to be my best event and be able to CCS finals.

8) What race during this past season really gave you the confidence that the state meet was a real possibility?
My league finals (PALs) 1600 meter victory over Daniel Filipcik. I ran a 4:24 while leading most of laps 1, 2, and 4. I never led lap 3. To see Obbie's (Rogan's coach) face of how proud of me was amazing and gave me confidence.

9) What were some of the workouts that you did on the track this past season that you feel helped you achieve your success in league and CCS?
I did a lot of 400's. I would do anywhere from 12 to 20 of them at a time. Mostly by myself. I had teammates who would run their lasts one with me but I would keep going by running usually 75's or faster and then getting in the low 60's in the last few.

10) What was your game plan going into the CCS 1600m. final and how did the race unfold for you?
I had no plan but to just try and get third. First lap, I went out in a 65 or a 66 while everyone went out in a 62, 63, 64. I was relaxed. i was back in 10th place after lap 1. In lap 2, I surged up to about 5th or 6th and just relaxed running a 2:11, 2:12 for the 800. Lap 3 was just the same, I was relaxed I let some people pass me but not enough where i couldn't catch them, running a 3:19, 3:20. Lap 4 all hell broke loose. I was in 4th or 5th starting the lap and was about to go. Then about 3 to 5 guys crashed in and almost knocked me out of bounds. I got really scared and started to run in lanes 2 and 3. Greg Innes from S.I. passed me with 300 meters to go and I went with him knowing that we were the two competing for that number 3 spot. We passed about 4 to 6 guys on the last lap. With a 100 meters to go he swung out to lap 2 and I swung out to lap 3. We were sprinting down the straight away knowing that one of us was going to go get that third spot. I missed state by .6 of second but did get a PR. I am happy with what happened during my senior year of track. Going to state would have been icing on the cake.

11) Tell us a little about your coach and how he has helped you develop into the runner you are today.
Obbie. Wow, one of the greatest persons I have ever met in my entire life. He works hard for those who work hard for him. He treated me like a son and I have no problem calling him second father. He has helped me become the runner I am today by motivation and confidence. There are not enough words to describe this man. The one that comes to my mind first is amazing. I could write an essay on how this man changed my life.

12) What are your running goals for the future?
I don't have to many goals right now. I will be running for Chico State next year. I plan on competing in the 5k, 10k, and 3k steeplechase. No times are set yet I always do those the season before it happens.

13) Anything else you would like to add.
Missing graduation to run CCS finals was one of the best choices I have ever done. I live to run.

To follow up on Rogan's last statement, here is a link talking about that situation and the wonderful act of the Burlingame principal:

Thank you very much Rogan. AJC

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great story. Congrats.

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