Today we chat with Woodside HS runner Chris Waschura (picture to the left courtesy of ESPN Rise), one of the top runners in Northern California (fastest 1600m. time with 4:13.18c and 2nd fastest 800m. with 1:54.38). He 1600 time is a converted time from the Arcadia Invitational mile where he set the day meet record with his time. Waschura qualified to the California State Track and Field meet last year as a sophomore running 4:16.62 at the CCS meet. With the top three runners now competing in college, Chris will be the favorite to claim his first CCS title at Gilroy HS on Friday, May 27th.
1) How did you get your start in xc and/or track and field?
Coming out of 8th grade, I knew I wanted to run in high school. I would run a little here and there on my own or with my Dad. I did small school XC while at Corte Madera in 8th grade which opened my eyes to the training and other aspects behind racing. Other than that, I truly didn't begin running until freshmen year.
2) What other sports have you played?
started with soccer at a very young age. I played all the way to 8th grade when I left the Menlo Park Strikers, a Nor-Cal Gold Division team. I played basketball while at Corte Madera, but soon figured out that wasn't in my future. I have always been very active.
3) You ran some impressive times on the track as a freshman including breaking 2:00 in the 800m. What were some of your highlights from that season?
At CCS I ran 1:59.75 as a freshmen. That season my mind was set on breaking two minutes. That was my goal and I was really happy when I reached it in my last race of the season. I ran a 4:42 1600m at that time, but never really had interest in running those two extra laps. For me, an 800m was perfect, and I was good at it.
4) What were your best times on the track during your sophomore season? What do you feel was your best race?
My sophomore season was, in my eyes, unbelievable. Being able to run 4:16.62 and competing at State was incredible. I was delighted to win the Rising Stars Mile at Arcadia, and Heat 3 of the Boys Mile at Stanford. Both of those races were defining moments of my season. It was in those races I gained my confidence in my kick.
5) You were injured this past xc season. What was your injury and what did you learn from the experience?
During my XC season I had achilles tendinosis. The injury first popped up after a running camp in the summer. Over the course of the season I did what I could to keep the injury from flaring up. It lasted up until PALs where I went down after over-extending it in a rut. If there is one thing I learned from that experience it would be: Truly take all the time needed to heal an injury-- and then some. Never run the first day you feel good after being injured. Because I took all the rest I needed in between seasons, I haven't had any trouble with my achilles.
6) When did you start running again following the injury and how long did it take you to return back to full strength?
I started back up mid-January. I took things very easy the first couple weeks. What I couldn't get done running, I took care of in the weight room. After a a while of being cautious, I decided to do all full workouts and haven't had trouble since. While starting back up, there was some inconsistencies, but not much. If it was up to me, I would have run hard on it the first day. Luckily, coaches and family held me back-- it was for the best.
7) What kind of mileage are you currently running per week? What does a typical week look like for you from Monday to Sunday?
I go my minutes, I'm a pretty low mileage guy when it comes to track. During XC things are bumped up a bit. Every week I take two relaxed days, one easy day, one hard workout day, a race day or two, and a long run.
8) What was your plan going into the mile race at Arcadia? Did you have a time goal? How did the race unfold?
My goal for Arcadia was to win. I figured the race will be fast, and if I run to win, I'll surely get a PR. First and second lap were all about positioning. I knew I needed to stay within striking distance at all times. The pace took care itself. By the third lap I ended up right where I wanted to be, and come the fourth it was over. I always try to shave a second or two off my split come the last lap. I ended up running a 58 last lap, and PRd at 4:14.66.
9) What other races did you run at Arcadia? What were some of your highlights from the event (besides your mile of course)?
Later that night I ran the DMR with my team. We all did a great performance, setting our school record. I knew doubling would be tough, but I was up for the challenge. I ended up running a 4:16.9 split and passing 10 people. Come that last lap, I was on a mission. I wanted to blow away the people in the stands :)
10) How do you feel that your experience at the state track and field meet last year will help you this year?
Last year reaching State meet was an awesome experience. California's State meet would be better than any official national meet. I was exposed to some really talented runners and that has helped fuel my training a lot. I am really looking forward to competing this season, coming up soon.
11) Anything else you would like to add.
Eat raw rep peppers, they are good for you!
Thank you very much Chris! AJC