What is typically the strongest cross country section in NorCal?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Catching up with Placer HS runner, Toby Qualls...

Today we chat with Placer HS senior, Toby Qualls (picture to the left courtesy of Rich Gonzalez).  Over his first three years in high school, Toby competed at Mammoth HS in the Southern Section (check out one of his training partners below!).  Last season, Toby finished in 8th place in the Division V state meet with a 15:57 on the Woodward Park course. Toby and his family moved up north and this year has been representing Placer HS.  He has made quite an impact on his team and this past Saturday, Toby finished in 2nd place in the Division III race in the SJS as he led the Hillmen to a narrow section win over El Dorado HS.  

1) How did you get your start in running? What other sports did you play?
I got my start in running during the summer of my freshman year. I knew I was decent at running in middle school during my mile tests so I decided to do x-country in h.s. I played football, basketball, baseball, and cross country skiing before running.

2) Tell us a little about your experience at Mammoth HS. Highlights?
It was really in mammoth where I found my passion for running; my previous coach, Andrew Kastor was an inspiration for me as he provided me with a training schedule that gave me the opportunity to run alongside Olympic athletes.

3) What about the coaching situation at Mammoth? Tell us a little about your coach and his more famous wife.
Deena Kastor, Andrew's wife also served as one of main role models as I would accompany her on many long runs.  Running at altitude, and alongside Olympians, in such a beautiful town, was incredible.

4) How did you end up at Placer HS?
 I ended up at Placer High School after my parents decided to move closer to family in grass valley and Roseville.

5) What are the advantages do you feel you have now at Placer HS that you didn't have at Mammoth HS?
The advantages I have at placer is being surrounded by a great (peer) team, and that auburn is a lot warmer than Mammoth. Since it is my senior year, I have put everything into my training this season.

6) Tell us a little about your current season and how you have adjusted to racing in the SJS. What about your coach? How has he helped you perform better this season?
My new coach Randal Fee, has helped me preform better by providing me with a new training schedule and being aggressive about icing, stretching, and core.

7) Did you do anything different this summer training wise to get ready for the season?
This training season I have done much more intensity workouts than I have ever done, as well as more two-a-day runs.

8) What are your current track PRs?
My track prs are 9:48 for the 3200m and 4:36 for the 1600m (that was my sophomore year, I focus on the 3200m)

9) Favorite cross country course? Favorite XC Invitational? Favorite XC workout? Favorite long run? Favorite track workout? Favorite track distance? Favorite track invite?
fav xc invite: Mt. Sac fav xc workout: 1/2 mi repeats fav long run: the quarry fav track workout: 400m repeats. Fav track distance: 3200m. Track inv: Carson city inv.

10) Tell us a little about your own race yesterday and the thrill of winning as a team.
I was thrilled about the race yesterday. Placing well at the state meet is the ultimate goal but getting 1st at the sections meet was an awesome victory For us all. We all earned it; we have been working incredibly hard all year.

11) What is your advice for an up and coming runner who has goals of competing at a high level?
My number one tip for an up and coming runner is to build base over the summer. The more the better.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thanks Albert! Look for us at state!

Thank you very much for your time Toby!  AJC

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