Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Catching up with San Ramon Valley runner, Kevin Griffith...

Today we chat with one of the premier 800m. runners in Northern California, San Ramon Valley runner, Kevin Griffith.  He is a two time participant at the California state meet in the 800m during his sophomore and junior seasons.  Last year, Kevin just missed making the podium with a 7th place finish at the CA state meet in Fresno.  He has finished 2nd in the 800m. at the NCS MOC and will be the favorite this year going into the two day meet this weekend.  To date, he has recorded PRs in the 800m with a time of 1:52.07 as well as a 4:15.53 in the 1600 at the Sacramento Meet of Champions.

1) How did you get your start in running (track and field/cross country)?
I first ran track with CYO in 6th and 7th grade. I decided that I would give track a go because I was fairly quick on the soccer field. I had a lot of success, and I remember winning the diocese 800 and 400 in 7th grade. I also ran the 4x100 relay with one of my current team mates Ian Padilla Jong. I ran cross country only senior year, with the idea that it would look better towards recruiting and that i would have a stronger distance base for track.

2) What was the first success that you can remember in cross country? track and field?

As I previously mentioned, I had some success during my middle school years with CYO. In high school, I first realized that I had potential in the 800 when I ran a 2:03 after doing solely 400 training. The highlight of my freshman year was seeing my name as #1 freshman in the state on dyestat.com with a 1:57.7. This year in cross country, I first met success at the Scott Bauhs invite, where I placed 2nd in my first 3 mile race.

3) When did you first realize that the state meet was a possibility for you?
I first realized that the state meet was a possibility after EBAL finals sophomore year, after a breakout race of 1:54.7. After that race I had the confidence to be more aggressive, and went on to place 2nd at NCS MOC, thus making it to state.

4) What were some of your highlights from your junior season in both sports?

In my junior year, running at Arcadia in the invitational 800 and running in the state finals race for the 800 at Buchanan were two major highlights. Running on the 4x4 the entire year was also a great experience. I did not compete in cross country that year.

5) When you reflect to your senior season in cross country, what races stand out for you? Team accomplishments?

Looking back at cross country, many races stand out. I would say that the Lowell Invite (where we took 7 of the top 10 spots), and the race at NCS were the team's best races.  As a team, we raced well together by staying close and paced off one another. That is an accomplishment in it's own right.

6) What have been some of your highlights so far this season in track?

This year's track season has been filled with great memories. Breaking the school record in the 800 at a dual meet and breaking Scott Bauhs mile school record are two major individual accomplishments I am proud of this season. Arcadia was definitely the funnest meet of the year. I ran in three very successful relays and in the invite 800. The 4x400 was the standout race of the night where we went sub 3:20 for the first time, broke the school record by winning the seeded race, and got interviewed after by Nike!

7) Why do you think SRV does so well in xc and track and field?

 I believe that xc and track have been so successful this year due to our incredible camaraderie. During cross country season, the team was very close together and driven by a common unifying goal. We strove to win EBAL and NCS, and pushed eachother in a positive manner every practice. As for track, the team has an incredible work ethic and we are all close friends outside of school (which makes a huge difference). The track team is incredibly motivated and we spend time together often, whether it's taking ice baths or just hanging out.

Above all else, coach Hunter and Stevens have kept us focused and prepared to take on one race at a time. They also have done an incredible job of structuring workouts so that the team is peaking during the right times of the season.

8) What are some of your key track and field workouts for you? What does a typical week look like for you?

Some key workouts that i enjoy are 200, 300, 400, and 800 repeats; usually fast or at VO2 max pace. A typical week consists of:
monday: 6-8 mile run or 200 repeats with sprinters
tuesday: distance workout day
wednesday: light 3-4 mile run and handoffs
thursday: lighter workout day or dual meet race day
friday: 20 minute run and handoffs
saturday: distance workout day or invitational race day
sunday: light 3-4 mile run and spending a few hours at the gym

9) Where are you going to college and how did you end up deciding to choose that college?
 I will begin attending UC Davis on August 22nd! I chose Davis amongst many other offers because it is a great place to compete at a high level for track, but at the same time pursue my academic goals in a less stressful environment than many other schools. I plan to study materials science. Davis also has weather that is favorable over many other locations.

10) As you were first starting out in high school, what runners did you consider to be your mentors (from SRV or other teams)?
In high school I was greatly inspired by the seniors and juniors that were present my freshman year. Cameron Walters (who i also played soccer with) was an incredible person and a 49 second 400 meter runner. He was the epitome of a hard working individual, and I was influenced greatly by this. Jason Silva was a junior when I first came to San Ramon Valley and would be my distance training partner for the next two years. He was very friendly, motivated, and a leadership figure. Jason mentored me in everything distance related.

11) For younger runners, what would you tell them are the keys to being a successful runner?

Keys to success would include: training hard, listening to your coaches, eating well, staying rested, racing to win no matter the competition, and staying hydrated.

12) Anything else you would like to add.

Lastly, I would like to say be happy with your performances but never be satisfied. Race with heart.

Thank you very much for your time Kevin!  AJC

No comments:

Popular Posts