Monday, February 27, 2012

Catching up with De La Salle HS sophomore, Blair Hurlock...

Today we chat with De La Salle HS sophomore, Blair Hurlock (picture to the left courtesy of taken during his freshman season at Tracy HS at the Clovis Invitational).  This past Saturday, Hurlock set a new meet record in the 3000m. at the Super 7 Invitational running 8:43.73.  According to the Track and Field News 'Big Gold Book', that time is equivalent to about 9:22.3 for 3200m.  Because of the transfer rules in California, Hurlock can only compete in F/S races during his sophomore school year.  During XC, he finished in 12th place at the 6 mild PAUSATF XC championship meet at Golden Gate Park.  Definitely one of the bright stars in the North Coast Section and Northern California.

1) What sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
Aside from track and cross country, I have participated in football, baseball, basketball, gymnastics, karate, and swimming. 

2) How did you get your start in running and how old were you at that time?
I started running in the spring of 2010, during my eighth grade year as a 13 year-old. My teammate from baseball and football had run track the previous year for CYO and convinced me to join him. My first season of cross country was as a freshman at Tracy High School.

3) What was the first success that you remember in running?
My first success in running was during my first 1600 meter race. I had never run the distance before on a track (although I had run the mile for fitness tests in elementary school), but I was able to win by a large margin with a time of 5:06.

4) Tell us a little about your freshman experience at Tracy HS and some of your accomplishments during both cross country and track and field seasons.
At Tracy High, I was originally going to play football but decided to join the XC team after realizing my disadvantage in size and my recently discovered running talent. After joining XC, I went on to win my first race in an invitational with 216 runners. My coach then placed me on varsity, where I won every dual meet and was one of two runners on my team to eventually advance to the Section meet. I missed going to the State meet by 6 seconds, and was given the varsity MVP award at the end of the season. During the track season, I routinely would compete in the 800, 1600, 3200, and 4x400 relay in each dual meet in order to score points for the team. After running so many events, I quickly discovered that the 3200 was my best, and I ended up winning the SJAA League meet in the 3200 in the varsity competition. I then advanced to Sections, where I again was not able to advance to State, but posted a PR of 9:43 in the 3200.

5) You have also run for the Pleasanton Heat. What have been some of your achievements with that club? Who are some of your faster teammates that are now competing in high school?
My experience with the Pleasanton Heat and its coach is what first allowed me to realize my potential in running. During my first year of track for CYO, I was recruited to be on the Heat by Coach Kevin McCarthy. The summer following the CYO season, Coach McCarthy was able to bring down my times and I qualified for the Track and Field Junior Olympics in Sacramento, CA. I placed 8th in the nation in my age group in the 1500 meters in my first year of running. The 2010 XC season for the Heat included me placing 4th in the nation. In the 2011 Track JO's, I won the national championship for my age group in the 3000 meters, and almost won another gold in the 1500, placing second. The 2011 XC season had me placing 3rd. Heat teammates that are currently running high school include Nolan Petersen (Washington High), Jacob and Peter Schlachte (Amador Valley), Connor McCarthy, (AV), Connor McKinnon (AV), Natalie Dimits (Livermore High), Cody Mayer (Liberty High), and Parker Deuel (San Ramon Valley).

6) You transferred to De La Salle HS before your current sophomore year. What have been some of the positive changes for you both academically and athletically?
Positive changes academically at DLS include the higher quality of teachers and staff, their enthusiasm for God,teaching, and creating a great learning environment, and the increased difficulty in the learning material. Athletically, I have access to trainers, and the best coach that I have had thus far in my short running career, John Pelster, as well as much improved training facilities that include hills and a running track (which were not available at Tracy High).

7) What are your current PRs in 800, 1500, 1600, 3000, 3200, 5000 and 10000?
800: 2:05 (Regional Meet before 2011 Track JO's)
1500: 4:06 (2011 Track JO's)
1600: 4:23 (2012 Simplot Games)
3000: 8:43 (2012 Super 7 Track Invitational)
3200: 9:43 (2011 SJS Section 1 Meet)
5000: 15:18 (2011 XC JO's)
10000: 32:36 (2011 PAUSATF XC Championships)

8) You cannot compete in Varsity competition this school year due to your transfer. What other races will you be competing in to maintain appropriate competition for yourself?

Due to my inability to compete in varsity races, Coach Pelster and I developed a track schedule prior to the 2012 outdoor season. I will be racing in open collegiate meets at local colleges such as UC Davis and Sacramento State.

9) Tell us a little about your current and previous coaches and how they have helped become the person and runner you are today.
The first great coach that I had the privilege of training with was Kevin McCarthy (coach of the Pleasanton Heat). He allowed me to realize my potential and introduced me to the training that would be required in order to become elite. Coach John Pelster of DLS has shown identical traits and combines experience and knowledge to give me the most effective training and racing schedule that allows me to develop to my fullest potential.

10) How many miles a week do you typically run? What is the length of your longest run? What are some of your toughest workouts? Favorite workout? Favorite race distance?
I am currently running about 70-80 miles per week. The length of my long run is typically 14 miles. The toughest workouts for me include intervals involving speed. My endurance is well developed, but my turnover needs improvement before the end of the season. My favorite workout includes tempo runs, in that I am able to sustain a relatively hard pace for a long duration. My favorite race distance is the 10K (although I've only raced the distance once). I enjoy longer races in that my endurance allows me to be competitive, they typically involve more strategy, and they test the guts of every competitor. 

11) What are some of the races in the summer that you are really looking forward to once the high school season is over?
Once my season is over, my coach and I have targeted the USA Junior Outdoor T&F Championships in Indiana, where I hope to qualify in either the 3200, 5000, or even the 10000. This will easily be the biggest meet of the season for me and should result in PR's for whatever event that I decide to run.

Thank you very much for your time Blair!  AJC


ghpadd said...

Excellent interview. Good to see the coach and athlete planning meets instead of running everything in sight. Blair will be a major player next year in both XC and Track in the elite of CA.

Anonymous said...

Blair seems like a fine young man and I wish him great success in track and xc. However it's disappointing to see the DSL machine unabetted drive to monopolize all bay area athletic talent for all sports disciplines. To counter the DSL approach I would support a geography rule be mandated for the private schools in order to return High School sports on a move level playing field. Once again I sincerely look forward to seeing great times from Blair and hope he serves as an inspiration to all our young runners.

NCSfan said...

This kid could probably challenge for an NCS if not State title if he were elligible this year. It's a shame that he'll most likely push F/S meet records at the EBAL league championships meet to an unbreakable point by any standard f/s runner in the future.

Anonymous said...

80 miles a week?! isn't he like 15? damn thats focus-I'm a senior who specializes in the 3200m and I don't run nearly that much.

Nolan Petersen said...

Proud to have been your teammate Blair! Go get 'em this season!

Anonymous said...

I know Blair from Tracy and he is a fine young man, we are proud of him and yes, he is committed...Good Luck Blair, 525 is proud of you! Challenge and Opportunity!

Blair's Parents said...

We are very proud of you son!

Blair's Parents said...

Dear "Anonymous" - Just to set the record straight, Blair transferred to De La Salle for academic, religious, and friendship reasons, which have nothing to do with your theory about the school monopolizing athletic talent. Blair is an excellent student with a 4.35 GPA, has a strong Christian faith, and his best friend from grade school attends DLS. Blair wasn't being challenged academically at his public school, and he wasn't satisfied with the environment, so we decided to let him transfer to DLS after hearing great things about the school from family friends with first hand knowledge. Due to the experinces our older kids had with the local public school system, we actually considered sending our younger kids to Christian based schools a couple years ago, before Blair even started running. We appreciate that you wish him well as a runner, but you should also wish him well as a student, and most importantly as a young man of faith that just happens to be a gifted athlete. We couldn't disagree more with your proposal for a geography rule by the way, as parents should have the right to send their kids to whatever school they see fit within their means, regardless of their geographic location. Although we strongly believe in free speach, the next time you decide to express your views on a public forum with an apparent ax to grind, you might want to get your facts straight before implying that someone was recruited which couldn't be further from the truth.

Anonymous said...

Blair's Parents - Don't get too bent out of shape. I understand your frustrations all too well. There tends to be A LOT of people who write what they want about whoever they want, making all kinds of assumptions and lies on this blog. Take everything you read on here with a grain of salt. There is a lot of support on this blog, but there are a lot of bitter/negative people too. Unfortunately.

Stephan Spangenberg said...

The unsuccessful will always have negative things to say about the successful. And by the way it's not "DSL" it's DLS, at least get the name you are blindly smearing right. The NCS transfer rules, like so many of their rules, are a joke and only punish successful kids, and if you really believe high school cross country programs are going out there recruiting kids I don't even know what to say to you.

Returning to the issue, Blair is a phenomenally talented and incredibly driven athlete. 70-80 miles a week is not even pushing his limits.

If you have any questions or concerns about any of these issues, feel free to contact me with them.

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