Satisfying performance at the C-USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Houston, TX.
Two weeks ago, my coach told me the first time about his plan to race me over 25 laps at this championships. I was a little surprised by that since the earlier plan was just to focus on the 5000m to get the team as many points as possible. But after analyzing the other team an their athletes, he came to the conclusion that I can win more points for the team by racing twice.
My first race took place on Friday evening. Since my team mate and I were some of the strongest in the race, our plan was to push the pace from the first lap and we shared the pace work for the first half but we were not as fast as we planned because the high humidity and the 80°F made the race even harder than expected. In the end phase, two athletes of UTEP were able to gap me but with a good finish sprint, I was able to close the gap and finished right behind Antony Kosgei in second position.
After a rest day, I felt surprisingly good in the warm-up for the second race. Nevertheless, we decided to run a more passive and more safe race strategy to win as many points possible. The temperature was still high and I was not sure how my first race would impact the second part of the race. After the start, I positioned myself in 15th position and tried to run as consistent as possible. As it was to expect, several guys started out too fast and I was able to work my way through the field. I finished the race in seventh place, which meant two more points for the team.
With my second and seventh places I could score 10 points for my team and earn my first medal at conference championships,. My team, University of North Texas, finished the championships in eighth position with 45.5 points. Since I am not fast enough for NCAA First Rounds, yet, this was already my last race of the season. I will take a short break before I will start my build up for cross country season.