Dynamic Duo #1
Ty James and Sam Collins (Wilsonville) will be competing this weekend at the OSAA State Championship. They managed to take some time out of their busy high school lives and give us a quick interview.
Drew: How did you get started into running?
Sam: My older sister had been an avid runner, so my freshman year I decided to go out for XC and have loved it ever since.
Ty: My dad ran through high school, and college, and is has been coaching long distance for years. I think running is in my genes, and it was only a matter of time before I started running competitively.
Drew: This is the first time either one of you have qualified out, how long has this been a goal?
Ty: This has always been the goal. Racing at Hayward field is one of the greatest opportunities a distance runner could ask for.
Sam: Qualifying to the state track meet has been a goal of mine since freshman year, but has been nearly impossible until Ryan Byrd and Aki graduated.
Drew: Sam, coming into districts were you feeling confident? You had the second best time in the district but it appeared that it would be a really close race for that second spot.
Sam: Coming into Districts, I was confident and believed that regardless of my competition, I had the base/fitness to compete with anyone in the league. However, I knew that if I wanted to secure the 2nd spot, I would have to be patient and be able to close a hard 800m.
Drew: Is that what happened? Take us through your race a bit.
Sam: I hit my own pace of 4:58 for the first mile, allowing Ty and Michael (From Liberty...PR of 4:13 in 1500m) to remain about 15-20m ahead of me. However with 1000m left I noticed Ty breaking away and knew that this was my moment to go. I closed the 20m gap on Michael, surged ahead, and with a lap to go pressed on the gas and took off to a PR run of 9:16.
Drew: Ty, how does completing the 1500/3000 double compare with winning the NWOC title this past fall in xc?
Ty: Winning both the 3k and 1500m is just as fulfilling and rewarding for sure. Obviously when you win an important race, that you know others are fighting for just as hard as you, you feel accomplished and thrilled that training has paid off. The 3k and 1500m wins for me were exciting. Its really nice to have a couple good victories under my belt, moving forward to State.
Drew: Ty, what race are you looking more forward too?
Ty: I am honestly equally excited for both. I think I have been running some quick 1500m times this spring, especially compared to last year. This makes me pretty excited to compete at the shorter distance. In the 3k, I have yet to put up a time better than last year. I think I have a really strong race still left in me, so that makes me pumped for the 3k.
Drew: Any races planned for after state?
Sam: I’m going to run border duel, my plan in the 5k is too break the 16:00 minute barrier for the first time in my career, thus subsequently beating my 5k track, school- record time of 16:14 from last years race. As for the 3k, I would just be looking for another PR.
Ty: I will probably end up doing Border Duel. I haven’t decided what I want to run yet, but it will be between the 15 and 3k, depending on which I think I can run faster in. I might throw in a 2k steeple, but we will see.
Drew: How about plans for after high school? I’m sure you have not been asked this question by anyone recently....
Ty: I will be running cross country, track, and indoor next year at Idaho State University.
Sam: I plan on serving a 2 years of missionary work for my church, and then returning to BYU and becoming a walk-on for their XC and track team.
Drew: If you have to pick someone other than yourself tow in your race, who’s your pick?
Ty: It’s gotta be Sammy C. The victory lap would be incredible.
Sam: I would obviously like to see Ty win the 1500m and 3k, which is definitely within his reach, given the field can accommodate his race style.
Drew: How very political correct of you two. Favorite runner?
Sam: Dathan Ritz is my favorite distance runner. He can compete and run strong in anything as long as a Marathon and something as short as a 1500m/3000m. Additionally, the way he has battled injuries and overcome them in the past few years has both impressed and inspired me, as I and many other runners have experienced the trial of an injury.
Ty: Kyle Merber or Will Leer. Both runners have great closing speed, something I’ve always admired in a runner, and desired to have.
Drew: Nice picks. Will Leer is one of mine also. Favorite all-time running memory?
Sam: My favorite memory was my junior xc season, when the team took 3rd place at the state meet, especially because we came in ranked 6th place.
Ty: After this years district 3k, my neck hurt from looking back so much, checking for Sam. My favorite memory is when I finished that race, turned around and saw finish 2nd with both hands in the air, looking like he won the world championship. There was a lot of hard work that went into this season for both of us, and to go 1-2, I could not have asked for more.
Drew: What is your number one piece of advice to give to younger runners, or those new to the sport?
Ty: Run hard, and train smart, but don’t let running become so serious that it is a chore. The number one thing I learned to do this season and last cross season, is to have fun, and enjoy the time I have running. It is definitely more than just a sport for me, it’s a hobby and passion, and I really embrace that.
Sam: Be patient and trust your training; big jumps are very infrequent, rather small increases over time are what you should expect when training for long periods of time.