Woodside High School’s Chris Waschura is heading to the CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis on Friday for the second straight season and looking to improve upon his finishes last year.
“You’re competing with kids as good as you,” Woodside coach Chris Harmon said about training for the state championships. “It’s getting mentally focused.”
The junior won the 800- and 1,600-meter races at the Central Coast Section championships last week to earn his spot in the state championships, and will be taking more than just that momentum to Clovis.
“When one of us gets [to state], everybody’s there,” Harmon said about his team’s camaraderie. “[Waschura] will be running with the whole team there.”
Harmon believes comfort is a main component of the mental preparation for state, and his team has provided that comfort for Waschura.
“They want to be as big of help as possible,” Harmon said. “They want him to see a friendly face, feel comfortable.”
The goal is to medal, but Harmon said making it to state for the second year in a row is an accomplishment in itself.
“We’re happy to be there more than anything,” Harmon said. “Enjoy the fact you made it there again.”
Waschura failed to reach the state finals last year as he finished in eighth place in his preliminary heat.
Friday is graduation at Woodside and Harmon said some of the graduating seniors will receive their diplomas and then head to Clovis to root Waschura on.
“They didn’t want anything to change,” Harmon said.
But things did change this year for Waschura. He came in stronger and faster than a year ago after coming up short in both the CCS and state championships.
“Last year was a struggle,” Harmon said.
Harmon tells his team they learn more from the disappointments and they have bought into that philosophy.
“You don’t learn from winning,” Harmon said. “You learn from losing.”
After falling short a year ago, winning two CCS events this year “meant the world” to Waschura.
“Right now there is no better feeling,” Harmon said. “To see [his goal] come true, it was a great feeling in his
Waschura looked comfortable and in control during his runs at CCS, Harmon said.
Waschura finished the 800 in 1:56.61 and the 1,600 in 4:19, more than two seconds ahead of second place.
Woodside had participants in six events at CCS, including Christina Dobbins who ran in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles.
WHAT: CIF State Track and Field Championships
SCHEDULE: Friday, qualifying begins at 3 p.m.; Saturday, championships begin at 4:30 p.m.
WHERE: Buchanan High School, Clovis