State Meet this Saturday!!!

In preparation for our state meet this Saturday, this week’s workouts have been relatively easy. We started the week at 5pm on Sunday with a 55 minute run through the Research Park, the MSU campus, and downtown Starkville. Our basic crew showed up, which included Ethan Musser, Steve Shaffer, myself, and the only two male SHS runners who qualified for distance events – Joseph MacGown (3200m) and Kamau Bostic (1600m, 800m, 4 X 400m race). Ethan did not run track this spring, but played tennis. He is now trying to get back in shape for the fall cross country season. It should come as no surprise that Joseph and Kamau were the two who made the state meet in the very competitive 6A boys division, as has been evident in their presence at these weekly longer runs. The ones who put the work in and really enjoy running, are the ones who generally reap the rewards! This Saturday is their reward. Joseph should be especially proud of himself, being the youngest SHS boy (by 2 years) to make the state meet this year. In fact, I can’t think of a year in which a 14 year old freshman boy from SHS qualified for a distance event, and I have been in Starkville for 35 years!  Even the most famous SHS runner, Tavaris Tate, a 400m specialist and now world class athlete, did not make the state meet as a freshman! If Joseph can stay healthy and continue to get faster, he could have a nice future with this running stuff. He is seeded 6th this year, and this will be a tremendous learning experience for him! Kamau actually has a good chance of winning the state meet in the 800m race, and should do well in the 1600m race as well, which would be an excellent way to finish of the year.

Monday was a hot day that saw us on the SHS track, where the distance kids did a 2 X 400m/600m/400m/200m workout with a warm up and cool down. Joseph and Kamau ran about 15 minutes to warm up, and then we jogged about 20 minutes to cool down. Mary Elizabeth was feeling the heat, and was maybe slightly dehydrated. I talked to her about the importance of drinking more water than she had been taking in. Even so, both her and Walker did a good job. Walker’s little sister, Kate, ran too, pushing Walker, who responded well to the challenge.  The workout was pretty good, and was pace based. Not too difficult.

Tuesday’s workout was simply 5 X 200m sprints at a brisk pace: Joseph and Kamau were between 25 and 28 seconds, with Kamau’s being faster. Joseph’s best was about 25 seconds. Again, warm up and cool down runs.

On Wednesday, I met Joseph, Kamau, Mary Elizabeth, and Walker for a 35 minute easy run, which we did through the Research Park and MSU campus. We don’t usually run on the campus, but with only 4 runners, plus Steve Shaffer and myself, it was possible.  Again, very hot! Supposedly 92°, but it felt warmer than that with the high humidy. The 13 year cicadas were making a wonderful drone as we cruised along.

Tomorrow, we will back at SHS for an easy run through the neighborhood across the street, likely followed by a few strides. Friday will be a rest day, and Saturday will be the big day!!!! STATE MEET.  For anyone interested, a heat sheet and schedule is available online at:


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