When a sports season comes to a close, athletes normally take some time off to rest, revitalize and reboot.
That’s not the case with track and field athletes.
With the high school season officially over with the conclusion of the 2019 CIF State Track and Field Championships in Clovis this past weekend, the offseason is in full effect, except there really isn’t one.
The six Foothill League seniors who competed at the state meet may take a day off or two, or maybe even a week off or two, but then it’s back to work as they prepare for the college level.
“I’m going to the Pac-12, I have to come in with a strong punch,” said Golden Valley thrower Shyann Franklin, who is attending UC Berkeley in the fall. “I’m probably going to take a week off, get my workout from Cal and just get back to work. I don’t have time to take a break.”
“I’m training through the summer and actually I’m doing the Junior Olympics one last time with the team,” said West Ranch thrower and UCLA commit Natalie Ramirez. “I’ll be training through the summer, a little more relaxed attitude, a bit more fun.”
West Ranch throws coach David Bultman will help Ramirez train for the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics and help prepare her for a competitive college career with the Bruins, where he also was a thrower.
Bultman also announced via Twitter that his Wildcats throwers will start practice back up again on Tuesday and they are expected to lift weights on their own this summer.
West Ranch distance runner Evan Bates is even setting aside time to train while he’s on vacation in Europe this summer.
“I think I’m going to try one more race, a street mile just for fun, then take a couple weeks off. Then I’m off to Europe for a family vacation and I’ll do some training there, start preparing for adapting to the training cycles at Gonzaga,” Bates said. “Learning how the program works and when I get there in the fall I’ll be able to contribute to the team right away hopefully.”
A pair of Canyon athletes, Jacob Lopez and Ethan Danforth, are also heading to Division 1 schools and will start preparing this summer. Lopez will continue his throwing career at San Jose State and Danforth will run at Southern Utah University.
Kai Wingo of Valencia, who won the state title in the boys 800-meter with a personal record of one minute and 51.71 seconds, will look to build on that success over the next four years in college.
He’s considering several schools including UCLA, UC Berkeley and Cal State University, Long Beach.
“This is is definitely a good lesson for my 800 career,” Wingo said. “Now I know what my strategy is and I know my weak points and I can start changing it up over the next four years, possibly the next 10 years.”
And it’s not just the college-bound seniors who are already preparing for next year.
Tyler Cash of Canyon, a junior, set a personal record and school record in the boys high jump at state after he cleared 6-10, finishing in second place.
He was already back to work on Monday morning lifting weights as he prepares for the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in June.
Golden Valley’s Kienan Donovan was the only sophomore in the boys shot put competition at state, and one of just two sophomores in the discus event.
He’ll get back to work immediately to try and improve on his seventh-place finish in discus and twelfth-place finish in shot put. He will be training all summer with his father and Golden Valley throws coach Kyle Donovan. The Donovans have a throwing ring set up at home and a weight room.
West Ranch’s Solomon Strader, a junior, finished in third place at the state meet in the boys 400-meter with a time of 47.10. He finished just behind two seniors, and will be the prohibitive favorite in the 400-meter next year.
The Wildcats phenom said he’ll take a day off, maybe two, but then it’s back to work.
“I guess Sunday and maybe Monday and that’s about it, then it’s back to track,” Strader said with a laugh after the state meet. “In a couple weeks I’ll run at New Balance (Nationals Outdoor). Just have to make sure I get stronger, a bit bigger. Just continue to run strong and run hard.”