Grueling, painful, a test of will, maybe even boring at times. There are a lot of ways to describe long-distance running. Lindbergh’s Matt Miland chooses an unexpected one: calming.
“When you’re out running, it’s almost like meditating,” Miland said. “You have a lot of time to think out there.”
The junior will have 4,800 additional meters of really quality time to think this weekend when he runs in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races at the 3A state meet in Pasco.
Miland estimates that he runs 45 to 50 miles every week with Lindbergh’s distance group, and the hard work is showing right at the best time. Miland has run season-best times in the 1,600 and 3,200 within the past three weeks. He ran a 4:20 in the 1,600-meter at the West Central District 3 Meet on May 16 and a 9:27 in the 3,200-meter at the Seamount League Meet on May 9.
Miland currently sits with the 23rd-best state time in the 1,600 and he’s reached a competitive point with other runners’ times around the state. Just one second separates Miland’s time from the 13th-best state time. Miland also has the 23rd-best state time in the 3,200.
Miland started track in seventh grade, mostly because that’s what his older brother did. He started cross country after eighth grade and made the varsity team as a freshman.
He first realized he was fast when he broke Lindbergh’s freshman record for the mile, with a time of 4:36.
“It’s something I’m good at naturally,” Miland said.
One key to Miland’s success is concentration. “Before the race, I’m mostly just thinking about the race itself. I have my goal time in mind and I try to stay focused,” he said.
Another key is a little friendly competition. Whether it’s from teammates Trevor Thompson and Joseph Patti or league rivals, it doesn’t hurt to have other elite distance runners close by.
Ryan Prentice of Mount Rainier sports the state’s only sub-8 minute 3,200 time this season and also has the state’s fourth-best 1,600 time.
“We’re pretty good friends,” Miland said. “We talk quite a bit, sometimes we even talk during the race.”
Miland, Thompson and Prentice will all compete in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter races at the 3A state meet in Pasco.
Adam McFadden can be reached at email@example.com or 425-255-3484, ext. 5054.
3A state track meet:
When: May 23-24
Where: Edgar Brown Stadium, Pasco
Check back in the May 31 issue for more coverage and full results of the state meet.