When Nevada Union distance runners Garrett Migliozzi and David French toe the line today at the CIF Track and Field State Championships they will be racing on the same track but in different events and with different goals.
For French, a senior, this is his final opportunity to compete at the prep level, and he has his eyes on setting a new school record in the 800-meter event.
“Heading into the state meet, I’d like to break the school record,” French said. “That’s pretty much all I’m going there for.”
It’s a goal NU track and field head coach Angie Marino said is attainable.
“He’s fast, has natural talent and lots of speed,” Marino said. “If we trained him right, he should be peaking now, but I think he has a little more left. I think David definitely has the school record.”
French’s recent emergence as a top-tier competitor in the 800 started just two months ago at the Del Oro Invitational. French improved his 800 time from 2 minutes, 9.2 seconds from a week earlier to 1:57.95 at the Del Oro meet.
“That’s when I realized I was actually a really good runner,” French said.
The American River College bound runner has since shaved his 800 time down to 1:53.7, just .06 seconds slower than the NU school record, 1:53.1, set in 1987 by Jon Hottinger.
Heading into the state meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, French boasts a first-place finish in the Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional meet, and a second-place finish at the section’s Masters meet.
“He’s used to leading and having to push himself,” Marino said. “But now he will be with people who are faster than him, and they will pull him along. I think he will make the finals. I think he will make top eight. It’s super attainable.”
French enters the state competition seeded 12th out of 19 competitors.
For Migliozzi, a junior competing in the 1,600-meter event, the state meet is a chance to gain some valuable experience.
“I’m just looking for experience,” Migliozzi said. “It will be like a 100 degrees, and the competition is pretty intense this year, more than it usually is. It will be more about experience. If I do well, that’s great, but to be honest, I will be somewhere in the pack.”
In addition to running for experience, Migliozzi is also bringing a risk-taker’s attitude to the competition.
“I need to just be in the race and realize it’s the last race of the season and give it all I can, “Migliozzi said. “Figure out who the runners are and maintain contact with someone who is better than I am and also kick on top of it. I also need to take risks. If I’m going into the third lap and I’m dying — go faster. Normally you might want to pull back a bit, but it’s the end, there’s nothing left, so might as well lay it all down and not be afraid of taking risks. There’s nothing holding me back. There’s nothing stopping me from giving it everything.”
For Migliozzi, this is his second trip to a state competition this school year as he qualified in the fall during the cross country season as well.
Migliozzi has been chipping away at his 1,600 time, which started at 4:30.4 at the beginning of the season but is down to 4:15.8, a personal record for Migliozzi set at the section Masters meet. Migliozzi enters the state meet currently ranked 26th out of 35 athletes.
The state meet kicks off Friday at Veterans Memorial Stadium on the Buchanan High School campus in Clovis. Migliozzi’s preliminary race is set for 5:48 p.m. Friday, and French runs the 800 prelim at 7:49 p.m. Friday.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email email@example.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
New season. New co-head coaches. Same expectations.