Nevada Union’s Migliozzi set to run at CIF State meet
CIF-State Individual Divisional Rankings
1. (tie) Tal Braude (Torrey Pines, San Diego_SD)
1. (tie) Blake Haney, Sr. (Stockdale, Bakersfield-CE)
3. Blair Hurlock, Sr. (De La Salle, Concord-NC)
4. Steve Correa, Sr. (San Pedro-LA)
5. Phillip Rocha, Soph. (Arcadia-SS)
6. Robert Brandt, Jr. (Loyola, Los Angeles-SS)
7. Estevan De La Rosa, Sr. (Arcadia_SS)
8. Ben Gonzalez, Jr. (Warren, Downey-SS)
9. Gabe Collison, Sr. (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta-SS)
10. Garrett Migliozzi , Sr. (Nevada Union, Grass Valley-SJ)
11. Eduardo Herrera, Soph (Madera South, Madera-CE)
12. Jacob Ogden, Soph. (Dana Hills, Dana Point-SS)
This morning, Nevada Union senior and cross country phenom Garrett Migliozzi will compete at the CIF State championships in the Division-I boys varsity 5K event at Woodward Park in Fresno.
It’s been a long and winding road for the No. 10-ranked runner in the state, and now all his hard work has built up to this moment. No doubt, he’s eager to put his legs into motion and see what time he can deliver on a course that has been known for its impressive performances.
“I pretty much want to just do well with the situation I’m given,” Migliozzi said. “Anything can happen. Last year, I went in kind of sick and didn’t do as well as I know I could have. I’m going to do what I can. My main goal is to PR and be faster than 15:20. It’s a pretty quick course — usually gets the best PRs. The ground is pretty compact. The best part is the last 800 when you’re coming in and you see the grass, so you know you’re getting close.”
Migliozzi’s best time at Woodward Park was 15 minutes, 24 seconds. So improving by 4 to 5 seconds for an athlete of his caliber is significant. He also feels that this year’s competition is going to be a stiffer test than the field he ran against last season at state.
“The fastest time last year was 15:05, and I guarantee it will be faster this year,” added Migliozzi.
Of course, times are just numbers, and based on the given scenario at hand, anything can happen to alter the overall pace. After all, you only need to beat the guys next to you, so there’s a lot more strategy that goes into it than one may think.
“ I just don’t do certain a strategy,” Migliozzi explained. “Before (the race), I think about who I’m racing. Based off what happens, it’s kind of situational. I can kick and I can hold a really good pace at the same time. If I know a guy can’t kick, I can sit on him — sometimes I’ll lead; sometimes I’ll sit behind. It also depends on the race, if it’s for sheer time. If you push the pace, you risk your kick, and they’ll press harder.”
Woodward Park’s 5,000-meter course has hard-packed dirt trails with some grass and asphalt. It features mild ups and downs over rolling hills with one steep short hill. The top three teams and 10 individuals in each race will receive awards in all five divisions for both boys and girls. Migliozzi’s assistant coach, Herve Pastre, has tremendous confidence in the young man.
“Last week, we were at Folsom, lots of hills, probably the toughest course we have,” said Pastre. “Garrett got 15:33, the second fastest in the course’s history. I’ve known him for two years, and he’s a very dedicated young man, very good student, (great grades), very motivated. He’s a great kid to coach, does everything you ask, goes into a race to win. He’s not afraid to go out of his comfort zone. He runs seven days per week. His progress has been unbelievable. I’m confident he’ll be in the top five. He’s very talented and motivated. Put the two together — look out.”
As for the preparation that goes into running, Migliozzi says it’s all about the training and has little to do with which shoe gets laced up first. There is some thought that goes into diet however.
“I’m going out to dinner with my dad and the coaches,” said Migliozzi. “I’ll eat something good, nothing to slow me down though, like a bunch of cheese. I’m not superstitious. I’ve seen (the state’s top-ranked runners) but never been in a head-to-head race. One thing I’ve come to realize: No matter what, most of the time, it doesn’t matter what happens before the race as long as you’ve done the training.”
It’s not just the training and the mindset of an individual that sculpts out a superior athlete like Migliozzi, though. It takes a great team and coaching staff to share knowledge and empower the athlete with all the right tools so he can achieve his peak.
“(Coach) Angie Marino has been very supportive,” Migliozzi said. “(Coach)Sarah Freitas does most of the workouts, and Marino and Herve both talk about the workouts with us. Herve understands. He was a ‘miler’ back in the day. He ran like 4:03 when he was 19, so he knows what it takes.”
Any great athlete also knows it’s not just physical preparedness that brings about success. There are several mental factors that are equally as important, especially for someone in Migliozzi’s shoes.
“When you kick from that far out (1,000 meters), you can’t let them know because they’ll latch on,” added Migliozzi. “Mentally, it destroys them. It’s kind of like bluffing. There’s times they could have won if they didn’t give in. You don’t want to inch by them. Usually when I kick, I make sure it’s the final blow. Once they mentally give in, you don’t necessarily need to hold the pace.”
Regardless of where Migliozzi crosses the line at the state meet, this season has been an incredible one to watch, and the success has proof pouring in to show for it. The future is bright for this milestone Miner.
“I’ve gotten letters from the University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, Cal Poly, UCLA and others as well,” said Migliozzi. “When I finish, I can rest. I’m just going to push myself to the limit. I’ll be resting two days before (on Thanksgiving), and I’ll do a light run the day before (Friday) with some strides. This is the only race of the year where I’m resting.”
Upon the conclusion of cross country, Migliozzi will continue pursuing his passion of running on NU’s track and field squad, where more records look to be broken.
“The record mile for NU is 4:13, and he got 4:15 last year,” Pastre said. “That record has stood at NU for a long time, since the ’80s I think. I guarantee he does it. I’ll put it in writing and sign it. Garrett is a very driven individual and always achieves his goals. A good runner is able to change speed, and he has ability to go fast and get faster. That’s special talent there.”
To contact Sports Writer Brian Shepard, call 530-477-4234 or email email@example.com.
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