Sunday, February 11, 2007

"It still seems a little surreal yet ... "

"Going sub-4 was something that I’ve always wanted to do," Garrett Heath told DtB one day after crossing that singular miling threshold, "and to finally do it on the same day that Elliott ran like he did was amazing. It still seems a little surreal yet, even today, especially to think that Elliott is now going to Kenya."

At roughly the same time on Saturday that Garrett (pictured, top), a junior at Stanford, was trying to turn sub-60-second quarters on the big oval in Seattle, younger brother Elliott, a senior at Winona Senior High, was putting away the Junior Men's field in the mud at the USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder. Elliott (pictured, bottom) clocked 26:07 over the 8k course to win by 11 seconds and earn a ticket to the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa, Kenya.

"About a minute after I saw up on the scoreboard that I had broken 4 minutes," Garrett said, "one of my teammates came running up to me and said that he thought that Elliott had just won Juniors. I heard it again about a minute later from someone else before finally talking to Elliott on the phone about it. It was a pretty amazing moment and I am extremely happy for him."

In Garrett's sub-4, he hustled himself to the finish in what he estimates was a 57 second final 400 to complete his barrier-breaking 3:59.60. He finished second in the race to teammate Russell Brown.

"The rabbit ran exactly what he said he was going to -- 58-59, 1:58 -- but [three of us] gave him a little gap, so we came through the first 400 around 59 seconds and then preceded to run in that line until 800 where we came through around 2:00," Heath recounted.

"Right around 1200, where we came through in about 3:02, I think, people starting getting anxious and three guys passed me. I made my move with about 250m to go, moved up into second place behind my teammate with 100m to go, and finished in the same position about a half stride back."

In the near future, Heath expects to run the 1200 leg on the Cardinal DMR and then double back in the 3000 meters at the Mountain Pacific meet in two weeks. The Stanford DMR is automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor meet two weeks after that, while Heath himself is provisionally qualified in both the mile and 3000.

In the long-term, we bet Garrett is looking forward to having Elliott join him at Stanford -- Elliott committed to the Cardinal last fall -- if for no other reason than that they can then share each other's finest moments firsthand.

Photos courtesy of Stanford (top) and Sean Hartnett (bottom.)

1 comment:

Dr. Van Nostrum said...

Nice article and quotes for those of us here in Minnesota. It truly was an incredible day for the Heath family. Kudos to downthebackstretch for getting the inside story. This is an incredible site.