Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bellingham Herald "McHenry ready for test at USATF Championships"

Mason at the ASU Invitational back in March. Photo by David Daer
Former Sehome standout Mason McHenry says he is not intimidated about going head-to-head with world champion distance runner Bernard Lagat, NCAA Champion 800 meter champion Andrew Wheating or the rest of the nation's best middle distance runners.
At the same time, he said he isn't setting his sights too high for this weekend's 800 at the 2009 United States Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., either.
"I just want to go out there and have some fun," McHenry said in a phone interview. "I had a pretty good season, so I'm looking at this as sort of a bonus."
If McHenry manages to finish well enough, he could receive another bonus - a trip to Berlin, Germany, to represent his country in the International Association of Athletic Federations World Track and Field Championships.
To earn that trip, McHenry would need to finish in the top three in the only event in which he will be participating. The first round of the 800 will be held Thursday, June 25, with the semifinals scheduled to follow on Friday, June 26, and the finals set for Sunday, June 28.
"I figure it will take about a (time of 1 minute, 44 seconds)," said McHenry, who just completed his freshman season at Arizona State University. "Probably not (something he can accomplish) this year, but it's definitely something I think I'll be able to do it in a year or two." McHenry's best time in the 800 is a 1:47.76 he ran during the NCAA Indoor season at a national championships qualifier at Iowa State.
His best time during the outdoor season was a 1:48.25 on March 28 at the ASU Invitational. At the time, that was one of the fastest collegiate times in the nation.
He was hoping to improve upon that mark at the Pac-10 Conference Championships in May, but a late-season bout with bronchitis slowed him and held him to a 21st-place finish.
"Initially, I was a little surprised by how things were going to start my freshman year," McHenry said. "It was a little rough at the end because of the illness. I wasn't happy with how the season ended there at the Pac-10 Championships, but overall, I thought I had a pretty good year." McHenry said the Sun Devils had him focusing almost solely on running the middle distance events, which helped him improve his times quickly in his first year in college.
Though he ran mostly the 800 - an event he won a 2008 Class 2A state championship as a senior at Sehome - the Sun Devils also used McHenry a little in the 1,500 and on the 4x400 relay. "Basically, I think it helped me to just be running all year and to have some really good training partners and coaches to work with," he said. "Coming to college, it was just a matter of stepping up to another level. I realized pretty quickly that if I did what they told me to do and start making the steps they asked me to make, I could be pretty successful."
Among the areas the ASU coaching staff had McHenry focus on was more weight training. They also tried to bring more speed to his middle-distance with some sprint-like training.
And now he hopes that work will help him this weekend in Oregon. "I'm not surprised that I'm running on this level," McHenry said. "I guess I always thought I could make it here. Maybe I am a little surprised that it has happened so quickly. I didn't think I'd make it here after my first year of running college track."
Now that he's here, it's not an opportunity he plans to waste. "I plan to use this as a learning experience," McHenry said. "I'm going to go out and do the best that I can do and see what I can do against the best runners in the country. If I make it (to Berlin for the IAAF World Championships) that would be really exciting, but this year I'm just trying to lay the groundwork for the years to come."
Reach David Rasbach at or 715-2271.
USATF CHAMPIONSHIPS When: Thursday through Sunday, June 25-28 Site: Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore. TV schedule: Friday - 5-7 p.m., ESPN; Saturday - 4:30-6:30 p.m., ESPN; Sunday - 1-3 p.m., Ch. 5 800 meters schedule: Thursday - 5:35 p.m. preliminaries; Friday - 6:10 p.m. semifinals; Sunday - 1:53 p.m. final
We, Papa, Mama, your sisters, the Herald plus numerous folks in the community that have been supporting Mason are so proud that he made it this far his first year in Collegiate Track and Field.
Little did we know when he decided to quit baseball his sophmore year that his words "I am not quitting to Loose" would ring so true!
I guess it runs in the family since all our kids have the same determination. We are so proud of our children who all have worked hard to attain their goals no matter how hard it gets. They all have been through a lot but never loose sight of what they really want or loose their determination even if they have to walk through fire to get there. I could not be more proud of all of all of my children.
Your whole family and friends plus many in our community are proud of you son! We know that you will be going far in the years to come no matter what happens today.


Anonymous said...

The picture in the hard copy of the paper is really huge. takes up half the front page of the sports section. I'll bring home a copy.
Love Pa

Michele said...

Really? I like the Picture David Daer took better. The one the Herald has was when he was running on a stress fracture and it looks like he is in pain! LOL!
I guess we need to custom make that frame you want for the "wall"!

Momnerd said...

You know what? I didn't realize it was his first year at college! That is amazing! You have got to be the proudest mama out there! I can't wait to see what he does in the years to come!

The More the Merrier said...

Hey Michele,
I am sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you! The day I found your comment, my computer was giving me sass. At any rate, how fun to see an older Mason! He seems like a great guy and it is fun to read and see how much you love him. Thanks for saying hi!-malinda

Michele said...

I should post some pictures of my Mason when he was younger, they look like brothers!
Mason was always begging for a brother, he has a monkey we got him that has ears that spin that he still has and worships!
I am still trying to remember where I met you! Refresh my tired ol' brain for me. I have a sinus infection and I can never think straight when I have one! I will come back to your site and read more since it is cool to read about "Mason" and Poppy. My Mason has a "Papa". LOL! Ok, too much alike can be a little scary! LOL!
Thanks and see you soon!