By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
As a freshman and then again as a sophomore, Brendan Van Voorhis had finished top three at the state track and field meet on relay teams.
As a senior, Van Voorhis got to feel what it’s like individually, winning a bronze medal in the 400-meter run in 49.10 on Saturday, May 20 at Hayward Field.
“It was a good way to end my senior season,” Van Voorhis said.
“This year’s finals heat was insanely fast. Everyone was under 50 seconds. I don’t remember the last time I saw a finals heat that was all under 50 seconds. It was crazy. It was going to be challenge. I didn’t run anything spectacular. I ran a good race.”
In lane seven after running a 49.82 in prelims, it was important for Van Voorhis to get off to a fast start.
“I knew I had to take off fast because everyone was going to be chasing me,” Van Voorhis said.
“I passed the guy in lane eight super quick, probably 15 meters into the race. I just kept running and I didn’t feel anybody near me until the last 100 meters and then that’s when Jake Harthun and Braden Lenzy came up and they passed me on the inside. That was a really long turn to run in lane seven.”
Van Voorhis got off to a rough start in Eugene, failing to qualify for finals in the 100 after finishing 12th in 11.10 in prelims on Friday.
“I twitched before the gun went off,” Van Voorhis said. “I immediately thought I was about to get DQ’d. I came out of the blocks and was expecting the double shot for them to say I got DQ’d but it never came so my start was absolutely horrid. I was just trying to play catch up.”
Van Voorhis was also two spots away from reaching finals of the 200 after placing 10th in prelims in 22.22.
“The 200 was crazy fast this year,” Van Voorhis said. “The 100 I was definitely expecting to do way better than I did. That was really stupid of me to do that but there was nothing I could really do about it. I shook it off. I wasn’t close to being in the finals so I focused on the 400.”
Qualifying for finals in only the 400 also gave Van Voorhis time to rest, unlike the district meet when he ran the 100, 200, 400 and 4×400 relay.
“It was actually kind of nice to just do the 400 in finals because I got to go to the meet and just chill in the stands and watch people run,” Van Voorhis said. “I warmed up, I ran my race and I was able to leave. I didn’t have to manage my recovery system because I didn’t have to recover for another race. It was more relaxed.”