Ran a shakeout around 12, then relaxed most of the day. Did some studying, took a nap, ate lunch, and I felt good. I felt really confident in preparation for this race, as I've had great workouts and I'm in a lot better shape than I was a few months ago. We warmed up about 45 minutes or so before the race was supposed to start, then went to the bull pen, had a team prayer, did strides, and then started. Possibly the biggets factor in helping me throughout this race was the fact that we had 8 runners from BYU in it. It made for a good time.
We got to the start line, the gun went off, and then I got shoved around a ton! People were throwing arms like a boxing match where you hit only with your elbows. Then the gun went off again and I was super grateful because they called us back. I didn't get out terrible the first time, but I was super started that I freaked out a bit. The second time we started the shoving was probably half as much, but I did get out worse. I started out close to the back, not sure where exactly. I saw Michael Ottison, Connor Weaver a bit ahead and assumed our top 3 were in the top few. At 200m the pace started to go really slow, and I debated making a move. This uncertainty is someitmes what hurts me most in races, but Farnsworth turned back to me and told me to relax. I was in the outside of lane 1, so I wasn't running really wide comparitively. Farnsworth talked to me for a bit during the next few laps, and then Brayden came up on my left shoulder and said something. After this I started to lose track of where we were on our laps and just tried to be patient. There were a lot of surges throughout the pack. I just told myself to relax. This lasted until about 4km. Then I started to get a bit nervous. No one had dropped off the pack yet, and I was still close to the back and was starting to feel fatigued. I had the thought pop in my mind that I may not qualify or finish close to it. I told myself to relax and be fast over and over again, but I started to panic a bit.
I tried to catch up to the front pack a few times, but didn't want to risk spending any extra energy that was needed for a kick. I made a few hard moves around 5km, but all these were in vain as I kept getting pushed out of the pack or pushed back. Around 2 miles to go I was around 30th, maybe a bit behind. I didn't know the exact distance we had left until the announcer said that we had 3200m to go. I told myself I felt good, and that 2 miles really isn't that far, so I made 2 hard moves to get up to the front. I again felt confident I could qualify. The first one I really had to struggle to get up, and as I went back on the inside of lane 1 for position (after having gone out to lane 3 to get around part of the pack), but was pushed really hard to the outside. A few people cut in where I was and passed me, and I was a bit bummed. After that I later made another hard move to the front, cutting out into the outside of lane 3 to pass a lot more people. This was around 5 or 6 laps to go. Then the pace started rolling. Clayton was on my inside and heard me moving up and encouraged me. This helped a lot. I started counting guys somewhere around here, and there were exactly 12 ahead of me. With about a mile to go the announcer said that there were 16 in the chace pack, with Robert Bradt up ahead of us. I just remembered our fast finish tempo last week and kept telling myself to just stay in it until a mile to go. Then, with a mile to go, I told myself to grind it. Then with 3 laps to go it started to slow down again. Hitting the home straight with 900m to go people started coming around on both sides of me and passing me. I just told myself to relax and run fast. I did my best to be in the top 12. I counted myself as number 10 with 600m left (or maybe it was 200m left...). As we were moving during these laps, I just remembered our fast finish 800s were had last week. During that workout I told myself to just stick with Rory, Clayton, and McMillan and I would run fast. And we did. So, during the race, I told myself to run with them, and I'll qualify. I stayed fairly close to them all until about 200m left. With 150m to go, I was sure I was going to qualify, and trid to ramp up the pace. With 90 meters to go, I got a terrible booty lock. My arms stopped moving fast, my legs were hurting, and it took everything in me to get to that line. I got passed right at the line, and was fairly certain I had qualified; however, when they had the list come up on the screen on the field, I was nervous. It was slow, and I didn't see my name for a while. Then at number 10, they had me. Turns out I took 11th, so maybe I didn't see the screen correctly or they didn't put it on correctly.
After the race it was great talking to the guys on the team and having so many good races. Farnsworth ended up being 19th, so that was a great race for him, and Michael and Weaver really put themselves in it in the race, both finishing in the top 30. McClelland didn't have his best race, but he seemed happy to be there. The cool down was great, I really love the team culture we have, and now we have 4 of us going to nationals as well(the goal was to get 5 to tie the record for most athletes in a single event, but 4 is still really good). It's been quite an adventure getting back from serving a mission and doing my best to get in shape, and I'm very grateful the support I've received. On to Nationals!