Running relays: Local seniors enjoying final track seasons


When it comes to running in track, some athletes like individual events better, while others prefer relays.

Seymour’s Samantha Jacobi and Brownstown Central’s Cameron Day both prefer the relays.

“One of my favorite events is the 4×800, so (coach Derrick Koch) always tries to put me in there. I just like relays because it’s a team effort and we all come together to do one thing,” Day said.

Both seniors have been four-year members of their cross-country and track teams.

“Similarly to swim, I like relays because it provides the team feel, and if I have a bad race that day, I know my teammates have my back,” Jacobi said.

She runs the 4×800 and the 4×400 relays.

“My favorite of the two is definitely the 4×800 because it’s at the start of the meet, so I’m not tired yet, so I’m used to running it,” she said. “Running second is best because you don’t have the pressure of starting or finishing and you can just run your race.

“Knowing you controlled every part of your race is my favorite part of individual events,” Jacobi said. “I would consider the 800 my favorite race because surprisingly enough, I’m not a fan of racing long distances, but I’m not the best sprinter, so the 800 is a happy medium between the two.”

Day said he needs to work on his conditioning so he can drop his times.

“This year, my times have been pretty slow,” he said. “My best 800 is a 2:23. Last year, it was 2:17. My goal is to get 2:16 this year. Hopefully, I’ll get better this year. A couple more speed workouts and I’ll be there.”

Last Tuesday against Borden and Scottsburg, Day ran the mile and turned in a 5:25, which was five seconds faster than he had hoped for. He said after the meet he wasn’t sure if he wants to run the 800 or the 1600 in future meets.

He prefers to run last in the 4×400 relay.

“I like to be the anchor. I was the anchor last year. It’s always fun racing people at the end of the race. Everyone is cheering for you,” Day said. “Last year at conference, we all ran 2:17 (800s) and did really well, so I’d like to do that this year. It’s going to take a lot of effort to break the school record.”

Jacobi said the ultimate goal for both of her relays and the 800 is to go to state.

“But until then, all I want to do is drop time as much as possible,” she said. “Sadly, I’m not close to touching any track records, but it’s all right with me because the people who set them really deserved it. I advanced to the regional in the 4×800 and the 800 last year, and my freshman year just the 4×800. I have yet to go to state, but this year looks hopeful in our 4×800. We just need to keep working hard.”

Day said he enjoys distance running.

“It keeps me in shape. I’ve made a lot of friends, and it kind of clears my mind when I run. It helps me focus in school and stuff,” he said.

Day said he likes practicing and competing in the high 50s and low 60s.

“From 50 to 60 is probably ideal,” he said. “In practice, we usually do a mile warmup and then whatever distance workout for that week, and then we usually do one sprint workout. It depends on what day the meets are. In cross-country, we had our long runs on Mondays. But in track, since we had meets on Tuesdays, we usually save our longer runs and harder workouts toward the end of the week.”

Jacobi said attending practice, trying your hardest and listening to your coaches will lead to improvement.

“Our workouts vary day to day,” she said. “Typically, in distance, we have two workout days on Tuesdays and Thursdays where we focus on speed (100-800 repeats), a recovery day on Wednesdays where we focus on giving our bodies downtime and two maintenance days where we run longer distances and work on strength.”

She said she enjoys running in the fall and spring.

“There’s good things about both cross and track. I’m not sure I can pick a favorite,” she said. “Cross-country practices are a lot of fun and work, but the meets are incredibly difficult and stress me out. Track practices are much less fun, but my events in meets go by much faster and are more enjoyable. I love the distance girls, and most do both sports, so I have plenty of friends through both seasons.”

Jacobi has swam and ran cross-country and track for four years each, not counting track in 2020 because of COVID-19.

“Being a three-sport athlete for four years was fun, but it was also a lot of hard work,” she said. “It kept me busy, in shape, and I’ve met some of my best friends through sports, so I’m very thankful. I will miss that feeling of camaraderie that sports have provided these four years, but I’m happy to have had a fantastic high school experience.”

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