Cross country state meet ends with mixed results for Nast, Wai

December 2, 2008 — by Ashley Chou

Unlike the rest of their friends who were sleeping in and eating leftover turkey the day after Thanksgiving, junior Karen Wai and senior Katie Nast were making their way down to Woodward Park in Fresno for the prestigious cross country state meet. In the words of Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

Wai ran a smooth race on Nov. 29 and placed 83rd, thanks to well-planned workouts and tapering, or cut-downs on training, in the last few days prior.

“I was so nervous,” said Wai. “I knew what the course was like and it was my last race of the season so I really wanted to do well.”

Nast, on the other hand, had a drastically different story. She described her mindset throughout half the race as “delirious.”

“I have thyroid problems, “ said Nast, “I think something was wrong with it because I was totally delirious the last mile, and I was doing this weird shuffle weave thing with my legs and I was even running backwards.”

Throughout that last mile, Nast floated between consciousness and unconsciousness as she gave it her all to make it to the finish.

She was ahead of a good 100 other people when Nast’s unsteady state caused her to be surpassed by them all in the last 200 meters of the race.

“I got lost at some point and it ended up taking me 10 minutes to finish the last 200 meters because I was running backwards,” said Nast. “I just completely lost control of my legs and they started to wobble and weave. I had two officials next to me asking if I needed to stop and if I was okay.”

Nast was highly disappointed with her results, especially when she recalled the “pity clap” as she came in last across the finish line.

Nast said her sudden delirious state could have been caused by an insufficient level of iron in her blood or a problem with her thyroid medication. She has decided to take a week-long break from running to recuperate.

Though Nast’s race didn’t go as planned, Wai was able to shatter her freshman year time by 20 seconds.

“There’s always that ‘I could have done better’ thought after a race,” said Wai, “but overall I’m pretty happy with my time.”

The Central Coast Sectional (CCS) held on Nov. 15 helped her to State. Despite the abnormally warm weather and underlying pressure in everyone’s eyes that sunny morning, Wai delivered, placing a fantastic five on the individual score sheet.

“I didn’t want to expect anything, but I knew I had tried my best and I just hoped it turned out well,” said Wai.

When she heard the news, all she could do was let out a large sigh of relief.

“I was happy and excited,” said Wai. “During the entire race, I kept on thinking that it would be my last one if I didn’t make it to State.”

Her new strategy this year of simply running more mileage was what increased her endurance and ultimately led to her success.

Wai joined Nast, who placed third individually at CCS, in the State lineup. Though the Saratoga girls’ team placed 8th overall, this was not the first time Wai went to State. In Wai’s freshman year, the entire girls’ cross country team made it to state when they placed second in CCS.

Though the State meet came with mixed results, both girls had an outstanding season.

Nast achieved three new personal records and Wai achieved seven, her last one being at State.

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