March 6, 2008
Husky junior Jordan Boase was a two-time All-American as a sophomore in 2006 in the 4x400-meter relay, then walked away from the sport, questioning whether it was right for him. Now back on the track following his one-year hiatus, Boase has regained his All-American form and is one of the most vital members of UW's 11th-ranked men's squad. At last weekend's MPSF Championships, Boase set an indoor school record in the 400-meters, winning the conference title, while placing second in the 200-meters. With the NCAA Indoor Championships just a week away, Boase is nearly a lock to contend for the 400-meter crown, but there is some work left before nationals. Boase and the other members of UW's 4x400 relay will use this weekend's NCAA Last Chance Meet at the Dempsey to try and lower their time to qualify for NCAA's. GoHuskies.com's Christine Medina talked with Boase about his recent successes and what led him back to the team after a year away.
GoHuskies.com: How was your performance this last weekend? How did you feel coming into the meet and were you surprised by your own time?
Jordan Boase: I wouldn't say I was surprised by it. Coming in I felt good, I was well rested so I knew I was going to run well. I just tried to stay healthy before the meet. My 200 I was actually disappointed in on Friday, it was good enough to get into Nationals, but I really wanted to win. Then the 400, I didn't really have any expectations because I haven't run one in nearly two years, I just had to execute my game plan, that's what I did, and it turned out for the best.
GH: Take us through your 400m run. Two runners went down, you had a big lead, what was it like coming down the final stretch?
JB: At the beginning, I wanted to get out hard, and that's what I did. I didn't even know two runners were down until twenty minutes after the race when I was told two of the runners tripped up on my teammate. So during the home stretch all I was focusing on was being relaxed and to breathe, and to not worry about who was behind me.
GH: Was it harder finishing by yourself?
JB: Some people run better with people next to them because they are pushing them, but sometimes it's better to be by yourself because you're more relaxed and can breathe. It's a lot better for me to be by myself because I can relax and breathe a lot better than I normally do. I usually tighten up, so it helps a lot being by yourself.
GH: Since there were two heats left, what did you do until they ended?
JB: Not really anything out of the ordinary, I was pretty tired after the 400 so I was just trying to recover and breathe. I watched them and I knew there was a chance someone was going to beat me because they were running some pretty fast times. I didn't watch the heat right after me, but I watched the last one and saw the clock read 46:67 or something like that, so I was pretty excited to find out I actually won, I wanted to win so bad. I thought I was going to win in the 200 if anything, so I was pretty disappointed when I came in 2nd, but to win the 400 was a pretty big surprise.
GH: I know your coaches get pretty excited and vocal, what did they say to you after the race?
JB: You know, they didn't seem as excited as I thought they were going to be. Last year, one of the guys ran about one-tenth of a second slower than me and our sprint coach blew his Achilles out (celebrating), but I didn't get anything like that. I think more than anything they were expecting it, and were waiting for it to happen and run that time. I'm just happy that I finally got my time down that fast.
GH: How does it feel to be a UW record holder?
JB: It definitely feels good, but it only lasts so long because next week we have Nationals, so I have to gear up for that, then we still have the whole outdoor season to deal with. It feels good now and I'll enjoy it while it lasts, but next week I've got to do it all again.
GH: Why did you take time off and what convinced you to come back?
JB: I took time off because I didn't know if track was really the thing for me, I wasn't really feeling it at the time, and then coming back, I just felt like it was just a waste of talent. I didn't have anything to do and not competing last year I got really bored just being a regular student. I decided to come back knowing that it was my senior year and I could come back if I wanted to and if I want to come back next year too. I just wanted to compete at this high level, because you never get this opportunity again.
GH: How long did it take you to get back into shape coming back?
JB: Not really that long. During the summer I lifted and ran a little bit. We train for so long, we start the first day of school and we end after school ends, so we have so much time to get into shape, we have three or four months to get in shape before you even run a single race. I wasn't too worried about it. I knew Coach Vaughn would get me back into shape.
GH: Did you even envision yourself being in the position that you are now?
JB: No. As walk-on freshmen who only ran track for two months out of my senior year, I didn't even make it to State. My high school coach told me, "You could run at UW," and I was like, "No, I can't." So, to be a record-holder with three years and two months of track in my entire life, I definitely surprised myself with it. I'm just thankful to be here.
GH: Do you have any preference in 200m over 400m?
JB: 200m is my passion race. I hate to admit it, but 400m I'm better at, which kind of sucks because it's a lot harder and everything. I'm definitely built more like a 400m runner but I prefer to do the 200m. With the 400m, I just have to take one for the team and realize that I'm better at it and keep running those for the most part.
GH: What will you be running on Saturday?
JB: I will be just running the 4X400m relay. We're on the brink right now of making it to Nationals, we just need to make our time a little bit faster to get in. Next week at Nationals I'll run the 400m and the 4X400m.
GH: What do you think the chances are for the 4X400m relay?
JB: I actually think the chances are pretty good. We've run pretty fast already and I don't think we've even come close to our potential. As long as everyone has a good day and carries their own weight, we should be fine and get in.
GH: Looking toward outdoor season, what are your goals?
JB: It's kind of tough right now because Pac-10's are so far away, but I have just got to keep healthy because that's the biggest thing. All it takes is one injury and you're out a few months and lose everything you've worked for. Pac-10 wise, the 400m is very loaded. Lionel Larry (of USC) is coming back and he was second in the country last year. It's definitely going to be stacked and there's a lot of competition. It will be hard, but I just take it meet by meet.
GH: Will you continue to pursue track after college?
JB: I have another year of eligibility, but I don't have to take it because I graduate. It's kind of a decision I will have to make when this season is over just because I never know what can happen outdoors. As of now, I don't really know what I will do, but I will make that decision when the time comes. It's definitely nice to have the option to come back, or moving on and doing whatever. If I came back, I might want to try and go pro after next year but that's just a decision I will have to make probably in the summer.