Heading into the first week of regular season meets, we continue our runner profile as we meet one of the top 2A runners in the state, who about a year and a half ago, wasn't even considered to be a contender for the state individual crown.
Sedro-Woolley's Rafe Holz had a great junior season in both cross country and track after an amazing summer of intense training.
Holz broke the Sedro school 5,000 meter record running 16:20.9 at the Northwest Conference Cross Country Championships. Despite having a top time in the state for 2A, Holz placed 42nd at the state championships in his first appearance in Pasco.
A few months later, Holz turned things around in track and had the most improving season in Washington for all athletes from his sophomore to junior campaign.
Running PR's of 4:24.35 and 9:25.16, he placed seventh in the 1,600 meter and 12th in the 3,200 meter at the 2A state meet.
I am excited to watch what Holz has in store for one final high school cross country season, so let's get to the questions already!
What was the motivation to get better as a runner?
"When I first started running, I wasn't in a great mental state. As I started running, I found that the more I did it, the happier I was. The attention I got also made me happier. The better I perform, the more attention I get and that makes me want to run faster."
Did you ever feel there was a breakthrough race for you?
"It was the 3,200 meter race at my bi-district meet. I ran a PR of 9:25, which was a 24 second improvement over my previous best. It was the first race of mine where I felt that I did something special."
What is race day like for you?
"Race day for is always really exciting but stressful. I get extremely nervous before races, even if there isn't much competition."
What about running brings you joy?
"Reaching my goals and getting to meet new people are the parts of running that bring me the most joy. I also like getting to hangout with my team and see everyone improve as the season goes on."
What is your night before pre race meal?
"My meal the night before varies. Sometimes I'll have cheeseburgers, and other times I'll have tacos or BLTS. I can run after eating just about anything."
What type of role have you taken on the last two years for your team?