Beck wins states, prepares for nationals

Spectators+watch+as+junior+David+Beck+strides+to+the+finish+line+at+the+Rockingham+County+Fairgrounds.+Out+of+15+teams%2C+Harrisonburg+placed+second+behind+Spotswood+Sept.+11.+

Ethan Swift

Spectators watch as junior David Beck strides to the finish line at the Rockingham County Fairgrounds. Out of 15 teams, Harrisonburg placed second behind Spotswood Sept. 11.

With his dreams from last year in hand’s reach, junior David Beck took the leap to make those previous dreams a reality. While attending the VHSL State Indoor Track Championship Feb. 28 and 29, Beck won first in the Class 5 Men’s 1000 Meter Run. While winning at states, Beck’s separate personal record of 2:29.12 has earned him the opportunity of also running at the New Balance Indoor National Championship Meet in New York City. 

“It’s surreal. Qualifying for states last year was my big dream, so coming into this year and qualifying for nationals is insane. It’s not something I expected to happen, especially as early as junior year,” Beck said. 

Through his race, Beck found his hard work to pay off through a competitive year. 

“It’s exhilarating and validating at the same time. I’ve worked hard this season and come up short in many races. This season has kind of been the story of getting second place. I was always close, but could never break through,” Beck said. “Once states rolled around I was seeded to win, so when I did, it fulfilled the winning feeling that I had missed all season. It was also an amazing feeling to go straight to my coach after the race and hug him. I could feel how happy he was for me.”

Through his journey of running, Beck has grown close and credited his success to his coach Jerry Hertzler. According to Beck, Hertzler has pushed him for the better and has acted like as an important parental figure to him. 

“Coach Hertzler has pushed me to become the best runner and person I can be. His workouts make me almost want to collapse, but in the end they’re the big reason I am where I am. That, along with his constant support and life advice, has motivated me to make him and myself proud. He’s kind of like my second dad. I can always count on him to be there for me. That’s something special that I’ll never take for granted,” Beck said.

The day before competing the 1000 meter by himself, Beck ran the men’s 4×800 meter relay alongside seniors Tucker McGrath and Michael Hulleman and sophomore Calvin Hulleman. The team received the third place bronze medal for their race. Both races required different mental aspects for Beck, but he felt the comradery of the 4×800 team to be a driving factor. 

“Mentally, preparing for the 4×8 was a lot easier than the 1000. The support of three other guys that are also on that team really helps to calm the nerves. The 1000 was a solo journey, so getting in your head is easy. I did my best to stay calm, trust my training and put my best foot forward,” Beck said. 

Despite the pressure of nationals, Beck isn’t going to change his preparation for it. To him, it’s just another race.

“I’m not going to change anything coming into nationals, especially mentally. It’s just another race. Of course, nationals does have the best of the best runners at it, but for me, mentally, it’s just going to be another race,” Beck said. “Staying calm and collected is going to be the most important thing. I have the training to do big things, but executing will be the hard part. As far as training goes, I’m going to taper a little bit, but mostly staying well rested and healthy is the big goal.”

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