In the heat with David Manahan ’14

In his third season on the varsity track and field team, David Manahan ’14 looks to take on the role as one of the team’s veteran leaders. Manahan will try to defend his CIF title in the boys’ 800-meter at CIF playoffs later this year.

How does the year’s team compare to the teams you’ve been on the past two years?

I’m a junior this year, and as a freshman and as a sophomore, there were always the “big guys” to look up to, like there was Aaron [de Toledo ’12] and of course Cami [Chapus ’12] and Amy [Weissenbach ’12], and with them gone, there’s a gap to fill, but I feel like we’re doing a good job filling it up.

What has stood out so far this season?

We have a lot of young talent, and we all care about doing well and we all care, as coach [Jonas Koolsbergen] says, about the team part – that we all want to do well, not just for ourselves but for each other, and I think that’s important.

Has winning at CIF last year changed your approach for this season?

No, I wouldn’t say it has. I would just say that my goals are a little bit higher this season, but the approach that I take when I train and when I compete is no different. What happened last year was a big upset – I was not expected to win. There was a clear favorite and the clear favorite lost, and just because I did it last year doesn’t mean that can happen again. It’s the same sort of situation in the sense that the favorite loses and the guy that comes out of nowhere wins. That could happen to me, too. I can’t get too confident. I have to take everything seriously and like I’m starting from scratch, and as I’ve said before, you can’t rest on your laurels.

Is defending the title your main goal this year?

No. It’s definitely one of my top goals – it doesn’t look very good if you win one year and then lose the next – but I’m more focused on improving myself as a runner all around, and also for the 800, just improving my time is actually the biggest goal I have this year. If I do improve my 800, defending the title will naturally come along with it.

What will be the key to defending your CIF title successfully?

For a start, I started lifting this year to get myself more power. I also run the 4 x 400 meter relay, and running that event helps me improve my speed, which is a big factor in the 800, so I started taking that more seriously this year. Basically coming to practice with the attitude of, ‘Ok, let’s do it right, let’s give it what I’ve got, all I’ve got.’

What do you feel you need to improve on?

Staying healthy has always been an issue. I’ve been getting better about it this year, and my endurance too. In the sense of the team, since I’m one of the older guys now, I feel I should also be a team leader, set the example, so everyone knows what kind of attitudes they should bring to meets or practice