State Champion spotlight: Zach Hoyle Messalonskee HS
We caught up with Class A 800m state champion Zach Hoyle to talk about his race, and how he was able to find an extra gear in the last 800m to run the third fastest state meet 800m in Maine history. We also asked about his goals for the season, and how winning will effect his outdoor season.
What were your preparations leading up to the state meet?
To prepare for the meet I was doing a lot of speed work, like 200 repeats at goal pace and on off days I would just try to do a longer run, to keep my legs fresh.
How did you deal with the pressure and emotions that come along with competing in a state meet?
The pressure was intense for sure, I knew I would have competition and I just reminded myself constantly to worry about my race, and not other's. I truly believe I couldn't have done this without the prayers I received from friends and family, and knowing people were praying really helped me stay confident
You lead the pace out in the 800m, and then fell behind, did doubt ever creep into your mind?
I knew I was going to need to run my race differently than I had all season, and that I had to stay focused on my own race. When Ben passed me I knew it was going to be close, and doubt did come knocking, but I had armed myself with faith and held on.
With 100m to go you were still behind, how did you find an extra gear to come back to win?
That gear was nothing but pure will and faith in God to be honest. I had scripture in my head the whole day to keep me on track and during that race I remembered a verse, Isaiah 40:31, which says that you "will soar on wings like eagles and run and not grow weary". I remembered that on the 100 and kept it in my head on the straight away and that's what really gave me the will to power through
Coming into the season what were your goals and did you achieve them?
When I came into the season I didn't know what to expect, I was pretty disappointed with how my XC season went and came into Indoor with a vengeance and a will to prove myself. My goal all season was to be able to push myself as hard as I could, earn personal records and win Gold. And I was blessed to have achieved all I set out for.
How do you think winning an individual state title will effect you heading into outdoors?
I definitely have more confidence than I have had before, but I'm not going to have that make me soft. If anything, the success I have achieved has made me even more ambitious and ready to power through in outdoor. There really isn't anything like seeing improvement and running faster! I have said it before that Indoor isn't my favorite season, that I am more built for outdoor, and I am psyched to perform in Outdoor.