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One on One with Juniata State Champion Garrett Baulblitz

Editor’s note – Hometown Sports Editor Kenny Varner got a chance to catch up with Juniata’s multi-gold medalist Garrett Baulblitz and talked about his recent performance at the PIAA State Games where he notched gold medals in the 1600-meter run and the 800-meter run.

HS: Congratulations on your gold medal performances. Tell me how you felt leading up to you first race, the 1600?

GB: It was definitely very nerve wracking it was probably the most nerve wracking day of my life. I went in trying to be confident. A lot of the race is mental. If you go into the race thinking your not going to. So I was trying to get myself pumped up. I kept telling myself I got this…I got this! You’re just as good as any guy out there. I went in and performed as good as I could have. I ran pretty smart. It worked pretty well and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I was so happy after the 1600.

The 800 was just icing on the cake. I went into that race just doing it for fun. I already got my gold so I went in it with a strong start that put me in third and then down the straight away I kicked it in and got the gold.

The happiness is so overwhelming. I was really happy!

HS: Sometimes runners are locked in on what they need to do. Could you hear the crowd when you were running the race?

GB: The crowd definitely helped. Oh my word! Without the crowd..wow! It really does help. With all those 1,000s of people in the stands at Shippensburg cheering it definitely helped.

HS: Last you came in second at states. How did that prepare you for this year’s appearance? Did that give you confidence going into this year?

GB: I definitely had a lot of confidence going in. Last year a senior beat me and hoped that I would get a goal this year. That’s what it looked like on paper. But there was one kid that moved down from AAA this year and he got reclassified with me down to AA. I thought aww man there goes my year. Luckily, I was able to hold him off though to win the race. It definitely made it more nerve wracking. When you run a race like that you have a target on your back and that just adds to the pressure and nerves before the race.

HS: Now after the season do you take any time off or are you right back to the track?

GB: After states I just took a day off. I still have some races yet. I have a 5K tomorrow and then June 16th I travel to North Carolina to compete in the New Balance Classic. So after that I’ll take a week break and then ease back into it.

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