By Caitlin Moyles
Special to the Almanac
After winning two races at the Central Coast Section track championships in Gilroy on May 27, Woodside High School's Chris Waschura knocked nearly 11 seconds off his CCS time and placed fifth in the state in the 1,600-meter race at Clovis on June 5.
Waschura, a Portola Valley resident, was the first junior to win both the 1,600- and 800-meter races in the CCS finals, held at Gilroy High. He won with times of 4:19.00 and 1:56.61, respectively, beating the Woodside High record for both events.
At Clovis, Waschura finished the boys 1,600-meter race with a time of 4:08.29, setting a personal record and making him the ninth fastest high school runner in that event in the nation.
Waschura was among the top six finalists to be awarded medals after the event, said Nick Carr, who coached him in cross country and track during his freshman and sophomore years at Woodside High. All six finalists had times under 4:10, while winner Jantzen Oshier's 4:00.83 time placed him at No. 1 in the nation among high school runners in that event.
"California's track and field runners are the best in the nation this year," Carr said. He added that it is quite an accomplishment for Waschura to continue to set personal records below the 4:15 time range.
"It's real tough to make it to the next level," he said.
Although Waschura qualified for the 800-meter race, he decided to drop it so he could focus on the 1,600-meter race, one of the premier races in track and field, Carr said.
Waschura advanced to the finals after placing third in the state preliminaries with a time of 4:10.44. The preliminaries were held June 4.
He will compete in the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in North Carolina on June 17-18, Carr said.
"Chris has a lot of potential," he said. "It was amazing watching everything come into fruition."