Grangeville’s Ethan Pollan had qualified to run at the state track and field meet last spring and had set himself toward making another trip this spring – and to put himself in position to get on the podium.
“Starting off I was running a little bit before we started practices, and the first couple practices were kind of rough, because I wasn’t in really, really good shape,” Pollan told the Free Press. “Once I got into the flow of things I started to feel a little more confident about the season, and for that first meet, I had the goal of breaking five minutes in the mile and getting under 2:10 in the 800. I was mainly thinking long-term, about top five at state in the 800, at least. I had set goals before the season started and I was feeling good about my training.”
He was looking forward to running with Caleb Barger.
“My teammate, Caleb, was injured last year, so him coming back healthy this year was going to be really awesome,” Pollan said. “Having a teammate to run with who can push you makes a big difference.”
Pollan said the proudest moment came at state last year.
“I had this lung issue,” he said. “I’ve had this for a couple years, but at state I was coughing a lot after the 800. During state it seems like a super long time between races, before the 800. I was nervous and stuff, obviously, but I went out and ran really, really well. I was super proud of myself, but afterwards I was coughing, coughing, and I ended up throwing up – and it seemed like 10 minutes after that I had to run the mile. I ran it pretty good, and I was proud of myself after being in that bad of shape before the race started.”
Some teams in the area competed March 14 in Lewiston, but that Saturday track meet turned out to be the only one in the area all season. Grangeville had scheduled to run at Kamiah a few days later, but that Monday, March 16, the Idaho High School Activities Association put spring sports on hold. As it turned out, during the two weeks after that decision, state public health officials tallied more than 400 coronavirus cases; the seasons ended up being called off entirely.
Pollan is hoping to run in college, while he studies to become a nutritionist. He has long kept a commitment to clean eating and told the Free Press he wants to make a career of helping others develop healthy habits.
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