Szklany second at state

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

By Gary Curreri

Fittingly, Ryan Szklany is planning to study at Embry-Riddle University in Daytona Beach. With a month to go in the cross country season, he was concerned that the gap between him and the top-ranked Class 1A runner in the state (Trevor Foley) may be a little too large. Szklany was nearly a minute behind Foley’s fastest time of the season.

The Highlands Christian Academy 17-year-old won six meets this year and showed at state that he had tremendous heart as he closed the gap considerably falling by just eight seconds with a personal best 15:55 clocking at the FHSAA Class 2A Cross Country State Championships at Apalachee Regional Park. Foley won the event in 15:47.25.

It was just a great finish for me,” said Szklany, who trimmed nearly 20 seconds off his previous best time. He will be running this Friday in the FACA Senior All-Star Meet. “The last month of the season I just kept putting in the work and training hard. It was a great way to end my senior year in cross country. I just went all out at the end and it paid off.”

Foley has a best time of 15:20, so Szklany knew he had to stay within striking distance at the state meet. Szklany’s time this season was 16:16.40, which was three seconds off the previous 16:13.0, which he ran in the Foot Locker South event in Nov. 2015.

Foley, who transferred from Nature Coast Tech (Class 2A) to Citrus Park Christian (1A) before last year’s track season, had defeated Szklany earlier this season.

In their lone head-to-head meeting, Foley won the Flrunners.com Invitational 18 Race of Champions Boys Division at Holloway Park in Lakeland on Sept. 30. Foley won the event with a 15:54.64 clocking, while Szklany covered the distance in 16:23.15. Szklany was third in the Jim Ryun Invitational by Fellowship of Christian Athletes (16:35.80).

This is good for confidence knowing that I could hold down a strategy,” Szklany added. “I was a little disappointed because I didn’t get a PR, but I was able to get my second fastest time of the season and I am happy with that.”

Szklany said he has started to return to the form he was at two years ago when he ran his personal best time of 16:13.00 towards the end of the season and won the district and regional championships.

I just think the development paid off,” Szklany said. “I think the training caught up a little bit and I starting to transition back into it. It really showed in the end.”

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