Scotts Valley High School star distance runner Jeremy Kain continued his record-breaking season with a victory in the 1,600-meter run in 4 minutes, 10.91 seconds at June 26’s California State Track and Field Championships at Arcadia High School.
“It ranks probably as number one,” Kain said of this season’s accomplishments. “I would say that that was my best race of this year.”
He reset both his personal record and the school record for a second straight week. He set the previous mark (4:12.47) with a fifth-place finish at the Central Coast Section Track and Field Championships at Soquel High on June 19.
The state championships was this year’s unofficial replacement for California Interscholastic Federation Track & Field State Championships, which were withheld for a second straight season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Athletes with top-40 marks in the state were invited and they competed as unattached runners.
Kain, who was the lone junior in the race, finished ahead of six seniors.
Menlo School’s Calvin Katz placed second at 4:12.60, followed by David Millan of Mira Mesa High in San Diego, who placed third at 4:15.13.
Davis High’s Diego Perez placed fourth in 4:17.65. Andrew Parkinson (4:18.08) of South Pasadena High was fifth, followed by Austin Montez (4:21.43) of Great Oak High in Temecula and Aiden Davis (4:22.88) of Patrick Henry High in sixth and seventh, respectively.
“It wasn’t an easy race, by any means,” Kain said.
Kain said the game plan going in was to run his own race and stay close to the pack. With two laps left, he realized he was in a good position to pull ahead.
A small surge in the final 300 meters resulted in a 58-second lap, which was the first time he’d ever done so in a mile race.
“Being able to close fast definitely ended up helping me out and that last 100 meters was just so awesome,” Kain said.
Scotts Valley cross country and track coach Gretchen Schmitt said this season was a little hectic because of the pandemic. It pushed back the start of cross country until February and then runners quickly transitioned to track and field.
“It’s just been this awkward season,” she said.
Kain had a month-long break before competing in the CCS championship and then jumping right into the state finals.
Schmitt said that Kain built up a lot of strength and worked on his speed during the season, which helped him overcome each situation thrown his way.
“It’s all kind of coming together right now,” she said. “He’s just doing really well.”
Schmitt, who is coaching in her final season, said that she is not surprised at how well Kain has progressed and she believes that he hasn’t begun to scratch the surface on what he can do.
“I think this is the tip of the iceberg,” Schmitt said. “I think he has a lot more in him.”
A group of coaches from UCLA were at the state championships. Kain said that they reached out to him after the meet and he believes that he made a good impression.
Kain hopes that he can perform well again at this week’s The Outdoor Nationals at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., which is where the U.S. Olympic Trials were held for the past two weeks.
His next goal is to attempt to knock one or two seconds off his time to break the 4:10 mark and potentially having one of the fastest times in the nation.
“I am so blessed to be able to get out there and the fact that it’s going to be with a lot of other amazing talented runners, I’m just fortunate to be in the position that I am,” he said.
Scotts Valley High junior Austin George placed 10th in 1:59.94 in the 800, while Monte Vista Christian School senior Andrew Bachman (1:57.73) placed eighth.