MORRIS – Morris had 32 points and placed seventh at the NIB-12 indoor meet. Ochoa, a junior, also was part of the 1,600-meter relay team, along with Austin Hatcher, Nic Davy and Jase Cole, who finished second.
MHN: The 400 is a tough race. What made you decide to run it?
Ochoa: I have run it since middle school. It’s a very emotional race, and I think it’s a very fun race. It’s a full sprint for a full lap around the track. You go as hard as you can for as long as you can. You have to be able to tolerate the pain, especially for the last 100 meters or so.
MHN: How do you train for that race?
Ochoa: I do more of a lactic acid training. It’s more sprint based. Like I will run 200, then walk 200, run 300 then walk 300, run 150 then walk 150.
MHN: Did you think you had a chance to win the conference meet?
Ochoa: I knew there were some guys that had been putting up good times. There was a kid from Geneseo that had run 50.5. but he wasn’t there. I was able to run my personal best indoor time, 52.99, and I won.
MHN: What are your goals for the rest of the season?
Ochoa: The ultimate goal is to get to state. Last year, my best indoor time was 54 seconds, and I had that down to 51.8 in the outdoor season. This year, I want to get under 50 seconds outdoors. Hopefully that will get me to state.
MHN: The team’s results have improved. Is it fun to be a part of that?
Ochoa: It’s definitely nice to have success. We want to set an example that we are good and hopefully get more people out. It’s more fun when there are more people out, and people that take it seriously. We want to change the mindset for track.
MHN: What do you do in the offseason to stay in shape?
Ochoa: I run and lift weights in the winter, and I play soccer in the fall. Soccer involves a lot of running, so it keeps my cardio in shape. It uses different muscles and it’s a lot more short runs and stops. I don’t run once around the field in soccer, but the quick starting and stopping helps with my explosiveness off the blocks.
MHN: What other events do you run?
Ochoa: I run the 100 and 200 and the 1,600 relay. I like the 200 better than the 100. Our relay, those guys with me are real good. We hope we can do some damage at some meets this year.