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Kerry Collins, Published May 22 2009

Lisbon's Seelig looks to rebound from last year's state track tournament

Jayce Seelig feels like he let himself down last year. He doesn’t know what happened, but the Lisbon senior plans to make up for it this weekend.

After an impressive state track meet as a sophomore, Seelig didn’t qualify in an individual event as a junior.

He goes into this weekend’s state meet with the second-best times in the 1,600 and 3,200.

“I really don’t know what happened last year. I really don’t,” Seelig said. “I think I lost my focus and probably didn’t work as hard.

In 2007, Seelig placed third at state in the 1,600 and was fourth in the 3,200.

The only event he qualified in last year was the 1,600 relay. At the region meet, he was third in both the 1,600 and 3,200, but the top two qualify for state.

“That was frustrating,” Seelig said. “But I definitely learned from that, and used that situation to help me.”

Seelig responded with a great senior year that earned him the distinction as Region 1’s outstanding senior athlete.

The Lisbon standout has run 4:28.94 in the 1,600 and 9:59.07 in the 3,200. He’s ranked second in both events behind New Town’s Justin Many Ribs.

Seelig has also qualified in the 800 and 1,600 relay.

“One of the main things for him this season is that he’s been very consistent,” said Lisbon distance coach Phil Martin. “He’s never wanted to be anything but the best, but he’s been in it more mentally this year than he was last year.”

“He’s approaching everything with a positive attitude. He works hard and doesn’t want to stop working. He keeps going and going and going.”

This hasn’t exactly been the best year for training for Seelig. The flood really hampered getting out on any long runs, and it also cut into his training time.

“We started in February, but then we were pretty much just sandbagging until a couple of weeks ago,” Seelig said. “It was tough. The coaches made sure we stayed in shape, but our track was still flooded in the middle of March.”

Martin said that the flood caused the coaches to put in more interval work for the distance runners, since there wasn’t the room to send them out for just mileage.

Because of Seelig’s established base, the interval work has increased his speed.

“We’ve been on the track more just out of necessity, and I think it’s really helped his speed,” Martin said. “He was disappointed in last year, but he came back with a fantastic year this year.

“I think last year was a big motivator for him.”

Facing his last chance at a state meet, Seelig wants to make sure he makes up for lost time from last year’s meet.

“I’ve been looking at this year as a chance to redeem myself from last year, and state is next,” Seelig said. “It feels good to get back there, and I am more confident.

“I really want to make the most of it.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kerry Collins at (701) 241-5548.

Collins’ blogs can be found at www.areavoices.com