Leap of Faith : Brandon Doughty




Brandon Doughty is one of the biggest distance prospects coming out of West Virgina in some time. The Jefferson High School Senior and Oklahoma signee has been tearing up both his track and cross country seasons since junior year. Coming into his final high school meet Doughty allready had a 1600m state title and 4th place state xc finish under his belt. His team was also poised to defend there 2010 title. After being edged out of 1st place in both the 1600 and 3200 by sophmore phenom Jacob Burcham, the two toed the line in the 800 to grab some vital team points. The final 20 meters is one of the gutsiest finishes you will ever see. 

AL : Coming into this meet you already had some serious credentials, returning 1600 champ, 3rd in the 800 last year, 4th at state xc, and you have signed on with Oklahoma. How were you dealing with with the pressure going into the state meet weekend both physically and mentally?

BD : Well honestly I thought I was under ranked, so that helped with the pressure. I was ranked 3rd in the 3200, 2nd in the 1600, 2nd in the 800, and our 4x400 was ranked 2nd. The main pressure that I felt was if I could pull off any upsets to help our team secure back-to-back state titles. And it just so happened that the team competition was Jacob Burcham's team, so that did add pressure to my races. Either way, I think I perform better with pressure.

AL : What is your relationship with Jacob both racing-wise and off the track?

BD ; Well, usually we go back and forth with the wins, but this year he just handed it to me time and time again. No matter what I tried to do, I couldn't get the edge on him. But we have always been rough competitors on the track and good friends off the track.

AL : Walk us through the weekend. After 2nd in the 3200 and the 1600, how were your legs and did you feel the pressure mounting on you as the meet progressed?

BD : Well, the 3200 went out so slow that I dont think it affected me as much as it would have if it were an all out race the whole time ... and my legs were hurting pretty bad after that 1600. The pressure, on the other hand, actually was decreasing because as the meet progressed our team was pulling farther and farther away from Midland for the team title.

AL ; Bring us through the 800 ... at what point did you decide that the superman dive was the only option?

BD : With 100 meters left I realized that I could catch him so I was going as hard as I could, and at the 50 mark I was almost there. But he hit another gear so I had to go even faster and I had absolutely nothing left, but somehow I started catching up again and with 20 meters left I knew I wasn't gonna catch him. So I decided I was gonna dive, but he had me by so much I really had to lay out for it if I was gonna beat him ... and I came up short.

AL : What kind of damage did you inflict on yourself once you hit the track?

BD : Well, the number saved my stomach but my arms and legs got scraped up pretty bad.

AL : Clearly, you are an all-out gutsy racer. Do you bring this same intensity to practice day to day?

BD : In practice, I make sure I am having fun and still loving the sport. But when I need to get serious, like on a hard day of practice, I bring the intensity level back up.

AL : Although you may not have grabbed an individual title this year, you helped your squad to a 4x4 win over Burcham and Midland to secure a back-to-back team championship. Did you feel a little redemption after the whole meet was said and done or was it bittersweet?

BD : Definitely bittersweet, because I know I could have done something more in that open 800. When 2 laps comes down to .02, you're always thinking you could have gone faster in some portion of the race, but I did run a faster split in the 4x4 and our team did win the overall title, so in the end I was happy. It is just a wierd feeling that my high school running career is over.

AL : But another career is just beginning ... why did you choose to be a Sooner this fall?

BD : When I visited them I could tell that they were a very close team and they were all very dedicated to running with a great coach. My high school team is basically a family and we are all best friends. I love that feeling and I would like to have the same thing in college. Everything just seemed to fit at OU.

AL : Your vid is blowing up all over the web. How many friend requests will you have by the weekend?

BD : Haha, that's funny you should ask that because I've already gotten so many friend requests and I thought that was pretty wierd. I've already had 30 today alone!

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