Sanders Valley runner peaking at the right time

By Quentin Jodie
Navajo Times

HOLBROOK, Ariz., November 1, 2012

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(Times photo – Paul Natonabah)

Sanders Valley's Corey Quigley stays in front of the pack during the Arizona Division IV, Section I meet in Holbrook, Ariz. Quigley won the race with a time of 16:43.

T hroughout his high school career, Corey Quigley has seen so many peaks as a cross-country runner.

But in a sport that is so demanding, he's also seen the other side of that.

Such was the case during last year's Division IV state cross-country meet where Quigley placed 36th overall.

"I had a really bad race last year," the Sanders Valley senior said. "I ran the course in 18 minutes so right after that race I told my parents that I was going to win state this year."

His coach Dorothy Mitchell blamed that subpar performance on "peaking too early."

"Last year when he came into the sectional meet he took seventh," Mitchell said. "I was worried because I thought he peaked too early in the season and it showed at the state meet last year."

By his recollection, Quigley said he trained six days a week until he grew tired last season.

"I didn't take any breaks," Quigley said of last year's regimen. "I used to train at home and get in extra workouts."

Those extra workout, however, did him no good.

"I told him to holdback and take a break," Mitchell said. "This year he's listened and he's responded to the workouts.

"In the past he was doing extra workouts at home, but this year he's more focused," she added. "I think he's learned a lot. He's looked at all his good and bad races and he's taken that upon himself to know what he needs to do."

These days he's taking in more breaks and sometimes before each race he takes as much as two days to rest up.

"That gives me a lot of energy," Quigley said. "At the start of the season I started out slow and I was running in the 19s, but I've been dropping my times ever since then."

Because of the regimen changes, Quigley is seeing more peaks than valleys. In fact he says the Bud Davis Invitational three weeks was the turning point for him.

"I ran that race in 16:20 and that was my fastest," he said. "That was a hard course and for that race I rested for three days."

Incidentally, that mark of 16:20 was his personal best he's recorded on that Tuba City course. In the two races that followed, he turned a pair of sub-17 minute performances at the Hidden Cove Golf Course in Holbrook, Ariz.

He ran a 16:59 two weeks ago during the Holbrook Invite and last Friday he improved his time by 16 seconds and won the Division IV, Section I meet with a time of 16:43.

"I just rested up and I ate mutton (last) week," Quigley said, kiddingly about the improvements he's made in one week's time. "The mutton really greased-up my bones."

As for Saturday's race at the Division IV state cross-country meet, Quigley will be taking it easy these next few days in preparation for the biggest race of the year.

Which is fine for his coach since he's producing his finest season ever.

"I think it's awesome," Mitchell said. "He's a real dynamic runner and it's nice to see that he's peaking at the right time because right now he's loving it."

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