In his return to the Blue Oval, City High’s Washburn seeks a state crown

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - In his last outing at the Blue Oval, Iowa City High’s Ford Washburn became the sixth boy in state history to run under nine minutes in the 3200 meter run at the Drake Relays.

“That was really exciting. I didn’t really expect to go under nine. It was really just a shock ,” said Washburn.

“We just knew that he could run that fast by what he was showing us in workouts, his mileage was clicking along well and he was feeling good. He got into a good race with Aidan Ramsey and Jackson Heidesch and let it rip and ran 8:59,” said assistant coach Ryan Ahlers.

Washburn’s time ranks second in Iowa. The junior leads the state in the 1600 meter clocking the fastest time at four minutes and 13 seconds. Although the weather this spring has been hit or miss, he’s happy to see those times drop.

“I’ve gotten 10 seconds faster in the 1600, almost a minute faster in the 3200. The speed is just really there now. I was really new to track last year because freshman year I didn’t really have a season, I had one meet. Last year, was really my first year doing track. I think that was really just me getting acclimated, getting used to everything. This year, I was more ready for it,” he said.

Washburn broke out as a freshman during the cross country season, but Coach Ahlers says this standout year is due to his offseason work.

“In the winter, he really discovered what it takes to be great at this sport and it’s winter running,” said Ahlers. “In Iowa, that’s not easy to do, to have that consistency and get out the door. You have those days where it’s a zero degree wind chill. Ford got his miles up to 50 plus a week this winter. He was devoted to that and committed and you’re seeing his growth just from that,” he added.

After sweeping both individual titles in the MVC divisional meet, Washburn also won both distance races in the state qualifiers while being under the weather.

“That was definitely a confidence booster. I ran 4:17 and I was shocked. My throat was not feeling great and I did not feel ready to race at all. If I can run that when I’m sick, I’m pretty excited for when I’m fully recovered,” said Washburn.

His goal now is to become a state champion in both individual races. He’ll also run in the 4 x 800 meter relay as City High aims to close out their season with three consecutive team victories this month.

“Our team has really shaped up this year and I think we’re really ready to challenge Dowling for that state title,” said Washburn.

“It comes down to three days and how you’re going to perform,” said Ahlers. “We have individuals that come together as a cohesive team and they do a really great job of feeding off of each other.”

The three-day Iowa High School State Track and Field meet gets started at 9 AM on Thursday, May 19.

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