Pinole Valley (Pinole, CA) senior two-sport star Wopamo Osaisai finished his high school football season in November, and he completed his recruiting in December with a commitment to the Stanford Cardinal. But he has much more ahead of him in the remainder of his senior year with a full track season.
Osaisai will run track at Stanford and was recruited by several colleges as a sprinter - justifiably so with his qualification and bronze finish at the USAT&F Junior Olympics in Miami (FL) this past summer. Today he kicked off his 2004 track season with 1st place finishes in the 200 m and 400 m at the All Comers at Diablo Valley College. Osaisai ran 21.96 and 51.8, respectively in the two events, which was a fair showing for his first races of the year... in 50 degree weather.
"I don't have any turnover yet," he explains for times he found personally disappointing. "I haven't practiced speed work yet; it would cause me to strain myself by doing too much too fast. It's all in phases. I practice building endurance and stamina, then move to speed work to accelerate quicker and run faster." For these very reasons, Osaisai did not run the 100 m today, but he expects to have more of his acceleration in the next few weeks as his speed training ramps up. His next event will be another All Comers event at the end of this month, followed by another in February. In March the track season will kick into full gear with numerous events around the Bay Area.
Osaisai expects to have his 200 m down to 21.5 soon and in the 20's by the spring. His personal best last year was a 21.45. He is also aiming for a time in the 100 m in 10.1 range. His personal best last year was a 10.66. If you wonder how he can make that kind of leap from 2003 to 2004, Osaisai has some explanation.
"The thing you guys don't know is that I was running about 20.6 and 10.3 last year," the East Bay burner begins. "I just never had the competition to show it. If I had gone to the better meets during the summer I would have run those times. The competition is low. If you know you're going to win with 10.6, how can you push yourself to run 10.3? It's all psychological - the better the competition, the better a person runs."
"Last summer when I ran 10.6 I got mad because I knew I could run way faster than that," Osaisai continues. "I also ran a 10.66 at the Junior Olympics Qualifier in Fresno - I was running 10.6 at the beginning of the track season. I ran it [10.6] at the end when I had more practice, and I was way faster."
That competition will not come for another couple months, with his only two planned events upcoming both All Comers - races open to all willing participants, as the name suggests. He will agains race at Diablo Valley College on January 31 and then in mid-February at Berkeley.
The big events will start hitting in March. Look for him in the Stanford Invitational, the Oakland Relays Invitational, Arcadia, Hampton/Phillips Invitational, Sacramento Meet of Champions, Top 8 at James Logan and more.
Osaisai plans on running and training for track all the way through the Junior Olympics, held this year in Eugene (OR) in the first weekend of August. That will conclude just in time for him to switch gears and join his freshman teammates a week later as they report for Stanford Football.
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