Sunday, July 21, 2024

Cashmere's Rob McManus reflects on NCAA Nationals, Olympic Trials experience

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CASHMERE- Cashmere High School graduate and Montana State University Junior, Rob McManus enjoyed a well-deserved break at his parents’ Cashmere orchard after competing in Eugene, Oregon, at the NCAA1 Nationals and Olympic trials, feeling positive about his future in running. 

McManus has been running since middle school, initially as a casual participant until his interests grew alongside the opportunities that competing in sports brought along.

“I started doing track casually, probably in seventh grade. And I was running then for a few years, but I wouldn’t say I got super invested in it until probably around my sophomore year of high school when I was really [thinking] like, ‘this is something that I want to pursue for a while,” Mcmanus shared. “And then, as I got older, the opportunity to run in college came around, and I was very fortunate for that to all work out.” 

McManus competes in the steeplechase, an intense running event that combines the challenges of long-distance hurdles with a unique feature of the field: a water jump.

“It’s a 3000-meter race… there are four hurdles every lap, they’re not like sprint hurdles, they’re these big beams that go a few lanes across and they don’t move if you run into them,” he explained. “And then there’s also, once per lap, a barrier and then right after that there’s a water pit. It’s like a pit in the track that they fill with water and everyone’s kind of jumping over the barrier and splashing in the pit and then trying not to fall over and hurt themselves.” 

When asked about his overall experiences at the June 5 NCAA and June 21 Olympic events, McManus expressed his excitement and gratitude to compete at such prestigious events despite not performing as well as he had initially hoped. 

“They do a preliminary race to narrow down the field, and then they do a final race a few days later, and I ended up being one of the first out of the final race, which was too bad. But It was a really cool experience just competing at Nationals, and they have a really, really great facility and track down at the University of Oregon. So it was a great time.”

However, McManus looks forward to his next track and field seasons positively, thrilled to continue participating in national competitions while pursuing his studies at Montana State University. 

“I’m excited for the next few years of track and getting those opportunities that only come around every so often to compete at NCAA national championships. So, it’s a lot of fun and a great experience always.” Mcmanus continued, thinking about the idea of running after college, “I’ve got two more years of college eligibility left. I know I’ll probably be in the NCAA for a little longer, but after that, who knows? I don’t know what the future really holds for running, but I think I’ll always be involved in the sport, whether it’s as a competitor or a fan, or hopefully maybe a coach someday. That would be really cool.” 

McManus rested in the Cashmere area after his long season of training and competition, helping his family with their orchard and enjoying the hometown love of the Cashmere Valley. 

Will Nilles: (509) 731-3211 or will@ward.media 

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