This week’s guest is Sage Hurta of On Athletic Club. Sage is an NCAA champion in the mile who’s turned a lot of heads this year in her first full season as a professional by knocking out some crazy fast 800s, entering 2022 having never broken 2 minutes and, just this past week, running 1:58, 1:59, and 1:58 in the space of six days. After finishing 7th in the final at USAs, Sage made a quick trip to Sweden for a Diamond League race and then hopped on to record the pod once she’d gotten home safely and conquered her jet lag.
We talked about why Sage went all-in on the 800m this year, unpacked USAs from start to finish, bonded over our shared upstate New York connections, and learned about the strategy and planning behind sleeping next to an altitude tent. You’ll really enjoy this episode – Sage is one of the smartest, most thoughtful people in the sport right now and she’s got a great perspective on one of the toughest events in track and field.
This episode was brought to you by the Hayward Magic and the CITIUS Mag coverage of the upcoming World Championships in Eugene. You can learn more at citiusmag.com/summerofhayward.
On hitting an 800m personal best and the World standard in the semi-final at USAs:
“Making to the U.S. final’s been a big goal of mine for years, and last year I had a big DNF from the semi. I wanted to make sure I got through without incident [….] and then crossing the line and seeing a 1:58.3; that was way better than I’d hoped for.”
On placing seventh at USAs in the final:
“I ended up placing 7th and running the World standard, but if I’d had a great day and run 1:58 again I’d still have been half a second off the team. My mindset is I don’t care if I got fourth or seventh – there’s really only two outcomes in my mind. You’re either on the team or you’re not.”
On the state of the event:
“I feel like everyone in the event has profound respect for those top 3 who’ve been consistently good for so long, but at the same time, everyone thinks that they’re gonna be the person to break through. Everyone’s working toward that.”
On being a middle-distance runner on OAC:
“Having Olli around has been nice for his middle-distance perspective. He knows what it takes and he gives positive reinforcement. Especially from someone as successful as he’s been, he’s been a great voice to hear.”