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At last year’s Simplot Games, fans were at the edge of their seats with excitement as they watched two of Idaho’s best track athletes, Erick Harris and Dallin Farnsworth, battle it out for first in the Boys 1600-meter event.
The race was extremely close but Harris was able to overtake Farnsworth right at the last stretch making him the winner. After watching such an intense competition between the two young men, it’s probable that the two are rivals. But one would be surprised to find that they are actually really close friends. Off the track, that is.
“We’re good friends but we get pretty serious on the track,” Harris says.
Both Harris and Farnsworth will be returning to Simplot Games this year as high school seniors but this time running in different events. Harris will attempt to reclaim his crown in the 1600 meters while Farnsworth’s goal is to set a new meet record in the Boys 3200 meters. Watch the Saturday afternoon finals on February 18 to see if these Idaho track stars can reach their goals.
What is your favorite thing about Simplot Games?
Harris: There is always a nice variety of competition and it’s just a good atmosphere for runners. They always put on a good show and it’s a well-known meet.
Farnsworth: The Games always draw a big crowd and it’s always great to run with other Idaho athletes.
What do you hope to accomplish at the Games this year?
Harris: I would like to win again and improve my personal best, which is 4 minutes and 16 seconds in the 1600 meters (one mile).
Farnsworth: I would really like to break the two-mile record at the Games. (The current meet record for the 3200 meters is 9:11.05.)
What is the driving force behind your track career?
Harris: My dad is one of my biggest supporters; he helps me research different training methods to try. I also am motivated by self-improvement. I always want to do better and win.
Farnsworth: I just really get satisfaction out of my success. I’m very self- motivating. The excitement of the sport keeps me going.
What are your fears or worries before or during a track meet?
Harris: Diaphragm cramps, I get them often but I just try to stay focused and calm.
Farnsworth: I always get nervous before I run but during a race I’m calm and focused.
How do you prepare yourself for Simplot Games mentally and physically?
Harris: I plan out race strategies and practice a lot on my own. Right now I’m doing a lot of interval training.
Farnsworth: I’ve been training for two months doing distance and core workouts and a little Intensity, which is similar to P90X.
What do you thinks makes you a good competitor?
Harris: My strong desire to win. I come from a competitive family so I think it just comes naturally. I always want to win.
Farnsworth: I have a lot of heart and desire to perform well and put in that extra effort and practice. It goes a long way.
What is one of your greatest accomplishments?
Harris: I ran a 4.13 in the 1600 meters at the Arcadia Invitational, which got me 3rd place as a junior.
Farnsworth: I finished 11th at the Footlocker Nationals (5K Cross Country Run) and also ran 9.03 in the 3200, the state record, at the Arcadia Invitational, which was pretty awesome.
What’s next for you in terms of track and field?
Harris: I have committed to Brigham Young University (BYU) and I am planning on running Cross Country and Track.
Farnsworth: I’m looking at BYU, Idaho State University, Utah State, and Boise State but I haven’t committed because I will be serving a two year mission first.
What activities are you involved in outside of track and field?
Harris: I like to play the drums. At school I’m part of the National Honor Society. I participate in Eagle scouts and I do some church activities.
Farnsworth: I play the guitar and am involved in student government and church stuff. Back in junior high I started a small lawn business; I have about twelve customers.
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