4 November 2011
For Immediate Release

SRA Elite Team member loves tactical thrill of 1,500 meters

Jonathan Sees loves the tactical moves, the ones that spice up a 1,500-meter race and keep runners guessing what’s coming next.

Amid the uncertainty on the track, the Sacramento Running Association Elite Team member and former UC Davis standout feels a sense of peace when racing at his favorite distance.

“It’s a calming race to me,” said the 24-year-old Sees, who lives in Sacramento. “So much happens. You can go out so many different ways.

“I really enjoy the mental game of it, the chess game, when you’re going to make your move.”

Sometimes that happens early, when a runner opts for a fast pace. Or the move can come mid-race, or any time on a final lap filled with potential adventure.

“Sometimes it’s even just waiting for a move,” Sees said. “You don’t know what’s going to happen. But something’s going to happen.”

And Sees wants to be in the middle of it. A double major in Economics and Communications, he could be off launching his work career. But he senses unfinished business on the track.

So Sees, from Newark Memorial High School in Newark, Ca., builds his training around landing a spot in the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials next June in Eugene, Ore.

His 3:45 personal best in the 1,500 is close to the 3:43 ‘B’ qualifying standard. If Sees can run under the 3:39 ‘A’ standard, he’ll be assured of a spot in the Trials field.

“I have to have confidence in myself,” said Sees, who trains under UC Davis coach Drew Wartenburg.

“It’s not the easiest road. It’s not financially stable.”

But Sees doesn’t want to look back and wonder what might have happened if he’d given track his best shot. So he’s dialed in on earning a spot in the Trials field.

He draws motivation from former UC Davis teammate Kim Conley, an Aggies assistant coach who burst onto the national running scene this year with a second-place finish in the USA 5K Championships and a third-place effort in the USA 10K Championships.

“Things like that get you so inspired,” he said. “I believe in Drew’s training.”

Sees plans to race at 3,000 meters indoors and then work on lowering his personal bests at 800 meters (1:51) and 5,000 meters (14:26). His goals are to run under 1:50 and 14:00.

“Those are barriers that need to be broken,” he said.

His biggest challenge would be leapfrogging over better-known runners to earn a spot on the U.S. team heading to London. While Sees knows that’s a long shot, anyone who remembers local favorite Michael Stember’s closing burst to finish third in the 2000 Olympic Trials in Sacramento knows the 1,500 can provide great drama.

“You get into the finals, everyone has a chance to make it,” Sees said.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.