The heatstroke that hit University of Maine running standout Riley Masters at the America East track and field championships on May 1st has not slowed down the sophomore from Bangor.
He’ll be on the national track stage this weekend, competing in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA Championships at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field.
“America East was rough, I went down with heatstroke, but things are going well now. I feel like I’m in really good shape, ready to go,” Masters said Saturday during a break in providing coverage of the Class A state high school championship meet for Flotrack, a track and field website.
He was overcome by heat stroke during the stretch run of the 5-kilometer race during the league finals at Durham, N.H.
Masters will run at 7:30 in tonight’s semifinal event, and if he survives that round, he’ll run on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the finals in front of a national television audience on ESPN.
“It’s all going to be tactics,” Masters said, assessing what could occur in the trials. “It’s all about who races the smartest, who’s willing to gut it out in the last 200 meters. It really could be anybody’s race.”
The top eight finishers in the semifinals will advance to the finals.
Masters thinks he can make it into the final after achieving similar success in the mile indoors.
“Indoor was a big confidence booster, so I’m hoping that I can just get out there and be confident knowing that I’m capable of running with anybody,” he said.
Masters posted a time of 3 minutes, 43.27 seconds in the semifinals in the 1,500 in the NCAA East Preliminaries two weeks ago in Greensboro, N.C., to advance to tonight’s meet after running 3:47.96 in the first round.
The All-American in the indoor mile advances to his second-consecutive NCAA Championships after placing fifth in the mile at the 2010 NCAA Indoor Championships. Both of his times rank among the top-five in Maine history.