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Dulaney's Walz passing up New Balance Nationals for rest

Dulaney's Eric Walz is skipping New Balance Nationals in North Carolina to rest after running nearly 2,000 miles during the cross country and indoor and outdoor track seasons. He was second in both 1,600 and 3,200 meters in the Class 4A meet last month.
Dulaney's Eric Walz is skipping New Balance Nationals in North Carolina to rest after running nearly 2,000 miles during the cross country and indoor and outdoor track seasons. He was second in both 1,600 and 3,200 meters in the Class 4A meet last month.(File photo/BSMG)

Dulaney's Eric Walz wanted to run in the New Balance Nationals in Greensboro, N.C., on June 19. It's often the next step for Lions track and field athletes this time of the year, unless they feel as if they would benefit from rest.

Walz, a junior, has run nearly 2,000 miles for cross country, indoor and outdoor track over the past nine months. The prospect of training for another major event didn't seem to be a wise choice regardless of its prestige.

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"I trained nonstop through the indoor and outdoor seasons," Walz said. "I really needed to take a break and stay healthy."

Dulaney coach Chad Boyle agrees after watching Walz win seven county, regional and state championships over the three seasons.

Boyle designs a workout schedule for Walz and the other Dulaney runners to prepare for the grueling school year of running.

"The only good reason for him to go down to North Carolina would be to take another shot at the school record in the 3,200, which is 9:19," Boyle said. "He ran a 9:20 (May 22) at states. But he can take a rest now and regroup physically and mentally. He needs some time to appreciate all of his achievements and be proud of them. He will get back to training in a little while."

Walz said he will train with his Dulaney teammates in mid-June to prepare for the fall cross country season.

Their summer schedule includes about 500 miles of running.

"I am learning to race better," said Walz, who won county and regional cross country titles last fall and took second in the Class 4A state championship outdoor meet. "I will take what I learned this year and apply it once I get into cross country. I want to get a lot of titles, get some great times and ride that wave into the indoor and outdoor seasons."

The 5-foot-10, 140-pound Walz is also focused on finding a college where he can continue running.

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Virginia, North Carolina, Syracuse and North Carolina State have already recruited him.

Walz, who carries a 3.2 grade point average, is most interested in North Carolina State after taking an unofficial visit in early April.

"I can picture myself there," he said. "It has a lot of tradition. The facilities are nice and it's a beautiful area. I wouldn't be their top scorer right away. You have to earn a spot and work your way up."

Boyle figures Walz will end up at top-notch program.

"I get letters in my mailbox ever week," he said. "All kinds of different schools. You name them. He is the fastest guy I have coached in 18 years and he has the state championship to go with it. He bears down in the tough moments of races when most guys give up."

It seems like it might take Walz a little while to get over his second-place finishes in the 1,600 (4:20.84) and 3,200 meters (9:21.52) in the Class 4A state championships last month.

He was coming off an indoor state championship in the 3,200 for the outdoor season.

"I didn't really hit the times that I was gunning for," Walz said. "I did all right. I want to really make up for a little disappointing end to this season in track in cross country this fall."

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