MG’s James on track (slide show)

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Getchell senior Joshua James always knew he was "kinda quick."

Marysville Getchell's Joshua James paces himself in the 400 at La Conner April 1.

MARYSVILLE — Marysville Getchell senior Joshua James always knew he was “kinda quick.”

He set a personal record at the Clash of Conferences meet at La Conner April 1, winning the 400-meter dash in 55.88 seconds.

As a result, he is the Marysville Globe-Arlington Times Athlete of the Week.

“I haven’t ran that fast in the 400 period,” James said, beating his previous time by a few seconds.

James actually tried to get out of the event after he finished the 4×100 relay.

“He told me he wasn’t feeling well, and he couldn’t see himself running the open four,” track coach Kim Edens said. “He ran it really well. He ran it smart. He ran it like a seasoned 400 runner.”

The 400 isn’t even James best event. He specializes in the 200, where he hopes to break the school record.

“He’s definitely clear on his goals,” Edens said. “I totally see him getting it.”

Edens has James run the 400 to improve his 200. It’s a great physical and mental exercise, James said.

“It’s really an endurance builder,” James said. “It’s going to teach me how to pace myself.”

His fastest competition time in the 200 is 23.04 seconds.

“I’ve always been a quick cat in the 200,” James said. “The 400 I feel like will get me there.”

James is seeking advice from seasoned 400 runners on “when to kick and to stride and pace off my opponents and to “conserve my energy where I can give it my all or have something to use at the end.”

James knew he was fast in elementary school, and when he knew that he “wanted to be No. 1.”

He committed to track, even quitting his nine years of playing football so he wouldn’t get hurt.

He started track in seventh grade at Marysville Middle School and eventually came to MG to gradually improve his 200, cutting his time from the 25-second range to the mid-22 range by state.

James plays other sports for MG, but only for staying in shape. He has done tennis and swimming, the latter he credits most for his conditioning.

“Swimming has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “Swim has been a big builder.”

James speed has received recognition from colleges as he has been getting letters.

He’s thinking about attending community college first.

“I might as well just walk on and show them what I got,” he said.

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