David Ribich, the 2014 Enterprise High School track and cross-country star, is still running as a career. After a further record-breaking star turn at Western Oregon University, Ribich turned pro in June of 2018 and still breaks records running for the Brooks Beast Track Club, based in Seattle, Wash.
Early this year, the Brooks team smashed the 4xMile relay indoor record, running it in 16:03.68
Ribich said that professional running is somewhat different from high school and college. Although based in Seattle, he’s only spent about two months there this year. He spent three months in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for high altitude training.
“We trained at 5500-6500 feet depending on where we’re at,” he said.
“It’s a little more disciplined and focused than college or high school,” he said. “”We have all the resources we really need to succeed, so we take advantage of that, and the results we’ve had this year go hand in hand with the amount of discipline.”
Ribich said that he’s in training for 49 of the 52 weeks in a year although he’s currently in the midst of a three-week break. He returns to his practice regimen on Oct. 16 when he’ll start running 45-50 miles per week, gradually working his way up to 80 miles per week.
“It’s a long haul,” he said. “It’s like a weird balance in that I’m so used to doing it at this level that it feels good when I do it and bad when I don’t do it.” He added that he ran dozens of races each year as a college student but only has raced six or seven races this year because the intensity of the training is so high.
Ribich specializes in the 1500 meter and mile races for Brooks, although he occasionally runs the 800 meters and up to 3000 meters indoors. He’ll start the 2020 outdoor season with a go at the 5000 meters.
His latest feat is qualifying for the 2020 Olympic trials that will take place in Eugene. He qualified at a meet in Seattle on June 15. Ribich ran a blistering 3:37.44 in the 1500 meters, assuring him of a place at the Olympic trials.
In the circles he runs in, Ribich didn’t think of the feat as a huge accomplishment, but when he told his mother, Geneva Reinheardt, she insisted he call his father David Ribich and former high school coach, Dan Moody, to share the news.
“It made me realize this is a pretty big deal,” Ribich said. “I remember going to the Olympic trials as a spectator in 2012 and 2016, and now for 2020, I’m in the races, so it feels really good.” He added that he knew much hard work is ahead, as he has to finish in the top three and run a sub-3:35 time in the 1500.
The U.S. Olympic track and field trials run from June 19-28 in 2020 at Hayward Field in Eugene.
“It’s going to be a really cool time to compete in my home state,” Ribich said. “I’ve had my state track meets there, I’ve watched national championships there — I’m pretty familiar with Eugene.”