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Millikan Track & Field

CIF State Track: Millikan’s Jason Parra Wins Silver in Boys’ 3200

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The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

Jason Parra was the lone Millikan representative at the 2023 CIF State Track & Field Championships on Saturday, and the junior distance runner again put on a show in the boys’ 3200. Parra was battling for the lead for the entire race, and ultimately finished second with a time of 8:53.96.

The runner-up finish is an improvement for Parra from the 2022 State Championships, when he placed sixth in a time of 9:01.66. 

“It was great,” said Parra of his race. “The plan was to get to a faster time and a better place, because you can’t go into a race ever thinking you’re gonna get second or third, there’s got to be a way you can try to find a win. So it means a lot to me. With all the setbacks and everything, there was only one senior that beat me. I’m the top junior and no other underclassmen beat me, so I want to go get a state title in the 5K in Clovis and here next year for two mile. I feel ready.”

Parra finished just over two seconds behind senior Matthew Donis from Highland, who traded off the lead with Parra over the final few laps. Parra said he and Donis are friends off the track, and had discussed a plan for the race to get out and set the pace. That’s how things played out, but everything leading up to Saturday’s final was going against Parra.

He’s still recovering from a back injury he suffered after CIF prelims, was battling an illness prior to the race, and to top it off he couldn’t find his spikes and was forced to use an older set.

“Everything was going wrong before the race, and I was like, ‘You gotta be kidding me,’” said Parra, who was able to laugh about it in retrospect. “It was kind of bad, but I just spiked up and I told myself, no one’s gonna care what you went through today. No one’s gonna care how you felt, what was going on with your body, if your training was good or not, if your legs feel wobbly at the last 100 meters. They’re only gonna care what time and what place you got. So I kind of went into the race knowing that.”

Parra said he felt good physically after the first lap, which gave him the confidence to go for the win. He held the lead on the penultimate lap, but Donis was able to make his move and hold off Parra over the final 400m. 

Given the circumstances, Parra’s pleased with his performance and he’s got even more experience going into what he hopes is a prolific senior season. He said the key for him will not be overdoing it in training to make sure his body is rested and ready to perform at its best during the next State meet.

“This year, I kind of pushed myself through hell,” Parra admitted of his training regimen. “The way I pushed myself compared to last year, I was very, very disappointed that I only improved my time by eight seconds. With the amount of training I was doing compared to last year, I thought it would have been enough to get national records and stuff like that. Clearly, I wasn’t able to, and I think it was because I got injured five times this year. That might have shown a little something that I’ve been doing wrong, maybe not giving myself enough breaks. That’s what I’m gonna do differently–more quality over quantity. Still get after it, but know when to take a break and not just push every single run.”

VIDEO: CIF State Track & Field Championships
Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.