Everett training to become a force in the 800-meter
May 15, 2009
Tevan Everett’s last race wasn’t textbook, or even planned.
He went out in the 800-meter of the Texas Invitational two weeks ago as a rabbit for his twin brother, Tevas, and 600 meters in, Tevan Everett downshifted to a trot, slow enough to peek over his shoulder and gaze at the rest of the field behind him.
Everett looked long enough to realize that his brother couldn’t win, but he could. So, he revved up his powerful 6-foot-2 frame and kicked out the remaining 100 meters. He crossed in a personal-best 1:47.39, which happens to also stand as the fastest time in the nation so far this season.
Not bad for a guy who only recently started taking the 800-meter race seriously. In fact, when Everett toes the line in Lubbock, Tex., on Saturday in the Big 12 Championships it will be his first legitimate foray in the half-mile race during an outdoor season.
Everett will be going up against UT teammate Jacob Hernandez, who owns the Indoor and Outdoor national titles in the event, as well as the UT school record with last year’s 1:45.31 in the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
But Everett is at least willing to give himself a shot.
“I think physically I’m in shape to run really fast, like 1:47, 1:46 or 1:45,” Everett said. “But mentally, I’m still that 1:48, 1:49 guy.”
That’s been the biggest adjustment for Everett. His natural adrenaline allows him to take out the first 400 extremely fast, because that’s also the race he grew up fine-tuning. So, the mental transition to endure the all-out effort of another complete lap is substantial.
“In the 400, I knew I had the speed, background and training for it,” Everett said.
Everett is learning to take the taxing workouts he endures every day and let them turn into confidence. The 800 is one of the most physically painful races, and Everett usually intends to tell himself, “I’m going to die,” throughout the final 200 of any race.
Now, he’s maturing enough to make himself repeat that same mantra during his daily workouts. Everett runs 1,000-meter repeats, as well as longer runs of six or seven miles.
“I need to push myself in practice to a certain degree of pain,” Everett said. “So, come race day, I know I’ve felt that pain before. If I am dying in practice, it is definitely worth it, because I can see it showing.”
It showed the most at the Texas Invitational, when Everett moved from a virtual stand-still to a ferocious kick to nab the country’s fastest time in the 800 event.
“I think Tevan just has a gift that when he sees something is within striking distance, he is able to make himself go get it,” Men’s Track and Field coach Bubba Thornton said.