By Derrick Mahone
Bailey Roth has sat aside some time for pleasure when arrives in Myrtle Beach for the USA Youth Outdoor Track and Field Championships, but the distance runner is staying focused on his main mission.
The rising sophomore at Eagle's Landing High will compete for a national title in the 1,500 and 3,000-meters starting today at Doug Shaw Stadium.
Roth qualified for the national meet by winning the USA Youth state championship earlier this month.
"I'm definitely looking forward to this meet," Roth said.
Earlier this month, he won a national championship at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, N.C.
"I'm going into this meet with the same mindset that I had at the New Balance," Roth said. "I'm expecting to do well, but I wouldn't say that I'm over confident."
He has ran against most of the other competitors before on the national circuit.
"It really excites me running against people that I know," he said. "I know the other guys will run really solid and good races."
Today will be the 3,000 race and Saturday is qualifying for the 1,500 with finals on Sunday.
But it will not be all work, and no fun for Roth.
"I'm planning some down time," he said. "I feel we have done some good training. After the New Balance meet, we came back and looked at how we would approach this meet."
If he arrives back in town in time, Roth said he might run in Monday's Peachtree Road Race.
"It is one of those as we go decisions," he said.
This has been a good summer for Roth, who won the 1,500 at the New Balance and was third in the 3,000 at the North Carolina A&T University track. Immediately after the meet, he made the six-hour trek to Fayette County to compete in the state meet where he set state records in both the 3,000 and 1,500.