With the end of his competitive running career fast approaching, Galva senior Caelin Foley has some big goals in mind.

With the end of his competitive running career fast approaching, Galva senior Caelin Foley has some big goals in mind.

Foley wraps up his stellar high school distance running career at the Class 1A boys state track and field meet this weekend. He’s competing in both the 1600- and 3200-meter runs in Charleston, and hopes to have a couple of medals around his neck when he makes the trip back home Saturday night.

“I was kind of thinking about it after sectionals,” said Foley, who graduated from GHS Friday and will continue his education at the University of Illinois in the fall. “It’s going to be a weird feeling when it’s all over. I know I was a little emotional after cross country was over, so we’ll see what happens after I’m done with my last race.”

He heads to the state meet at Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Stadium as the Class 1A Orion Sectional champion in both distance events. He enters the 3200 with the 11th-fastest sectional time (10:03.88) which puts him in the fast heat Saturday, and the 1600 prelims are Thursday as he tries to advance to Saturday’s finals in that race.

Foley ran the same double as a junor at state last year, and learned a few lessons in the process. In the 1600 prelims he was boxed in early, caught in a crowded pack and tripped on the second lap as he went down to a knee and fell behind. He regained his stride and narrowly a missed a PR, but didn’t advance to the finals.

“Going into it this year it’s about trying to stay outside and not getting caught up in that pack,” Foley said. “I don’t want a repeat of last year going down in the second lap.”

With his strong sectional time in the 3200, Foley will be grouped with the top runners in the race’s fast heat Saturday.

‘I’d rather just race against the best guys,” Foley said.

When he’s faced elite competition this season, Foley has risen to the occasion. He finished fifth in the Illinois Prep Top Times meet in March and ran his best time of the year (9:39) at the Distance Night in Palatine event in April. The only runner to top Foley’s 9:39 at Palatine in last week’s sectional competition was Christopher Collet of Seneca at 9:37.06.

“Honestly for me in that race, it’s about being in the top three or five and really trying to win that race,” Foley said of the 3200. “I may not be the fastest guy going into the race, but the goal is to be racing for the win.”

“I think the 3200 is my best race,” he added. “For finals day it’s first, so I’ll focus all my energy on that.”

If he’s able to advance to the 1600 finals, that race awaits after he finishes the 3200 Saturday.

“Then it will be immediately getting inside, getting cooled down, getting recovery and getting ready for that next race,” Foley said, noting temperatures are forecasted in the 80s this weekend in Charleston. “You have to get ready and move on as fast as you can.”

“I definitely want to be on the medal stand,” Foley said of the 1600. “I just want to finish that last race knowing that I gave everything I have.”