Oct. 25, 2011
By Kathleen Spence
Athletic Media Relations
How did you become interested in running?
I’ve been running since elementary school and did cross country in junior high. In elementary school we used to have these Fun Runs, which were once a year and I won a couple times. So I kind of started to like running in elementary school. And in junior high I really started to enjoy it and started doing it more as a sport that I was actually going to pursue.
What goes through your mind when you are at the starting line?
Nerves probably. A few minutes before the gun goes off is my least favorite part of the race because once you start the race you have something to focus toward. The start is always kind of nerve-racking, but it’s also sort of exciting.
What do you think about while you race?
I think of various things. If there is someone up ahead of me that I know I should be with, or catch, I try to focus on that. Depending on what part of the race it is I just try to focus on each part at a time. It just really depends on which race strategy Coach and I have talked about, and so I will just focus on different things for each race depending on the strategy.
What has been your favorite course to run this season?
Probably the one we just went to, which was Wisconsin. We had never been there before so that was kind of exciting, especially being a senior. It’s not often that you go to a course that you haven’t been to. I liked it because it was mostly flat, but there were a couple parts that were hilly, so it had nice ground because it was a golf course. It was a big meet so there were a lot of people and it was just kind of exciting. It was a good race.
What has been your goal for this season?
Well, just as an individual, to keep improving. I need to do what is best for the team. I have more specific goals for the season. For conference I for sure want to get in the top three. If I had a really good race I think I could win it. For team goals, just to make it to nationals. We haven’t done that yet so that is a major goal.
Who is the person who most influenced you? Why?
Well obviously my coach now; he’s been a big part of my college career, and just running in general. Also my high-school coach; he was kind of like a club coach. He really helped me learn what you need to do and how you need to be dedicated for running. So probably both of my coaches, high school and college, have been a huge influence on me.
What is the most important thing your parents taught you?
They have always told me to just try my hardest. They have always been great in this and they have never put any pressure on me to run. They always wanted me to run if it made me happy. Their biggest thing was to always try your hardest and that’s all you can ask for. I’ve really appreciated that over the years because sometimes it can stressful. If you don’t do as well as you want they are always very optimistic about it.
What’s the most important thing you learned in life?
I’ve learned that dedication is really important. During high school I was really the only one that took running seriously on my teams. I had to learn to train on my own and that’s kind of hard to do because not every day you want to go out there for a run. It’s definitely self-motivation and dedication I’ve learned and that’s been a really important factor in my college career.
What was the best day of your life?
That’s difficult. I don’t know if I have a specific best day of my life. In regard to running, whenever we do well and we can celebrate as a team, those are cool moments. If I do something that is great individually, like the last meet I was at, I placed 26 out of about 300 people. So that was really a great moment. I wouldn’t say I have one specific favorite day; I just think any day that you can be proud of something you accomplished is a great day.
What was your first job?
My first job ever, I was an assistant swim coach for a summer league swim team in Houston, where I’m from. That was pretty fun. I got to work with my friends. We got to coach the practices and do private lessons and then coach them at meets.
What are some of your favorite hobbies?
I guess running is more than a hobby, but it’s one of my favorite things to do. I really like during the holidays to get all festive and decorate everything. Right about now my favorite hobby is getting ready for the holidays. Running does take up the majority of my time and that really is my main hobby. And during the summer it’s really just about getting outdoors.