Where did you continue your running career after high school?
Columbia University, New York City...Indiana University (5th Year)
What was the biggest adjustment you had to make to compete at the college level?
The biggest adjustment I had to make from high school to college was to find a way to put in higher mileage coming off of injury without reinjuring myself. The first time I tried this, I reinjured my body, but the second time around we were successful in finding the perfect balance of how to build up to the mileage and how to healthily complete and maintain it.
Also, racing is completely different from high school to college. Everyone is fast!! There is no such thing as winning a mile race by 200m anymore!
Is there anything you can tell high school athletes to better prepare them for the college experience?
Ready yourself to become the best, most fit athlete you will ever be in your lifetime. To do this go in with an open mind and never be afraid to ask upperclassmen or your coaches questions. They are all there to help you and have done this many times before! Use these valuable resources to your advantage. If you want to be the best runner you can be, you will do this. Embrace the new challenge!
What memories from competing in high school stand out the most?
Four standout memories for me are:
1) 1) Winning the district championship in XC my senior year to qualify the entire team for state. It was an incredible year for the team and it was amazing to see the progress we made throughout the year, not only on the course, but also just as a team on a personal level. By the end of the year we were all like family to each other. Everyone was willing to put in 100% effort for each other day in and day out for the ultimate collective goal of placing at state. It was something really special to be a part of. It was better than any individual accomplishment I could have ever earned.
2) 2) Coming up short at the 2007 (my senior year) state xc meet to take 2nd. After pulling away with a half mile to go, putting a 10-15 second gap between me and the second place runner, I hit the biggest wall of my career. My body just gave out on me, I had pushed too hard chasing my dream of being a state champ. There is no way to even describe the physical exhaustion/collapse my mind and body went through those last 50m. Seeing the finish line and championship right in front of me, then to have it taken away was simply devastating.
3) 3) Running a 4:13 1600m at the 2007 state track meet (my junior year) and to go on to run a 4:13 full mile back to back weeks at postseason meets.
4) Winning the 2007 Hancock Invitational (my senior XC season). Finally beat Swearingen from Potosi...got the guy they call "squirrel" off my back. He was one heck of a competitor.
What do you miss most about running in high school?
I miss winning every weekend and the supporting cast of my family at every meet.
What piece of coaching or advice that someone gave you has been the biggest help?
I’ve always lived by a quote I came up with several years ago that says, “You will never know how great you can be until you give it your all 100 percent of the time”
Also, advice for those going through the whole college recruiting process or those interested in running in college but are unsure if they will get recruited. No matter how talented of a runner you are, there is a college team for you. From the best to the worst, if you want to run in college...do it! Never be afraid to put yourself out there. Never cut yourself short. Contact as many coaches and programs as possible. Go online find their contact information and shoot them an email, or give them a call. Be proactive and get to where you want to be. Just as there are many programs out there, there are just as many runners. Not everyone, even the best will get recognized by top programs that could actually be a good fit for them. Coaches love hearing from interested athletes! Make your future happen, don't just wait for it to come to you.
I’ve always enjoyed motivational stuff regardless of how cliché it may be. A trainer of mine shared this one with me:
"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful"
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