What has been the team’s biggest feat this year? Our team’s biggest feat this year was coming in and embracing the great new training philosophies of our new coaches, Vic Finch and Jeff Kavalunas. Buying into these methods has started our program on the path to much future success after our competitive 2008 campaign.What is the best part about running? What is the worst part? The best part is the camaraderie that all our teams have — from our silly prerace chants to the infamous Gallon Challenge during preseason. Also, after every race when I douse Trainer Brent with his own Gatorade bath. The worst part besides barely missing the team bus to Kenosha and then driving there with Trainer Brent would probably be those first few two-a-day practices. The great thing is that we probably have even more fun when the workouts are difficult, because everyone steps up. One quickly learns that, like in life, there are no shortcuts in running.
What has been your best race this season? My best race of the year was at Oshkosh during the busy Fall Festival weekend. It was also pretty exhilarating yet exhausting to have a great race and then to rush back immediately with several other runners to the Appleton PAC to perform in that evening’s Kaleidoscope concert.
How has competing in varsity athletics enhanced your experience at Lawrence over the past four years? Having only joined cross country last season, my sophomore year, I feel I can now truly appreciate the importance of being a student-athlete here at Lawrence. Being an involved student-athlete and musician is never easy, but the relationships I have made with all of these people are invaluable. I have experienced so much more than I would have had I not gone out for cross country — running races jumping over streams, hay bales and through mud. I’ve also learned that you don’t really know someone until you’ve seen them when “the going gets tough” — mentally and physically — in those last two miles. And also through the post-race puke.
If you could participate in any race anywhere in the world, where would it be? What would the distance of the race be? Who would you want to compete against? This year I have often been the favorite victim of our beloved, jabbering cross country trainer, Brent Nathan. Through our prolonged, deep and often one-sided discussions, I’ve convinced the man with “the talk” to do “the walk” — and signed the both of us up for this summer’s Door County Triathlon. Though one or both of us may not finish this race, it’s always about the journey and the effort that got us there that really counts, right?