Kendall Gregory (OH) is off to a blazing start this season
Kendall Gregory (OH) opened up his '07-'08 track season with a bang. Not only did the 400m star earn a U.S. #1 at 500m, but he showed his growing strength by running 1:57 at 800m. However, the Strongsville, Ohio senior has his eyes focused forward on some big goals, most of which pertain to the 400m dash, where he returns as one of the top athletes nationally in the event. See what Kendall has to say about his goals for the year, his training, his relationship with his father and much, much more.
An Interview with Ohio Speedster Kendall Gregory
MileSplit (MS): First off congratulations on opening the season up on such a strong note. Your U.S. #1 [at the time] 500m mark at Oberlin College and your 1:57 800m at EMU must have you feeling pretty confident. What are your thoughts on this early season success?
Kendall Gregory (KG): My early season success is right where I expected to be at this part of the season. Surprisingly, I am not shocked with how I am running. My training directly reflects my race performances so far this season.
MS: Now that you've opened up your season, what does your schedule look like the rest of the indoor season? Do you plan on competing at Nike Indoor Nationals or the NSIC Meet?
KG: I plan to keep my indoor season fairly local, doing most of my racing at the University of Akron and Kent State University. However, I will be running at the Simplot games in Idaho this year. I will not be participating in the NSIC, or the Nike Indoor Nationals, in order to run in the Ohio Indoor State Meet, which is the same weekend as nationals.
MS: You are one of the top ranked returnees in the 400m this year, yet you've had success in longer distances already this season. Is the 400m going to stay as your main event?
KG: Yes, the 400 is still, and will continue to be, my main event. My early season races were run merely for strength building purposes for the 400 meters; it is a phase of training we have always used at the beginning of the season.
MS: You've decided to attend the University of Michigan next year. Why Michigan?
KG: I am attending the University of Michigan for a variety of reasons. For one, it offers a world renowned education that will hopefully open doors for me in the future. I also like the coaches (Ron Warhurst and my sprint coach, Fred Laplante), and the athletes on the team are great guys. I feel the program is headed in the right direction as far as building a solid sprint core and a national caliber 4x400m relay. I will also have the opportunity to run on a national caliber 4x800m relay and DMR. The University of Michigan is also relatively close to my home in Ohio, the drive there is less than three hours. Michigan also happens to be an annual team invited to the Penn Relays, which is my favorite track meet. Although I have never run it, attending Michigan would enable me to do that over the next four years. The atmosphere at Penn is special!
MS: Take us through a typical week of practice if you wouldn't mind.
KG: A typical week of practice consists of a speed endurance workout at the beginning of the week (8x200-27-28 sec with 2 min. rest or 4x350, 49-50 with 4 min. rest), and a race modeling workout towards the middle of the week. I lift weights about two days per week, and sometimes do plyometric workouts which include box jumps, hurdle hops and speed ladder drills. I also run 2-3 miles once per week. These workouts help increase fitness and performance. I am required to take 1-2 days off per week.
MS: Your dad is a coach of yours, and was a great sprinter in his own right. What does it mean to you to have your dad so involved in your athletics and as a role model for success?
KG: My dad has been a great key in my success in track and field as you already know, but how I feel about it is difficult to describe. I mean having a dad who coaches you and one who had run track himself is something that has allowed track to be a huge part of my life. My dad's influence on my life and career is the reason that I am where I am today. He pushes academics more than track, and I would not be going to a school like Michigan without his vision.
MS: Being such a highly touted senior in your event, is the focus on winning a national championship? What are your goals this season?
KG: Well as far as times are concerned I would like to keep that information disclosed, but as for the National Championship, that won't happen indoor only because I will be doing most of my running in Ohio. Moreover, during outdoor season my eyes are set on winning the Ohio State meet 400 meter title and making the Junior National team, which ironically is held at Ohio State this year, the same location as my state meet.
MS: Enough about track. What do you like to do in your free time when you aren't studying or working out?
KG: I like to hangout with friends, read books about politics, listen to music, lift weights, debate people on a variety of issues, as well as learning new and interesting facts.
MS: Thanks Kendall for such a great interview. Best of luck this track season and well into the future!