What have been some of the highlights of your college career to this point?
Up to this point, one of the most incredible highlights of my college career has included qualifying for nationals during the 2019 cross country season with my team after winning the Great Lakes Regional meet. Achieving a feat like this together, and knowing all our hard work had given us the strength to accomplish the win really demonstrated how important trusting the process of training is. I also really enjoyed going to nationals my freshman year (2018) along with my teammate Kyle Monahan, who also qualified individually. It was really cool to embrace that experience with him!
Discuss the transition from high school competition to competing at the college level. What adjustments did you have to make in order to be successful?
Coming from high school I was excited for the transition to college running, but of course I was a little nervous too and expecting a lot of change. I think the biggest adjustment I had to make was embracing the change and learning to adopt a more efficient schedule. I had to learn how to balance school work with running by making sure I was putting my energy and focus into each activity at a time. My coach (Kyle Basista) was super helpful in making sure we understood the importance of rest and recovery especially transitioning from high school. Balance is a continuous process and it is something I am still learning to do!
Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big race.
Getting ready for any major event involves mental preparation. In regards to running and races, I like to enjoy the process of getting stronger which includes not only workouts and weight room work, but really enjoying spending time with my team. Whether it's long run adventures or post-run smoothies, I will never forget the experiences I have had with my team. This bond is a peaceful reminder of why I run when I am toeing the start line before a race.
What athletic-based goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?
This upcoming year I would love to qualify to cross country nationals as a team again. Individually it would be cool to try to start leading more races and focus on running stronger. I think the past two years I have been a little more reserved while racing, and I would like to see what happens if I push myself more.
Do you have any advice that you can offer an incoming freshman on how to best deal with the higher level of competition they'll encounter at the college level? Also, what tips can you provide regarding the balance between training commitments and academic demands?
The best advice I can give in regards to racing at a higher level is to embrace the competition. Racing is really unique because it allows you to push yourself and push others. Allow yourself to learn from your competition and understand how your body deals with training in a more competitive atmosphere. Your best race will most likely not be your first race, and this is what is really cool about training at a higher level. Once you start to learn how to race efficiently, you can start pushing yourself more mentally and see what you can do!
For balancing training and academics, it's important to make sure you focus on one thing at a time and figure out what works best for you. Communicate with your coach and teachers about what's going on in the classroom and on the track. Ask your teammates how to plan around practice or organize times to study together. Talk to people with experience. It's tough to deal with so many activities on your own, so reaching out for support from those around you is extremely beneficial!