What have been the highlights to your college career at this point?
Last year was my freshman year and the biggest takeaway or highlight from that was making it to the OAC Championships in the 5k, running a time of 15:32 when just a year ago my best time was 16:57.
Discuss the transition from high school competition to competing at the college level. What adjustments did you have to make in order to be as successful as possible?
In high school practice is just another day. You show up, do your thing, go home and hang out with your friends, go out to eat and do whatever and just repeat, you really never have a system in place. In high school you could have been the big fish in the small pond but now you are the small fish in a big pond.
You have to have that switch when going into college running because you know everyone is there for a reason. The biggest thing I had to do was worry about the other 21-22 hours of the day I wasn't at practice. That means eating healthier, getting my 8-9 hours of sleep, missing social stuff to keeping my body healthy. I had to sacrifice to make sure at all times I was eating, sleeping, breathing and running, so that's what I did.
Tell us about your training regimen by giving a general overview of what goes into getting prepared for your next big meet?
So for track season we were on 3-week cycles such as a Down week followed by an Up week and then an Up-Up week so the mileage just depended on what week you were on, not by what meet it was.
Typically we would have a larger mileage workout on Tuesday and small interval workouts on Thursdays with Monday, Wednesday and Friday being our easy days. Typically I don't do scouting on other runners, I just focus on how my body feels for the week and play it safe towards meet day. Pre-race is typically dependent on leg feel but it's anywhere from 3-4 miles. I also really watch what I'm eating 3-4 days prior to meet day.
What goals do you hope to accomplish during this upcoming year?
My main goal is to make the middle of the All-Time 8k Heidelberg Board in our coaches office. It would truly be something to make it as a sophomore and I'll be honest, I think I can do it, that's why I don't want to aim low.
The next main goal is get our team to Nationals. The team placed 9th 2 years back and to bring them back to that spot again or even further would be amazing.
What advice can you offer incoming freshmen and high school athletes, who intend on competing in college, on how to best deal with the higher caliber competition they'll encounter at the next level? Also, what tips can you provide regarding the balance between training commitments and academic demands?
The best advice I can offer to those who want to compete at the next level is throw your high school times out the window. It doesn't matter once you take that next step. Don't worry about what you or other people ran in high school because once you buy into that college training and lifestyle you could see a dramatic change, that's what happened to me, that's the advice I was given. You'll run your fastest 5k in a workout or 8k race, so don't sweat it.
My advice for balancing school and running is, if you want to compete and not have to worry, do the work. Sure, you have 2-3 hour practices and classes in the morning but that leaves 2-3 if not 4 hours of free time at night. It's hard to not want to go out with friends or play video games but those are the sacrifices you have to make. Put in the work at school and on the track, that's how you'll succeed not just in college but for life.