Speck interviews the boys
Q: What is your initial reaction to the race?
A: I'm happy to have qualified again. It will be a lot of fun next weekend.
I'm looking forward to it.
Q: What was your strategy coming in and how did the race develop according
A: Because nationals is next weekend, I didn't want to come out here and
hammer it. I figured if I was in position to win, I'd go for it, but I
didn't want to kill myself trying to go for it. I know that top 8 qualify
and get to race next weekend. So I didn't see the point in coming out
here and just wasting all my energy.
Q: Have you heard anything about the San Diego course, and how to approach
A: I don't really know much about the San Diego course yet. My coach ran
on it [Marnie Mason] and I'll be talking to her next week.
DS: So what's your first reaction?
AJ: I'm real tired. That's about it. I'm happy I did as well as I did.
But all I can think of right now is how tired I am.
DS: Did you have a place in mind coming in?
AJ: Yeah, I just wanted to get top 24. It's tough to set a goal in a race
like this; there's so many great guys. I just wanted to run as well as
I could, and it worked out for me.
DS: How fast did you run last year in track, and what distances did you
AJ: Nothing great at all. I'm not a very good mile and 2 miler. I think
my fastest if maybe 9:54 and 4:28 or something. The longer I go the better
DS: So, you were undefeated this fall in cross country?
AJ: Yeah, I sure was.
DS: What did you think near the end of the race when you were in the
AJ: I was just concentrating on holding on. I was expecting guys to start
going by me. I was just trying to make it in.
[Jones "made it in" to third]
DS: Do you do a lot of your running at altitude?
AJ: Yes, Gillette is about 4500 feet.
DS: Do you feel different in a race at sea level?
AJ: It's a lot easier to breathe. I didn't have to worry about that, just
my leg speed and being able to hold on.
DS: What are your thoughts about San Diego? Have you heard about the
AJ: I sure haven't. I just want to go there and try to do as well as I
can there too, and see how that works out.
DS: What's your gut reaction to the race?
TN: I was really, really excited once I found I had my kick at the end,
because I was a little worried there for a while being in 11th place coming
off the last hill. But I just had it, got going, and the rest is history.
DS: Did you plan to be a ways back? People were kind of surprised at
how far back you were at 2 miles.
TN: I did want to take it easy early, because people die on that last
hill. I knew that after that I'd be able to find my kick and get it going.
DS: As you look toward San Diego, what are your thoughts?
TN: I'm really excited to go to San Diego. Florida was nice for all the
activities, but San Diego is definitely a better place to run.
DS: Have you heard about the course?
TN: I know there's a lot of legend to it, because there are so many guys
who have run there. I'm looking forward to getting in the spirit of running
there. I heard the course is nice, and has hills, which is nice because
I like hills.
DS: Are you closer to a college decision?
TN: I'm making all my visits beteen now and January, so we'll see.
"The race was just off and on the whole way. There's no one person
that pulled away; there's no one person that fell behind. Just a bunch
of guys the whole way. I can't believe I won because I don't believe I
was expected to even be in top 8.
Q: Were there one or two guys you were most concerned with and tried
to key off of?
A: I've heard so much about the guys; who hasn't. I just wanted the mentality
that I could beat anybody. It could happen or it could not. But today
it did, so I'm pretty excited.
Q: How do you feel physically?
A: I feel pretty good. I was real sick on Thursday and couldn't train
Q: Was it your plan to push it [on the Switchbacks]?
A: I just went the way the race flowed. I had no plan coming in here.
It's hard to have a plan when you're basically a darkhorse.
Q: What are your thoughts for next week?
A: I just want to run my best. I'm going to go and enjoy it.
and Alec Wall, 6th and 7th
Q: Your gut reaction to the race?
Wall: There's not really much to say; I'm just happy I'm going to San
Diego. It hasn't really set in yet.
Rupp: I was just hoping to qualify. I feel pretty good.
Q: Your strategy beforehand?
Wall: My strategy was just to get out in the front and hang on as long
as I could and hope to make it in the top eight.
Rupp: I was just trying to do the same thing. Stay with the lead pack
and try to cover any moves that guys were making. Hopefully, I could try
and take it easy on the track [the last 300 meters on the stadium track],
but there were nine guys so I still had to work.
Q: Can you comment on the great competition in Oregon this year? What's
that done for you as a runner?
Wall: It's definitely elevated all of us. We're able to work with each
other in the off season and train together. That's where the biggest improvement
has come from.
Rupp: If you have good competition it pushes you to do better. It's good
for Oregon, I think.
Q: So how do you think the West is going to do with other parts of the
Wall: I think we've got a very tough region, and I think we should probably
Rupp: We're going to dominate!
Q: Your thoughts on the race?
A: I felt good before the race. But when I was coming down Reservoir I
started cramping up and I was scared I wouldn't make it.
Q: What was your strategy coming in and how did the race go in relation
A: I was trying to make top three, and if I ran the same race as I did
at the Sweepstakes [Mt. SAC Invitational] I could have made it. I'm not
used to the crowding.
Q: So the number of people in the race did affect your strategy?
A: Yes. You had to sprint, jog, sprint, jog.
Q: What place were you in at the mile?
A: I was maybe 10th.
Q: So you were always a part of that lead pack?
A: Yes. I stayed with them.
Q: How does this rate in your athletic career? Is it your biggest thrill
A: Yes, this is my biggest accomplishment.
Q: What have you heard about San Diego?
A: It's nice, and I love running this kind of course [hilly].
Foot Locker West