Archive | October, 2011

Wisco Invite/The Debut of Lukas!

14 Oct

I knew I was taking too long to make new posts when my mom texted me telling me to make a new post.. My bad y’all. School started, I’ve been putting in 100 mile weeks, and I’ve even been hanging out with a pretty girl.  A real live girl!

So here’s a new post fresh for you running folk.

As everybody who follows college running at all knows, the hottest meet this week is the Adidas Invite in Madison, Wisconsin.  Us Wolverines are out here to kick some butt and gain some more national points hopefully (ranked 26th in the nation right now!).

Just about everybody who’s anybody is here.  Just take a look at the teams in the varsity races:

College Men (39)
• Air Force
• Arizona
• #23 Arizona State
• #6 BYU
• Cal
• Clemson
• #28 Florida
• #16 Georgetown
• Georgia
• Harvard
• Illinois
• #7 Indiana
• Iowa State
• Kansas
• Lamar
• Marquette
• #26 Michigan
• Michigan State
• #17 Minnesota
• Nebraska
• #25 New Mexico
• #13 Northern Arizona
• #29 North Carolina
• #9 NC State
• Notre Dame
• Ohio State
• #10 Oregon
• #14 Princeton
• #24 Providence
• Purdue
• #4 Stanford
• #21 Syracuse
• Texas
• #27 Texas A&M
• #22 UCLA
• #19 Villanova
• Washington
• William & Mary
• #2 Wisconsin
College Women (42)
• Air Force
• #14 Arizona
• Arizona State
• Boston College
• #27 BYU
• #10 Cal
• #30 Clemson
• #22 Florida
• Georgia
• Harvard
• Illinois
• Indiana
• #23 Iowa
• #9 Iowa State
• James Madison
• Kansas
• #15 Michigan State
• #21 Minnesota
• Nebraska
• #7 New Mexico
• Northern Arizona
• #13 North Carolina
• NC State
• Northwestern
• #25 Notre Dame
• Ohio State
• #12 Oregon
• #28 Princeton
• #2 Providence
• Purdue
• San Francisco
• #6 Stanford
• Stony Brook
• #8 Syracuse
• Texas A&M
• Toledo
• UCLA
• Vanderbilt
• #1 Villanova
• #24 Washington
• William & Mary
• Wisconsin

Insane right?  Every team in the Big 10 will be in the race (with the exception of Penn State).  In addition to the insane battle for first between Stanford, Oregon, Wisco, BYU, and Indiana, the race will feature some of the best individual runners including Chris Derrick and a handful of Kenyan superstars.

For most of these teams, it’s the deepest meet they’ll see outside of nationals.  More runners in the field than the national contest and 2000 meters less racing for things to spread out makes quite an intimidating field even for the veterans.

Which led me to wonder how some of the young guns in this race feel they are prepared.  I caught up with Oregon’s new duck Lukas Verzbicas to see how his transition into college has been and what his thoughts on finally wearing the Big O tomorrow are.

I didn't create this pic, but whoever did had quite a bit of time on their hands.

Me- Hey Lukas, thanks for letting me interview you again, I’m sure people are pretty excited to see your debut tomorrow.  So how has your college experience been so far? College, as I’m sure you’ve found out, is a major change from high school life, are you enjoying the independence and the great support from the Oregon Athletic Department so far?

LV- Oregon is great! I absolutely love it. It took a few weeks to adjust to the college lifestyle but by now I wouldn’t have it any other way. You can say I had it going real good in high school, but Oregon is the place to be so now it’s even better. Everything I can possibly need or want is provided here. I’m making use of the multimillion dollar training and treatment facilities and therefore am thankfully staying very healthy.

LV keeping it classy in Eugene

Me- How is it having a team full of great runners to train with and how is the team looking this year?

LV-  I’m running more than ever but the transition has been very smooth with the coaching staff knowing perfectly well how to keep improving me. What’s really better is that every day I’m running with athletes that are just as fast if not faster than me, this not only helps to run faster in practice but it’s mentally easier to share the pain with others. Plus it’s such an awesome group of guys that they could be my best friends even without running. 

Hopefully you're bro-ing out with this dude

Me- The ducks have a storied reputation in the running world, how does it feel to finally get to put on that jersey and represent your school this weekend?

To represent Oregon is a tremendous honor. I’m not just saying this to sound proper. After experiencing for myself how passionate the university and especially the community are about running I can’t help but know that I’m running not just for my own self, but that I’m representing something so much more. I feel very thankful to every one of them. I’m a day away from my first college race and I feel completely fit and ready along with everyone else on the team. The excitement just keeps building up :)

Thanks once again for the interview Lukas, I wish you the best of luck tomorrow.

NOTES:

-Season is going well for us Wolverines.  We’ve put in some solid miles and workouts, and picked up a nice win in Florida (where despite being from Texas the heat got the best of me).  I’ve improved my 8k to 24:35 at Illinois and I’m looking to run well tomorrow.

– I MET DEREK RUBIS AT THE COURSE TODAY!!

– 7 of the top 20 from the 2008 Texas 5a XC state meet will be in the race tomorrow, including the first 3 finishers, Lone Star rematch?

Until next time,
Eat, Run, SWAG.

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