Ashley Brasovan, Bobby Nicolls, Doug Smith and Jordan Hasay are four of the best cross country runners in the country this fall, and they've each signed up to share their journey throughout the fall in our seasonal feature, the MileSplit Cross Country Journals. In the fourth edition, some of the athletes talk about their recent races and training, while the ever-refreshing Smith chimes in with some political commentary and Broadway musical reviews.
(Sr., Wellington, FL)
Entry #4 (October 30, 2008)
I have had the past couple weekends off from racing and don’t really have another big race until the Florida state meet. Our state meet isn’t until November 22 this year though, so I have some time to get some quality training in and prepare more for post season races right now. It has been a little tough deciding whether to do Footlocker or try NXN this year, but I think many of the finalists from last year intend to go back to Footlocker. I hope the competition will be great at both. It would be a shame to see either race stop being held in the future.
Training was a little slow last week while I let my legs recover a little from the past couple of meets (I think they needed a little break!). It’s finally starting to dip below 70 degrees here in Florida and cool off a tiny bit. I can actually make it through runs in the afternoon without feeling like I am going to get heat stroke. Most of the year I have to wake up at 5am before school starts to get a decent run in. My mileage has pretty much been consistent around 55 for the past couple of weeks.
It was nice last Saturday so my friends and I decided to head to the beach one last time before winter sets in. It is possible to go year round, but the swimming isn’t much fun during the winter so I steer clear of the beach for a good portion of the winter!
No more college visits for me yet, but I am hoping to visit Stanford within the next few weeks. That should be my last visit before I make my final decision, and then this whole confusing process will be over with! It’s very nerve-racking because this is the school I will be choosing to be at for the next four years of my life.
Good luck to everyone and hope your season is going well!
Entry #3 (October 15, 2008)
The last two weeks went by way too fast! I had two big meets in a row. First up was the Flrunners Invitational. This is a pretty big meet for Florida and basically the whole state is in attendance. My whole team was able to go as well, but it will be our only away meet together. I was really nervous because I had no idea as to what kind of shape I was in, and this meet would be a very good indicator.
Well, the race started out pretty fast, but by the mile there was no one in sight. I took the first mile out at about 5:15 and it felt pretty comfortable (keep in mind this is a flat, Florida course) and finished in 16:46. I was actually really surprised at that time because I hadn’t been feeling well all week. I got to talk to Brittany Koziara and Kayla Hale about our college visits and overall it turned out to be a fun meet.
Homecoming for my school was this last week. I was on senior court, but could not go to the game or dance because I had Great American this weekend. I was disappointed for a while, but it ended up being worth it in the end. It was tough to focusing on running this week because I went to the powder-puff game, the carnival, and our volleyball game, trying not to miss out on anything senior year.
The best day was Wednesday because it was “nerd” day, and all my friends dressed up together. I wore bright red suspenders, pulled my shorts up really high, wore a tie, long sock, and some crooked glasses …I would have to say that I looked pretty ridiculous!
Despite all the distractions, I had a good workout Thursday of some 200s on about 35 seconds and 600s on about 1:50 seconds. My mom and I flew out to Alabama for the meet on Friday. That’s when the race started to hit me, because frankly, I had forgotten all about it. My mom decided to get a flight that got there at 6 o’clock at night so I had to run on the highway next to our hotel instead of the course (it was closed). We had dinner at this cute little diner called Jason’s Deli. I was still a little sore from the workout the night before and kind of starting to regret going so hard.
The next morning I woke up, raced, and my vacation was basically over. It was nice to have competition though. Kathy (Kroeger) and I were neck and neck until the last hill at about 4000 meters. That’s when I pulled ahead and won by about eight seconds. Afterwards, I got to have lunch with Jessica Tonn, whom I met at Nike Outdoor last summer. We went to the Cheesecake Factory with our parents. All of us got huge salads. Then it was back to hot, humid South Florida for me….
(Sr., Misson Prep, CA)
Entry #4 (October 30, 2008)
Whew… it has been a very busy weekend for me. I’m so glad to have finally run a big race this season and really see where I am at. I don’t know what it is, but the first race of the season always seems to be nerve racking. It’s sort of like going back to school after a long summer and hoping that you didn’t forget everything you learned the year before. With running, it’s like that, except instead you’re worrying about whether you can still perform well and if you are going to do better than the last year. Even if you’re training is going well and you are pretty confident, there still is that tiny fringe of doubt and that realization of wow… I haven’t raced in a long time. At the same time, I was super excited to get back to racing and ready for a hard effort.
Friday afternoon we drove down to LA which took us 5 long hours with all of the traffic. I got to bed early that night (despite being kept awake for awhile by all of the runners making noise outside our hotel room!) and then woke up the next morning ready to run!
So in the end, I did run a fast time that I am very happy with, 16:27 officially, which was the number 2 all-time on the course at Mt. SAC. Not the course record, which would have been nice, but sub-16:30 and 15-second PR is something that I will take.
Alex Dunne gave me a great chase and that definitely helped push me to a faster time. I guess I had a pretty big lead after the switchbacks, but then she closed it to about four seconds by the cross over. It’s funny because I don’t like to look back behind me because sometimes I will start to get dizzy if I twist my head. So what I try to do is to listen to the people cheering to see how far everyone else is behind me. This can sometimes be an accurate indicator and sometimes not. It was funny because my dad yelled “she’s right on you,” and I thought he was lying just to get me to keep pushing – ha-ha. But then going up poop out and listening to the cheering I realized wow she really is right there!! So then I really made sure I pushed it up reservoir and tried to finish strong.
After the race, there was quite a large mob of people who wanted my autograph and I just want to apologize to anyone who I was not able to get to!!! There were so many of you and I had to go do my cool-down! I’d like to thank everyone for your support and kindness!
Next up for me is the county meet (Oct 30th). It’s more of a smaller meet, but I’m looking forward to racing with my team and having our football team come out and cheer us on!
Entry #3 (October 13, 2008)
Last weekend I had my first XC race of the season! It was a really fun meet called the Atascadero Invitational. I ran 17:53 for the 5k and won the race. My teammate Annie was second. Our race was really early in the morning and it was pouring down rain. Sounds like XC! I was happy with the result as it was a pretty tough course and I tried to go out very conservatively. Other than that, training has been going great and I am feeling ready for Mt. SAC in two weeks. Just have a few more hard workouts this week then we will start to taper a little bit.
In the meantime, I thought I would take up most of this journal entry by talking about colleges. The recruiting process thus far has been very exciting for me. I’ve got my schools narrowed down to Arizona State, Stanford, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, and University of Washington (that is in alphabetical order so no one go making any assumptions! Ha-ha). Other than these schools, I didn’t get too many other phone calls, which was nice because these were the schools that I was thinking about in the beginning.
The coaches can call you once a week per NCAA rules… and most don’t miss their chance to speak with you each time! During the summer this is really nice since you don’t have as much to do, but now that school has started and the XC season is underway, it has been much busier for me. I frequently find myself making five return phone calls on Friday evening when I don’t have to worry about all my homework! I enjoy talking to all of the coaches and they all seem like great people.
The worst part about the process is that in the end I can only choose one school! I’ve been on one official visit so far and that was to Arizona State. I had a great time there and really enjoyed the team. Ashley Brasovan and Taylor Wallace were also visiting there that same weekend. We went to the football game, had a BBQ with the team, went on a great long run, and finally played an intense ultimate Frisbee game. I feel really privileged to be able to make these visits and to be recruited. It’s been an awesome experience and one that is making my senior year really enjoyable. I feel that I could be happy at any school it is just a matter of choosing the school that is the perfect fit.
(Sr. Gill-St. Bernard's, NJ)
Entry #4 (October 30, 2008)
Since the last journal entry, I have raced at the Somerset county meet. The goal for the race was to win. I didn’t want to lead the first mile because I wanted to get used to running with a group. So luckily, two guys from Ridge decided to lead the first mile. After we crossed the first mile in 4:55 I decided to take over the lead and started to push it up the hill a little. My coach wanted me to wait to really start moving until the 2-mile mark, so once I hit that I picked it up a lot more. I was very pleased with my effort and the overall time of 15:44.
Last week I still got in 76 miles, and will continue to be between 76-82 miles a week for at least another 2 weeks. My workouts and runs have been very good lately and I’m feeling very fit, so I’m looking forward to the big races in the month of November and hopefully into December.
Other than racing, I took an official visit up to Syracuse the past weekend, and it went very well. I liked it up there and the guys on the team were very cool. I was happy to see that it wasn’t snowing up there yet, although I did pack winter gloves and a wool hat just in case.
Stuff at my school has been going well though. Senioritis hasn’t kicked in it, but I’ll give that another month, then I’ll be doing nothing every night. Can’t wait for that!
On a political note, I am very excited to be able to vote for the next president. I will be voting for John McCain and I hope that many other people will be voting for him. If your not going to vote for him then you’re wasting your vote and should just write in Doug Smith for President. I know what this country needs, which is more respect toward runners! So vote Doug Smith for President! A true maverick!
For those of you wondering how the lady search is going on? Well, nothing is really going on. I’ve hit a bump in the road, but I have faith that the right one is out there somewhere. Hopefully a very good looking one, for example, Vanessa Hudgens from High School Musical. I do plan on going to see High School Musical 3, and I suggest every other guy goes to see it. Don’t be afraid!
Entry #3 (October 15, 2008)
My first race was on October 4th and it didn’t go as well as I would have liked. Got out really slow, like 5:29 first mile slow. Yeah Jordan and Ashley could’ve beaten me in that race, pretty pathetic first mile. Wanted to pick up the pace more in the middle of the race then I did, but I just couldn’t get into a good rhythm. I wasn’t really disappointed with the race; I was more shocked then anything.
I finished the race I wasn’t tired at all. I shouldn’t have been tired since I ran so poorly. After that slow first mile I got a very big stomach cramp. Pretty much the race was just a disaster. Like my coach has always said, “If you run like shit, then you’ll feel like shit.” That pretty much sums up the race. I didn’t really get hung up on the race at all, and just got up the next morning and went for a nice 15-mile run.
Since I ran so poorly, we decided to run in the Patriot Conference meet at my school, Gill St. Bernards, on Tuesday, October 7th. The conference meet is actually very competitive. The whole race isn’t, but the top two people are usually very competitive, and put on a good race. I ran an hour the day before, so I was pretty much just training through the race, but was looking for a good time to boost my confidence a little.
The race went very well. I ran 15:39, which is 10 seconds faster than I’ve ever run at the course at school. The course is actually pretty tough. The first mile is very fast but the majority of the second mile is up hill, and the last .8 miles is pretty much all uphill. I felt soooooooo much better. It actually felt like I was running. I think I just needed to get used to racing again. My first race of the season has always been slow, and this one just felt odd considering I’ve been running a lot more miles than ever before. I’ve been getting in good training since then. I got in 85 miles last week, and have a meet this Saturday up at Bowdoin Park, which I’m very excited for.
Other than running races, I took an official visit to Arizona State University this past weekend, and it went very well. I liked it out there, and I got in some really good runs with guys on the team. School has been going well too. My goal is to get straight A’s for once in high school. I’m trying hard, but it will take almost a miracle for that to happen. Flirting with girls at school is probably my favorite part, even though there aren’t that many, considering my high school consists of 250 kids, but it works fine for me. Not having a girlfriend is the way to go, by the way, for all of the readers that are considering whether or not to ask out a girl. Just email me for some good advice.
Good luck to everyone in his or her upcoming races!
(Sr., Regis, CO)
Entry #4 (Coming)
Entry #3 (October 15, 2008)
Welcome to championship season. Well this may be pre-mature for most of the nation, but here in Colorado we are well on our way to determining a State Champion. This last Friday marked the first “championship” weekend in the Mile High state.
For me, this meant the Continental League Championships. It’s not a huge meet with just 11 schools, and it is not part of state qualifying, but the league meet can be a great source of pride in my league.
The meet went really well for the Raiders, as we were able to bring home Regis’ first league title in four years. The course was also very interesting. Aside from being held at the renaissance festival, there were many other quirks in this year’s course for our league.
The first was a half-mile uphill climb into a single-track creek bed, and then up one of the steepest hills I have ever seen. It only lasted about 20 meters, but one is almost forced to go on all fours to get up it.
The second mile was full of steep down hills and a few steps, and the race finished with a grueling uphill. The challenge left lots of guys on the team sore, but also excited for what is to come. In fact, this journal will probably go up the same day as my regional meet on the 16th.
I can’t believe it’s already time to decide a state champion, but I couldn’t be happier; this is what we all run for, and each meet now is huge!
Good luck to all of you with your championship seasons and enjoy the rewards of all the hard work you have put in. As always, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to all the guys who made me feel at home last weekend at the University of Minnesota, particularly my hosts Sean and Hassan. You guys are awesome.