Erin Finn in the lead at the NBON 5000m. (Photo by MaroonNews)
MileSplit: 10:18.23 is just off your 3200 PR. First off, WOW, where did this come from?
Erin: It has been here all along! I just never got to fully show my fitness last cross country season due to my iron deficiency and sickness. It just felt so good to be finally moving my legs a little on solid ground (Michigan winters are snowy and icy). Competing at my future home track for the first time as a commit probably helped to add an extra edge!
MileSplit: The end of the XC season must have been very upsetting. What were you thinking after the Foot Locker Regional? How did you refocus for the seasons ahead?
Erin: Not qualifying for Foot Locker Cross Country Championships was a definite disappointment. When you aim your training all summer and all season to one specific race, you are left a little confused when that race is no longer an option. However, it taught me to take nothing for granted and that sometimes things go wrong when you put all of your eggs in one basket. Now that I can think about FLCCC with lowered emotions, I see that it also motivated me in an unforeseen way; the loss has really helped shape my goals for both this year and next year.
MileSplit: We know you are excited about Michigan. What does it feel like to rock a 3200 in your home state when you will run for them next year?
Erin: Running the 3200m at University of Michigan’s indoor track was one of the most exciting things that I have done in a really long time. A bunch of girls on the team were cheering me on; that was really special. Also, Jamie Morrissey, a recent Michigan commit, raced the 1600m and won too! It is so exciting to already feel like a part of the team!!
MileSplit: What is your focus going to be during this indoor season?
Erin: This indoor season I will be competing in the NACAC XC Championships in Jamaica, the USATF Junior XC Nationals in St. Louis, the Elite Mile at Grand Valley State University, the Brooks PR Invitational two mile, and the New Balance Indoor Nationals 5000m. I will do my best to compete and run fast at all of these events.
MileSplit: When & how did you get started in track & field?
Erin: I started running track in seventh grade. This was the first grade that my school district’s middle school program allowed competition. However, I was always very active as a child. I played soccer and was only good at it because I was a tireless player (I lacked – and still do – all necessary hand-eye coordination!), and other sports like gymnastics and karate. To see if I was any good at running, my mom and I always entered in a two mile fun-run near our cottage in northern Michigan. When I soon began to beat her, we realized that seventh grade track might be a sport that I was actually good at. Since then, despite some obstacles, I haven’t looked back!
MileSplit: Person/people most influential to your success in track & field?
Erin: Seeing my mom go out jogging was my first introduction to running and ignited the first sparks for me. Local runners, including Megan Goethals, Shannon Osika, Brook Handler, and Gabi Anzalone, have always inspired me, too. Desi Davila and Neely Spence (who train with Hansons-Brooks in Rochester, Michigan) as well as Lauren Fleshman are also very influential to my success. Other than Lauren Fleshman, all of the runners that I mentioned live and train very close to where I am from, making their success and training both more real and possible.
MileSplit: Your favorite track & field event(s)?
Erin: My favorite track events are distance events! I love the 5000m, but racing the mile at the Adidas Dream Mile showed me that I can enjoy shorter races, too.
MileSplit: Your track & field event coach(es) and what they mean to you?
Erin: I have a lot of friends who are very invested in my career as a runner. I cannot thank them enough for what they have done for me, ranging from long telephone calls, researching new training techniques, standing outside to watch workouts while braving gusts of wind and rain, and giving me strength in difficult times. Without all of my coaches, I could not have been anywhere near as successful as I have been so far in my high school career.
MileSplit: Keys to your successful track & field training program?
Erin: The key to my successful track and field training program is balance. I have to balance easy efforts and hard efforts, balance being un-worked and too tired, balance training by running and training by working out, and much more. As always, adequate sleep and nutrition are also vital.
MileSplit: Your favorite track & field meet?
Erin: I love every track meet! As long as I am running healthily and happily, can spend time with my team, and the weather isn’t too terrible, all track meets are fun!
MileSplit: Your favorite performance in track & field?
Erin: Winning the New Balance Indoor Nationals 5000m and getting the high school indoor national record for the event is by far my favorite track and field performance.
My favorite professional track and field race is the 2012 London Olympic Men’s 10000m where Mo Farah and Galen Rupp took the gold and the silver!
MileSplit: Track & field athlete(s) you most enjoy competing against?
Erin: I really like to race Hannah and Haley Meier, Wesley Frazier, Katie Knight, and many other girls who push me to my limits.
MileSplit: Your greatest experience in track & field so far?
Erin: Competing in the Adidas Dream Mile last track season was very cool because it opened my eyes; I realized that I was better at shorter distance races than I thought that I was!
MileSplit: Goals for the 2013 indoor track & field season?
Erin: I will be competing in the NACAC XC Championships in Jamaica, the USATF Junior XC Nationals in St. Louis, the Brooks PR Invitational two mile, and the New Balance Indoor Nationals 5000m. I hope to compete and lower my times at these events!
MileSplit: Long-term goals in track & field?
Erin: I want to get in a solid season of training to help prepare me for racing at the collegiate level!!
The Fun Run
Do you like rock or pop…
Erin: Can I say country?
Do you like shorts or jeans…
Erin: Shorts! (they mean summer)
Do you like Facebook or Twitter...
Do you like going out or chilling at home...
Erin: Depends on who I am with and how hard the day’s workout was!
Do you like sun or snow...
What mobile device are you rocking?
Erin: An old dinosaur phone :)