Another piece to the Brooks PR puzzle is Mt. Spokane distance runner John Dressel. Dressel was third in both the 1600 and 3200 meter runs at the 2A-4A Washington State meet this year. On the cross country course, he was second at Foot Locker Nationals and finished 12th at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country International Challenge. Competing in his home state, Dressel will toe the line in the 3200 meters and brings with him a personal best of 8:57.00 (set at the Arcadia Invitational) to the Brooks PR Invitational on Saturday, June 21st in Seattle.
When did you first learn that you were invited to the Brooks PR Invite and how did your react?
Dressel: I was notified the 3rd of June! A couple of days after the WIAA State Track and Field Meet, my dad sent me a text asking if I wanted a "golden ticket". Before hand, I wasn't too sure if I was going to receive an invitation to the meet or due to my performances through out the season. I ran well at Arcadia and state, but haven't been exposed to many fast competitive races to run fast enough times due to running for Mt. Spokane in the GSL here at home. I expected to run faster at state, knowing my physical capabilities and fitness currently, but the field didn't race as fast as I expected. So when I received the text and the emails relating to Brooks PR, I got really excited because this opportunity will really set me up for what I've been wanting to achieve all season, running a fast time in the 3200m.
What does it mean to you to be invited to the Brooks PR Invitational?
Dressel: It really means a lot to be invited to the Brooks PR Invitational. I think every talented high school elite runner aims or has desires to receive an invite from Brooks. I've been watching the Brooks PR Invitational ever since they established the event and there has been so many great performances and times that other runners have produced. Like I said, it will be a chance to finish my track season on a high note, and I'm excited to run with others who are at my level and will help me strive to achieve my goals. I'm excited to see new faces and get to know other runners for the first time, and see others who I haven't seen a while! This event is turning into something prestigious and it reflects in the same sort of way like the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships. It really helps when you're able to have costs paid for, to witness and be apart of a great event.
What do you hope to achieve at the meet?
Dressel: I would like to just expose myself to the competition and run like I know I can. To give it my all and nothing less. To finish the race having no regrets. Crossing that finish line feeling satisfied.
What music do you listen to before races?
Dressel: I don't listen to much music before my races. I'll listen to tunes as I travel from the hotel to the meet, or when I'm gathering my race attire in the hotel. After reading Coaching Cross Country Successfully by Pat Tyson and Doug Binder, there was an excerpt about Matt Davis and how he wouldn't listen to music before he competed because it made him lose focus for what he was about to do. I took this to heart and ever since then I've been tunes free at meets, just intaking the experience, my surroundings, and getting my mind focused and adapted to the venue.
If you were stranded on an island with three things what would they be?
Dressel: My running watch, my girlfriend, and my Go Pro Hero 3+ black edition so I could take some cool photos/videos.
What would you consider as your best or most favorite race of all-time and why?
Dressel: Ever since the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships last season, that has probably been my most memorable race. I went out there open minded and took a risk. It was bittersweet to place 2nd, but it was also sweet to come in front of all the other regions, and placing 1st as a team. That experienced has opened up opportunities and has given me even more confidence.
What are some things un-running related people might not know about you?
Dressel: I'm currently in a long distance relationship with a girl named Shannon from Omaha, NE. As silly as it may sound, we met over Twitter, but on June 19th it'll mark as our 1 year together. For the first time we met on February 13th in Denver, CO, for when I competed in the USATF Junior Nationals Cross Country Championships. Her mom took time out of her own schedule and drove Shannon to come see me. I'll always cherish the moment when we first saw each other.
How and why did you get involved in the sport?
Dressel: Previously I played soccer. From Kindergarden-8th grade. My parents mentioned that I should run and do track my 7th grade year. I knew my aunt and dad ran in high school, as well as college so that influenced me a little bit. I would run the mile in PE time and time again and beat everyone in my class. I was scoring in the 90th to 100th percentile. I ran a 5:02 as my 1600m pr in the 7th grade and I became motivated to break that five minute barrier my 8th grade year, and become an All-City Champion. I ended up giving up soccer for running due to the amount of success I knew that I could achieve through out high school. I more or less looked at which would allow me to attend a bigger and better college off of a scholarship. I made the right choice.
How has your training been leading up to the meet?
Dressel: My training has been going quite well. I'm feeling fit and I'm physically healthy at the moment so that is always a positive! I competed and ran well at my state meet, although I'm still hungry for faster times because I know I can run faster than what I've showed this season.
What are you most looking forward about your trip, race, and weekend at the Brooks PR Invitational in Seattle?
Dressel: I'm looking forward to having a good time and enjoying the experience as much as I can. To make it memorable. You have to cherish and make the most of these kind of opportunities because they don't come often. It's a reward for all the hard work that I've put in day in and day out. Being around others who share the same passion that I have towards the sport and seeing some new and familiar faces!