Sansone on his way to a 5th place showing at the Nike South Regional in 2011. (Photo by Alex Aldaco)
MileSplit - You look quite fit for the beginning of the season. What excites you most about your last year of HS XC?
Joe - I get an opportunity to compete at high level once again. I cannot wait for us to go out and reach our potential. Since this is my final season, I'm just ready to lay it all out on the line when the opportunity arises.
MileSplit - Southlake Carroll looks like a very good squad this year. What has the off-season training been like?
Joe - I feel like our summer training has been solid. Everyone person seems to go through their own rough times, but we find a way to help pick them up and keep their mind straight. Texas weather can be a little unforgiving at times but that never gets in our way. We've just been racking up the miles and putting in the effort.
MileSplit - When & how did you get started in cross country?
Joe - It's an interesting story. I had been a club soccer player for years. My old soccer coach would have us every once in awhile go out and run a mile as fast as we can. Every time we would do this, I would end up leaving everyone behind. So when middle school came around, I needed something to do after football. I had a choice of either doing cross-country or off-season workouts. Knowing my past experience in running, I decided to give cross-country a try and went on to be successful.
MileSplit - Person/people most influential to your success in cross country and why?
Joe - My parents and my coach are the sole reason why I have seen success. My biggest moment was when I was down in a slump late freshman year and had a hard time buying into training hard. I flat out embarrassed myself at one track meet and had a talk with my dad and Coach Leonard. It was there that they told me that in order to become successful, I had to start buying into what I am doing and start training for a purpose. Every since then, I have improved on the course, in school, and in life outside running. And I cannot thank them enough for that.
MileSplit - Your cross country coach(es) and what they mean to you and your success?
Joe - I am very blessed with the opportunity to run for the coaching staff we have here at Carroll. They get us ready to compete at a high level everyday and are always there when we need them to be. When we go out to meets, we don't just run for ourselves. We go out there and lay it all out on the line for them.
MileSplit - Keys to your successful cross country training program?
Joe - We run PAAVO here at Carroll and its pretty simple. Just follow the simple instructions and give effort. That's all that is asked for. When its time to run all out, you run ALL OUT. When you need hit a pace to recover, you hit that pace. Like any other system, you have to buy in, do it correctly, and you will succeed.
MileSplit - What are the keys to your team's unity and how you train to reach your goals?
Joe - We are a close group of guys. They are an everyday part of my life and we get to spend countless hours with each. The most important part is that we keep each other accountable and help push to new levels. We are brothers and we go out and fight together.
MileSplit - Your favorite performance in a cross country race and why?
Joe - I cannot say that I have a favorite performance. Looking back, every single meet has their own uniqueness to them which makes them special. I just enjoy being able to run with Carroll on my chest with my brothers at my side.
MileSplit - Cross country competitors you most enjoy competing against and why?
Joe - I enjoy running against the competitors within our district, region, and state. They hold nothing back against us and test us on how much we actually want to succeed.
MileSplit - Your greatest non-running experience in cross country so far and why?
Joe - Being out with my teammates up in Colorado. Every year we have gone has been a blast. From cutting down massive trees to hunting anything in sight, we went out and had a little fun.
MileSplit - Goals for the 2012 cross country season?
Joe - My goal is to outwork what has been previously done. I believe that if we can do this, great things will happen. Also, I feel that is my duty to help set an example for future runners here at Carroll and teach them what needs to be done in order to become successful.
MileSplit - Long-term goals in running for you?
Joe - After my tenure here at Carroll, I look to take what I have learned about success to college and help that school be a force to be reckoned with.
MileSplit - Olympic hero from this summer and why?
Joe - My Olympic hero, hands down, was Michael Phelps. Even while under all the scrutiny and pressure he has dealt with for the past few years, he found a way to get the job done and come home with four more golds.
The Fun Run
Do you like ice cream or italian ice…
Joe - Duh, ice cream.
Do you like fall or summer…
Joe - Both
Do you like Boggle or Twister…
Joe - Twister
Do you like Facebook or Twitter...
Joe - Facebook
Do you like going out or chilling at home...
Joe - Going out but if I'm tired, I don't mind a night on the couch haha
Do you like grass courses or dirt and mud…
Joe - Whatever you throw at me. I can say grass is nice and neat. But it also I can say it cant compare to the sloppy fun of mud.
More from Joe...