Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Catching up with Northern Arizona runner, Diego Estrada...

Picture above shows some fallen warriors including Diego Estrada following his spectacular 13:47.37 at the Stanford Invitational.

Below is an interview with him that took place 2 months ago.

Today we chat with former Alisal runner and current Northern Arizona runner, Diego Estrada. He was a Central Coast Section (CCS) Cross Country champ in Div. 1 twice. He was a three time state qualifier in the 3200, highlighted by his victory last season in 9:06.51. He also won the Stanford Invite 3000 last year and had CCS best time of 9:04.80, good enough for 4th place at state last year in the 3200.

1) Looking back at your high school career, what do you feel was your best race in Cross Country? Track and Field?
Winning my first cross country CCS title. That one hurt the most( I had an abdominal strain.)

For track being the runner up @ CCS finals as a sophomore, that was when I realized I could do something with my running.

2) What do you think you did in high school that helped prepare you for college in terms of training?

I was constantly injured, but never gave up. That made me who I am today.

3) How did you end up choosing Northern Arizona?

Coming out of high school, I wasn't were I wanted to be with my running. I had been injured for 2 straight years, the love was gone. I actually quit running. But my high school coach insisted on me visiting NAU where I found trust in Coach Hines, and he believed in me like I used to believe in myself. The altitude was a plus too!

4) During your freshman season, what has been your toughest adjustment?

The dorm life. Managing time and money.

5) Besides the competition, what are some of the biggest differences between high school and college running?

I have a solid team and they help me train since I'm never alone on a run. It's not about me here, it's all about the team.

6) What do you miss about high school running that is not present in college?

My coach. Me and Coach Flores had a really good friendship. He kept me focused.

7) Tell us a little about your high school coach and how he helped you during your high school years.

Coach Flores was always willing to try new things. He understood that every runner is different. It took us 3 years tweaking the workouts till we figured it out. Now I know what my body needs. His main focus was the bigger things. High school was a stepping stone. He was a really good friend and wasn't about the attention.

8) What distance will you be mainly focusing on in track?

Mainly the 5k, but I'm more of a 10k guy.

9) What are your goals for this coming season?

I'm getting healthy, I'm confident again. Me and both Coach Hines and Flores believe i can go sub 14 in the 5k.

10) Tell us a little about your NCAA race this past cross country season.

Going in we had high hopes, as a team and individuals. I was shooting for all American honors.(after having a horrible day at pre-nats I had run 23:33 8k, 30:09 10k @ altitude already.) But unfortunately it wasn't my time. 4 days prior to the NCAA's I slipped on my bike, flew off, and injured myself. That gave me some Achilles problems that lasted for 2 months. It wasn't what I wanted, or what we wanted as a team, but i only learned from my mistakes.

11) What would your advice be for prospective college runners?

There are no free rides here. If you believe in yourself, the sky is the limit.

12) Anything else you would like to add.

I just like to thank you for the interview. GA JACKS!!!!

Thank you very much Diego! AJC

Keep the suggestions coming for athletes you would like to see interviewed.


Anonymous said...

Try getting contact with Jack Leng. One of Coach Brewer's kid. I wonder what he's up to now.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

at first i though he was full of it...but he went on to run 13:55 indoors and then blew my mind with a 13:47

Anonymous said...

Echo Matt Duffy.

Anonymous said...

In my youth, I was a cross-country/track runner. I was always injured with tendon strains in my lower legs. Fourteen years ago, in 1999, I began to experiment by running without shoes. It is my lasting regret that I never understood when I was younger. But, most of my strains were caused by wearing shoes. Also, my feet and lower legs were way too weak, due to the use of shoes. I strongly believe that if I had trained barefoot, and raced in flats, I would have been fine... and done better. I hope that this helps someone else.

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