Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Catching up with Pioneer HS runner, Weston Strum...

Today we chat with the younger of the Pioneer HS Strum twin brother combo (by a minute), Weston, who just finished 2nd in the Division III race this past Saturday at the Stanford Invitational. Last year, Weston finished in 5th place at the CCS XC meet at Toro Park behind a formidable group that included Nohe Lema (Willow Glen), Mitch Moriarty (Aptos), Peter Birsinger (SI) and Rylan Hunt (Aptos). He also finished in 5th place at the CCS Track and Field 1600m. final with a time of 4:22.49. Pioneer finish 7th as a team last year in XC but they are aiming for a much higher finish this year. With the twins at full strength come November, this will definitely be a team to watch.

1) How did you get your start in running?
My twin brother and I have always known we've been kinda fast. Nathan got the 6th grade mile record at our middle school, then in 7th grade, I broke the mile record only to have Nathan beat my time the very next class period.

2) What other sports do you or have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I played soccer since I was 5, and quit the beginning of sophomore year to join cross country.

3) If you had to pick between cross country and track and field, what would you say is your favorite sport and why?
Track and field, because the pain doesn't last as long and I think I have better middle distance speed.

4) Tell us a little about your brother (Nathan) and how he has helped you become a better runner.
We have always competed ever since we were born. We train together during interval training days where we push each other to our limits. He has definitely helped me in middle distance speed workouts, but we don't run together as much as people would think. We hardly run together on long runs. I usually run with my other teammate Michael Zamora or by myself.

5) Where do you think Pioneer stands at the moment in CCS and who are the teams that will be your main competitors to make the state meet?
I think Pioneer has a great chance at winning CCS division III. Our main competition is Saint Ignatius, Willow Glen, and Aptos.

6) What are your Track and Field personal records?
1600- 4:17.62 at Arcadia, 800- 1:58.01 at League semifinals, but I haven't ran a competitive 3200 since sophomore year.

7) Favorite run? Favorite workout? Favorite race? Favorite course? Favorite competitor(s)?
My favorite run was when my brother and two teammates, Matt Sarge and Michael Zamora, went on a 24 mile run in the hills of quicksilver and mt. uminum and we didn't really know where we were going. It took about 4 hours, but I enjoyed every minute of it. But my favorite run in general is doing the 5 mile loop at quicksilver.

My favorite workout is doing a bunch of 200 repeats. It's so fun cause they are over so quick, but doing 10 or 12 of them is still a great middle distance workout. I try staying about the same speed throughout them (800 pace or so) and picking it up on the last few repeats.

Favorite track race was definitely Arcadia. This is when I knew for certain that I was a miler. It was so exciting because after 2 laps, I was 2nd to last and I ended up getting 2nd. My favorite cross country race was Earlybird because it was the first time that I have won an invitational. And also, I beat my Toro Park pr by about a minute.

This cross country season, my favorite competitor has been Luca Signore. In the Lynbrook meet, we were back and forth the entire race, but he out-kicked me for the win by 4 seconds. Then at Earlybird, he got second and I won by 4 seconds. So we are exactly tied at this point. I also like racing Mitch Moriarty and I feel it is going to be a very close race for the CCS division III title.

8) Tell us a little about your coach and what has he done for you to become a person and runner.
My sophomore year, I had the best coach I have ever had and I feel that a lot of my success now can be contributed to him. Darrin Garcia really made me enjoy running and, most of all, competing. He has been my inspiration. But he left after only 1 year at Pioneer. Our coaches now are good, but are not as inspirational as coach Garcia. My favorite quote from him was in a pre-race talk where he told us, "It's gonna hurt, so make it hurt good."

9) Can you tell us a little about your race this past Saturday and how it unfolded?
The race at Stanford went well. I was scared because after about 400 meters into the race, I felt extremely sore. I was not expecting to do so good, but I stuck with it. I had no chance at winning my race because Hugh Dowdy took a big lead at about the mile mark and was out of contention from then on. For the rest of the race, it was a battle for 2nd between 4 of us ( Bryan Jordan, Chris Kigar and Mitch Moriarty). We tried reeling in Hugh, but we couldn't gain much ground. It was a back and forth race for 2nd, and I think my middle distance speed kicked in the last 100 meters and I out-kicked them for 2nd.

10) How much will running influence your college decision?
I think running will influence my college decision heavily. I really want to run in college, but I want to get recruited instead of just walking on. I also want to be on a good team because I've never been on a team with people way faster than me and I feel that this will help me get faster.

11) What would be your advice to young runners who aspire to do well in the sport of cross country?
My advise to young runners is to work hard. Almost no runner can succeed with minimal work put in. My coach said, "running is like putting money in the bank. The harder you work, the more money you put in the bank. And when the race comes, you can only deposit as much as you have put in."

12) Anything else you would like to add.
Thank you for interviewing me. It is a great honor to be recognized.

Thank you very much for your time! AJC

1 comment:

Kevin Liao said...

Having raced him a number of times and him having handed it to me, I can truly say that Weston is a tremendous competitor and an even better person. He always makes sure to congratulate his opponents after a race regardless of outcome. It's great to see his achievements recognized on a forum like this.