Today we chat with Southlake Carroll HS, Carroll, TX junior Trevor Gilley. Gilley is a member of the 2011 NXN US#2 Southlake Carroll boys cross country team. His personal best in the 1600 meters 4:09.37 was run last spring at the UIL Texas State Track & Field Championships as a sophomore finishing 4th. Last Saturday Gilley won the Texas District 7-5A Championships 1600m in 4:12.50. Currently his Southlake team leads the xcnation.com Postal Nationals with a 5x3200m team average and US#17 all-time, 9:18.29. The Southlake boys team currently has eyes set on running the national record for the 4xmile at this summers New Balance Outdoor Nationals.
1. Three words that describe you and why?
Dedicated, Strong Willed, and Competitive- I feel these describe me best in a running sense of what has made me the runner I am. You have to be dedicated and stick with it or you just are not going to be good. I am strong willed to when I set a goal I will do anything to achieve it. I am very competitive with everything and while it could also be bad it is good in running because when it comes down to the end of the race I want to win no matter what and if you don't care about winning then you wont.
2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life?
Passion is the love for the sports to me. You have to like running to be a runner. You can't just do it and become good. I remember reading that Alan Webb was an influence on Robby Andrews going pro and when he asked Webb if he should go pro he asked him if he loved it. You have to love it to be fully committed and love the sport to be successful.
3. How do you want to be remembered as a runner? An all-time great, a record breaker, or one of many?
A record breaker. My main goal is to break the state record in the 1600 for sure, but depending on how fast I run this year at state going for the sub 4 mark might become the ultimate goal.
4. If you met an 8th grader transitioning into high school who dreamt of being a successful distance runner, what words of advice would you give to him?
Set reachable but tough goals, stick with it even if you not the best right from the start, and don't ever get a big head and think you are better than you are.
5. Rockstar Runner...what does that phrase mean to you?
People who are good examples for the sport that show dedication and commitment to others.
6. What does team mean to you and why?
Team is all about the unity and brotherhood. To have a good team you don't all have to like each other but you have to respect each other and know that all are working towards the same goal. When you run for a team it means more that to just run for yourself.
7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
In middle school, I played football, basketball and soccer. I sadly had to give up all three in high school to focus and running but I haven't had any regrets.
8. How did you get your start in running?
I started running at age 6 because my mom was (still is) the Southlake summer track coach and she had me come out and run to try it and I loved it.
9. What were some of your highlights from your high school career so far?
My highlights for cross country would have to be Winning state this year and going to Nike Nationals. Nike Nationals is just an amazing experience and fun time. My track highlight would have to be the Brooks Pr Invitational. That meet is a really fun weekend to be around such great people in a great environment.
10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far?
My favorite racing moment would have to be the state track meet last year when I earned a huge PR of 7 seconds. I went into the race without any expectations of anything. I was just there to race and it really relieved the pressure and I just ran my race and all went well for me.
11. Tell us a little about your coach Justin Leonard and how he has helped you develop during your years in high school.
Coach Leonard has been both a coach and a mentor to me. He has helped me get through personal issues that I have had with running and worked with me to make me the best I can be on and off the track. He challenges me daily to test my limits while encouraging me along the way. I have been able to push myself because of his knowledge of the sport and his demand of excellence. He is not afraid to let me know when I am not meeting my potential in my running or in the classroom. He has a genuine concern for me and my best interest and I am no affraid to ask his advice in any aspect of my life. I will be forever indebted to him for allowing me to go for my dreams and aspirations.
12. Favorite distance in track? Favorite run? Favorite invitational? Favorite opponent(s)? Favorite track workouts? Favorite run?
My favorite distance in is the 1600. Favorite meet is Texas Relays. There are so many fast runners there that provides a great atmosphere to run fast. My favorite opponent would have to be Troy Taylor. My first track meet ever I raced him in the mile and there was a .03 second difference between us and ever since we have had a great rivalry with sharing a pretty equal number of wins. My favorite track workouts and runs in general are speed workouts, where I do a 8x400 then and 8x200 at mile and 800 pace. Those workouts really challenge me mentally and physically.
13. Tell us a little about this amazing chemistry you have with your Southlake team, how was it developed, molded, who are the leaders...do you train year round together?
Our team has grown tremendously this year. We took time to hangout with each other outside of running so we were not just running friends but have become true friends and it has really payed off. I think what has really set us apart from other teams is the leadership. Everybody is a leader on this team. There isn't just one or two guys who lead and the others follow. Everyone contributes and holds each other responsible. We train all year around together Mondays through Saturdays and occasionally meet up on Sundays. If not, we just do our runs on our own. What also really helps is that we are close in ability and that allows us to all train together.
14. What races are you most looking forward to as you look ahead to the rest of your track and field season?
I am really looking forward to the state meet this year where I am hoping to take a shot at the state record. We as a team are also looking forward to going to New Balance Outdoor Nationals and run the 4xMile to try and take down the national record.
15. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
I really don't have a favorite running movie or song but my favorite runners would definitely be Chris Solinsky and Russel Brown. Solinsky's 10k at Stanford was the coolest race I have ever seen. Russel Brown is my other favorite runner after his performance at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.
Thank you very much for your time Trevor!