Monday, October 22, 2007

Mt. SAC Reflections from a few Northern California's runners

Here is feedback from three runners about their experience on the Mt. SAC course as well as their trip to the southern part of the state. More reflections to come during the week.

Nicole Hood (above left) is the lead runner for the top ranked Northern California girls' team as well as nationally ranked, Carondelet HS. Garrett Seawell (above center, trailing) leads the second ranked Woodcreek cross country team. For more about Garrett, check out his interview at this link. Charlie Sauter (above right) is the top runner for College Prep HS, last year's 2nd place finishers in the Division V race at state. (Pictures courtesy of

1) Was this your first experience at Mt. SAC? If not, how many years have you attended the meet?
Nicole Hood:
Yes this was my first time running at Mt. SAC
Garrett Seawell:
Yeah, this was our first time to Mt. SAC.
Charlie Sauter: OK, so every year, our varsity teams goes down, so I've run 3 times.

2) Transportation to the meet, drive or fly?
Nicole Hood:
We flew down to the meet.
Garrett Seawell: We drove 8.5 hours to get there which was a very long drive.
Charlie Sauter: We also take two vans down the night before, driven by our willing coaches.

3) Best part of the Mt. SAC Invitational?
Nicole Hood:
I liked racing all of the great runners who were in my race. Mt. SAC is a really big meet and it was fun to be a part of a race with that amount of competition.
Garrett Seawell: Winning the team sweeps race individually.
Charlie Sauter: The best part is the bonding that takes place. Sharing hotel rooms, laughing, talking, just having a good time with your fellow harriers is just a blast. Of course taking part in the Mt. SAC tradition is cool also.

4) Describe the course for runners who have never run on it.
Nicole Hood:
The course goes by really fast, but it is challenging. Most people think it is all about the hills, but there is much more to this course. There are 3 hills, but the majority of the course is flat or down hill. To be good at this course, you have to be good at all types of running: hills, flat, and down hill.
Garrett Seawell: Its actually more downhill and flat than uphill. just don't get discouraged by the uphill's and you will be fine.
Charlie Sauter: the course: flat first mile, 2 big hills on second mile, 3rd mile is really exposed with one more big hill that takes you to the finish.

5) What was your strategy before the race?
Nicole Hood:
I had never run this course before, so I didn't know how I would feel at certain points, or how other people would run it. I knew the first mile would go out fast, and that I had to work the 3 hills, but I also knew that the down hills would be a place to pass people or be passed. I tried to work the hills, but also focus on running the downhill.
Garrett Seawell: I just wanted to stay up with the front pack then finish hard. It was just me and that Rancho Bernardo kid so we had a good race the last mile.
Charlie Sauter: I try to stay conservative on the first mile because everyone tends to fly but than die. always attack the uphills, especially poopout, than hang on from there.

6) Did you get to do any fun activities while down there?

Nicole Hood: No we didn't spend a lot of time down there. The seniors on our team had a dance Saturday night so we had to get back for them to go to that. We did have a team dinner and those are always fun.
Garrett Seawell: We did go to the Home Depot Center on the way over which was cool but we didn't do anything like Disneyland or stuff like that.
Charlie Sauter: Every other year we are able to go to Disneyland but otherwise our activities are limited to racing, hotel, and Denny's.

Thank you very much Nicole, Garrett and Charlie-AJC!

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