Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Catching up with Palo Alto's Philip MacQuitty

This interview with Philip MacQuitty of Palo Alto was done the week following his victory in the hotly contested Div. II race at CCS on Saturday, November 10th. Philip has quickly established himself as one of the rising young stars in CCS and in the state of California. His big statement last year came in winning the CCS 3200 with a great finish to record an eye opening 9:11.99 as a FRESHMAN! You can watch a video of that race at this LINK (highly recommended to watch the thrilling last lap). The following list is from Jack Shepard and it has the fastest 3200/2 mile runners of all time as freshmen-All-Time Frosh 2 mile/3200 - 2007. During cross country, Philip has been involved in two of the most exciting races I have seen this year with his narrow victory over Garret Rowe (Mt. View) in the SCVAL final (pictured to the left courtesy of Palo Alto parent Clint Cummins, as both runners approached the final turn to the finish line) and the already mentioned CCS Division II final.

1) How did you get your start in running?
I seriously started running in 7th grade when i ran 4:50 for the mile. I started doing JOs and other meets just for fun. When high school came around, I started to get more serious about it.

2) When did you first realize you have a talent in distance running?
In 7th grade when I ran 4:50 on little to no training.

3) Describe your how your summer training went this year and what you did differently than before your 9th grade season.
Well my training has been significantly harder and I do a lot more mileage. Last summer I was doing 20-25, this summer I did 35-40 with the long runs being anywhere from 7-10 miles.

4) Tell us a little about how the Paly Cross Country team. Why has the team had such a successful season?
Well truthfully, it is all due to my coach Jeff Billing and 4 great captains. We might not do the most mileage of workouts but nothing is wasted. Everything we do is for a purpose. We are trained to peak at points most beneficial to the person.

5) How has Coach Billing helped you become the runner you are today?
Well, my coach has done almost everything in his power to get me where I want to be at the right time. I'd say setting hard goals at the beginning of the season is a good method of really pushing yourself. Like I've been pushing myself on these past workouts so I can try to get sub 15:20 at Woodward. He really cooperates with me to adjust some of the workouts to things I want to work on.

6) What workout(s) have you done that gives you a lot of confidence when you race?
no comment

7) You went to the Billy Mills talk before the Mariner Invitational. What did you take away from his presentation?
That dreams our achievable. That if you really focus and see yourself winning, you'll have a much better chance of doing it in reality. That nothing is imposssible. Something I took away that Billy said "I went through the 3 miles one second slower than my personal best... I said to myself just take lead and drop out the next lap, and i thinking that until the final lap".

8) You have been part of three amazing races (CCS Final 3200 meters, XC League Final this year and CCS XC Final). Can you tell us a little about each race and if one of those stands above the rest.
Well each of those race have beneficial to me by gaining confidence in myself and learning different types of racing. If I had to rank order them, I would put the 3200 finals way out ahead, then CCS XCs and finally league. They each taught me different things. The CCS 3200 taught me that everyone has a chance to win any certain race. The league meet taught me not to underestimate people such as Garret Rowe. The CCS XC meet taught me how to adjust to different races (going out slow).

9) What is your favorite course in XC? Favorite distance on the track?
Mt Sac. 3200 and 800.

10) Any runners you look up to? Favorite competitor?
I look up to Pre and I really like (Galen) Rupp. My favorite competitor is Abdalla, because you never know what he can do.

11) What are your goals for the state meet?
Sub 15:20 and I'm trying to win d2 but I think that one is a little unrealistic.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
I like to say what a great race Charlie had with a huge pr by 21 seconds I believe. Thank you!

Thank you for your time Philip! Best of luck at state-AJC


Anonymous said...

man, macquitty's a stud!!

and about the whole once a runner trailer and website, i looked at the trailers. and although you said "It turned out to be a graphic design student project, a very good one at that," they both show the logo of focus features. wouldn't that get this graduate student sued? i wonder if it got pitched but then got dropped when it's supporters backed out or something. just a thought.

Anonymous said...


Albert Caruana said...

I don't know what is the answer to that question. Maybe somebody else might know.

The trailer is at the following link:

Anonymous said...

how fast can macquitty run the 800m? cuz i wanna race him in the 800.

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