Sunday, November 23, 2008

Catching up with Mt. View's Garrett Rowe...

Today we chat with junior runner Garrett Rowe who is the lead runner for the best boys' team in Northern California, Mt. View HS. Garrett won the CCS Division II individual title on November 15th at Toro Park after a incredibly close 2nd his sophomore year. His sophomore track season came to a sudden end with an injury but after a slow start in xc, Garrett is on a definite roll heading into the state meet this coming Saturday.

1) How did you get your start in distance running?
I first started running a little bit in seventh grade when I started burning out on club soccer. I finally gave up soccer my freshman year. My parents were very supportive of my transition into running and that helped me come to love the sport.

2) I believe your dad had some success in running as well. What were some of his accomplishments and times?
In high school my dad was two-time Indiana state champ for XC amd two time state champ at 2 miles. He was All-American his junior and senior years. He was the captain of the Princeton XC team in the early 80's. He still holds the record for the 1000m indoors at Princeton and won 3 consecutive Heps titles indoors at that distance. After college, he ran a 3:40 for 1500m.

3) What was your experience like during your freshman year in cross country? What runners did you look upto as you were getting started?
Freshman year was a little scary for me in cross country because it was a step-up, but the seniors on the team were great guys, and I looked up to them when I was getting started. They were always supportive of everyone on the team and I think that most of us looked up to them for that reason.

4) Where do you feel like you made the transition to the runner you are today?
I'm not exactly sure if I made any sudden transitions into who I am, but I think that the accumulation of experience through my first three years of high school has shaped me as a runner. Some successes and some tough times, like getting injured last spring with a stress fracture in my heel.

5) You experienced some injuries last year during track season. What did you learn from dealing with those injuries?
I learned that I have to be careful about how much racing I do, because there are only so many times that a runner can handle the stress of a race. With the great weather we have in California, it's easy to get carried away with running too many races over a very long season in XC and track.

6) Tell us a little about your coach Even Smith and what he has meant to the Mt. View Cross Country and Track and Field teams.
Coach Smith is the backbone of our team. In believe Smith's biggest asset is that he encourages the strong runners and the up and coming runners equally. The JV and frosh-soph teams that back up our varsity squads are incredible both in talent, hard work and enthusiasm. Smith screams and cheers as hard for JV and frosh-soph as he does for varsity. Motivation runs up and down the roster and it's all because of the way Smith focuses on every individual regardless of talent. I love being on this team and so does everybody else.

7) What did you do differently this summer in terms of training?
The main difference between this summer and last summer was the quality of the mileage. I only stepped up my mileage a tiny bit from last year (50 to 55), but I made most of my runs faster. I also did alot of my summer running at altitude in Tahoe. I have a good friend who lives in Incline and he took me on some death runs that went up to 9,000 feet.

8) What do you consider to be the most important parts of the training program at Mt. View and what workouts give you the most confidence going into the races?
I think the best parts of the program are the interval workouts, because while they usually consist of difficult, fast mile or two mile repeats, they are targeted at maintaining a high level of threshold fitness. These workouts have also been important to sustain peaking until later in the season.

9) Most runners of your ability do not have teammates that can run with them during practice. That is not the case for you in that you have Ian Myjer. What has he meant to your running success?
Ian and I have been friends since third grade. He's tough as nails, not to mention the most supportive teammate I could ask for. I admire his enhanced dedication to running over the past year and it's great to have friendly competition with him. We're both team-oriented and want to do whatever we can to help Mountain View win.

10) Who are the teams that Mt. View will be battling with at the state meet?
I think our main competitors in DII are Loyola and Thousand Oaks, though I'm not saying I would count out any other team. We'll fight it out to the end, and I think it's going to be a very tight race.

11) From this season so far: Favorite course? Favorite race? Favorite competitor? Your best race?
So far, my favorite course has been Mt. Sac, though we didn't get to run there this year, so I've only run the course once as a soph. Crystal Springs would be a close second. I feel my best race was CCS at Toro Park, even though the time wasn't very fast because it was hot. My favorite race was probably Leagues at Crystal, because it was a lot of fun to run with Ian the whole way. Finally, Ian's my favorite competitor because he's the only guy I don't get mad at when he beats me!

12) Anything else you would like to add.
I get asked alot why I always race with Oakley M-Frames on. I want to set the record straight that I wear contacts and my eyes are sensitive to dust and bright light. I even carry a doctor's note in my bag because I've been hassled by officials at the starting line. I'm not trying to look like Jeremy Wariner, but I wish I had his 400m speed...Thanks Mr. Caruana!

Thank you very much Garrett! AJC

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