Thursday, April 29, 2010

Catching up with Loyola HS runner, Elias Gedyon...

Today we chat with Southern California star and Loyola HS runner, Elias Gedyon.  In almost 3 years of high school running, he has run with some of the fastest runners in the nation in Cross Country and Track and Field.  For those of you that were able to watch the Nike Cross Nationals (live or online), Elias finished in 2nd place, losing to the Craig Lutz by .3 in a highly competitive race.  Along with his cross country credentials, Elias finished in 6th place in the 800m. as a freshman and 2nd place last year in the mile behind current University of Oregon runner, Mac Fleet.  

1) How did you get your start with Cross Country and Track and Field?
I got started with track and field when I was in the 5th grade by my homeroom teacher’s inspiration. Each year around May, we have a race against our classmates and during my fourth grade year I was selected to run the mile. Without knowing how to run and race, I won that race and since I won by a lot, the following year they made me race against the teachers who were marathon runners.  I also won that race which surprised my fifth grade teacher and he saw something in me that maybe I can be good at this if I focused on it. He was the one that introduced in club track to me.

2) What were your highlights during your freshman year in both sports?
My first track meet as a freshman was at Arcadia and I was the anchor leg for our 4*800m team.  We came through very well and ran the fastest time in school history that day. I split 1.52.5 and that was my first time on the track racing with Dana Hills and other very strong athletes. In XC, my freshman year was a learning experience and my highlight was setting the all time freshman, Mt.Sac course record.

3) Highlights from your sophomore year?
My sophomore year, I won the Mt. Sac Invitational again and set another course record.  In track I moved up to the 1600 and I took 2nd in state meet with a time of 4.07.26.

4) Going into this past Cross Country season, tell us a little about your summer training (ex. miles per week, workouts during the summer etc.)
My summer is mostly running without a real break because right after the track state meet I get back to my Club track which is under the usatf. I then run the J.O’s then I get into XC training. When XC training starts, we usually run about 65-70 miles per week. Once season starts, we work out 11 times a week but during the summer it’s only one workout a day but with more mileage. 

5) Tell us about your Nike Cross Nationals experience. How did the race unfold? Best part of the whole experience?
Well overall it was the best experience; my freshman year, I had a blast and most of it was the race.  I took 35th and most important for me was being able to see Nike town. Then coming home to LA I was telling myself that I have to make it up there again as a team. Sophomore year, we made it there again and we had a great time. Most important, I focused more on the race and I took 12th and I was happy about that. Then my Junior I took 2nd and was very happy that my coaches got to that stage with me.

6) What do you feel were the key workouts for you this past cross-country season? What is the length of your long run? How many miles per week during the majority of your season? 

On of the key workouts that we did in the summer was the mile repeats and some long hill runs. Our long runs are mostly up at mammoth and our longest run is the airport run, which is a 10 miler. During the majority of our season, we run about 60-65 miles per week.

8) Once cross country is over, are there any changes to your weekly schedule as you start looking ahead to Track and Field? 

Not really. I rest a lot and just try to get ready for the upcoming season.

9) During Track and Field season, what are some of your toughest workouts?  What workouts give you the most confidence going into races?
One of the toughest workouts in track is the 8 times 400m and 7 times 200m but they get faster as the season progresses.  We do those work outs starting at 75s and get down to 65s later in the season.  Speed work is what gives me the most confidence at the end of the season going into the races.

10) Some rapid fire questions:

Favorite cross-country race? Mt.Sac Invitational
Favorite cross-country course? Mt.Sac
Favorite track and field invitational? Favorite race distance in Track?  Arcadia invitational and favorite would be the 800m and the mile.
Favorite competitors? Mostly, it’s anyone that would fight to the end and try to win the race.  There are so many people that are my favorite competitors that it's hard to pick just a few.
Professional runners you look up to? I honestly look up to Kobe Bryant the most and then Michael Johnson, kenenisa bekele, Haile Gebrselaisse, Abebi bikila, and Jeremy Warner. 

11) Who is your coach and how has he helped you develop as a runner?
Mr. Lalo Dias is a very intelligent coach and he has coached me throughout my high school years.  He has helped me through so many things. First would be my academics and personal things and then track and XC.  Also in sports he has pushed me to the best of my abilities. I thank God for my family and my coaches.

12) Anything else you would like to add.
To those who are out there thinking… “How did Elias Gedyon get this far?” my gift and talents are from the above and one thing that I ask God to do for me is to open the gift that he has stored inside of me. Without knowing, he has answered my prayers and it looks like this gift that has opened many doors for me would be running. Thank you every one for you support! You all are the best.
 Thank you so much for this interview.

Thank you very much for your time Elias!  AJC


Anonymous said...

Saw on DyeStat that he committed to UC Berkeley. That is totally unexpected, especially in junior year. Never the less, congratulations to him and best of luck with his season. Anyone think he can run sub 4?

Anonymous said...

Wow. He seems like a really nice guy. I can't believe his longest run is 10 miles though, or that the fastest and hardest he goes on a track workout is 8 x 400 at 65s. I can't do that, but I thought he would do a lot more? Anybody else think we're missing an important part of his training here, or is he really just that talented?

Anonymous said...

if he running 8x400 at 65s for sure he cant break 4 min on the mile. unless of course he is just cruising them. but that would be weird still considering that is his hardest workout...

Anonymous said...

I thought it was 8x400 + 7x200... he also left out the rest. For all we know he could be doing them with 15 seconds rest.

Albert Caruana said...

He just mentioned one workout. I am sure there are plenty others that prepare him to run very fast at the races.

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