Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Catching up with Davis HS (Kaysville, Utah) runner, Logan Wood...

The following interview is courtesy of Aron Taylor of
Davis HS, Kaysville, Utah senior Logan Wood is leading a resurgence in Utah distance running power.  A member of the 2011 NXN US#3 Davis cross country team, he is now stepping up on the track.  Recently, dropping 20-seconds off his personal best for 3200 meters running 9:24.36 at the Arcadia Invitational.  The Davis boys team are currently ranked US#2 in the Postal Nationals Championship with a 5x3200 meter team average 9:19.58.  His coach, Corbin Talley, a former Footlocker finalist says Wood has all the makings of being a great future coach.

1.  Three words that describe you and why?
When I set my mind to accomplish a task, I keep pushing until it is completed. It is a must when running for my team. We work together and have high expectations for ourselves and the guys around us. In all parts of life some people seem to be born with more natural talent than others. On Davis, if you have more natural talent, you can’t live off of that. You take what you have and push to get even better.
Lucky/ blessed
I was born in Utah in 1994 and lived here tell I was 4. At that point I moved to Washington where I spent my life playing soccer and hanging with friends. At the end of 7th grade, my dad got a new job in Salt Lake City so we moved back to Utah. It was hard at the time to leave my friends, school, and team, but it was the best possible thing that could of happened to me. When I got to Kaysville, I chose Davis because I wanted to play lacrosse and there was a new team starting up. I played lacrosse for 2 years before being convinced to run XC. I did summer training before my sophomore year and immediately fell in love with running and with the guys on the team. I ran XC and Track my sophomore year and
then never looked back. I am just blessed that I chose Davis as the High School for me even though my choice originally had nothing to do with running.
I am very enthusiastic and eager about every race and workout that is coming up. I can hardly ever wait for the next time I get to race. I try to keep it in but often find myself talking about the competition to see where the team and I stand.

2. What does Passion mean to you, how does it apply to running and perhaps succeeding in life?
Passion is one of the necessary elements to succeeding in anything in life. To be passionate, you must love what you are doing. You should be willing to sacrifice for it too. I think it is something that makes you want to be your best no matter the cost. I get emotionally attached to my running and the times that I have been kept from running because of injury or other things have been the hardest of my life. My passion for running came with each sweaty mile the summer before my sophomore year. When I made the choice that I wanted to give my time to running, I also decided that I was going to become the best runner I could possibly be.

3. How do you want to be remembered as a runner? An all-time great, a record breaker, or one of many?
My goals for me as a runner keep growing with every time I step onto the track. In high school, I want to be as close to the top of our all-time list as I possibly can. I want to keep improving to the point of my peak level of success. I hope that the guys on my team now remember me as a good teammate that worked so hard to get to the level I end up at. I continue to see improvement with each workout and race and keep setting my goals higher and higher. Since starting running, I’ve always wanted to get good enough that I could run in college. I wasn’t confident that this would be an option until I raced in some big meets out of state this year like Bob Firman in Boise Idaho and Nike Southwest in Arizona.

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?
I would give him the advice to commit to never skip a day because of laziness and to be patient as he works to become the best he can be. I have found that improvement comes with time and commitment. Summer training gives you the base and strength in training to be able to do the hard workouts throughout the cross, indoor, and outdoor seasons.

5. Rockstar Runner...what does that phrase mean to you?
I think a Rockstar is someone that you look up to as a popular figure. You usually like their style or their talent. They make you get excited. I could use the phrase Rockstar Runner to describe quite a few other guys on my team.

The first is Brad Nye. Since I first ran with him my sophomore year, we knew he was good. He had an ability to get the guys around him to push harder than they ever thought they could. He is so fun to watch race because he has his style and it is a result of his work ethic. Everyone on the team looks up to him because he is a friend to everyone on the team. His ability to know when is the right time for fun vs. being serious is impressive. He is one of the crazies guys I know at time and can have an insanely good time but when he knows it is time to focus, he can also set his mind to that to.

Next is Preston Johnson. Preston has more of a love for running than anyone I have ever met. He is always running. The 900+ miles he put in last summer is just a small glimpse into how much he loves it. Whenever he has a moment of free time, Preston laces up his shoes and starts running. We all strive to be Preston in our running. We want to push ourselves so hard that we know we can’t go any further. There was one day during XC that Preston had an off race that he was especially disappointed with. That evening he spent, if I’m not mistaken, 2 hours running 400’s to try to get over his disappointment. We know we can always count on him as a runner and as a great teammate.

My Coach, Corbin Talley, is a Rockstar Runner in every one of his athlete’s eyes. His ability to build a team that is so tight and push them to being a top team in the country is very amazing. He proved to us his Rockstar status when he finished the Wasatch 100 miler last year. It is brutal as it has 26.882 feet of elevation gain and 26,131 feet of elevation loss. He pushed through more main then he could ever ask any of us to push through. He leads through example and we are so lucky to have him as a coach.

Dan Wybrow is the last guy on my team I’m going to mention even though guys like Braden Cromar, Alex Hedquist, Andrew Aposhian, Skylar Williams, Hayden Hansen, Jackson Sagers, and more deserve the recognition also. Dan is not the fastest guy on our team but he is one of the rocks that we build our team around. He has worked so hard since he started running and has improved so much every day, every month, and every season. His determination and drive to improve pushes everyone on our team to get better and better. He is proof to everyone on our team that with work, improvement will come. He is such a great guy to be around because of his love for the sport. That passion is why I would put him as a Rockstar Runner.

6. What does team mean to you and why?
Coach Talley sends out weekly emails and “TEAM” is always capitalized to emphasize its’ importance. We have all probably heard the acronym Together Everyone Achieves More but it is so true. When the slowest guys on the team improve, it automatically sends a ripple to the top, and the TEAM as a whole gets better. It is amazing to see how almost anyone who steps foot into Davis can feel each TEAM’s unity and drive to be their best.

7. What other sports have you played besides cross country and track and field?
I started playing soccer and baseball at 4 in a little rec learners league in Washington. I stuck with both of them tell I was 9 when I quit baseball because I felt like I was just sitting there too much. Soccer was then my only passion. I continued to play soccer through Middle School when I played on my Middle School soccer team. I thought about doing XC that year but stuck with soccer. When I move to Utah at the end of 7th, I played lacrosse in 8th and 9th grade before I was converted to running!

8. How did you get your start in running?
I never really felt tired when running in soccer or lacrosse and I always loved when I was told to go run a lap or a mile for gym or for conditioning. I ran my school fun run (2 mile) in 4-6 th grade and my Knight Trek 5k in 8th and 9th. I always enjoyed them but I never thought of running competitively tell I was convinced to run starting the summer before my sophomore year.

9. What were some of your highlights from your high school career so far?
Bob Firman Invitational in Boise, Idaho
Sophomore 5k pr 17:21 top 10 in small school varsity. My Davis C team was first in that race.
Junior 5k pr (not road) 17:03 I fell pretty hard 300 meters into the race and spent the entire race attempting to pass groups. Our team took 1st in the Elite Varsity Race.
Senior 16:39 The course was supposedly 15 seconds slower because of sand they added so It was a decent improvement. I moved up on my team from our 6th guy to 4th and never looked back.
BYU Autumn Classic XC invitational
Junior Year 17:29 1st place J.V. My j.v. team also swept the podium taking 1 st through 6th!
Senior year 16:47 1st place J.V. We had about 10 guys looking for spots on varsity so we took the first 2 invites of the year and split who would be running varsity and who would be running J.V. The best part about this race was there was another schools top runner in it and he thought he had the race in the bag from the gun. He ended up taking third to me and my teammate Andrew Aposhian. Our team ended up taking 5 of the top 7 and 7 of the top 10 spots.
Utah State XC meet 2011 (senior year)
I was finally healthy come state my senior year. I got into the race and was able to finish 10 th with a 15:57 on the very challenging and hilly 3 mile course. In the race I made all-state, a goal I set at the start of my senior year! I was 4 th on my team and Skylar Williams, a sophomore on my team, was 11 th as our 5th man. The Crazy thing about that race is we took second, 24-33, as American Fork put their 5 in the top 12.They beat us almost exactly man to man to just edge us in points.
Nike Cross Regionals in Arizona (Senior Year)
I ran my sophomore and junior years but the course was different sophomore year and I was injured my junior year. My senior year I went and set a 42 second pr running a 15:57 5k. My team qualified for Nationals taking second to American Fork Again.
Nike Cross Nationals (Senior Year)
16:13 on the somewhat muddy Portland Meadows course. I took 69 th overall in the race but closed the gap that had been built all year between me and Preston, the 3rd place guy on my team. By closing this gap in the last mile, I passed about 25 people and we ended up getting a 3rd place team finish on the podium!
Arcadia Track and Field Invitational (Senior Year)
Because we have to travel all the way to arcadia, we have to have ran pretty fast times to get the opportunity to go. My altitude time in the 3200 got me into the open 3200 in the middle of the afternoon. The temperature was hovering about 90 degrees during my race. I ran a smart and consistent race pushing through almost every lap in 70s. I took over the lead with 2 laps to go and started gapping the field only to be just edged at the line. I ended up taking 2 nd with a 9:24.

10. What is your favorite racing moment thus far?
I have to give mention 3 experiences for this. My Most enjoyable race was probably J.V. boys Autumn Classic my senior year. I knew going into the race that I should be in the Varsity race so I wanted to make sure I won to prove that to me. While on the starting line, I learned that the guy from East High lined up next to me was their top Varsity runner. After the gun, I let him take the lead which he did so in a very excited manner. I sat right behind him trying to decide when I would make my move. Just after 2nd mile I took the lead and won like I had wanted to. I like the feeling of total control that I had never experienced before in a race against a pretty decent Varsity runner.
My other experiences have come because of the caliber of races they were in. NXN in Portland was so exciting because every second equaled like 10 people + or -. When I surged I would pass 20 people. If I faded for even a few seconds, I would get passed by 20 people. The change in positioning was challenging but kept me in the moment every second.
My last experience came in Arcadia. The Arcadia Track and Field Invitation is one of the coolest meets I have ever attended, let alone participated in. Getting to race the 3200 there was so much fun as I set a 21 second pr and was able to enjoy the competition while coming within steps of winning.

11. Tell us a little about your coach Corbin Talley and how he has helped you develop during your years in
high school.
Talley is one of the greatest guys I have ever met in my life. I can’t even begin to describe what he has done for me and the other guys on my team throughout my running career thus far. He teaches English too, but is constantly thinking about us runners. He never seems to let himself have a break from things like what workouts we need to be doing or who will be the best runners in the next race. He cares for each of us as people and as his runners. He is always stressing about the health or injury of one of his almost 200 athletes. Talley gives us so much of his time. I don’t know how he does it. His knowledge of every part of running and even the other events in track and field lets him help, not only the distance runners, but the throwers, jumpers, and sprinters too.

12. Favorite distance in track?
Favorite run?
Mueler Park in Bountiful or Ogden/ Weber State trails
Favorite invitational?
Davis Invite, Arcadia Invitational
Favorite opponent(s)?
I don’t really have a favorite opponent.
Favorite XC and Track workouts?
20x400 and 2x2mile in XC or 8x 400 and 5x1000 during Track.

13. Tell us a little about this amazing chemistry you have with your Davis team, how was it developed,
molded, who are the you train year round together?
The Chemistry on our team currently has been built up from a group of, now juniors, who are still “The Freshman.” They ran track in Junior High together and started running for Davis as a group of friend. This group included the likes of Preston, Brayden, Hayden, Alex, Jackson, and a few others on the team. The preformed unity and desire to get better was brought up and we all embraced it. We train together year round to keep us in shape as well as keep the teamwork as strong as it can possibly be. Brad and I are the seniors and Captains on the distance team but every runner, especially the top 10 or so guys, is listened to and has a leadership role on the team. We all try work together to lead the team and to keep us all motivated and excited.

14. What races are you most looking forward to as you look ahead to the rest of your track and field season?
I can’t wait for the Davis Invite next weekend, BYU Invite the week after, Region Championships the next week, and the State Championship the week after that. I might head to some meets in June like Great Southwest or New Balance Outdoor Nationals but I will make that decision a little closure to that time.

15. Favorite running movie, running song, and favorite runner?
Favorite Running Movie
Without Limits
Favorite Running Song
Uprising by Muse
Favorite Runner
Chris Solinsky

1 comment:

John said...

Albert - While it's nice reading about the sport outside of NorCal, it also makes me appreciate your interviews even more.

Maybe it's just me but I really don't like XCNation's interview style and questions. Anyway keep up the great work.

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