College: College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
High School: Dana Hills High School
Favorite Event: Whatever involves a travel meet
Other Activities Outside MSURC: PCMA (a management and event planning club), and Spartans Rebuilding Michigan ( community service club)
Surprisingly, Britt is actually the only redhead in her family! She also used to be a competitive swimmer but has since transferred to running. However, if you are also into swimming, she would still be down to swim some laps with you. Britt also has a love for fashion and a big interest in college sports, and thus hopes to work with collegiate teams in the future.
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Hometown: Muskegon, MI
High School: Muskegon Catholic Central High School
Favorite Event: Mile, but is more of a social runner
Other Activities Outside of MSURC: IM Soccer Ref, Engineering Student Council
Dean is a transfer student from Muskegon Community College after receiving his Associates Degree, and so this is his first semester on campus. Dean is from a small high school that didn't even have a cross country team. However, there was a track team that he was a part of. One of his fondest memories from track was finishing last in the 800m and 1600m his senior year. Thus, he would rather label himself as more of a cyclist, having logged over 2,800 mile the past two summers! Dean now mostly uses running as a stress relief (yeah engineering!) and to meet new people.
Dean likes his name. If you can't remember it, just think of Jimmy Dean or Dean's ice cream or something like that. Or maybe just remember food. Dean loves food. You love food. You love Dean.
Major: History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science (Minor in Spanish)
College: Lyman Briggs
Hometown: St. Joseph, MI
High School: St. Joseph High School
Favorite Event: Cross country, mile/1500m
Other Activities Outside of MSURC: Recently joined the Red Cross Club
Natalie loves to eat. She definitely would not describe herself as a food critic, food snob, or any of those things, but she does love to try different foods as much as possible. And as an aid to her enjoyment of trying different foods, Natalie also likes to travel. So while abroad, she will make a point to get the real “taste” of the culture of the area that she is in.
Natalie is also the VP of Administration for this club. In fact, she was actually the person who started this Featured Member thing last year when she served as Webmaster!
College: Arts and Letters
Hometown: St. Johns, MI
High School: St. Johns High School
Favorite Event: Cross Country stuff
Other Activities Outside of MSURC: Not much yet; still looking around
Nick is a transfer student so although he is a sophomore, this is still his first year at State. Although he thinks they're kinda cliche, Nick is really into music, cartoons, and movies. Those things make him happy, along with puppies and running. Nick was also a swimmer in high school, so if any of you are looking for a guy to swim laps with (like in the winter), be sure to let him know!
Major: Voice Performance
College: College of Music
Hometown: Petoskey, MI
High School: Petoskey High School
Favorite Event: More of a social runner!
Other Activities Outside of MSURC: MSU Dodgeball Club, MSU College Democrats, ILS Student Assistant in MSU Libraries, MSU Opera Theater
Quentin grew up on a dairy farm with 200 cows. He can also drive just about any type of car and tractor. Quenin loves to party, but don't try to challenge him to a dance off because he will beat you. In addition to being an involved member of his high school cross country and track teams (he was captain of both), he also played hockey for 12 years. But as if that wasn't enough, he also loves musical theatre and knows every word of every part of West Side Story. Thus, with how busy he is, it makes sense that he has a love for food. And don't worry, food loves him too.
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: College of Engineering
Major: Computer Science
Adam’s favorite season of running is cross country, and he enjoys partying after track meets. During the recent elections, Adam was voted to be the 2016-17 Social Coordinator. This spring, Adam helped organize a Running Club team for the MSU Relay for Life, which had a successful turnout. Check out the email interview with Adam below:
Running Club: “What is your favorite memory from Running Club?”
Adam Blaida: “My favorite memory from Running Club was definitely Nationals my freshman year. Hosting it in East Lansing, along with the absolutely insane number of people at KARL afterwards from all over the country, certainly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
RC: “Why did you initially join?”
AB: “I joined Running Club because in high school all of my friends came from running, and I craved that social running atmosphere. As many people in the club know, I’m not a serious runner anymore. I never have enjoyed competing in running nearly as much as I do going out for a long run with a great group of friends, and Running Club offered exactly what I was looking for: low commitment to races, greatly varied runs, and a social and welcoming atmosphere. It was everything I had hoped for!”
RC: “What are you looking forward to most about being an officer?”
AB: “I look forward to helping grow the club further. Though growing the club and introducing new members is something that falls on all members of the club, as Social Coordinator it is my job to help grow that sense of family between old and new members, and the better job I do that, the more new members that will stick around.”
RC: “Is there anything in particular you hope to do to make the club better as someone on the e-board?”
AB: “My biggest goal is to expand the social events in the winter months to encourage more people to come out. I know there are many people, myself admittedly included, that are deterred on some days when it is too cold to bike to practice. By expanding social events in both practice and out of practice, we can hopefully maintain a stronger community through the winter months.”
RC: “Why did you run for Social Coordinator?”
AB: “I wish I had some deep reasoning behind it, but I like hosting events and getting people to have fun. I think I can do both of those well so Social Coordinator was a good fit.”
RC: “What sorts of ideas do you have planned for the club?”
AB: “Certainly the biggest thing would be a winter ski trip. It was a blast with those who went last year and having it planned much earlier on would lead to more people going and a much better hill. Beyond that, I hope to get more Running Club IM teams started.”
RC: “What is it like living in one of the Running Club houses? Are you excited to keep the Gunson Burner for next year? How will it be different after Pat, Mike, and Jack move out?”
AB: “Living in the house was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made. We all get along really well, the house itself isn’t a burning garbage pile like KARL, and we have stories worth a lifetime. I don’t know who will step up to Pat’s place as house mom, or who will hit Rama quite like Mike, or even what it will feel like to actually have 5 roommates, assuming no one disappears for days at a time like Jack. I’ve loved having all these guys as roommates but I certainly can’t wait to have Capitol Hill at the Gunson Burner next year, with 4 out of the 5 roommates being officers.”
RC: “Tell me about Dunkin, the fish from Relay for Life.”
AB: “Dunkin really was the glue that kept us together for Relay for Life. Most teams left overnight, many of them with many more members than our group. The comradery around that little devil kept us laughing, including doing laps and literally saving his life multiple times. Once, while Eric Haymes was taking a selfie, a Frisbee hit our table and ran right over where Dunkin was not 10 seconds earlier. Beyond that, the amount he walked around the track with us was more than most of our members will do in a week. Certainly Dunkin was a staple member of our Relay team and his death took a toll on us all.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: College of Education
In addition to Running Club, Emily is involved in Ski Club and the Outdoors Club and works at the campus cafeteria. Her interests besides the clubs involve the outdoors, like hammocking, hiking and going on adventures. She also likes “Tree hugging, Madi and Tori, stalking Squanda, kissing running club boys (Wisconsin), and long walks on the beach.” With conflicting schedules, we had a chance to interview Emily over email:
“I joined running club because I saw Madi and Tori running one day, and I really wanted to be like them. My favorite aspect of the club is the social aspect. As soon as I found out this club loved running and loved drinking about as much as running, I knew the people in this club were my people.My least favorite part is the actual running. I'm just a social runner :). I ran track and cross country throughout high school. I'm not quite sure on my favorite events... Totally depends on the shape I'm in. However since I'm slower than I was in high school, I'm starting to like longer distances. Hoping to train for a marathon in the summer! Favorite memory? Oh gosh... Nirca Nats is always a fun memory! Long live #nircasluts,” Emily wrote.
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 1
College: James Madison College
Major: Social Relations and Policy
Alex is very involved on campus. In addition to being a member on the Running Club, Alex is Treasurer for Delta Phi Epsilon Foreign Service Fraternity, Director of Party Relations for MSU College Democrats, and works at the Horticulture Gardens on campus. He also works at ASMSU as Governmental Affairs Community Liaison and sits on the Student Allocations Board. However, Alex said that his ideal life would be to “spend every day of his life at a beach playing volleyball, drinking beer, reading some Hemingway and getting a good burn.” Aside from that, Alex said he has season tickets to Spartan football and hockey. As far as sports go, Alex said he is best at sleeping, then golfing, and finally, running.
Running Club: “So you’re pretty involved with ASMSU, right?”
Alex Noffsinger: “Yeah.”
RC: “What is your position with them?”
AN: “Well, I work as their Governmental Affairs Community Liaison, so I work fourteen hours a week there working for the City of East Lansing. I represent the students of MSU on a couple of commissions.”
RC: “So do you have to go into Lansing then to work with them?”
AN: “No, I usually just work from the Student Services offices. We have ours on the third floor, so I’ll just go there after class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays and luckily I just get to work from there. So it’s a pretty nice set up.”
RC: “What do you have to do?”
AN: “I usually do a lot of research work, like on policies that they are trying to pass. I look through a lot of ordinances and some of them we end up supporting and some of them we end up opposing. So it’s kind of up to me to track them, or if something comes up that doesn’t look good I’ll tell my supervisor like “Hey we should do some more research on this” or “We should make a meeting with the mayor to talk about this.”
RC: “What’s an example?”
AN: “There’s this housing policy right now called the Non-Conforming Ordinance where it restricts the ability of landlords to make structural updates and changes to rental properties. If they do, it revokes the rental license of the property turning it back into single-family homes, so traditional--not college students. So it’s a way of the city getting rid of student housing close to campus.”
RC: “So do you oppose that one?”
AN: “Yeah, definitely. I think a lot of students would rather live in houses. Obviously in Running Club we have House KARL and the Gunson Burner, and they are old houses with some character in them. But these are a couple of houses where updates could be made to them and the city is trying to ban it. So it puts landlords in a tough position because people are going to live in them no matter what, and they aren’t bad but they could be better. So it’s just not a good situation. And the city is not going to budge on it, so it’s just kind of a battle.”
RC: “Would you opposing it and your supervisor looking more into it do anything. Or is it more of that this is what is going to come, so expect it?”
AN: “It kind of does, realistically. He got into the planning commission for the city and then I got onto a committee, a little task-force that was formed through the city. So I would say in that aspect it has been kind of affective because we have had student representation at the city-level. So it’s pretty official in that aspect and we have been been able to go to the meetings and speak out for the students. And so I think we have some influence at the committee level, but eventually everything goes to the city council.”
RC: “And they just vote.”
AN: “Yeah, so there’s pretty much a 3/2 dividing at the students right now when it comes to student policy. So realistically, there’s probably not too much that we can do, but it makes students look better that we are aware of what is going on.”
RC: “How did you get involved with ASMSU?”
AN: “I actually just got hired as a marketing intern last year as a freshman in fall semester. So all throughout my freshman year, I did like five hours a week helping with a lot of their projects and events and initiatives and I just focused on flyering and social media stuff. It was pretty easy and it wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but it was a way to get into the door and then going into my sophomore year this year, I applied for this job, and I was able to get it.”
RC: “That’s perfect. Do you get paid too?”
AN: “Yep, it’s a nice gig.”
RC: “Do you want to go into that sort of stuff? I mean, you’re in James Madison. What’s your major?”
AN: “I study Social Relations and Policy, so it kind of relates to what I do because even right now we are looking at the social aspect of housing policy and you wouldn’t expect to be able to ever really use that major but you kind of do. East Lansing has a non-discriminatory clause against students. Well they include like ‘student-level’ or ‘student-status’ right up there with religion and race. So it’s pretty significant when you’re looking at it that way. As far as city politics go, I think it’s a good place to start, but I don’t think I would want to spend my life there.”
RC: “Would you want to go to law school? Is that your plan?”
AN: “Yeah, I kind of do. This semester I am rushing a pre-law fraternity, so I’ve been really busy with that. Like, this past weekend we went down to Northwestern Law School and Loyola of Chicago, so it’s something on the table. Obviously it’s extremely expensive and it’s kind of a gamble as far as if it’s worth it nowadays because that market is kind of saturated, But I guess right now I’m just learning more about it. I wouldn’t rule it out of the table or the option of ideas but it’s always a good option if you’re passionate about it. And I’m pretty passionate about policy and law and the intricacies of it, so I’m definitely open to it.”
RC: “How do you balance everything? You’re involved with ASMSU and now you’re rushing this pre-law fraternity. Are you involved with anything else, other than Running Club?”
AN: “I’m on the e-board of the College Democrats as well. But I think next year I will probably be taking a smaller role with them. I’ll probably be on the e-board still but I don’t really do that much right now.”
RC: “What’s your position?”
AN: “I am the Director of Party Relations. So I do a lot of outreach work with a lot of the democratic clubs around us, like the Ingham County Dems and the Meridian Township Dems. So with them I don’t have to do much; I just go to meetings once a week. But I think if I can take a bigger role on next year with ASMSU, I think I would probably just keep it to the fraternity, Running Club, and ASMSU. And that’s why I like Running Club because you can pencil in 5:00 PM I can go run for an hour and you can treat it like an obligation, even though you’re just running--you know what I mean. I think a lot of us are like that. I don’t know, I enjoy it a lot because I get to go out there and I wish I hadn’t been hurt this semester because it kind of sucks.”
RC: “What injury have you been dealing with?”
AN: “I actually have stress fractures in both of my legs. The pain started back in October and I ignored it of course and I remember running Regionals at Indiana. I initially wasn’t going to go down because I was already hurting a lot and I decided to go and planned to watch with the idea of maybe running. Of course I ran because I got there and popped a bunch of pills and put on a bunch of icy-hot like it was suntan lotion and nothing was helping. So I ran then and then I remember being in so much pain, and then I ran a 5k--the turkey trot--and I was miserable. It was the worst pain of my life. After that, I was like ‘I have to get this checked out,’ so I went in to get an x-ray and they sent me to Sparrow Hospital and I went there over winter break and I got x-rays done. I didn’t expect anything to be wrong because I thought that they were just following up. So I was getting ready to get back out there and I had a follow-up appointment with the physical therapist and he just sat down and told me I had stress fractures in both of my shins and said that I couldn’t run until late March. At first I was like, well it can’t be that bad, but then he scared me because he said that I only have one shot to really fix this because if I ran on it and messed it up some more, I would be dealing with some issues for a while. He jokingly told me that I should start working on my triathlon career so I was just going to bike and swim a lot. But then I got really busy with other things and then it was winter. I also tried swimming in the lap pool at IM Circle and it’s difficult. I never thought that it would be that difficult. I got kind of turned off the day I almost drowned.”
RC: “That sounds like a story. What happened there?”
AN: “I didn’t literally almost drown, but I was down 50 yards and I was 25 yards back and I was like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t do this.’”
RC: “Was this the first lap?”
AN: “No it was like the fifth lap, but I swam out and I did that and it was just not good. But I went over to Holden with Jenna Chapman and they have the free cardio gym in the basement, so whenever we both had the time, I would go over and workout down there. I’ve been pretty lazy. I did go for my first run Saturday night, actually.”
RC: “How was it?”
AN: “It felt pretty good.”
RC: “As far as not being in shape and everything else.”
AN: “Yeah, not being in shape, not stretching, being really cold. I think I ran three miles. I started out at Campus Village. It was like 3:00AM and we had just gotten back from Chicago my friend was like ‘Chuck, do you want to go for a run?’ I told her that I hadn’t run since November but she said that she didn’t care and that she just wanted someone to go run with so she didn’t go running alone at 3:00AM. So we went running at 3:00 and we ran down all the way to the end of River Trail by Hagadorn and then all the way back. So it was probably too far for the first time out, but it felt really good.”RC: “And you haven’t run since?”
AN: “Yeah, I haven’t run since Saturday.”
RC: “But did you feel pain? Did your shins hurt?”AN: “No, I didn’t feel pain. A little sore, but I think just because I hadn’t run in that long and I had been up for about 24 hours straight. It wasn’t the best. But I felt kind of good because before I was heel-striking pretty badly and so I’ve been reading a couple of books and Jenna said she would teach me how to run so I got some new shoes and start from scratch. Before I was really slow, and it was just a wasted time and effort with my running form, and it was hurting me too. It was kind of a nice restart, so I’m just trying to take it slow.”
RC: “When you’re not injured, do you prefer track or cross country?”
AN: “I actually never did either one before I got here. I started running senior year of high school just for fun and then I ran a lot my freshman year, and then this year Jenna told me to check out the club, and that’s when I joined. But I’m pretty slow. That’s fine, I don’t care. So I think I’d enjoy cross a lot more. And I just enjoy running around versus the speed aspect of it as far as being on the track.”
RC: “Do you think that there’s more stigma behind track as compared to cross country?”
AN: “I think there probably is. For someone who’s never done it before, when you look at track runners compared to cross runners, and the idea too that everyone can see you when you’re running track. Like, with MC5 you were back in the woods and no one cares. And I know that no one actually cares or is judging, but you are judging yourself and I don’t know you can be a little self-conscious that way. I don’t know, my goal is just to be a healthy runner. I’d rather run slow and be able to run every day than be fast and not be able to run that much.”
RC: “Do you think the Running Club was welcoming enough for you as a beginner runner, or was it intimidating at all? There are a lot of competitive people.”
AN: “It was a little intimidating at first. I remember my first day I felt so embarrassed because I definitely ran too hard for myself. And I remember I would walk back and think that it was terrible but I worked my way into it and I think it helped that I started to make friends on the team. I obviously knew Jenna, but then my friend Austin from high school joined and his roommate, Zach. I started making friends with Melanie and Jackie and as I started getting some friends, I think that helped. And then as far as guys who would run my speed, like Charlie and Nick when I was going out for long runs with them, it helped to run with them. So I think at first it was a little intimidating because I didn’t know who to run with and you don’t want to be the slowest guy ever, But as you start running with a couple of guys it gets better and works out that way.”
RC: “What’s your favorite thing about running club? Having other people to run with?”
AN: “Yeah, I would say that having to run my whole life by myself, it is a lot of fun getting to run with a group of people. And I like the structure and the challenge of it as well, especially in the fall. You’re trying to get better and you have the routes planned out for you so you try to plan out that you want to be able to run eight or ten by this week or something like that. So that was really cool.”
Home State: Illinois
Year on club:1
College: College of Arts and Letters
Major: Graphic Design/Photography
Rafael is part of Ski-Club in addition to Running Club, and enjoys playing the drums, traveling, and mountain climbing. Though he was originally supposed to be a walk-on for the MSU Track team, Rafael ended up spending his first couple of years exploring other options on campus before joining the Running Club. Through busy schedules, we were able to interview Rafael through email communication. Check out the email interview below:
Running Club: “You mentioned that this is your first year on the club. How did you find out about us, and why did you join?”
Rafael Avcioglu: “I found out about Runners Club via mass email sent to students. I ran track & field from 6th grade until I graduated high school. I was originally supposed to be on the Michigan State Team as a walk on but I never showed up to practice because I was simply fed up with the sport and wanted to explore other things. After two years of partying and feeling lost, I realized something. I was missing the thing I needed to keep my life balanced. That thing was running.”
RC: “What are your favorite and least favorite things about the club?”
RA: “My favorite thing about the club is the competitive nature and the strategies that are implemented to succeed. We compete against other schools and even travel to different states which is really cool. I feel as though I am part of a D1 team without the unwanted pressures of having to win or be the best. The people are awesome, friendly, and pro-active. The events are especially fun.
The thing I dislike most is the separation between sexes. I know that people who have been on the team for a while will mingle but other than that, I feel that there are social tensions that lie beneath the surface. Sometimes the only way to really get to know the girls on the team is to go to the social events. I understand the separation in running speeds makes it hard to run and talk but overall, one of the things I enjoy is having mixed genders in the practices like I did growing up in middle school but I wish we would all hang out more.”
RC: “Do you have a favorite memory from the club?”
RA: “I really enjoyed going to the corn maze in the fall, getting lost and meeting some friends.”
RC: “What is your running experience like? Did you run throughout high school for the cross country and track teams?”
RA: “To reiterate what I said in the first question. I ran cross county 6th-10th grade and switched to soccer. Track and Field was 6th-12th. Freshmen and Sophomore year of college was spent doing local races around Michigan and Chicago, but I was never consistent.”
RC: “Do you prefer the track season to cross country? You noted that your favorite events are the 3200m relay and the 1600m relay. Would you say that you are more of a mid-distance guy? Do you like the open events as well? If not as much as the relays, why do you prefer racing the relays?”
RA: “I said that the 3200m relay and 1600m relay were my favorite events because those were the ones I was best at in high-school. I would love to be a sprinter but no matter how hard I tried, I just wasn't fast enough to make it to state finals. I used to really like track but this year, with commitment and all, I have shown myself that I enjoy long runs and cross-country season overall. I feel that next year I will try to me much more devoted to the team and try shorter distance during track season, not feeling the pressure to do what I am best at but having the freedom to choose whatever I want. I prefer racing relays because track and field can be a very lonely, “one man team” sport. In a relay you feel like you are part of a 4 man team and the pressure is not as high. If you succeed and win you can share the success among the 4 of you instead of just one. I suppose my body structure is more mid-distance and that is what I am used to running.”
RC: “Are you double majoring in Graphic Design/Photography or is there a photography focus within the graphic design major? What do you plan on doing after college?”
RA: “I am a single major in graphic design with a photography specialization which means I take all the classes necessary to be equipped in both fields but only have a degree in one. I plan to go wherever the photography world takes me. Hopefully working for some big name artists, traveling and doing what I love most which is photography. If I am not immediately successful in this, I will go where I please and do free lance. The possibilities are endless. It is crucial that I work as hard as I can possibly work now in order to be competitive in an industry which has never had more photographers in the history of photographer. This is why, unfortunately, I am not as committed to the team this semester as I was the last.”
RC: “Do you have a photography website you want me to share with the club so they can check out some of your work? (if you have any?)”
RA: “I do. The website is: www.into-the-void.net/index-flatiron/
It is terribly not up to date. For more of my daily work and thoughts my Instagram is @rafikisuave
I plan to fully update the website this summer.”
RC: “Do you have any other comments about running club, running in general, or anything about yourself?”
RA: “I have truly enjoyed the experience and like I said I hope to be much more involved next year. Wish I knew about the club when I was a Freshman in college but I am glad I got to join now before I graduate next year.”
Home state: Ohio
Year on club: 3
College: College of Engineering
Major: Applied Engineering Sciences
Paul's favorite events are the mile and the 3k. In addition to the club, Paul does research and enjoys playing basketball. He has been on the officer board for the past year as Club Treasurer. Check out the interview below:
Running Club: “Why did you decide to be an officer to begin with?”
Paul Salach: “Well, Running Club has done a lot for me and I think it’s a great student body organization. And just coming in as a freshman, it gave me something else to do. I met a lot of really great people, so I just wanted to give back. I decided to run for treasurer because I thought I could do a good job.”
RC: “Are you happy that you waited two years before joining the officer board, or given the opportunity would you have joined earlier to try another position?”
PS: “I’ve enjoyed my time on the board as treasurer a lot. It’s been a good way to put myself out there and I’ve been able to get to meet a lot of newcomers that I normally wouldn’t have been able to meet by being treasurer and requesting money. In terms of running earlier…between my freshman and sophomore year there wasn’t a lot of turnover of officers so it would have been more difficult to get elected. I also think that it was good to get two years as a member to be able to see what I wanted to improve as an officer. I liked being able to get more of a feel of the club before I got a more powerful position.”
RC: “You’ve been working to change some of the financial amendments in the constitution. Do you think it will change things as far as when people pay?”
PS: “I mean, I hope so. As of right now, it’s kind of hard because I don’t want to be a jerk and there are only so many Facebook messages you can send to people, and for the most part people are pretty good about getting their money in on time. But there are always one or two individuals that have a harder time getting it in, whether it’s because the university is not paying them or whatever. But yeah, hopefully the new amendments will help things go a little more smoothly.”
RC: “How did you find out about Running Club?”
PS: “I had the opportunity to spend the night with another student in February and he kind of told me about NIRCA and so I was aware that there was a club program. I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but I knew I would have the opportunity to compete and do races. It was a good place to meet people too.”
RC: “So you like the competitive side of the club?”
PS: “Yeah I do. Coming out of high school I didn’t know if I wanted to run for a tiny D3 school or go to a big school for the big-college experience. I definitely enjoy the fact that I can still train and get faster; I’ve PR’d in most events that I’ve run since high school. I just find that really rewarding and hard work pays off.”
RC: “And then, you’ve seen four different presidents. Are there things that you would keep from each president? Or, what do you hope to bring in when if you’re elected?”
PS: “I think each president had their own strengths. Colin my freshman year was a really good coach and he kind of ran the team as a coach. He would take splits at all of the workouts and make sure that everyone was hitting their times. And it was kind of cool to have a senior take that role. Ben was a great leader my sophomore year. He is incredibly friendly and open and very approachable. Megan is very organized and did a lot for the club. She got us regionals my freshman year and she cared a lot. And then Adam has been a really good role model by coming to practice and getting through workouts and he’s just been really great to talk to and answers questions. So I will probably try to take aspects from each of them and do the best job I can.”
RC: “Would you say that you are more of a competitive runner than a social runner?”
PS: “Yeah, I mean, I definitely joined Running Club to get faster and to keep competing and then obviously I really enjoyed the people on the club which is why I have kept coming back. I think if I were getting faster but I didn’t like the people as much I don’t think that I would come back as much. So although I take it seriously, I definitely enjoy the social aspect.”
RC: “Do you think [taking splits at the workouts] would deter social runners from coming to workouts if they knew their times were being monitored so carefully? Or do you think it would be something to have just if you were curious to know?”
PS: “For me personally it was helpful to see how I was doing as the season progressed. I could see where that sort of structure might be intimidating to social runners. But a lot of times, the splits were self-recorded because Colin was running workouts with us. So there was just kind of a sheet that you could write your times down on if you wanted to. So it wasn’t really forced on you, it was just an option. But I could see where having that could be a little intimidating.”
RC: “But you also think it could be effective if you want to get better.”
RC: “What is your favorite part about running in general?”
PS: “I just like the endorphin kick of it. You could be having a really lousy day and not really feel like doing anything. But if I force myself to get out the door, I’m running with friends for 45 minutes and then I feel better by the end of it. If you have a problem that you can’t sort out on your run, then something’s pretty wrong. But most of the time, that’s not the case.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 4
College: College of Engineering
Major: Chemical Engineering
In addition to the club, Ben is an ENG 100 mentor and competes in various IM sports. This past winter, Ben played on the Magics Johnson basketball team [3-3], which defeated the other running club team. “Ball is life,” according to Ben. Ben’s other interests include the Marvel and James Bond movies and Kesha. He is also thinking about getting into home-brewing. His favorite events are the NIRCA Cross Country Nationals, track mile, and track 5k. Check out the interview below:
Running Club: “Why do you think you would be a good President?”
Ben Lambert: “I think I am the best candidate to be president because I am one of the most friendly people on the club--I know a lot of people--I have experience being an officer on the club being Travel Coordinator and President before, and I think I’m a really friendly person and I like to talk to all the members of the club. I’m pretty active too as well. I’ve come to almost all of the meets during my four years here. On top of that, I know a lot of the other clubs. For Nationals last cross country season I traveled down with George Mason and I think that kind of shows the kind of person I am and how friendly I am. And I’m willing to make those kinds of relationships with them.”
RC: “What would you say if someone was asking you about your time off from the club? Usually the President is supposed to last the entire year of their term on running club. So what would you say to people that might be discouraged by the fact that you dropped half way through your previous presidency?”
BL: “Yeah, I’ve thought about that. It’s tough because in one way you should put the club above and before everything else. And that is definitely true. And it’s tough because this opportunity is pretty rare..-”
RC: “Well, what was your opportunity?”
BL: “It was a co-op with an engineering company that lasted a whole year.”
RC: “In Virginia?”
BL: “Yeah, in Virginia. So I was far away. Way too far away to be president. And so I just thought that I have to think about my future too more than just with the club. But before I even accepted the position I actually asked the two vice presidents if it was okay and I made sure that one of them was okay being president, and that was all okay. I talked to the other officers too and they all seemed to think that was all okay.”
RC: “So how do you feel about coming back now? So you were gone for the semester--the two semesters, the entire year from last spring until now--is it weird coming back?”
BL: “Yeah, it’s definitely weird at first coming back because when you work you work 40 hours a week and you don’t have homework so you kind of come home and run and just chill out. And then on the weekends you don’t have homework or anything so that’s amazing. And then to come back here I have homework and exams and all of that. So it took me a few weeks to transition and to really get back into the swing of things. But then, you know, once I got back it was awesome. It’s always fun being on campus and hanging out with all of your friends.”
RC: “And then was it weird coming back during the spring semester to Running Club since you had been gone?”
BL: “Yeah a little bit. There was definitely at least half of the club that I had no idea who they were. I had never met them before. So it took a little bit to get used to everyone and to make new friends.”
RC: “But you’ve been out there introducing yourself and you’ve been pretty involved.”
BL: “Yeah, I’d say that now I know almost everyone in the club and I’m pretty good friends with a lot of the new people. Well, the new people to me.”
RC: “Is there anything that you could do differently on the club next year that you are thinking about bringing as a president?”
BL: “Let’s see. For cross country, I think I either want to go back to Illinois State like they did two years ago because that was a smaller meet that was kind of nice to kind of get our team out there and easier competition--good moral booster. Or we could go to an entirely different meet that we have never gone to before. I like to not only travel around but also go and see what other meets are like. And I think there are other people like that too. I kind of want to reevaluate the training plan. I think it’s good but it can always be better; it’s something that can always be worked on.”
RC: “This year, they worked a lot with the sprinters. They had three sprint chairs. Would you keep that?”
BL: “Yeah, I think it’s perfect. I think all of the presidents have been distance people, so having some spring experience for the training plan is great. That’s as much as you can ask for. I tried doing this before I left, at least before I left. I tried talking with a member who worked with the Michigan State team as an athletic trainer/assistant coach to help with our training plan, and that kind of dropped when I left. I’m still in contact with him, so I can still plan to try to get some info from him and my high school coach, and of course the other VPs. We all usually meet together and we all bring in our own experience and knowledge.”
RC: “What are some of your favorite things about running club?”
BL: “Oh, there’s so much. Let’s see. I think first and foremost would be meeting all of the new people who all have the same interest, being running obviously. And just going on runs--you know, easier runs more than hard runs--and talking with people and really getting to know them. And on top of that, social events, like movies and corn maze, parties: all of that. And in particular, overnight meets. I love those. And I do also really enjoy the competitive aspect. Competing, going to Nationals and all of that fun stuff.”
RC: “Did you race all four years in high school?”
BL: “I only raced two years, actually. Well, I ran track for four years but I did cross country for two years.”
RC: “So are you more of a track person?”
BL: “I used to be. I definitely used to be. I used to love mid-distance and the 800m, and then as I got older I guess and more like me, I grew to like cross country a lot more. And now I would say I’m a cross country guy.”
RC: “What’s the furthest you’ve run/raced?”
BL: “I have run 17 miles and raced a half marathon.”
RC: “Was there only one half marathon?”
BL: “No, I’ve done…”
BL: “Yeah, I’ve done over four, over five: I don’t really know how many.”
RC: “Okay, and then what is your least favorite aspect of running?”
BL: “I would say doing really tough workouts when you’re really really sore. Or maybe not the workouts themselves, but the next day when you’re really sore doing the recovery runs. And cooldowns. I really hate cool-downs.”
BL: “Because I’m really tired. And I’m too lazy. But I always know I have to do a cool-down.”
RC: “Do you always do a cool-down?”
BL: “Yes. Except usually after Nationals, when it doesn’t matter, I don’t do a cool-down.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 4
College: College of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Pat’s favorite events are the cross country 8k, high jump, and shot-put. He is one of three sprint coaches for this year’s club and is also the main contact for field-eventers. Additionally, Pat is the current Vice President of Operation and has been on the e-board for three years, holding also the positions of social coordinator and fundraising coordinator. Pat is also very active outside of the club as a member and Social Chair of MSU Men's Glee Club, is involved with Spartans Fighting Cancer, a DJ, and is in the Mechanical Engineering Co-Op at Dart Container Corp.
Running Club: “Which position has been your favorite?”
Pat Frahm: “That’s tough. I’d say probably Vice President of Operations. It’s a lot harder [than the other positions I have held] but I’m able to give a lot more back.”
RC: “Okay, and between the other two, which did you prefer?”
PF: “I’d say Social Coordinator just because the job was trying to have a fun time. If you are Social Coordinator and you are not having a fun time, that means that you’re doing it wrong.”
RC: “You raised a substantial amount of money when you were Fundraising Coordinator. How did you manage to do that?”
PF: “Through various restaurant fundraisers and also with ASMSU which is a big reason why the Fundraising Coordinator was put in place. But yeah, just through a bunch of various, different fundraisers with ASMSU just to top it all off.”
RC: “What will you miss most about running club after graduating?”
PF: “Probably the people. Actually, definitely the people. I can always volunteer at a track and I can always just go running, but Running Club is a great group of people. Especially--shout out to my roommates, running club house. It’s been an absolutely amazing time and it’s given me memories that I’ll look back on years from now.”
RC: “Why did you join Running Club?”
PF: “I actually told myself when I graduated high school ‘I’m not going to run in college; I’m going to do something else like dodgeball or volleyball.’ But then I looked into those and they were alright. And then I decided that I would show up to Running Club and I just fell in love with the people and their personalities and it became my family away from my family.”
RC: “And then If you had advice for future officers, what would it be?”
PF: “Probably keep working hard. It’s going to be a lot of hours that you have to put in some weeks, but keep on working hard at your position and know that people really don’t take it for granted and that people really appreciate what you do.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: Lyman Briggs College
Damon’s favorite events are the 800m run, 1600m, and the cross country 5k. In addition to the club, Damon is involved with Pre-Vet Club, Briggs Ambassadors, and St. John’s men’s group. His interests include ultimate frisbee, beach volleyball, dogs, and parties. Though Damon has not run competitively for a long time, he found his love for the sport of running during high school.
“When I was little, I was a very dedicated and hard-working soccer player. I continued playing up until junior year of high school when I was cut from the team. My coach said “maybe you should give cross country a try this year.” I was determined to last through just one season but eventually fell in love with the sport. I ran track my junior year as well and continued both until graduation. Even though I got into running later than most people, I have found a sport and a hobby that I enjoy doing every day of my life. I’ve met some great people and have made a name for myself throughout the years. My only regret is that I would have liked to find running much earlier.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: Broad College of Business
Wes is part of the MSU Evans Scholars and enjoys playing poker, video games, and studying military history in addition to running. Though he was not able to spend much of his first semester on the club due to the Evans Scholars requirements, Wes ran for the club during his second semester for track and raced the half marathon at the 2015 NIRCA Track Nationals. The half marathon, in addition to both the track and cross country 5k, is Wes’ favorite event. Check out our interview with Wes below:
Running club: “What’s your favorite part about running club?”
Wes Diener: “My favorite part about running club is the camaraderie, always coming out with other people to run with. It’s so enjoyable--especially after a long summer by yourself running every day. And then you come here with other people. It’s refreshing, and it’s easier to run faster.”
RC: “And you tend to race the higher mileage events. What are your favorite events?”
WD: “The half marathon and the 5k. The 5k on the track can be a lot of fun. A lot of people hate it because you have to go around in a circle a bunch of times, but I enjoy it for the competitive aspect.”
RC: “How do you stay sane during all of those laps--especially on the indoor?”
WD: “Just by hunting other people, just by drafting up onto people, knowing my lap splits: more-or-less just my competitive side makes it easy to stay in the race.”
RC: “Do you prefer the track 5k to the cross country 8k?”
WD: “Yes. I hate the 8k. It’s a longer race which I should enjoy, but just because of how fast you have to run it, it can be really difficult. It’s definitely the biggest change from high school: going from the 5k to the 8k”
RC: “Would you prefer the cross country 5k over the track 5k?”
WD: “I would actually prefer the cross country 5k because the lap thing can get a little annoying. The cross country 5k is probably my second favorite race to the half marathon. Depending on the next couple of weeks, if I’m healthy the half marathon at Nationals will be the second time racing there.”
RC: “Are you currently not healthy?”
WD: “I have been dealing the plantar fasciitis and it sucks. Don’t run with shoes for too long because if you do you can get plantar fasciitis. It’s a really nagging thing, and I think that I’m finally kind of over it. I got new shoes, I’ve been stretching and working on my own.”
RC: “Have you only run the one half marathon so far?”
WD: “I have run three: Indy last year for track nats, the Indianapolis half marathon--which you run around the Indy Motor Speedway, which was cool--and then the Detroit half marathon which was a phenomenal race.”
RC: “So will you race on the track if you end up not being well enough to race the half marathon again?”
WD: “I don’t know. I’m debating running the 5k on the track, and if I’m really not in shape, I’ll throw disc.”
RC: “Have you thrown disc before?”
WD: “Not competitively, but I’ve been practicing, so we’ll see how it goes.”
RC: “Okay, so did you run throughout high school?”
WD: “Yes I did. I ran cross country for four years and track for two years due to a coaching issue. I ran starting in middle school in eighth grade through now.”
RC: “When you were in high school did you also do the longer events?”
WD: “Yes. In track, I never did less than a mile except when I had to for a 4x8 and for cross country, obviously, I ran a 5k.”
RC: “You were voted as the Team Player for the cross country season this past year. How do you feel about that?”
WD: “I was very excited when I heard about it. I couldn’t go because I had other obligations during the banquet that night. It was an amazing honor for me, for my peers, for this club. This club has been phenomenal to me and for them to acknowledge me in that light was just an amazing personal experience.”
RC: “That’s great.”
RC: “What’s your favorite thing about running?”
WD: “Competing. I love competing. That’s the thing about running for me: it gives me an outlet to compete. This as running club gives me the opportunity to compete past high school.”
RC: “Is it hard to balance the requirements of the Evans House with running club?”
WD: “Not really. Not after the first semester; the first semester of the Evans Scholar is the worst and freshman year in general is pretty bad because it’s a semi-fraternity type deal. So you have to pledge in and it’s not the best thing in the world, but it’s cool because you get to learn about everybody in the house. After the first year, the requirements and the extra stuff kind of goes away. I started working this semester at the student athlete services as a tutor, tutoring student athletes, which is awesome. I love working with people who are great in something else, but aren’t so great in something like academics and being able to help them. That has been a really cool opportunity I have been doing this semester. Other than that, I’ve been focused on school and running.”
Home state: New York
Year on club: 2
Colleges: Honors College and College of Engineering
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Minor: Materials Science
In addition to the club, Jake is involved with South Church bible studies and the Outdoors Club. He enjoys hiking, camping, kayaking, fishing, and backpacking . When Jake is healthy and injury-free, his favorite events are the cross country 8k, and the track 3k and mile. However, Jake has had two huge injuries that have kept him from participating in track for both of his years on the club. In order to combat the frequent injuries, Jake has decided to increase the calcium in his diet. Check it out below:
Running Club: “Okay. Explain the milk story.”
Jake Wojnicki: “Okay. So I have broken a lot of bones--too many for my liking--so I thought ‘I do not have enough calcium’ so I decided to drink more milk so I have more calcium and less breaking. It hasn’t worked so far, but I am going to keep trying.”
RC: “How many glasses of milk do you drink a day?”
JW: “I drink seven.”
RC: “All at the same time?”
JW: “Not all at the same time. But that would be impressive.”
RC: “How do you split it up throughout the day?”
JW: “I have two for breakfast, two for lunch, and three for dinner.”
RC: “Do you like the taste of milk?”
JW: “Not particularly. I mean, it’s okay, but it’s not my favorite thing to drink.”
RC: “You just do it for the bones?”
JW: “Pretty much.”
RC: “You come to every meet and practice; does that ever get discouraging because you haven’t been able to run?”
JW: “Not really. I see it more as encouraging that people are training and then I see them run fast. So, I’m like ‘when I get back I am going to train hard and then I’ll run fast; and that will be good.’ So yeah, just trying to motivate myself to keep working even while I can’t run so when I get back I can be doing what people have been doing these past few months.”
RC: “Have you been doing any cross training?”
JW: “I have been swimming and biking.”
RC: “Do you do that every day before you come to practice?”
JW: “I try to swim every day. If I don’t swim because of pool hours, I will bike. But yeah, I shoot for trying to do it every day. Sometimes it doesn’t happen--that’s another story--but I try.”
RC: “When you’re healthy, what’s your favorite thing about running?”
JW: “Winning, to be honest. It hasn’t happened in a while, but I enjoy winning a lot, so that’s a plus. And just being in shape. It’s a big stress relief. It gets my mind off school so I really appreciate that. Pretty much all of the other times during the school year my mind is on academics, so it’s the one place I can find a reprieve.”
RC: “What races have you won in the past?”
JW: “Not many very lately, but in high school I would win races, just random races.”
RC: “For track or cross country, or both?”
JW: “Both. But that was because not everyone was as fast as they are here and I was faster.”
RC: “You were also healthier.”
JW: “That is true as well.”
RC: “Have you had a healthy season yet since being on running club?”
JW: “I have not. Last year I had a stress fracture in my tibia and this year I broke my ankle playing football. Not a good track record.”
RC: “When did you get your stress fracture?”
JW: “I got it during cross country freshman year. It just kept hurting, kept hurting. So I didn’t run at nationals because it hurt too much to train. Then, I went home over break and got that diagnosed and missed all of track. [And then I got injured] over winter break playing football this year.”
RC: “So you weren’t injured during cross country this year?”
JW: “I did do cross country. I was thinking full seasons as far as years here.”
RC: “But you were healthy during this past cross country season?”
JW: “Yes, that was fantastic.”
RC: “What was your favorite race?”
JW: “I liked MC5--as much as everyone hates it. Personally, I like the hills because people hate them more than me, so then I place better. And I like that.”
RC: “Would you consider yourself pretty competitive?”
JW: “Yes. I may not have competitive times, but I am a competitive person.”
RC: “What is your least favorite part about running?”
JW: “My least favorite part about running is being injured and getting injured.”
RC: “So then do you also not enjoy football?”
JW: “I do still enjoy football. I just don’t like the injury part there either.”
RC: “You tend to run longer races. So what’s the furthest you’ve ever run?”
JW: “The furthest I’ve ever run was I think thirteen miles on the treadmill...which was stupid. But that happened.”
RC: “Was this before or after your stress fracture?”
JW: “This was before. It could have contributed to it; I don’t know. But I prefer--when I’m doing my training runs--to do between five and eight. I like trail runs especially. For trails I would go longer because there is less pounding on my legs--which are apparently very weak.”
RC: “Do you usually run with the same group of people or do you prefer to run alone?”
JW: “I like to run with people. I think it helps push me because, like I said, I’m competitive. So I don’t want to be beat. So I keep pushing myself so I’m not beat even if they pick up the pace.”
RC: “So if you end up not winning a race, do you get super upset? Or, how is your mindset after you win or don’t win a race?”
JW: “As long as I do my best, I’m good with whatever happens. It’s only when I look back at the race and I’m like ‘wow, I could have really pushed it a lot more and I have a lot left right now.’ That’s when it bothers me. But if I give it my all, then that’s all I can do. So I’m happy with that, whatever the result is.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: Lyman Briggs College
Major: Genomics and Molecular Genetics
Jessica (JP) prefers running cross country to track and also enjoys running half marathons. Last year, JP raced the NIRCA Nationals Half Marathon with a time of 2:01:00. She plans to race the NIRCA Half again this upcoming spring. In addition to running club, Jessica is a Student Research Assistant under Dr. Shannon Manning. Jessica is well-known by the club for her love of cats, especially her cat Fezzie.
"My favorite thing about running club is meeting new people! I have met so many wonderful friends in this club and I feel that doing something that you love (running) with other people who love it, makes it a more enjoyable time. You have the best conversations and you make the best memories. My favorite memory from RC is running the 2015 NIRCA National half marathon because I've never felt so strong and ready for 13.1 miles of hard, consistent running. I even PR'd that race, too, as hilly as it was. However, my best social memory from running club were all of the times I am nominated for something cat related, you all know me so well!"
Home State: New Jersey
Year on club: 2
College: College of Natural Sciences
Major: Earth Science with Meteorology/ Atmospheric Science concentration
Logan’s favorite events are the 400, 200, and 100. In addition to running for the club, Logan is one of our three sprinting coaches. Aside from running, Logan enjoys Star Wars, cars, and the weather. Check out our interview below:
Running Club: “What is it like to be a sprinting coach?”
Logan Soldo: “It definitely comes with challenges because I never made my own workouts, and making workouts is definitely tougher than it seems because something that might work for you might not work for someone else. And then you also have to make it so that if you’re not working with your distance, you’re working with other distances. So it definitely comes with challenges, but it’s definitely rewarding because just like any other coach, you’re going to go out there and see people that you’ve trained with--that you made the workouts for--go out there and run good times. It makes you feel good.”
RC: “So do you know how to make workouts for all of the events, or have you run all of the sprinting events?”
LS: “I’ve definitely run all of the events. I mean, I haven’t run hurdles or anything--so hurdles and the field events I don’t have much skills with. But I know most of the events. I’ve run most of them and I know what works. [I get] most of my inspiration from my coaches, especially with the workout planning, because I know what works for me. But you train for some of the longer events and then you can do any of the events, really. It just comes into a little bit more individual practice.”
RC: “Do people seem to like you on the team as their coach?”
LS: “Uh, I hope so! I definitely hope so.”
RC: “Sorry, that was worded weirdly.”
LS: “I mean, yeah. I don’t want to be conceded. I mean, I haven’t heard many complaints. I mean, what I say isn’t the be-all-end-all of your workout. So if someone wants to do something else....”
RC: “Is it weird coaching people that you ran with regularly last year?”
LS: “Oh, definitely. Especially just being a sophomore. It’s definitely a trust factor, especially because I’m only a sophomore. I don’t know if everybody trusts me. And I’m working with people older than me, and I guess people trust me. I think that’s a big part of it. Especially when I don’t run the best results, I feel like I’m letting the team down, like I’m not the best that they can do. But I feel like if I’m trying 100% during the workouts, I feel like everyone else will. It’s not about being younger. It’s just someone that can go out there and work hard every day. And I think that’s a lot about coaching.”
RC: “Do you have to go to practice every day?”
LS: “Yes. I try to do my best. I have a routine where I like to lift on the off days which are Monday and Wednesday and Friday. I like to lift weights instead of do easy runs because I start out with easy runs at the beginning of the season and now that I feel that I have a base, I’m more warmed up and everything. I feel like I can come to these [track workouts] confidently. And I feel like showing up to all of the practices--which, Devin’s not here today--I feel like that’s a big thing. I understand that if we have something to do, then we have something to do. And we made the workouts already so hopefully one of us is always here. But it’s not just me all by myself doing this. It’s definitely a team effort. I like the input of everyone else. I like to know how other people are feeling. And, just as a leader, I feel like I have to come to all of the practices, just to be reliable.”
RC: “Do you ask for any feedback or anything from the members?”
LS: “Definitely. I feel like everybody has a specialty in something. If people are better than me at starts, I’m going to ask them what they are doing, what feels right for them, and what they can show other people. I’m not an expert on this. I’m not an olympic athlete. I ran through high school, and I like it, but I don’t know everything about it. I feel like it’s a big learning experience for me.”
RC: “And you still do cross country even though you’re more of a sprinter. Is there any sort of gap between yourself and the distance runners? Not time-wise but socially.”
LS: “Yeah. Well--I mean. We go to late-night and everything. We still hang out. I feel like I’m still a part of that group as much as I am a part of the sprinting group. I like to talk to everybody. I don’t run with them as much anymore, but I try to get out and connect myself with them because I feel like that’s a big part. We are still a team; just because we run different events and train differently doesn’t mean we are any different.”
RC: “Would you say that going to the social events helps too?”
LS: “Oh, yes definitely. I feel like going to the social events is huge...going to the social events is important to me.”
RC: “And then, you also go to all of the travel meets too--or most of them.”
LS: “Yeah, well. When I can I do. It depends on school. But I definitely try to go to all of the travel meets because those are huge. Especially for bonding with the team. You get a lot of people out here that aren’t fully committed and when you go to the travel meets, it’s all people that want to be there--all people that love running. And of course, you get to see the different competition. But really, it isn’t even the running. It’s the travelling and everything that’s a great part of it.”
RC: “What’s your favorite travel meet that you’ve been to so far?”
LS: “This year?”
RC: “Yeah. Or last year.”
LS: “Well. Penn State sucked.”
RC: “Okay. Why?”
LS: “I was just cramped in a car, and it was just too far. But I like Kentucky. Kentucky was a good one. Illinois was a good one too because it was just a small bunch of us, and I had a lot of fun with that. I like all of the travel meets, really...except for Penn State. I don’t think we saw enough of Penn State either. When we...You were there. When we went to Kentucky this year, I really enjoyed that because we looked at the campus. We went into a library and people were studying--probably for finals because it was in November--and we just made a lot of noise. Yeah, it was fun. I don’t know. That’s the thing about traveling.”
RC: “Is that your favorite memory from a travel meet?”
LS: “Probably. Yeah, it was something adventurous we did. We don’t get to see all of these other schools. Especially one that is down south like that: you don’t get to see that. And it was cool to do with friends.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 1
College and Major: Undecided
Brett is a freshman on the club. His favorite events are the 5k, mile, and 800. Through his hard work and devotion to practicing, Brett hopes to achieve new PRs this season. So far, he has broken his 1200m record in the DMR and is close to breaking his 4:57 mile PR.
Running Club: “What events do you run?”
Brett Roginski: “In high school I ran the mile, two mile, and then my coach would always throw me in the 4x8.”
RC: “Are you thinking about running those same events here?”
BR: “Yeah, I’m going to try to. I ran the mile last race; so yeah, I’m going to try to run more towards a little higher than the 800. So the 1200 and the mile for the DMR. I want to get closer to 3:20. I just broke 3:30 on Saturday [at the MRUN Club meet].”
RC: “Is that a PR for you?”
BR: “Yeah, and then I don’t know about the 3k. I might try it one time, but I’m not sure.
RC: “Would you ever consider doing the 5k or the half marathon?”
BR: “Probably the half marathon because I know that I can kind of handle it. There was one day that I kind of just went on and did 10 miles at like 6:40 or something and that was pretty cool. I would sooner do that than the 5k on the track. I don’t really like…I guess I could try doing the 5k again. I’ve had bad experiences on the track though.”
RC: “Like what?”
BR: “My cross country coach would have us do time trials on the track and it was terrible. It was just so repetitive.”
RC: “So do you prefer cross country to track?”
BR: “No, I definitely like track way better, but I didn’t do cross country this season and I’ll probably do it next year. And then I’ll re-access my judgements. But I like track better.”
RC: “And then, did you run throughout high school all four years?”
BR: “No, I didn’t run my freshman year. I tried out for the baseball team and missed the first week of track practice and the coach didn’t let me on. I knew the cross country coach was crazy, so I kind of held off until my junior year and then that was my first year running cross and that was my only year. I ran one race the next year and then quit because the guy was just nuts.”
RC: “So this is your freshman year, right?”
RC: “So how did you hear about running club?”
BR: “My brother, Eddie, was in it. He graduated four years ago so he was with Eric Loveland and all of those guys.”
RC: “All of the beginning people?”
RC: “Does running go in your family or is it just something that you both like to do?”
BR: “Not really. I picked it up after my dad passed away. I was always just kind of interested in just running; through middle school I would always try to but I would always just miss the sign up day for track. My dad passed away my eighth grade year and I missed the day for sign up so I couldn’t run track and I didn’t really feel like asking. And then I knew I definitely wanted to run, but I knew the cross country coach was crazy so I was going to wait from track.”
RC: “Did you hear that the coach was crazy from your brother? What made him crazy?”
BR: “No, my friends. So my brother coaches on the rival high school and he wouldn’t let me talk with the guys that I run with over there at meets so like, I can’t even say ‘hi’ or anything.”
RC: “Your coach wouldn’t let you?”
BR: “Yeah, my coach wouldn’t let me. And then he had to know where I was the entire time. The only reason I raced the one race for senior year was because I told him I was going on vacation but I went out to cross country camp with my brother—which was on vacation—but he went through this whole thought process and found out and assumed that I was there instead of on vacation.”
RC: “That’s why you quit senior year?”
BR: “Yeah, that’s why I quit. My mom was like, ‘yeah, I can’t take this anymore’ so she called me off and I just kept training for track. I was really close to breaking 5:00 all of junior year in the mile and then I finally broke it senior year, but it was only 4:57. So I kind of want to get faster than that, but we’ll see what happens.”
RC: “How’d you do on Saturday?”
BR: “I ran good in the 1200, which was a PR. And then for the mile I think I was just in my head and I psyched myself out. So, I went good through the first 600 or something and then just started falling off from there. I never caught the group that gapped me so I finished second to last and ran a 5:08 which is okay. I definitely wanted to be closer to 5:00, if not under but it’s fine.”
RC: “Do you prefer indoor to outdoor track?”
BR: “It depends on the place. I’ve run at Macomb Community College and the atmosphere is just terrible, so I avoid the mile at all costs. It’s so dry that you end up developing a cough and it stays with you the whole day. And, depending on if it’s your first time running there, it might seep over to the next day. You might just keep feeling it. I like it on a 300m track because the facilities are better but it depends on where you are. I like outdoor track in general better.”
RC: “Do you have a favorite memory from a race or running in general?”
BR: “My favorite runs where for my brother’s high school. For his team, they would run to the cider mill from the other coach’s house. It’s like 10 miles there…10.1… and you would run there and eat donuts and have cider afterwards. And you’d get two donuts and they would buy cider for everyone. It was fun. That’s kind of where I figured out that I could handle a half marathon.”
RC: “Have you run a half before?”
BR: “I ran a distance run with Adam [Terwillegar] and Nate [Blosser] and Tom [Brettschneider]. That day I had wanted to run 8, and then no one was going to turn around and we weren’t going that fast, so I decided to keep going and we ended up doing 13.5 [miles]. That was new, but I was pretty happy. That was at 7:00 pace which is decent. After summer practices with my brother’s practices we would play ultimate Frisbee afterwards, so that’s fun.”
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: College of Social Science
Major: Criminal Justice
Devin's favorite events are the two-hundred and four-hundred meter track races. In addition to training and working out, Devin enjoys playing basketball and football. Devin is one of three sprinting coaches this year on the club. He, with the help of two other members, put together a training plan for the sprinters. After practice one day, Devin sat down with us and let us interview him for this site. Check it out below!
DM: I do go to the gym fairly often. Usually if I’m not practicing, or even days when we have practice, I try to get
in some kind of a workout in the morning, or even after practice. Especially during the summer. The summer was big for me because this season I’m actually trying to beat PRs and actually trying to get a big set goal.
RC: So what PRs are you trying to break? Or what goals do you have that you’re trying to meet this year?
DM: My biggest goal is to win Nationals in the 400. That’s a big goal.
RC: Okay, do you know what time you have do for that? Or are you just kind of looking more at place?
DM: I looked it up. I think the 0:49 was last year’s top run. I hit a 0:50 in high school, but my fastest last year was a 0:52. So I’m just getting back with the shape that I was in high school, since I had a two-year break when I was at CC. But, I think it’s something that if I actually condition and actually get into enough, I think I can actually break it. So I’ve been like really focused. I’ve been trying to get in that mind set to get that goal.
RC: Yeah, that’s awesome!
RC: So is it different being…you and Logan are kind of seen as the sprinting coaches. And this is because you guys have had a lot more experience than a lot of the distance runners have had with sprinting, so do you feel more of a responsibility of how you need to act on the team, or any responsibility toward making sure people are doing the workouts correctly or making sure that no one is getting hurt, or do you still feel just more responsibility on yourself more than for the club?
DM: It’s a little bit of both. It’s nice because we have me, Pat, and Logan. So we spread it out. We all got together to get the workouts together and everything. But I feel like it’s little bit more responsibility. I kind of like it, just because I was one of the main captains in high school, so I’m kind of used to being the person to kind of look out for everybody on the team and whatnot. So, it’s nice to have that position. I like to see my teammates do good and do well in everything. So if I can motivate them in any way I can, I think that’s cool.
RC: Do you have any sort of ways that you motivate them? Motivational speeches or any sort of thing?
RC: Oh, you scream at them. Okay.
DM: No, I don’t scream at them. I give people pep talks. They may not work sometimes, but I try my best.
RC: I mean, that’s all we can ask for, right?
RC: How do you stay motivated if you’re busy motivating everyone else?
DM: Basically just by seeing how good people I’ve ran with in the past, seeing how good they are doing. One of my friends who went to Kellogg (which is a school within Wyoming), his name is TJ. My senior year, he was a junior. And he beat me in the 400 at our conference. I think he ran a 0:49 or a 0:48, I think, and that’s as a junior in high school. So that’s pretty fast. So he was a big motivator for me. So whenever I saw him do good, it was one of those “I need to kick it into gear” and I would basically try to go on that same level as him. So it’s kind of like, if I see teammates doing good, it kind of motivates me to also be up at that same level too, so that’s why. I mean, I want people to do good as well, but it motivates me to get up and do as good as them.
RC: So that has kind of carried over to running club? So when you see people on the team doing well, it helps you too?
RC: That’s cool! And then, a lot of people kind of view us as…I mean, we call ourselves the running club. So, is it weird…what do you do during the fall, I guess is what I’m trying to ask. Is it different because you aren’t necessarily competing in the meets with the rest of the club? Or, are you okay with that and you still come to practice and social events and everything?
DM: I’m okay with it. Just the fact that we have the social events and everything. It can still get sprinters if sprinters are interested in joining. But we don’t actually start track, of course, until the spring. The social events and everything are really nice because you can still get together with people, and still meet everybody, and still build actual friendships. So when spring starts, you still know everybody. Despite them being distance runners, you still know people, so you’re not coming into the practices blind, like you don’t know anybody. That’s kind of how it was the first year. I kind of got to know a couple of people—despite me not doing cross country—going into track. I knew a few people, and from there I expanded into knowing a lot of people. So that’s how that worked, and then this year since me and Logan were the sprinting chairs, we tried to actually host workouts for sprinters during the fall. And I think that worked out a little bit. We didn’t have a ton of people show up because as the fall semester went on, I think people kind of didn’t come out as much because it started getting cold or whatever, but we still had a fair amount of people come. And I think that it’s nice to have that balance: to have sprinting practice once or twice a week so sprinters can come and get a little bit of conditioning in so once the actual season starts, they can come jump right into it. I still felt engaged. I still came to cross country workouts, despite me being a sprinter. It actually helps doing the four eight-hundreds. I mean, you can always put on endurance, so I think doing a cross country work out is really big for sprinters too.
RC: Well especially just as base, maybe, for you guys, so that way, like you said, you can just jump into the sprinting season and have something. This would be instead of just coming off of the holidays and everything and being like “oh, maybe I shouldn’t have eaten all of that.”
DM: oh, yeah, just chilling at home eating a lot. I basically came back. But yeah, if you come straight into the spring, you’re going to be unconditioned. So actually coming to the cross country workouts will really get you conditioned. If you can’t carry it on during break, at least run a little bit. You could then come to actual track and then be somewhat in shape.
RC: And then what is your favorite story from running club?
DM: My favorite for running club probably was Nationals last year. Our 4x4 team, we took seventh overall. Which might not be great, but with all of the other teams in there, we still placed All-American, so that was cool. And just the fact that everyone…I’m not sure that everyone PR’d but our relay team as a whole that year PR’d. And just seeing everyone on the team do really well and just all of us as a team did good. It was just fun. When we all got done, we were just all peppy and happy about what time we got. I think it was a 3:32, which was easily the best time we had had all year. So I really liked that. And also it was a base to carry on until the next year, knowing that we were able to hit a 3:32. And now that we have more people this year to even build on the team, depending on who wants to do it and who doesn’t want to do it, I think that we can easily beat 3:32 this year.
RC: Who was on last year’s team for Nats?
DM: It was me, Phil…Phil! I don’t know what he said. But anyway, it was me, Phil [Baeza], Jaaz [Catterall], and Crek [Andrew Crechiolo]
RC: And since no one’s graduated, do you think that team will still be a thing if everyone is interested in doing it, or do you think it might change up a little bit this year?
DM: I’d hope so. It may change up a little bit because we have a couple of new guys like Chris [Keyes] and Denzel [Harris]: they’re really good four-hundred runners too so that may just depend on who gets the four best times which would be the top spot. If anything, I see it as motivation to get the times.
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: College of Education
When Laura filled this survey out last year, she had just finished running the half-marathon at NIRCA Nationals. With this, she described the half as her favorite race. This year, however, Laura is thinking about competing in regular track events. Laura says "If possible, I would spend every day of my life at a beach playing volleyball, drinking beer, reading some Hemingway and getting a good burn. Aside from that, I have season tickets to Spartan football and hockey. As far as sports go, I'm best at sleeping, then golfing, and finally, running." The picture to the left shows Laura at the 2015 end-of-season track banquet. Laura was awarded the Carlson Carlson paper plate. She was also voted most improved among all of the members. Below is an exclusive interview with Laura.
RC: "What do you enjoy about running?"
LC: "I like getting my stress out. It keeps my sanity."
RC: "Do you have sanity?"
LC: "You know, there’s points in time where I probably don’t, but after a run I feel better. It’s definitely somewhat there. And the Carlson Carlson thing? I enjoyed my last name so much that I wanted it to be my first name."
RC: "Oh, come on. That isn’t the story. What actually is the story behind the Carlson Carlson ID thing?"
LC: "Okay, so during AOP I didn’t send in a picture. When the woman asked me what I would prefer to be called, she was like “Would you prefer to be called Carlson.” And I’m thinking in my head, like “Yes, that’s my last name.” She didn’t tell me that she meant it to be my nickname though. So, hence, the Carlson Carlson name. I just go along with it."
RC: "So when you hand people your ID they think your name is Carlson Carlson?"
LC: "Yeah. I get a lot of weird looks from the ID people in the caf, especially when they say my name. You know, there’s one of those people at Shaw. She actually talked to me about it. And she like, made a line. There was this line of people waiting and she asked me about my name tag. She asked me if it was really Carlson."
RC: "What did you say?"
LC: "I said no. Also, my real name is on the back of my ID, so she could have just looked at that. And then she was like “Okay, I’ll start calling you by your first name. And then a couple of days after, I went back there and she still called me Carlson. So I was like, okay! Thanks for remembering!"
RC: "Would you like the running club to call you Carlson?"
LC: "Um, I don’t really care. As long as it’s not something derogatory or mean or makes me cry at night. I don’t want to be called stupid, or butthead, or AL."
RC: "I like the name AL."
LC: "But yeah I don’t really care; people can call me Carlson. I mean, it’s whatever people like. I’m not picky. As long as I know that you call me that. Otherwise, I won’t respond to you."
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 4
Colleges: College of Education and College of Engineering
Double major in Kinesiology and Material Sciences Engineering, with a concentration in biomedical engineering
Christina is the 2015-16 Vice President of Administration. Last year, she was the travel coordinator for the club. Aside from participating and leading in running club, Christina enjoys swimming, biking, eating, reading, watching hockey, doing puzzles, playing euchre, and playing board games. We got a chance to talk to Christina about her time on the club. Check out the interview below for her responses! If you want to learn more about Christina, feel free to visit her blurb on the "Officer" page of this website under "Members."
Running Club: "So, you’ve been on running club all four years?"
Christina Casali: "Yep!"
RC: "And then for officers, you’ve done that twice?"
RC: "And how does an officer—being a leader of the team—affect the social aspect of running? Does it inhibit you at all from being more of a social runner? Or, are you a social runner?"
CC: "I run for both the social and competitive aspects of it. But being an officer is definitely…I feel like less of a member, sort of. Is that really bad? I feel like less of a member and more like I have a responsibility. Like when we’re at meets, I don’t just relax and focus on myself. I try and make sure that the girls know when they’re racing, and that everyone has their spikes, and those kinds of things."
RC: "So because you went from being a member to an officer, do you still have as much fun with the club?"
CC: "It’s a different kind of fun. We’re more in the know of things, and it’s fun to get to give back to the club and organize it, and make friends with all of the officers, and definitely get to go to everything, and know about everything in advance. But at the same time, sometimes I miss being a member and just not having any responsibilities and just going along with it."
RC: "Do you like cross country or track better?"
RC: "What are your events?"
CC: "I like the 1500 (meter run) and the 4 by 8 (meter relay)."
RC: "Have you ever won anything of note?"
CC: "Our girls won the 4x800 National Championship last year, which was awesome."
RC: "Okay, and that was a team of you…"
CC: "Erin Zimmer, Nicole Mosteller, and Val Morel. And Val is gone, but Tarah is back."
RC: "Okay, so you think that for the spring probably you, Erin, Nicole, and then Tarah?"
CC: "I don’t know. I think we have a lot of incoming girls that are good at the 800. Like [Lauren] McGrath runs a 2:20 and Erin [Zimmer] is on another level this year, so I’m sure she’ll be fast. But that’s definitely one of my goals: to be on that team still. But I think we could still win it without all of our top 800 runners on it.
RC: "And then, for next year because you’re not graduating, are you going to still be a part of the team?"
CC: "Yes, of course."
RC: "Back as a member?"
CC: "Vice President emeritus."
CC: "You know how the Pope is…Pope Benedict is the one who is not the current pope, he’s like the pope emeritus."
RC: "Oh, okay. Yeah, I’ve never heard of anyone using that."
CC: "Really? I think it means that he’s not the pope but he’s still alive. So like, I’m not the vice president, but I’m still on the club. That’s kind of a bad way to describe it."
RC: "Okay, but you aren’t going to run for another position or anything?"
RC: "Are you looking forward to that? I mean, you said that you kind of miss the aspect of just being a member."
CC: "Yeah, I’m definitely looking forward to just kind of focusing on being a member and not having the extra responsibility of making sure everyone has all of their ducks in a row."
RC: "And then when you first joined running club, what were you looking for?"
CC: "I was looking to still compete, or find a way to still run and compete after high school. So when I was actually looking at colleges, I was either looking for a place that I could walk on to like a D3 program or I found out on Purdue’s website that they had a running club, so that’s how I found out about it. And then I kind of made sure that all of the other schools I applied to had a running club. I knew that would be my group of friends and the people I would get along with."
RC: "Was that how it was in high school?"
CC: "Yeah. It would just be like having teammates and really fun. And we just have so much in common, staying in shape and all of that."
RC: "And then what is your favorite aspect of running, in general?"
CC: "I like hanging out with my friends. So that’s like a dual purpose: you get to work out but you also get to see your friends. It’s like your free time."
RC: "And then what about your least favorite?"
CC: "Sometimes it’s just not fun."
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 1
College: College of Communication, Arts and Letters
Emily loves both cross country and track. She raced Spartan Grand Classic this past October and traveled with the club to Kentucky to race Nationals this past season. Emily's favorite track event is the 4x400 meter relay, but she also races the 200m and 400m open races. In addition to running, Emily enjoys reading--specifically fiction novels--traveling, and performing. Emily was involved in the drama department in high school and hopes to continue with theatre at Michigan State in the future.
"I love cross country and track, and I did it all four years in high school so I wanted to continue it, but I obviously was not fast enough to be on the actual team. And I met a lot of new people, especially at Nationals, which was cool because I was nervous about not finding a group of friends because this school is so big. But I have in running club. So it’s fun. I kind of assumed that there was some kind of running club here, so at Sparticipation I was like ‘I have to find this, I have to find their tent.’ We went through every single tent to try and find the table. I just kind of assumed there was something, and I asked a few people that went here and they were like “yeah, there’s a club.” [My] Least favorite [thing about running] is probably long runs. I run cross country but I can’t run super far. Every year at cross country camp [in high school] we ran a 10-mile so that’s the farthest I’ve run. Meeting new people is my favorite thing [about running]."
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 3
College: Eli Broad College of Business
Before Alex transferred to Michigan State, he ran for Adrian College, a D3 school. Alex's favorite events are the track 5k and the track 10k. His indoor club track time for the 5k is 16:33, and his outdoor club 5k time is 16:21.3. In addition to competing, Alex loves professional sports, college sports, volleyball, photography, skiing, and traveling.
"I would say that the transition from going to running for a Division 3 team to running for the club has been pretty rough for me personally. It was really challenging going from being in a close group of guys--that are now really close friends--to being the new guy on the club who didn’t know anyone, especially since I missed the entire freshman bonding experience here. In the beginning, it was rough and I felt out of place for a while, but eventually I got to know the guys of KARL. Kevin, Adam, and Ryan were very welcoming to me in the club and made me feel very welcomed. Once I found a good group of guys, it really made me feel a little comfortable transitioning to the club. For me I love the competitive aspect of running club. I am a very competitive person, so I love being able to compete especially--after coming from Adrian and running for the team [there]. I really look forward to track season every year because throughout my running career I have done exceptionally well at track. I have never really had a good cross country season, so I am basically all for track at this point. I am really looking forward to competing in the 5k this coming season where I am finally looking to break my lifetime goal of breaking 16 minutes in the 5k. I have trained hard throughout the summer and look forward to getting back on that track and breaking that time. I just think there’s something to running those long races on the track where you lose yourself a bit and just get in a rhythm."
Home state: Michigan
Year on club: 2
College: College of Education
Jessica is the fundraising coordinator for the club. She organized the Buffalo Wild Wings Fundraiser in October and convinced ASMSU to fund the club's trip to Kentucky for NIRCA Cross Country Nationals. Jessica is also involved with CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). Along with running, the officer position, and CRU, Jess enjoys hiking, traveling, gymnastics, soccer, and equestrian (specifically dressage).
"After high school, I was not ready to give up the competitive side of running. When I found out about the MSU running club, it sounded perfect for what I wanted to do. It is great to have the social aspect of the club with meeting new friends and runners, but also the competitive meets that the club offers sparked my interest. The meets are definitely some of the best times I have had with the club. They are much more relaxed than high school or varsity collegiate meets, but still offer that competitve edge where you can really see how much you have grown as a runner and with the team. I would encourage everyone on the club to try running in a meet, even if you are not super competitive because they are a lot of fun.
I chose to run for an officer position for this year because I wanted to be more involved with the team. Being an officer allows you to get to know the team better and know the ins and outs of what goes on behind the scenes. I love being able to help out with the logistics of the team and making things run smoothly for all of our members."
Home State: Michigan
Year on club: 1
College: College of Arts and Letters
Major: Apparel and Textile Design
Brooke's favorite events are hurdles, long jump, javelin. Brooke enjoys clay, riding around campus on her moped, and spending time with her boyfriend (Cam). Brooke's 5k time for the club is 23:53.1 and her 6k time for the club is 34:56. She will be competing for the club at the upcoming Nationals meet in Lexington, Kentucky.
"I joined to get competitive again and active. I love running for a purpose so being able to race again feels great. Joining the club was the best decision I've made at school because I've met so many awesome people and we have so many fun social events. Everyone makes it so comfortable to just be goofy and be myself and I love that."