Q&A with Track and Field Freshman Jack Sachse

Jan. 24, 2007


Recently, freshman track and field middle distance freshman Jack Sachse sat down with the media relations staff to discuss the ongoing track and field season. So far this year, winning has come plentiful for the 800 meter runner, as he has captured the event at all three meets in which the Jayhawks have competed. He currently sits at No. 7 in the Big 12 Indoor Performance Chart in the event and looks forward to the remainder of the season when the competition is sure to increase.

Q: What are your thoughts on the season so far?
A: I think it’s going pretty well. I have won all my races, though they may not have been the most competitive races. I understand that and I am not trying to get too cocky because I know once the bigger meets come, it will be a lot tougher to win. But for my freshman year, I think it has been great.

Q: How much does it help to have someone physically pushing you in a race?
A: It helps so much, I can’t even describe it. In practice I train with Matt Baysinger and he pushes me, so we get a lot done in practice. It helps so much because you can only push yourself so far, and then you need that competitive drive to get to the next level.

Q: How has it been working with Coach Stanley Redwine, an accomplished 800m runner in his own right?
A: It’s been really good working with him and that is a large reason I came to KU, because he was an 800m runner. Everything we do running-wise is great, but one thing that I didn’t do in high school that we are doing now is lots of push-ups and sit-ups. In high school I probably didn’t think that was too important, but doing it two or three times a week, I have become so much stronger. That is certainly one thing I never thought about that he has certainly taught me.

Q: As a freshman, who do you look to for leadership on this year’s team?
A: I look at all the upperclassmen in general, but in my event group, Matt Baysinger, Clif Mitchell, Mark Gdowski and Michael Rost have all taken me under their wings. First semester could not have gone any better for me as far as school and track, everything went so smoothly. I have Mark in a few of my classes and so that’s an example of him helping me off the track with my school work. Matt has done a great job as well. He was my host on my recruiting trip last year and he’s been very good about contacting me and making sure I know what is going on. The upperclassmen have been great.

Q: What have been your impressions of college track and field thus far?
A: They have been pretty much what I expected. It is just exciting to be in college competing for a Division I school. It gets me very excited. It was a lot of fun going on that road trip to Illinois because I had never done anything like that before. The bus trip and being with everyone was a great bonding experience.

Q: What are your goals for the rest of the indoor season?
A: At the beginning of the year, I wanted to set a personal-best in the 800m of faster than 1:51.7. But Coach Redwine that said wasn’t lofty enough. He believes I can go 1:50 or even below that indoors. My main goal for the end of the year, indoor and outdoor, is that I want to run under 1:50 in the 800m. I do want to score at Conference indoors.

Q: Can you talk about some of the mental aspects of running an 800m?
A: A lot of people say that the 800m is one of the toughest races physically, so you do have to get yourself in the right mental mindframe before the race. For me, Coach Redwine wants to work on getting out faster through 400m and believe that I can get out at a faster pace, believe in myself and maintain that pace throughout the race’s entirety. Indoors, the race is four laps, so for the first two I am really just trying to maintain a fast pace so that I can set myself up to run faster times.

Q: What is your favorite event to watch at a track and field meet?
A: I would say the mile run. That might be my favorite event, even though I am an 800m runner. It is amazing to me that the top guys in the world and in college can break four minutes at that distance. It wasn’t that long ago that breaking two minutes in the 800m was tough for me to do and those guys are running two 800m in under two minutes. That just blows my mind. I think it would hurt so bad to run a four minute mile. I have a lot of respect for those guys.

Q: What track and field event would you like to try that have never done?
A: Watching my roommate, Jordan Scott, who jumps over 17 feet in the pole vault, inspires me. I think that would be cool to go 17 or 18 feet into the air and land on a mat. I could never do it, but if I could pick another event to try, I think it would be pretty cool to fly in the air like that.

Q: What does the history of the Kansas Track and Field program mean to you?
A: It is definitely important. It is amazing to think how many good runners KU has had. I think KU runners like to talk about the past runners, which is very good, but I want to see KU have some runners who are at that level today. I don’t think we are that far off. I want people around the country to talk about Jim Ryun-like competitors who competed at KU in 2007.

– KU –