Q&A with Track and Field Sophomore Victoria Howard

Feb. 15, 2007


Recently, sophomore Victoria Howard sat down with the media relations staff to discuss the upcoming Big 12 Indoor Championships on Feb. 23-24, in Ames, Iowa. At the Tyson Invitational on Feb. 9, Howard set a new KU record in the women’s indoor 200 meters, finishing the event in a time of 24.03 seconds. As the Big 12 meet looms, Howard is eager to make her mark on the conference and hopefully advance to the national level.

Q: How has the indoor season gone for you thus far?
A: It went a lot better than it did last year. Last year I was a freshman so I was just trying to get used to the training and everything else. This year, I was more focused on what I needed to get done and what I needed to get accomplished and it paid off.

Q: How did it feel to set the new Kansas record in the indoor 200-meter dash at the Tyson Invitational?
A: It felt good. It was a great accomplishment. Coach Elisha Brewer believed that I could get that record, but she also believes I can provisionally qualify for nationals, so that is where I really want to be.

Q: How have you enjoyed working with Coach Brewer?
A: I really enjoy working with Coach Brewer. Coach Brewer is a really big inspiration to me because she was also a really good track and field runner. It helps to have a coach who believes in you and helps you. She watches video to see what I am doing wrong and what I am doing right and gives me positive feedback. She just helps me work on the things I need to work on to become a better athlete.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Big 12 Indoor Championships and what are you looking to accomplish in Ames ?
A: I want to score and contribute to the team. On a personal level, I really want to be in the final and run with the best of them because I think I can. As a team, I think that the women’s team has a chance to do very well in the Big 12. We have Ashley Brown in the 60-meter hurdles and Sha’Ray Butler in the 400 meters and we all have a pretty good chance of doing well.

Q: Describe what goes into a sprinter’s mentality before a big race?
A: Sprinting is more of a confidence thing. You always have to think explosiveness and be quick off the block because the race is pretty much over as soon as you get off the blocks. I just try to think explosiveness and I listen to music and just focus, concentrate, warm up and think quick.

Q: Who have you looked to as the team leader?
A: The girls that I came in with, Charity Stowers and Sha’Ray Butler, we are all the same age and we all have the same mind frame. I look up to them because they know where I’m coming from. As far as upper classmen, Ashley Brown has been in my group since last year. I look up to her as well because she has had a lot of injuries. She’s had to overcome a lot of things and she is always encouraging. She and Sha’Ray are both team captains in my group.

Q: Being a local product, what do the Kansas Relays mean to you?
A: It’s always nice to have a home meet in your back yard . It’s a warm atmosphere and I really enjoy running at the KU Relays.

Q: What event do you really want to try just once?
A: I would say the high jump. I always joke with Coach Tom Hays about how I will come jump for him because he’s a good coach. I used to do it in high school but not anymore. So I would like to be a high jumper.

Q: What are your goals for the outdoor season?
A: I had a disappointing outdoor season last year, so I think I can place in conference this year. I hope to keep shaving time off my 200 meter time. My ultimate goal is to make it to regionals and nationals. I did not get to run the 100 meters much last year, so as long as I keep working on my foot speed and the technical aspects, I think I can do well in the event, possibly score at conference.

Q: What is the difference, if any, between the indoor and outdoor seasons?
A: I think the indoor season is more stressful than the outdoor season. We train for so long up until the indoor season with hard cross-training. Also, the indoor season is a lot more mental because indoors, the 200 meters is one lap while outdoors it is just half a lap. I am more used to outdoor because I’ve been running track since I was four.

– KU –