KU Cross Country Addresses Media

Aug. 20, 2008

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas held its annual Fall Olympic Sports Media Day this afternoon, and cross country head coach Stanley Redwine along with juniors Bret Imgrund and Lauren Bonds took the time to talk to the media about the upcoming season. The Jayhawks begin action in 10 days at the Bob Timmons Classic, Aug. 30 at Rim Rock Farm.

Head Coach Stanley Redwine

On the outlook for the men’s team:
“We lost four seniors, two of which were All-Americans, and we have 11 new runners so we’re really young. It’s going to be a battle because the Big 12 is really competitive, and our region is really competitive. So we’re going to have to step up and do our job if we’re going to be successful. I believe our young guys are ready to step up and take on that challenge.”

On the outlook for the women’s team:
“We have Lauren Bonds, our team leader last year, who definitely has the potential to make it to the NCAAs this year. We had a really young team last year, but now we’re a little bit more mature, we know what to expect and know what it takes to be ready to compete. We’re looking for big things out of them.”

On the mindset of the men’s team after losing two All-Americans:
“I think it’s an opportunity for the rest of the team to step up. Like with any great team, (young athletes) know it’s their turn now. That’s what’s happening. Bret (Imgrund) has made it his mission to get it done, and he’s employed some others to get it done as well. That’s what it’s all about.”

On how Lauren Bonds compares to other great runners at KU:
“(She is) very competitive. She’s as competitive as any great runner we’ve ever had. She’s an extremely hard worker, and the bottom line is, she wants to win. She gets very disappointed if she isn’t up there in position to do so, and she’s taking care of it so that it doesn’t happen.”

Junior Bret Imgrund

On the new-look team in 2008:
“We feel pretty good. Like Coach said, we are just excited to get out there and try to compete and see what we have. Training-wise, this year we have had one-less week to see how the team is going to fit, how it is going to mold. We have only had two days of practice so far, so we still don’t know how everything is going to fit, how people are going to work into the team and who is going to be what spot on the team. It is a big growing experience with 11 people new to the team. You just have to step up, be a leader, and work through it.”

On how to handle a leadership role:
“When you are on the road with everybody, you have to know what to do. The newcomers don’t know all the traditions and how to get prepared, so the leaders have to show them.”

On running at home to start the season:
“Rim Rock has really been a semi-challenging course. It is nice to have it at home. You get the feel that afterwards, the rest of the 8Ks are usually a bit easier. You then know what you’re doing because you have gotten one in. The first one is usually the hardest and usually the slowest. Being a senior leader, you have to talk to your freshmen, the young kids, newcomers and get everyone to run together.”

Junior Lauren Bonds

On running at Rim Rock Farm:
“It is always really difficult. You just have to go out kind of slow and pace yourself on that course. The hills are ridiculous. It is challenging, but it’s always nice to say, `well we ran at Rim Rock, so we can do this course.'”

On others who could potentially step up for the women’s team:
“We don’t know yet who is going to be the No. 1, No. 2 runner, we all kind of just start anew. Just from summer training, I can definitely tell that Amanda Miller will be in our top three. I think Kara Windisch will be up there. They are both sophomores this year. We have two freshmen who are looking really strong right now, Rebeka Stowe and Laura Nightengale. They are both girls from Kansas, so we have all raced against them at some point in our high school careers. We have a lot of respect for them. They are in really good shape, and I think it is going to be a really good situation for us this year.

On the new freshmen adjusting from running 4K to running 6K:
“It was difficult for me as a freshman. I think you just have to get out and do it, and then you are ready. It might be rough the first few races, but they will definitely grow into it. They will be ready for conference, and that is when we will most need them.”