Q&A with Women's Cross Country Junior Lisa Morrisey

Aug. 30, 2006


Recently, cross country junior Lisa Morrisey sat down with the media relations staff to talk about the upcoming season. The season looks to be especially promising, as KU hosts the 2006 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 27 at Rim Rock Farm.

Morrisey was the top finisher on the women’s team at the last two races of the season, the 2005 Big 12 Championships and the NCAA Midwest Regionals, placing 39th and 43rd respectively. This season, Morrisey and the rest of the upperclassmen will have to tackle the additional responsibilities of leadership, as the team ushers in nine freshmen.

1. Do you think Rim Rock Farm is one of the more challenging courses you’ve comepted on?

“In college, it defintely has been. In high school, cross country was more like `go out in a field and run.’ In college, cross country takes place more on golf courses and courses made specifically for cross country. I think Rim Rock Farm is the hardest course that we run, especially in the midwest.”

2. What are your personal and team goals for the 2006 season?
“Personally, I want to finish in the top 25 in conference. I think it will be hard to do, but I believe I am in better shape this year than I was last year, when I battled injuries, including a stress fracture. For the team, I think this year will be interesting because we have a lot more girls competing. I want to see the freshmen do well and for the upperclassmen to help them achieve those results. I hope we are able to finish in the top seven at conference.”

3. How has your role changed on the team this year, especially with all the new freshmen on the squad? Who does the team look to for leadership?
“I feel like I lead by example. Connie Abbott, Melissa O’Rourke, Laura Major and the rest of the upperclassmen all lead by example. We run together everyday. In practice, it is important to remember that it isn’t a race and that the top runner is not up front at every practice.”

4. So far in practice, what themes have Coach Redwine and Coach Clark stressed to the team?
“The coaches want our team to work well together and have a strong top seven. They want us to succeed at conference, because like every other sport, conference is the big event of the season.”

5. Who is the biggest prankster on the team this season and what are some of her favorite tricks?
“I would have to say Laura Major. I don’t know if I would call her a prankster, but she defintely likes to speak her mind. It can be quite entertaining. She lightens up the mood, especially after a tough run, usually saying something funny to make the team laugh.”

6. Can you talk about some of your most challenging workouts? Give the public an idea about your training regiment in preparing for a new season.
“We have a handful of girls that are running eight miles every day. Some run six miles a day. It depends on how the person likes to train. Personally, I don’t run a lot of miles because it wears me out.”

7. What is your favorite post-race meal?
“Well, I pretty much like it all. We try to have team dinners before meets. We mostly like to east pasta and other carbs.”

8. Do you have any rituals or supersitions before a race?
“As a team, we do the Rock Chalk Chant before every race. Other than that, I just try to get focused on the race.”

9. When did you first discover you were skilled at distance running?
“I ran in high school, but I am torn between longer distances and mid-distances. In track, I run mid-distances. My sister also ran at KU and when she was in high school, I was in middle school, so you could say I was the little sister looking up to the big sister. When I got to high school, I had the talent to do it as well. Since I’ve come to college, I have gotten a lot better. I feel I discovered my true capabilities in college. I train harder and have begun to enjoy what I do.”

10. What would you tell students as to why they should come out to Rim Rock Farm on Oct. 27 to support the cross country teams at the Big 12 cross country championships?
“I feel like people don’t understand the sport and may think it is boring. I also think those are the same people who have never been to a cross country meet. It is completely different than a track meet, being out in the middle of a farm. They should come to support us and gain an understanding of what cross country is and mostly to encourage us to do our best.”