Q&A with Women's Cross Country Junior Hayley Harbert

Sept. 6, 2006


Recently, cross country junior Hayley Harbert sat down with the media relations staff to talk about the cross country season. Fresh of its victory at the Bob Timmons Invitational, the women’s team looks to continue its winning ways Friday at the Kansas State Wildcat Invitational.

At the Bob Timmons Invitational, Harbert finished 19th, good for fifth place on the team. A member of the 2005 Academic All-Big 12 First Team, Harbert is also prolific in the classroom, where she is studying English education.

1. How would you describe Rim Rock Farm? Is it one of the more challenging courses in which you’ve competed on?
“It is one of the more challenging courses because the hills are huge. But it is also one of the better courses we compete at because it is so beautiful and the team knows it so well. I like King’s Bridge because it is very pretty, near a pond and has lots of trees surrounding it.”

2. Can you describe the composition of the team this year and your goals for the season?
“As far as team goals, we want to improve on our standing in the Big 12. Personally, I want to get a PR in one of the 6k races we’ll run this season.The freshmen are really hard workers who are very positive. With nine of them, it is probably the biggest class we’ve ever had. It is really good to have the depth. Whether we know it or not, the freshmen and newcomers are looking up to the other girls and myself. I like to lead by example and keep a positive attitude.”

3. So far in practice, what themes have Coach Redwine and Coach Clark stressed to the team?
“They want us to keep working because in cross country, and distance running in general, you have to keep going at it, be patient and wait for results. They don’t want us to do anything crazy, like doing too much mileage or running too fast on easy days.”

4. Where did the interest in English Education come from? What was the last book you read?
“I am a big literature person who likes to read and I knew I wanted to do something with education. The last book I read that I really enjoyed was East of Eden by John Steinbeck. It was amazing and is now one of my favorite books.”

5. Can you discuss some of the feelings and emotions you get prior to a race?
“I think most runners are nervous. I know I am because running is important to me. I am also excited when it’s over if I’ve had a good race. I try to stay positive and confident in my training.”

6. Do you have any rituals or superstitions before a race?
“I like to warm-up the same every time before a race. I like to run a couple of miles and do some stretching. I don’t like to run over 15 minutes or else I feel like I would wear myself out.”

7. When did you first discover you were skilled at distance running?
“I probably noticed it around my junior year in high school. I started training harder then and really started to enjoy doing it. I didn’t start until my sophomore year in high school and wasn’t very good. But once I got interested in it and started to enjoy it, I really started to improve.”

8. If you could trade places with one student-athlete for a day, who would it be and why?
“I would probably choose a basketball player, though I don’t know which one. I think it would be interesting to be in the limelight all the time. It might be stressful, but I imagine it would also be fun.”

9. What starts going through your head at the first call for participants?

“I like to think about how I am going to run the race. You have to stay controlled because if you run the first mile too fast, it might kill you later on during the race.”

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 don’t think people take advantage of watching all the sports on campus. I think once people actually go out there, they’ll realize how fun it can be. We really need the support out there. It would be nice to see people out there supporting the teams.”