Q&A with Men's Cross Country Senior Tyler Kelly

Sept. 28, 2006


Recently, cross country senior Tyler Kelly sat down with the media relations staff to talk about the cross country season. Fresh of its ninth-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational, the men’s team is currently training for the NCAA Pre-Nationals, to be held Oct. 14 in Terre Haute, Ind.

Kelly, a film and business double major, has raced twice this season, placing 10th at the 8k Bob Timmons Invitational and 135th at the 8k Roy Griak Invitational. Last season, he earned all-region distinction for his 18th-place finish at the 10k NCAA Midwest Regionals.

1. How would you describe Rim Rock Farm? Is it the most challenging course you’ve competed on?
“It is defintely one of the tougher courses I’ve run on. There are some nice flat parts where you can really establish a good rhythm, but there are also several hills, namely Billy Mills’ ascent, where the top runners get separated from the rest of the pack. I think hosting the Big 12 Championships this year and being able to train on the course an gain a greater knowledge of it will hopefully work to our advatange this year.”

2. What is your favorite landmark at Rim Rock Farm?
“I would defintely have to say the finish line. After that, I would have to say Billy Mills’ ascent, located at about the 3.5 mile mark, is one of the toughest places to run on a course that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if that makes it my favorite, but it makes it memorable.”

3. What are your and the team’s thoughts following the Roy Griak Invitational?
“Our main thought is not to panic. We want to run well at the end of October, not the middle of September. Honestly, we did just about as well as we did last year, so we weren’t too disapointed, but we also have larger goals in mind than just that meet.”

4. How has your role on the team changed this season since you are a senior? Have you taken on more responsibility and leadership?
“I would say so. I welcome the opportunity to be the one who is stepping up into the huddle and at practice and getting the team to focus on our goals for the season.”

5. What have you learned running under Coach Stanley Redwine and Coach Doug Clark?
“Being a competitive runner for the past 10 years, I think they have done a great job teaching me different techniques that I am comfortable with and can use to my advantage. I appreciate the way that they have let me build as a runner individually while offering suggestions. I can see why they have been so succesful at other programs.”

6. Why do you think your teammates label you as the prankster on the team?
“Well, I can’t totally explain that, less I want to incriminate myself. But I also think that running 80-90 miles a week can be grueling sometimes and there is nothing wrong with keeping the mood of practices light.”

7. When did you learn that you were skilled at distance running?
“My dad took me to a road race when I was in third grade and although I tried to come up with every imaginable excuse, I did well and he kept me at it. I ran cross country and track in junior high and started winning races and I was hooked. Who doesn’t like to win.”

8. What are your post-college plans?
“Although people may think that business and film is a different double major, I enjoy the business sides of things, especially the film industry. I don’t know whether a move to Hollywood is in my future though. Right now, I’m just living the life of a college student and enjoying every day of it.”

9. If you could trade places with another KU student-athlete for one day who would it be?
“Being an Oklahoman and huge OU football fan growing up, I would have to say Kerry Meier. I knew I was destined to play quarterback for the Sooners, but unfortunately, that was somehow overlooked. So, I’d choose Kerry because he’s obviously a great quarterback and is a popular guy on campus.”

10. What would you tell KU students as to why they should go to the Big 12 Championships on Oct. 27?
“I think a lot of students don’t really know what a cross country meet is. It’s short, sweet, and this year may be our best chance at claiming our first Big 12 Championship away from Colorado. This is the best team I’ve ran on since I’ve been here and we need the student’s support to do our best.”