Though he earned a personal-best 4-mile time last fall, cross country senior Matthew Wagner (MW) battled injuries that limited him throughout the season. After taking some time to recover in the offseason, he is once again ready to race. With track season now underway, Wagner spoke with www.SantaClaraBroncos.com about his hopes for the team and his plans beyond graduation.
SCB: After finishing cross country in the fall how have you been preparing for the upcoming track season?
MW: Cross country season was less successful than I had hoped. I had foot problems early on in the season which didn't subside throughout the year. I took some time off of running in the winter to try and get it to heal. It took some time to get back into running after the break, but now I am training well and looking forward to the rest of the track season.
How does your preparation for track differ from cross country?
MW: This season I have been training through short distance interval workouts once or twice a week and the other days running on trails. Training doesn't differ too much between cross country and track. The only major difference is our workouts focus on speed more than endurance because most track races are much shorter than cross country races.
As a senior on the team, what advice do you believe you can offer younger runners?
MW: I'm not exactly sure what advice to give younger runners on the team. I guess the best advice I can give to younger runners is to not focus on running times, but to just compete. The best races I have had here at Santa Clara I wasn't paying attention to lap splits or mile splits but just racing for the best position I could get in the race.
What are your individual and team goals for your senior track season?
MW: I didn't set any real team goals this season for track. After a disappointing cross country season, where I was injured, I just wanted to restart fresh without any expectations. My only goal is to improve this season from the last and keep a positive mentality during this season. I find that the first sign of negativity usually leads a lack of competitiveness in races.
What are your plans following graduation? Do you plan to keep running?
MW: After graduation I plan to move back to Fresno and find a job in California. I see this as another chapter in my life that I need to sort out and regroup before tackling. I might be able to find work in the bay area or might stay in the central valley. Either way, I hope that I am still running in the future. It has been a great way to stay physically fit and also a great way to deal with my emotions.