May 26, 2009
You are making your fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals in the men's hammer throw, any thoughts on your final trip this season and have You set a goal for yourself?
I am excited to be heading back to Oregon for my last NCAA Regional meet. I have had such great experiences at the regional meets before and hope to have another great trip. This may be my last official hammer competition and so I am going up there to do my best and try to make nationals. I just want to go up to Oregon, throw my best, have fun and be with my teammates as they try to make it to nationals as well.
You've been with the men's program since 2005 and have been a part Of three Big West Champion teams. Was this year more special than the first two?
The first conference championship I was not a part of. It was exciting to be able to watch as a redshirt freshman as the Matador track team came home from a successful conference meet. The only thought that went through my head, besides congrats to them, was "I want that." My sophomore year we did. That was the first Big West Championship that I was a part of and it was AMAZING. I have to say though that this year was the best. Going in we were told it was going to be a fight to the finish and the coaches were right. Our team stepped up though and won. It's my senior year and it is cool to go out with a conference championship.
What are some of your favorite moments from your Northridge Track & Field years?
Obviously the two conference championship teams I was a part of were amazing. I have had an amazing five years. The team, the camaraderie and the traveling will always stay with me. This year has created some of my fondest memories being my senior year. The indoor seaason was exciting as I attempted to chase down our school record in the weight which I barely missed. While outdoors has been a struggle I have enjoyed our trips and the memories that have been created with my teammates while traveling and having fun.
You threw a career-best 195-1 at last season's USC Trojan Invitational and approached that mark with a throw if 192-11 this season. Do you know as soon as the hammer leaves your hand that you've uncorked a good one?
It is a strange feeling sometimes when I let a good one go. It is almost like it is effortless because it is lined up so well. Still I can normally tell once I have let the hammer go that it was a big throw. However, sometimes I just let it go and it's not until I turn and see where the officials are marking or the reaction from my coach and teammates that I realize I threw a big one.
Do you prefer throwing the hammer outdoors or the weight indoors?
I enjoy throwing both the weight indoors and the hammer outdoors. If you had asked me that four years ago I would have said that I enjoyed throwing the hammer more. As I have improved in both events though I feel it has changed. Now I would have to say I enjoy throwing the weight more. I enjoy the traveling we do indoors and the competitions are different indoors than they are outdoors. I can't really explain why I enjoy throwing the weight more except that I have a ton of fun during indoor season throwing the weight.
What have you learned from your various throws coaches and the coaching staff overall?
Dale Cowper introduced me to college athletics and the hammer. College sports is obviously on a much higher level then high school. It takes more to be a college athlete. Sly (Sua) came in my sophomore year and has coached me ever since. She has so much experience throwing and competing that her knowledge as a coach has been key to my success and she has been an awesome coach. She has helped me so much with the hammer both physically and with the mental aspect of throwing. She's the type of coach that every athlete wants and I was lucky to have her as a coach. All of our coaching staff is awesome and have all helped "teach" me something during my time as a Matador. They have always been there to support me and my fellow Matadors.
Who is the biggest character among the throwers?
We have a lot of characters on the throws squad. We all play off each other during practices. Mike Tull though always seems to be that one guy. It doesn't matter if everyone is serious or happy he always has something to say or do that can make everyone smile and laugh. We all have our moments though and we are all characters. Not a day of practice goes by that we aren't all laughing hysterically at something that has happened or been said.
Any funny stories about a road trip or a meet?
We had some great trips. One of the most interesting was when we went to New York for an indoor meet in February. We got dropped off at the wrong hotel and the throws squad decided we weren't going to wait for the bus to come back. So we set out for our hotel in the middle of winter in New York. Let's just say people from L.A. walking in New York got a little cold. It was a long walk past time square heading up towards Central Park but we had a blast doing it. Later we came down for dinner and found out that the rest of the team ended up having to walk as well. Overall that trip was awesome. Being in New York, competing well, and being able to see some of the New York site-seeing places was a lot of fun.
Why did you choose Northridge coming out of high school and what would you tell a prospective student-athlete who was considering CSUN and the track & field program?
I actually had never heard of CSUN until I was recruited my senior year of high school at State. I stayed in Sacramento for a semester, without a coach and then decided I wanted to look into CSUN again. I called Dale the day after Christmas and the next 30 days went by really fast and then here I was at CSUN. I'm glad I came down here for school and track. I have been here for five years now and have had a blast. If a prospect asked me about Northridge I would take about our great program. Since I have been here our women have won five conference championships, four outdoor and one indoor, and our men have won two championships. Northridge is a great place to come with amazing coaches and support staff. Its been the time of my life. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again if I had the chance.
You've been named to the conference All-Academic teams every season you've been eligible. You obviously take pride in your academic success.
When I was in high school my parents had a saying, "A's and B's or no car keys." When I got to college they didn't have to say anything. I wanted to be the best I could both on the field and in the classroom. I pushed myself to get good grades and I have been successful. I remember studying for tests and doing projects on trips. In fact one of my teammates and I completed a project while flying back from Seattle during indoors by passing our computers back and forth across about three isles in the plane. Academics was just as important to me as my athletics and I was able to succeed in both aspects.
Any thing else you'd like to add?
It's been an amazing five years. I want to thank my parents, coaches, teammates, and support staff in Athletics. They have supported me from the beginning and I feel that without them my success would not have been as great as it's been.