bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Richburg Interview

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bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Richburg Interview

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 11/22/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on Courtney's performance at the NCAA Championship meet?
Meaghan Harkins: It was definitely an incredible experience for Courtney and I think a big step in terms of the progression of her career. I think athletes the first time at the NCAA Championship, it's very very difficult to go out and perform up to par sometimes just because it's such an intimidating environment if you allow it to be. With Courtney, I'm extremely happy with the way she handled it, I'm happy with the way she handled the crowd, the hoopla, the fireworks, there's literally fireworks. She was focused and not the least bit intimidated and really showed that she should be there competing with the best athletes in the nation. We had a plan of going out and putting ourselves in the mix early on, we thought that potential All-American status was our ideal goal going forward and so the goal was to simply go out early, put ourselves in the mix early and try to hang on and stay in the top 40 throughout the race. She did that, unfortunately in the last 1200 meters or so she hit the wall as we call it, ran out of gas. But I think doing it the way she did it sets herself up extremely well for next year when she's back and I have no doubt in my mind she'll be contending for one of those All-American spots in 2012.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 11/14/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the two teams' performance this past weekend at the Mountain Regionals?
Meaghan Harkins: I think we were pleased overall with the results. The men's 12th place finish, we would have liked to have improved on that, 12th is the highest we've ever finished, tied with last year. Ultimately it wasn't in the cards, we had a few people banged up after the WAC meet. On the women's side obviously the highlight of the day being Courtney's performance. Her sister also had her best performance at the regional meet. We had a few outstanding individual performances but we definitely didn't come together the way we would have hoped as far as the teams are concerned.

bc.net: Courtney's 8th place finish was the highest finish ever for an Aggie at the Mountain Regional and her NCAA Championship appearance will be only the second ever by an Aggie.
MH: Courtney has been working to get to the NCAA Championships since her first year at New Mexico State and she went out with a mission, she put herself with that lead pack right off the bat from the gun and she did what she needed to do. There was never a doubt in her mind that she was going to make it this year and she did everything she needed to do to ensure that happened. She was tough as anything and ran a very very smart race and we're looking forward to being there in Terre Haute.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 11/08/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your team had a successful trip to Hawai'i with both of your teams finishing runner up.
Meaghan Harkins: We were very happy with the results of our performances. Obviously we had hoped to bring home a trophy on both sides, on both the men's and women's sides but it wasn't in the cards. Ultimately I think both the teams came together phenomenally well. They literally gave everything they had and you can never be unhappy with that.

bc.net: The men's performance was their strongest performance of the season.
MH: Yeah it definitely was. It was a sight to see. I've never been so proud of a team. Watching them come in just fighting so hard every step of the way. Fighting for every place. There were a lot of head-to-head competitions going into the finish line the last 400 meters and just about every time we ended up edging the other team out. Our men really understood that every single place was important. Likewise they understood that our one through seven pack needed to be extremely tight and they went out there and performed and did exactly what they needed to do.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/26/11 :: WAC Championship Preview

bleedCrimson.net: The WAC Pre-Championship poll was released earlier this week with the Aggie women picked second and the men picked third.
Meaghan Harkins: I think as far as the poll is concerned, as far as our results on paper from this year are concerned I think that the polls were fair, however, we're going to be looking to surprise a few people at WAC.

bc.net: On the men's side how has the rest of the WAC performed this year and what have you seen from the team this past two weeks in preparation for the WAC championships?
MH: Utah State was ranked first on the men's side and I think that's a fair ranking. They've won five out of the last six WAC championships so they're always a perennial force and they've been running very, very well this year. It's always hard to compare times. Utah State, if you look at it on paper they've been running a lot faster than we have, however, they have not been running the same courses as we have and so there's a lot of room for variation there. I think our men are capable of competing with them and ultimately Utah State is vulnerable in terms of their spread. I think their one through five for their last race was over a minute, maybe a minute and twenty seconds or so and for our men, I believe we were about 38 seconds from one through five. Obviously the more of our men we can get in front of their fourth, fifth and even third runner, the better off we're going to fare.

The same for Idaho, they're very solid however, their fifth runner leaves them very vulnerable. Typically their fifth runner is about a minute behind their fourth runner and I think that they're beatable because of that.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/20/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the teams' performance out at Pre Nationals this past weekend?
Meaghan Harkins: I absolutely want to highlight the twins, Courtney and Camille Schultz for continuing their great performances. Courtney and Camille both finishing in very good company. I believe all the people who were in front of them are going to be at the national championships this year whether its individually or as part of a team so that's really exciting for them. Overall the times were insanely slow simply due to some pretty strong winds that day so I wasn't nearly as happy on the whole with the times that we ran but I was satisfied especially on the women's side especially with their performances. I was hoping to get our top five women in the top 200 and we ended up with our top six runners in the top 200. I think that was an improvement on what I was hoping for or expecting.

On the men's side we definitely had a down day. It was not what we were hoping for and I think there were a number of factors that played into that, some of that being the wind but obviously that's a factor for everyone there and there were some teams that had very good days despite that. On the men's side there are some things to work on and some things to fix going forward. For both teams the priority is getting ready for the WAC Championships.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/13/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the Grand Canyon Invite this past weekend in Arizona?
Meaghan Harkins: I was really pleased with the results of the Grand Canyon meet. Our top three men all ran their fastest times of the year or pretty close to it. They definitely demonstrated that they're the right people to be taking on to Pre-Nats.

On the women's side, same thing. On both sides the teams were very competitive but our top four women in particular ran really well at Grand Canyon. That includes Diana Hawk who didn't end up making the travel team but she put in a heck of an effort to be up there.

bc.net: Kevin Palmer was named the WAC men's cross country athlete of the week. Talk about his performance over the weekend and earning that honor.
MH: I was pleased with Kevin Palmer's results from this past weekend, definitely excited about his men's honor. That said he's not quite where he was last year but he is making progress to get back up there. Each and every week he's improving and in the last few meets he's improved significantly. I'm definitely looking for some more improvement from him over the next three weeks through the end of the season.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/05/11

bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on your teams' finish at the Cowboy Jamboree last weekend with the women's finishing seventh and the men 10th and a couple of strong performances out of the Schultz sisters individually with Courtney finishing sixth and Camille twelfth.
Meaghan Harkins: Yeah definitely. I'd like to highlight the women's performance first, obviously they went out that day prepared to run and prepared to show that they can compete with some of these better teams. Courtney Schultz finishing sixth overall, while it wasn't a surprise, I was really happy to see who she was able to compete with. There were some multi-time All-American athletes that she was mixing it up with. I was really excited to see that and it bodes well for her hopes of qualifying individually to Nationals. Her sister running twelfth, again, very exciting. Mixing it up with some very talented women. I know one of the women she beat was an NCAA Regional record-holder so even though she wasn't as far up there with her sister she was still in very good company.

The team as a whole competed extremely well. I was very happy not just with our one through five but with our entire one through ten, particularly one through seven. They're closing that gap a little bit and Sammie Hamilton and Tamara Lementino both individually continue to improve on a weekly basis so that's exciting to see.

bc.net: On the women's side you had about a two minute spread from Courtney in first to Madelyn Stoltze and in terms of the competitiveness of the meet you have to be pretty happy with that.
MH: I was. We obviously need to continue to keep working to close that gap but I think each week we get a little bit closer to doing that.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 09/26/11

bleedCrimson.net: Who are some of the key returners and newcomers on the men's side?
Meaghan Harkins: We only added one recruited freshman this year, Eric Fenton, whose brother is here, Ryan Fenton. He's a big impact person. He's already running in our top 10, he's making our travel squad. He's probably going to be running in our top seven as we progress to the end of the season. There's a lot of parity on the men's side. He's already come in and working at a high level, adjusting to the change in mileage, adjusting to the longer race distance phenomenally well. It's been a seamless transition. He's made a big impact already.

As far as our returners, most of them are running phenomenally well already. We have two seniors, Kevin Taft and Victor Sanchez, they've trained so hard over the summer and they've come in and they've been in our top five in pretty much every race we've had this year and I expect them to continue being there. Kevin Taft was running over 100 miles a week over the summer and he's continuing to do that now. He's improved every single year but this year especially, his senior year, I know he wants to make it count as does Victor Sanchez. I'm so thrilled with how the two of them are running now.

Additionally Jonah Ruybalid and Ian Ruybalid always two men we can count on and they're certainly not disappointing this year.  Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 11/10/10

bleedCrimson.net: How have your practices this past week and a half been going in preparation for the NCAA Regional meet in Salt Lake City?
Paul Harkins: It's been going well. It hasn't been difficult, we've done a few workouts here and there and it's definitely our tapering phase. We're definitely easing them down towards the end of the season. Everything we do is essentially just to keep them sharp. They've been handling every workout we've given them with relative ease and they look good, they look fresh and they look like they're ready to roll this weekend.

bc.net: On the men's coming off of the second place finish at the WAC Championships, how much extra excitement has there been for your team?
PH: I don't know if there's more excitement, there's just a different level of expectations. Last year we were hoping to beat Texas Tech and maybe get Top 15, we were 14th. This year they expect to be in the Top 10 and if they're not in the Top 10 they're probably going to be a little upset. I think we're capable of anywhere from 6th to 12th depending on how the day goes. UTEP is ranked 6th, Air Force is ranked 7th, we're ranked 8th, Utah State who we beat by one point is ranked 9th. It's a close, close region. Wyoming is 10h, they've rebounded from last year. Colorado State is right behind them.   Continue Reading This Post >>

bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Harkins Interview :: 10/30/10 :: WAC Championship Post Race

bleedCrimson.net: You guys had a pretty darn good day out there with the men finishing second, the women finishing third, the Schultz girls finishing 1st and second and five athletes earning All-WAC.
Paul Harkins:On the women's side with the Schultz girls going 1-2 and Chelsa going 7th we had three girls on the First Team All-WAC which was great. We need to work on our four and five a little bit but it was solid. Our 4/5, we've kind of had the gap issue all year long and it kind of continued today but the girls ran tough. Sammie Hamilton had a great race. She hadn't been in our top five all year and she really stepped up and ran tough for us coming in as our fifth girl and closing really well. It was really solid. Chelsa's had a foot that's been hurting her a little bit and she just went out there and it was an extremely gutsy performance. The Schultz girls they just totally showed themselves to be the class of the field. Those girls are tough. They went out right from the beginning led wire-to-wire and didn't look back once. It was an impressive performance by the Schultz girls.

The men's was probably one of the more exciting races I've ever seen as a cross country coach. They went out and established their position on the first loop. It was four 2,000 meter loops and they established themselves very well on the first loop and then Boise State really kind of charged up over the next two loops and we were rolling over the last 2,000 meters. Anthony Ellis came from quite a ways back to get up to 11th overall. Kevin Palmer ran extremely tough and then the pack, as it's happened all year long, was very tight and very tough and just couldn't quite make up enough ground on the Boise State guys to get that win but they were close. I honestly think if the race were 200 or 400 meter longer we could have won that thing. The men were moving so well over that last section.

It was a fantastic day for the men and the women. The coaching staff couldn't be any more proud of those guys right now. From where they've come four years ago to where they are now is pretty unbelievable. We're extremely excited for them.  Continue Reading This Post >>