Oct. 28, 2010
The plan for Katie Flood's fall was much more relaxed just two months ago. As a senior at Dowling Catholic High School in Des Moines, Iowa, Flood had a dominant season on the track, winning four Iowa state titles and adding a sixth career title at the Drake Relays, many in record time. But the wear and tear resulted in a stress fracture, and the plan for Flood's freshman season was to take it slow and likely redshirt. However, Flood's recovery and training have progressed faster than could have been hoped for, and after a great unattached run at the Emerald City Invite, Flood found herself on the starting line at Pre-Nationals, running near the front of the largest fields of the year. She took 23rd out of a field of 250 and was second among Husky finishers. This Saturday Flood will be one of three true freshmen running at the Pac-10 Championships for the Dawgs along with Liberty Miller and Mackenzie Carter. Flood talked to GoHuskies.com this week about her transition to the college.
GoHuskies.com: Heading in to this season it sounded like it was likely that you were going to redshirt. Were you hoping you might be able to get back and make the team this year, or did you just want to let it play out?
Katie Flood: I think it was always in the back of my mind that it would be great to run but I just came in and built up training really slow to get healthy and I think for the most part it was about getting fit, getting in shape, and getting healthy.
GH: You were hit with an injury after your track season ended?
KF: At the beginning of summer, or in June I got a stress fracture, so I didn't actually run over the summer until August, so it was a slow start but I'm glad to be back into things.
GH: The summer is an important time for a lot of runners to get the base mileage in, so are you surprised you've been running well maybe without as many miles as you would have liked?
KF: I think I definitely am at a disadvantage for not having all that summer training, but I'm just thankful to be running again. I obviously won't have as much of a taper as everyone else but I'm just glad to be back and feeling good.
GH: You had your first race at Woodland Park and were the top collegiate finisher. Did you surprise yourself at all with how well it went?
KF: I was feeling good going into it and I had some solid weeks of training going into it so I was hoping to run the best I could and it was a difficult course, my time wasn't great, but I was just happy with the way that it ended up.
GH: Pre-Nationals seems like a pretty tough place to make your collegiate debut. But you seemed to manage the huge field pretty well. How was the experience for you?
KF: Yeah it was definitely an experience and I'm glad I have the first race out of the way and I have a better idea about what college racing is about and how it runs and I think the next race I will be more confident in what I'm doing.
GH: What was your race plan going in and how did it play out?
KF: I'm still kind of adjusting to the 6k so for the most part I was trying to stay with my teammates, and kind of pace myself with them and I think I would have done a few things differently if I were to go back and do it over but it was a good race.
GH: Heading into Pac-10s, how has practice been going for the team?
KF: We've had good weeks of training. I think we're stronger than we were the week before and we're continually improving and I think we're coming together as a team which is good.
GH: Obviously the bar was set pretty high over the last two years, so has the team talked about goals yet for Saturday?
KF: I think we have some goals in mind; we all just want to run the best we can and run for each other.
GH: How has the transition gone in general in terms of workouts? Presumably it's a lot bigger team than you're used to. Has it been a big change from the way you did things?
KF: I think the transition has actually been fairly easy, there are a lot of things we do different. The training is different and just little things that are added in, but the transition has been easy and I really like this program.
GH: What was it during the recruiting process that convinced you that Washington was the right place for you?
KF: Something I specifically remember about my trip is we went out and watched a workout, and I'm not even sure what the workout was but I was just amazed at how many girls were running together at such a fast pace and I wanted to be a part of that.
GH: How has the rest of the college transition gone so far?
KF: It's been good, I'm living in the dorms, I really like the campus and really like the city too, I can't complain. We had three solid weeks of sunshine, so the rain now is okay.
GH: Your older sister (Betsy) has had a lot of success recently too. Did she advise you much during the recruiting process?
KF: Yeah, she goes to Iowa, I definitely looked there a lot, I think in the end I wanted to do something different and when you're given an opportunity to do something like this you kind of have to take it.
GH: You're part of a freshman class that has a pretty amazing list of achievements, collectively, and was very highly-rated overall. How was it seeing the class come together like that?
KF: It's really exciting to have so many other girls with talent, just in this class. We talk about it sometimes what it's going to be like when we're older and it's just exciting. They're all really down to earth and good people. We get along really well so it's good.
GH: What types of classes are you taking this quarter?
KF: Classes are going well; I'm in an environmental anthropology freshman interest group. So It's good, I'm not sure what I'm going to major in at all, I'm just kind of experimenting right now. I feel like the campus, for 40,000 seems smaller, I see people I know everyday, so it doesn't seem too big.
GH: You ended your high school career as certainly one of the best distance runners to ever come out of Iowa, sweeping four state titles as a senior. When you started out as a freshman, were those accomplishments something you could have ever imagined?
KF: Honestly, I don't think I ever thought about it like that, I didn't really think too far ahead, it was more of an as-you-go type of thing, and just continually working hard and hoping to improve. I never set any solid goals; I just wanted to continue to improve and enjoy what I was doing while I was doing it.
GH: At what point did you first start to get into running?
KF: I think I started doing summer track in the 3rd grade which was kind of low key just running in the summer, but I really enjoyed it. And then high school was when I really started doing cross and track all year round and it was just something that I always enjoyed doing and you get a lot of reward from running and I liked that.
GH: Did it help having your sister to look up to and did you guys train much together?
KF: In high school we ran together quite a bit. Which I think was good for us; we bonded a lot doing it. We really just want what's best for one another, so it's kind of a cool way for us to be closer.
GH: Thanks and good luck on Saturday!
KF: Thank you!