April 28, 2010
The success of the Husky women's distance program has attracted prep champions from all around the country in recent years, one of those being former Illinois state champ Lindsay Flanagan. A native of Roselle, northwest of Chicago, Flanagan was the top freshman on UW's cross country squad that won the Pac-10 title and placed third at the NCAA Championships. Flanagan ran in UW's top-seven in four of the six top meets including a 27th-place effort at West Regionals. Her cross country season then continued on into the spring, when she finished ninth at the USA Junior Championships in Spokane, qualifying for the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association (NACAC) Cross Country Championships held on the island of Tobago just north of Venezuela. She placed sixth at that meet, and then returned for track where she's seen steady improvement, including a 5k personal-best of 16:38.21 at the Stanford Invite. Flanagan finished up a workout Tuesday and then talked to GoHuskies about her first season, the NACAC experience, and her 10k plans.
GoHuskies.com: It seems you've been progressing pretty well this track season. What are your thoughts on how you've improved through your freshman year?
Lindsay Flanagan: Well cross country was a little rough, so I definitely feel like this track season has been a lot better for me. I just feel like I'm better with the workouts, I understand how to train better, so it's going a lot better than I'd say the beginning was.
GH: What was it that took some getting used to in the fall?
LF: Just getting used to the workouts and changing my training, just because high school's different for everyone. Coming in and adapting and working with everybody; it's great now, I love it.
GH: So talking with Coach Metcalf it sounds like you've got your first 10,000-meters coming up in the near future. How have you been preparing for that?
LF: All season I've pretty much been looking forward to it, because I really want to run the 10k. I like the idea of the longer race, so I hope I can get the Regional time for the 10k and run it there. That's my goal right now.
GH: You obviously came a long way from home for school. Did you think about staying closer to home and what factored into your decision to come out west?
LF: For some reason I just knew I was probably going to end up going far away. I just kind of figured because I knew I didn't really want to stay in Illinois. It's really cold in the winter to train and I thought I needed to find somewhere else, so then just looked here and said, `I like it.' I came out and visited and I just knew. It was my first visit but I just knew I was going to come here.
GH: You got to go to Tobago a couple months ago for the NACAC meet. Talk a little about that whole experience as that's definitely somewhere most people will never get to go.
LF: It was really cool. I didn't even know about the meet when we went to Spokane (for USA's). I didn't know there was another meet besides the Poland one [Junior World Championships]. So then when we found out we got to go everyone was really excited. Then just being there was pretty cool because you're on Team USA, we got to hang out with professional older girls and roomed with them so then they kind of helped us out. So it was a really cool experience, just to go to another country because I'd never been out of the country before. And to run out of the country was pretty cool. And it was warm!
GH: So whenever you get some free time what kinds of things do you like to do?
LF: Just hanging out, we hang out at the girls' house a lot, just make food, watch movies, just spend time with the team. The other girls actually bake me things a lot so I like to go over there.
GH: You're still in your first year but have you started thinking about a major yet?
LF: Yeah I think I'm going to do public health. Katie (Follett's) doing it now and I figure if I have any questions I can ask her about it which is pretty cool.