Oct. 26, 2005
Husky men's cross country returned 15 runners with varsity experience this fall, including six of its top-seven runners from the 2004 season. So, it could be expected that it might be hard for a freshman to crack the team's top-seven -- but that is just what freshman Jordan McNamara has done. A former prep teammate of Husky sophomore Carl Moe, McNamara has done a suitable impersonation of his fellow Auburn-Riverside alum this season, running in the team's top-three at each of UW's three races this season. McNamara will vie for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year honors this weekend, given to the top-finishing freshman at the Pac-10 meet.
GoHuskies.com: Did Carl Moe influence your decision to come to the University of Washington to run track?
Jordan McNamara: "I have to say that he was definitely a factor. Seeing the things that he did in high school, were a big inspiration for me. That really changed the way that I trained, seeing the things that he could do. He set a great example to follow. I saw the things he did here his freshman year at UW and I thought, man I really want to do something like that."
GH: Was Moe helpful for your transition into college?
JM: "Definitely, he has been a good role model, he is always up for answering questions and helping out all the other freshman as well when they have questions about training, school, and getting used to the whole college life. He has been a really good captain."
GH: How has your transition into college been?
JM: "It actually really hasn't been as bad as I thought it was going to be. I have heard how hard it is to transition into college, but it has been an awesome experience. I have had a blast so far."
GH: What were your expectations coming into the season?
JM: "I didn't really know what to expect. I thought that I was in pretty good shape. My goal was just to come onto the team and help in any way that I could. If I was top-seven or top-20 on the team, as long as I help I will be happy."
GH: What kind of off-season training did you do?
JM: "I definitely had my most consistent training during the summer. Two weeks ago I hit my eighth week of 85-90 miles a week. For me that has been the most consistent thing. I had a solid build-up over seven weeks, and I have been fairly injury-free. It has been a successful off-season."
GH: Did you expect to have as much early-season success as you have had?
JM: "I can't say that I expected it, but I wasn't completely surprised. My off-season training was going well so I thought, 'Shoot get in there and put yourself in the mix, and anything can really happen.'"
GH: How has it been being on a team with so many veteran runners?
JM: "It is definitely amazing. You line up at a race and you see Carl Moe -- 4 minute mile, Mark Mandi -- won Sundodger last year, Austin Abbott - 4:02 mile ... you think, `Man, I have to race these guys?' But you have to put that out of your head and realize that they are your teammates."
GH: What are you looking forward to most in the track season?
JM: "Just getting on the track and running a mean 5k, and definitely seeing some of these guys go tear it up come indoor and then outdoor."
GH: Where have you been living on campus?
JM: "I live in Haggett. We were in McCarty for the first three weeks and that was pretty cool and then we switched to Haggett. It has been pretty nice. We are one of the only rooms with carpet in our room, so we are definitely the highlight of our floor."
GH: What is something that you enjoy doing in your off time?
JM: "I read a lot right now. I am working on the book by Lance Armstrong called 'Lance Armstrong's War.' Carl (Moe) actually let me borrow a book called 'The Miler.' It's a biography about Steve Scott; he went under four minutes in the mile something like 135 times. It talks a lot about his training. I definitely look up to Lance Armstrong; the guy is just an absolute stud. An example of hard work and determination."
GH: How are classes going?
JM: "Classes are going well. The workload is really not that bad. I only have two hours of class a day and they don't start until 9:30. I started class at 6:45 everyday in high school, so it is definitely a change for the better."
GH: Are you still considering a history major?
JM: "Yeah, we'll see how that works out. I might change to exercise physiology or something like that, but history is definitely an interest of mine. Especially teaching in high school or coaching a small team; I can't picture anything better than that."
GH: So you have an interest in coaching, as well as teaching?
JM: "Definitely. At the high school level, or maybe even in college."
GH: Thanks, Jordan, have a great season.
JM: "Thank you."