Monday, May 7, 2012

5 Questions with Bridget Franek

Bridget Franek at World Outdoor in Daegu
(photo: TrackAndFieldPhoto)
Today we have 5 Questions with the 2010 NCAA Steeplechase Champion and 2012 Team USA Member. She recently ran her first steeple of the year and was under the Olympic A Standard (and is the current World Leader).

Bridget Franek moved from the east coast to the west in 2010 after her All American career at Penn State. Since her NCAA Championship, she's finished second at the 2011 USA Championship and competed at the World Outdoor Championship in Daegu. She'll take aim at an Olympic berth this summer in her current home, Eugene, OR. Follow Bridget on Twitter, check out her blog "Steepling Barriers, Chasing Dreams" and her club profile (where results and race videos are posted).

5 Questions with Bridget Franek

1. Writing About Running: You had an excellent debut at the Oregon Twilight this weekend, running under the Olympic A-Standard in 9:39.77. How’d the race go in your opinion and were you able to execute the way you wanted?

Bridget Franek: I was really happy with my race this weekend. I definitely feel like I have a much faster time in me, but it was a good start. It felt so easy, I had no idea I was cruising so fast until I heard the announcer say the projected time! This part of the season is fun- where we are all getting to see hard work paying off!

2. Writing About Running: You’ve got a history in softball, basketball, volleyball and soccer. Do you think the athleticism that those sports require has helped you excel in the steeple?

Bridget Franek: Yes, because I did those sports through high school, I am young in terms of running years, but I definitely believe that I gained strength and body awareness from them.

3. Writing About Running: You’re now a few years into training out in Eugene. How have you enjoyed your time training with the Oregon Track Club Elite so far?

Franek ran the 5000 at Payton Jordan
(photo: TrackAndFieldPhoto)
Bridget Franek: The Oregon Track Club is something really special. I now see that it would be very difficult to find the amount of support and commitment we receive from the community and our coaching staff anywhere else in the country. Coach Rowland is unlike any Coach I have ever had and operates on a very professional level, pushing us athletes harder than I have ever been asked to go. It has all taken me time to adjust, but I am very confident that once I do, I will be at a very high level and have the best shot of finding my true potential in the sport. My transition has been made easier with all my help from my sponsors- Nike, PowerBar, and SkinCareForAthletes- all of which make training less painful and much more fun! It has also been an incredibly inspirational and beneficial experience to be able to train with some of the best athletes from all over the world.

4. Writing About Running: With many track fans coming out west this summer for Prefontaine and the Olympic Trials. Do you have any “must” recommendations in Eugene for food, coffee, etc?

Bridget Franek: I love Eugene for all the great places to get good breakfasts- Glenwood, Studio One, Morning Glory, Keystone, and Original House of Pancakes to name a few! There are some really 'healthy' and creative spots for lunch and dinner as well- Laughing Planet, Holy Cow, and PRI are great if you are willing to try something different!

5. Writing About Running: The trials coming up in about 6 weeks, what else do you have planned between now and then?

Bridget Franek: I am hoping to run two more steeplechases- one in Oxidental, CA and then Prefontaine. Coach is happy there are still 6 weeks so that we can get in some more work between now and then too! Yikes!

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