Fairfield junior Ashley Bloomquist will be runner No. 451 at the state meet this Saturday at Fort Dodge. Bloomquist was the only member of the cross country team to qualify for the meet and will race at noon with the awards ceremony at 1:20 p.m. for any Trojan fans heading to Lakeside Golf Course to cheer her on.
Q: How has your season gone so far?
A: I really like how my training has prepared me to run in every meet. Overall, I?m really happy with the results.
Q: Breakdown some of your training for us.
A: Ok, so I play basketball in the winter. While I?m doing that I just try to keep my endurance up by doing long runs and on the weekends I try to get up early and after practice go on a long run.
Q: What?s a long run? A long run for some of us is 100 yards!
A: Like 3 or 4 or 5 miles, nothing to extravagant. Then trying to get back into shape for track, because I?m more of a shorter distance runner there. Not 3 miles, but a mile and 2 miles. Working more on speed by that part of the season.
Q: What do you run in track?
A: I run the 1500, I run the 3,000 and I run usually one or two 800?s.
Q: What are you running right now for cross country?
A: We just ran this thing called a combo where we run around the block which is three-quarters of a mile. Then we go on the track and we do a 200 or sometimes a 400 or even a 300 and that?s one set. We do like 4-5 of those. Sometimes we?ll just go on a distance run like 4-5-6 miles.
Q: What do you prefer?
A: I like distance runs. I?m not a very fast-moving person.
Q: What do you like about distance runs and what are you thinking about?
A: I try to stay the same pace the whole time. I?ll start out at 7:30 pace and my goal is to finish on a 7:30 pace. My pace might be a little faster or slower depending on the route I?m running, but I like to think about my pace and I like to think about ?I?m at a mile now and now the second mile needs to be this fast. Mile three I want to be this fast.?
Q: Talk about pressure to maintain this level of success as an underclassman.
A: I don?t really feel a lot of pressure because I feel like everybody?s really supportive. From my coaches, to my family, my friends and everybody in the crowd it just makes me think ?What can I do to get better??
Q:What drew you to cross country?
A: There?s a coach in town that everyone knows and his name is Ron Hunerdosse. I was playing volleyball and he coached my mom when she was in high school, and he was like, ?You really need to get your daughter to run.? and I kind of looked at my mom and was like, ?No, you?re crazy. I?m not running that far. Why would anybody do that?? And now, here I am and I love it and I couldn?t live without it.
Q: Are you built like a runner? Did he see something in you?
A: It was probably from my mom. We have pretty good genetics in that sort of thing. He had seen me in track and that?s really how it started rolling, and then I just started working hard in middle school cross country practice, and now it?s escalated to this.
Q: What is your goal now compared to the beginning of the season?
A: My goal was definitely to make state. I always stick post-it notes on my headboard on my bed and my first sticky note was ?2017 conference champ,? so I got to cross that one off this year. First time ever. Once we got to districts, I was thinking that while making state is the ultimate goal, winning districts would be nice. I got third but that?s OK because state was obviously the goal and now that I?m here I?m wanting to finish top 20, top 15-ish at the meet.
Q: What result would make it so you couldn?t stop smiling for a week?
A: Probably top 5. That would be pretty awesome.
Q: How can you bridge some of the gap between your times and the other top runners in the state during these last few days?
A: I?ve just been eating healthy, taking care of myself and getting a lot of sleep. Knowing what to do in practice is a big part of it and then just keeping mentally positive.
Q: What conditions do you prefer to run in?
A: It?s supposed to be freezing cold when I run and I like cold weather but maybe not 30s. I prefer more like 45-50.
Q: Why do you like cold?
A: I feel like it?s easier to breathe and you don?t sweat as much, so that?s good. I don?t know, running in hot is hard. Once it?s cool, I feel more calm and my running is more fluid. I like the course up there a lot. It has maybe one decent hill and a couple of tiny slopes but I?m really a hill person so I?m looking forward to getting to that hill.
Q: What?s your strategy with hills?
A: When I run a hill I just want to get up it as hard and as fast as I can and stride out on the down hills because some people take the downhills off and I don?t want to be one of those people. It?s not an easy part of the race, it shouldn?t be anyways. So on the downhills I try to accelerate down.
Q: What do you want people to think when they hear your name or see your photo?
A: ?Wow, she?s fast, but she?s also really nice. And she has good grades, and is funny. I don?t know, I just want people to think I?m a good person.?