John McGowan is the lone representative from the D.C., Maryland region and if he continues to do as well as he has all year, he should place well!
We did an interview with John and here are his responses to a few questions:
You're going to San Diego to run in the national championship! How does that feel? What have you been thinking about since regionals?
1) I am unbelievably excited to be going to San Diego. Ever since I crossed the line at the Northeast Regionals, I haven't been able to stop thinking about the finals. It'll be so awesome to race against such great competition and to meet all of the other finalists.
Was this a goal at the beginning of the season? At the beginning of summer? When did you think this was possible?
2) After last track season, my coach and I sat down and talked about what my goals would be for this cross country season, and we pretty much decided then that Footlocker would be the main focus. We talked about the kind of work I'd have to do over the summer to make it happen, and I think I realized it would be a real possibility after my first XC race of the season. I just felt so much more fit with more consistent behind me.
How long have you been running? What got you started in cross country? What are your future plans for running after you graduate? Are you running in College? Do you know where yet? What are your career goals for running?
3) I started running outdoor track in 7th grade, though I still thought of myself as primarily a soccer player. After my freshmen year in track when I ran a 4:06 for 1500m, I started thinking about dropping soccer to commit to running year round. I finally made the decision over that summer, and I've been a runner ever since.
I will definitely continue running after I graduate. I recently committed to run for Yale University, and I really look forward to competing in Track and XC there. As for my career goals, I'll see how it goes in college, but I definitely haven't ruled out the possibility of some post-collegiate racing. I'd definitely like to run under 4 minutes in the mile and to try to qualify for the Olympic Trials.
Who is the person most influential in your cross country success this year, in or out of the sport?
4) My two coaches, Bill Wooden and Joel Adams, have been incredibly supportive this season. They frequently checked up on my training over the summer, sent me workouts, and came out to help me run time trials and workouts, even without the rest of the team. My teammates have also been really integral to my success this year. It is so much easier to get out for a run when it's 30 degrees out with 40mph winds when you have a group of guys there with you.
What is the "secret" to your success? Workouts? Nutrition?
5) I'd say the two main factors in my success this year have been better consistency and more sleep. I pretty much kept up my summer base mileage through the early part of the fall, keeping the ultimate goal of championship season in mind. I was much better able to peak at the right time, and I have really felt the benefits of the extra mileage. I've also realized that it's really difficult to run fast without proper sleep, so I've been making a serious effort to get to bed early. It's made quite a difference from last year.
Talk about your coach. What does he mean to your success? How has he been instrumental?
6) I can't say enough about how instrumental my coaches have been. My workouts have just been great this year. We do a whole lot of tempo work, and we did more hills this season, and the training has been very effective overall. My coaches helped me set several goals for this season, and together we've achieved just about all of them. So really, I can't thank my coaches enough.