Julia Flower jumped to the top of the rankings early this past spring season. She even made it onto our Top Moments of 2014 Honorable Mention list. The rising junior from Schalmont has jumped up the preseason rankings, reflective off her credits from the spring season. We talked with the 4:32.09 1500m runner at the New Paltz Running Camp, where she filled is in on her training, her expectations, and her time at the camp.
Julia Flower (Schalmont, NY)
MileSplit NY: Hello Julia. You had a really good indoor, and an even better outdoor season, running some of the mid-distance events. How do you think that may reflect in the upcoming cross country season?
Julia Flower: I'm actually really excited for the upcoming season. I had already gotten under 18 for the 5k last year, so I think I can improve upon those marks. I just want to get out there and see what I can do.
MSNY: Now, you're from Section 2, where you have some pretty historical course. Do you have a favorite?
JF: I like the courses around us, but I also like traveling around to different courses in the area. I enjoyed the Grout Run last year, which was in Schenectady. It's close to where Schalmont is located.
MSNY: You had a very strong kick on the track in the shorter races, how do you think that will translate over to XC?
JF: I'm not sure yet, my coach and I haven't really started any specific training, so we will see how that develops. I think it will come into play, but we haven't done anything on the track yet.
MSNY: How has your training been going this summer?
JF: I've been running a lot this summer, somewhere around 45 miles a week. We haven't started official practices yet, but I have been doing two-a-week tempo runs, and things along those lines.
MSNY: You used to be a swimmer, why the change over to the running scene?
JF: I was doing Outdoor track in the ninth grade, and still swimming in the fall, using spring as an off-season. Then I began to realize I was more competitive in running so I slowly began to switch over. Last year, I did all three seasons. I think it paid off.
MSNY: You're in Class C, one of the smaller classifications, although Section 2 has some talented small schools. What is that like?
JF: For a lot of the smaller invites around me, there is not as much competition as I would like. I race in the bigger divisions sometimes.
MSNY: Now that you have a full year under your belt, which season do you prefer more?
JF: I'm not really sure which I prefer yet. I feel like I might be better at Cross Country, but I am not sure. I think there was a big jump in my success on the track, so I am excited to see how it translates to XC.
MSNY: How has your experience been at New Paltz Running Camp?
JF: Yeah, I really like this camp. There is a lot of variety in where we run, everyday has been very different, and they all have been on trails. The scenery is pretty up here, so it makes the run enjoyable. I first heard about the camp through my Coach, he was close with the college coach at New Paltz, and it's been a great experience so far.
MSNY: What's it like tp be here with your sister
JF: We don't run in the same group, but we talk to each other during the night time activities. I've been running with the top group of boys for most of my runs.
MSNY: What has it been like to have a pro athlete like Ashley Higginson of Saucony here to run with and talk to.
JF: She (Ashley) has been really helpful and relatable. She took some time to talk to all of us about what it is like to enjoy running.