Q&A with Jake LeVieux
After a breakout track and field campaign as a junior in the spring,
head coach Nate Garcia and the cross country staff expect big things
from Jake LeVieux this fall. LeVieux, who had impressive showings at
both the CCAA Championships and the Division II NCAAs last season,
enters his senior year eager to improve on his marks from a year ago.
The Carlsbad, Calif. native will also be called upon to assume more of
a leadership role in 2008 and LeVieux is poised to accept the challenge
and lead the team back to the NCAA Championships. UC San Diego kicks
off the season Friday, August 29 with a home meet against Point Loma,
University of San Diego, and UNLV at 4:00 p.m.
Q: What are your expectations for the 2008 season both individually and for the team as a whole?
LeVieux: Individually, I am expected to improve from my performances last year. That can be seen through the times I run (if I run a course I did last year), or the place I get in regionals and nationals. I am also expected to be committed to helping out the rest of the team, because cross country is more of a team sport. As a team, I know that some expect us to go to nationals and some are more skeptical, because we only made it by a few points last year. I cannot say that I have full confidence in making it either, but I'm going to do everything I can do in order to make it happen.
Q: What have you been doing this summer to stay in shape?
LeVieux: A lot of running. I've increased my mileage this summer and have been focusing on a higher intensity on my longer runs. We do get a training plan from Nate at the beginning of the summer, and I try to stick close to that, making some additions that I believe will make me stronger. I'm good at short repetitions, but that doesn't mean too much when it comes to 8k and 10k races.
Q: When you’re not running what do you like to do in your spare time?
LeVieux: I enjoy intense music, and I'm trying consistently to become a skilled guitarist in order to join a legitimate band eventually. I think this has been something I have wanted for a long time and probably with as much passion as I have wanted to be a great runner, I just haven't had the amount of time to pursue it as I have in running. I also enjoy skateboarding and surfing, but I also haven't had the time in college to do them as much as I would like.
Q: What has head coach Nate Garcia brought to the program that has impressed you?
LeVieux: Nate seems to know what we are all capable of, and is able to challenge us appropriately. He also tries to have a positive outlook in our performances in order to encourage us that we can do what we our capable if we let our minds work.
Q: What would you say has been your single biggest accomplishment as a runner?
LeVieux: Placing 6th at the Cal-Nevada Championships in the 1500 with a time of 3:55.95.
Q: What do you do to get ready before a competition?
LeVieux: I get pretty nervous usually and am careful with anything that might affect my race, but I also try to not be paranoid. I believe it is necessary to give the race thought in advance, but too much thought and stress can put so much pressure on me that I actually lose confidence and perform worse than if I hadn't even given it any thought at all. Physically, I try to eat well before I race. Oatmeal is always my safe bet. I try not to push the warm up too hard, but I make sure I get three minutes of harder running like we are supposed to. We also have a stretch and drill routine that we do each time. Sometimes it feels a little ritualistic, but it is important.
Q: What made you choose UC San Diego?
LeVieux: It was a school that I didn't expect to get into and I thought the opportunity was too great to pass up. The academics are great, and I knew the team would bring me a social life I would be happy with. Ted Van Arsdale, the former head coach that recruited me really impressed me and made me want to come. The upperclassmen were really strong that year, and it made me feel like it was a strong running program, as well.
Q: If you could spend the day with any three people, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
LeVieux: My grandfather, because he died when I was six and he seems like he was a really laid back and interesting guy. Jesus Christ, because I want to find out the truth of what happened 2000 years ago to put billions of people’s minds (including mine) to rest. Sir Isaac Newton, because I want to know how he thinks.
Q: Who has been your greatest role model and why?
LeVieux: I would say it would be my dad, because of the success he has had in his life. I think his work ethic in his career has rubbed off on me.
Q: What are your plans after you graduate? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
LeVieux: I hope to work in a chemistry and/or biology lab studying something that really interests me. If that does not work out, who knows? I've always wanted to be a fireman.
Q: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about you?
LeVieux: I have an ongoing battle during school with getting enough sleep. I think about how much I want to sleep all the time during class or wherever probably everyday. This probably means I need to manage my time more wisely, and become more of a nerd and have a smaller social life, but I keep refusing to.
Q: What does being a Triton mean to you?
LeVieux: I have a lot of pride in being a Triton. I feel like I am part of a very large team. As a Triton, I feel like schoolwork is much more important to us compared to others, yet we still put everything on the line for the sport.
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