Q&A with Men's Cross Country Captain Carl Lostrom


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Junior Carl Lostrom is a captain on the 2004 UC San Diego men’s cross country team. He is one of only three members of this year’s squad that has competed in more than two seasons for the Tritons. As a sophomore in 2003, he helped guide UCSD to a third place finish in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, a second place finish at the NCAA Division II West Regionals and a 15th place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

Following a stellar personal and team performance against Point Loma over the weekend in which UCSD took the top 11 spots, including his third place individual finish, Lostrom took some time out from training to answer a few questions.

Q: What kind of tone does the team’s performance over the weekend against Point Loma set for the rest of the season?
Lostrom: Basically coach outlined to us over the weekend that he wanted us to run as a pack and keep up a good pace since this wasn’t a real high pressure meet. I was really happy with how all 11 guys stepped it up and ran as a pack. It was very encouraging in the sense that everyone was willing run in that game plan rather than having individuals run for themselves.

Q: With two weeks before your next race, what kind of training regimen do you follow?
Lostrom: Up until the NCAA Championships we pretty much train through races. That is the way that Coach Van Arsdale likes to do it and I tend to agree with him. It’s kind of an uplifting thing as well if we post good times while training through races, it makes us think a little of well our times will be even that much better once we start tapering our training towards the end of the season.

Q: As the captain, what are your expectations for the year?
Lostrom: I would like to see us build a strong team in friendship and team work along with running ability. We have begun to score ourselves against last year’s times in some of the set runs we do and we are ahead of last year’s times already. That has come as a little bit of a shock to a lot of the guys since we lost so many talented runners from last year’s team. So we are very happy with the direction we are going. Our goal each and every year in to be in the top 10 at nationals, but with the performances we have had so far this season in practice and in the one race, that goal seems more real to us this year.

Q: What does the CCAA look like for you guys this year?
Lostrom: Chico State is a very, very strong program, so really it has become a battle for second place between Cal Poly Pomona and us. What we would like to do this year, is to once and establish ourselves as the second best team in the conference, not the second or third best. Our goal is 2-3-10. Top two in the CCAA, top three in the West Region and top 10 in the country.

Q: What was it about cross country that grabbed your attention when you were younger?
Lostrom: I came out originally with the intent of getting into shape for soccer. I had never run in a practice or a race before in cross country. What I came to realize is that cross country and even track are very much team sports. Even though you are responsible for your own performance and your times are dictated by you, you have to rely on those other six guys in the race with you to carry out the gameplan. I like the fact that there is no one else to blame for your performance other than you. You can’t say he didn’t pass me the ball, or the coach doesn’t like me. In this sport if you can run the time or post the mark, you can compete.

Q: How do you prepare for competing so early in the morning?
Lostrom: We spend all year getting ready for nationals. We practice early in the morning for a reason, to prepare for the meets we compete in. I do a lot of visualization prior to a race. I feel like I have run the race 10 times already prior to actually stepping out on to the course. It is a lot of preparation. You get a good night of sleep the night before and eat a good meal, but you rely more on the daily preparation rather than one night of preparation the night before. It is a little frustrating to compete so early because we won’t have to many spectators that want to come out so early, which is completely understandable, but we get used to it.

Q: What do your future plans include?
Lostrom: Following graduation my ultimate goal, which I have had since I was a little kid, would be to work for Disney making their rides and attractions. Their business is one that I have come to admire greatly. It is a very competitive industry in that not many people who have that job, leave that job, but it is a goal of mine. My major is Mechanical Engineering and I love to build things, watch things to see how they work, so any job that allows me to not only make things, but to make things better, I will be happy.

Q: What is something that you guys get to see on a daily basis that not many people would know about Ted Van Arsdale?
Lostrom: Coach has a good sense of humor. Not many people understand him at first, but once you get to know him, you begin to understand. One of the things that I struggled with early on was his terminology. He has a lot of horses and makes many references to them in training. He once told us that he would like us to gallop, and I had a tough time visualizing this because I don’t have any horses of my own, but I eventually came around.