2004 UCSD Triton Racer of the Year Mimi Hodgins looks to continue her success on the Women’s Cross Country team. Through four meets this year, Hodgins has placed as the top individual racer in all four events while UCSD has finished first in both of its home meets. Hodgins, a senior Anthropology major at Eleanor Roosevelt college, will try to continue the her amazing start to the final year of her Triton cross country experience as the team travels to San Francisco for the CCAA Championships on October 22nd.
Q: How would you evaluate the start of the season, both personally and in a team sense?
HODGINS: I would say we’re doing awesome. We have the best team we’ve ever had and I’m personally having the best season I’ve ever had. I feel great and hopefully it continues.
Q: The CCAA Championships are on the 22nd in San Francisco. Do you think the team can improve on their second place finish last year and win the event?
HODGINS: I think we do if we all have our good days and pull together. I think it’s definitely a possibility.
Q: What tactics does Coach Ted Van Arsdale use to motivate you and the team?
HODGINS: We’ve been really working on a team aspect this year. Trying to work a lot together as a team by doing runs together, work-outs together. We have certain training paces so some days that’s not possible, but for the most part we’re really working the team dynamic so we can pull together.
Q: Are there any team tactics used in the events themselves?
HODGINS: Yes. Such as our Irvine race, we went out in a pack and worked team dynamics the whole way and then half-way through the race I took off to do my thing.
Q: In what area have you improved the most since your first year of cross country at UCSD?
HODGINS: Summer training, which has always in the past been really hard for me. I’ve finally, in the last two years, gotten that under control a lot. Everything just falls together as you get older and more mature.
Q: Do you feel the more training you do over the summer the better prepared you are for the season?
HODGINS: Yes, definitely. How much work you put in the summer is definitely going to show, not only in cross country, but also in track.
Q: As you just mentioned, in addition to the cross country team, you’re also a member of the track-and-field team and last year went to Nationals where you finished with the second fastest time in the 800-meter race. Do you have a preference between cross-country and track-and-field?
HODGINS: Well, I like cross-country in that it’s a team sport. Obviously, I think I can use my best skills during track. I’m more built as a track runner, but I love the team dynamic of cross country.
Q: Other than UCSD, do you have a favorite place to compete?
HODGINS: I like to compete in the National championships.
Q: What’s the biggest difference between Malibu, where you attended high school, and San Diego?
HODGINS: I like it a lot more here. The team is a lot better. I like being independent and doing my own thing.
Q: What are your plans following this year?
HODGINS: I plan on trying to get sponsored professionally, maybe by Nike, or maybe running for Team USA, and hopefully getting an internship or a job with the museum of tolerance.
Q: What is your greatest cross-country memory?
HODGINS: I think it would have to be last weekend when I won at our home meet.
Q: Do you envision continuing running, whether it be competitively or at leisure?
HODGINS: Yeah, I think so. I’ve been running since I was six years old, so I’ll think I’ll be doing it for awhile.
Q: How did you get started running?
HODGINS: Well, I started running because I was really energetic. I’m number five out of six kids and my parents needed to do something with me to make me sleep at night. We saw an ad for a club track team in the mall. My mom signed me up and I’ve been doing track-and-field since I was six.
Q: Have you participated in any other sports, aside from cross country and track?
HODGINS: I played soccer from kindergarten until my sophomore year in high school, but it was too hard on my knees and I was better at running so I did that.
Q: In your final year as a Triton, do you have any specific goals that you’d like to see the team achieve?
HODGINS: I’d really like the cross country team to get a top-eight finish at Nationals. I think we’re good enough and we’ve had a history of not performing at the level we were predicated to run at the Nationals race. I think it would be really great if we all pulled together at Nationals and got a top-8. That would give another berth to our region, so instead of taking three to Nationals they could take a fourth team.
Q: And this is a very realistic goal?
HODGINS: I think so and I think it would be a great gift to give to the next team in our region.
Q: What are your personal feelings as your successful collegiate cross country career nears an end?
HODGINS: It’s been a great trip. I started out just ‘I think want to do this.’ I hit a real low my sophomore year when I got really sick with ulcers. It’s just been a constant improvement, just figuring out who I am. Running is just something that has matured as I’ve matured and it’s just been cool to see.
Q: What word would you use to describe your time at UCSD?
PREVIOUS Q&A ARTICLES
Heather Sugg (Women's Soccer) - October 11, 2005
Laura Watkins (Women's Volleyball) - September 28, 2005
Kevin Murray (Men's Soccer) - September 20, 2005
Carl Lostrom (Men's Cross Country) - September 13, 2005
Clark Petersen (Men's Water Polo) - September 6, 2005
Brianna Koche (Women's Volleyball) - August 30, 2005