June 26, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - With a slew of current and former Hoya athletes competing at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in track & field at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., www.GUHoyas.com will be profiling a number of athletes throughout the 10-day event. Today's profile is on 2008 graduate Maggie Infeld.
Event: 800m, 1,500m
Appearance at Olympic Trials: First
Day Before: Paints nails, gets a good dinner the night before, ends the night by watching a movie or doing something relaxing
Day of Competition: Wake up, eat eggs and a bowl of oatmeal, take a nap before the race, drink an Americano (espresso drink), general warm-up she has been doing since college, listen to music to get her pumped up
Recent Tracks to Get Pumped: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry
On the decision to compete in both the 800 and 1,500 ...
Coach Miltenberg and I went in with the 1,500 as my main focus but we decided to also enter the 800 since I qualified for that as well. We decided to run the 800 as a tune-up for the 1500 and because the two events are separated by rest days, we thought it was a great opportunity to get in some competitive races without taking anything away from the 1500. It was also nice to get my feet wet at the trials - to get used to checking in earlier and going into the paddock area earlier than most other races this season. And to get the nerves out - I was really nervous the first day but once I got the nerves out of the way I was just excited to be there and I tried to soak up the energy at Hayward Field and use it to help me.
On how she did in the 800m ...
I made it through the first round with an automatic qualifier - I was third in my heat - so, that was really nice. I felt really good in that race. The next day I came back for the semifinals of the 800 and I didn't really know what to expect. Most of these girls were true 800 runners and I was just trying to hang on, run smart and pick off as many people as I could at the end. I ended up ninth overall in the semis and they take the top eight overall to the final. So, I was the first one out. That was a little bittersweet because definitely, one of my goals here is to make the finals of either the 800 of 1,500. I was close but not quite. However, it gave me a lot of confidence because I beat a lot of really good 800 runners and that definitely gives me some momentum going into the 1,500. So now I have some rest days and I get to recover and focus all of my energy on the 1,500, my favorite race.
On being in "TrackTown" ...
When I was driving in, there were billboards with runners and all sorts of advertisements for running apparel and shoe companies - runners' faces are even featured on the sides of buses here! It's like an alternate reality. Track & field is somewhat of a niche sport and in America it's certainly not at the status of football or basketball. So, it is really cool to have people be so enthusiastic and excited about track & field here. My family flew in from Ohio and my boyfriend is flying in from DC and they get to experience all of this too. We went to the track yesterday and it was like Disneyland for track fans. Outside they have a festival and in the stadium they had to build additional stands to fit all of the people who wanted to come. The crowds are roaring even in the prelims and semifinals. I just try to feed off that energy and use it because it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I'm trying to soak it all in and enjoy it. I try to remind myself of that when I get nervous - I need to just enjoy it and have fun because that's what sports are really for anyway.
On her decision to continue running post-collegiately ...
I think that I had a good college career but I felt that I had more in me. I ended on a high note in my fifth year of running and I felt like I was ready to take the next step in dropping my times and competing on a national stage. I just didn't feel like I was done. I started medical school at Georgetown and I love Georgetown medical school but I would lay awake at night and think about competing and racing.
On her post-collegiate life ...
So I experimented my first year and tried to do both medical school and continue competing and traveling to track meets. It was honestly a little too much for me. I didn't like the feeling that I was giving less than 100 percent in either. There are people in both areas giving it their all - in medicine, my classmates are giving 100 percent and my track competitors were giving 100 percent doing two practices per day and then napping between them, and I couldn't do that. However, I continued to improve my first year because I have a great coach, great training partners and I was healthy. That was definitely positive reinforcement. Following my first year of medical school, I had a little break from school and I went over to race in Europe and I improved upon my times by a good margin. After that I thought more seriously about taking a year off after finishing my pre-clinical years (first two years of medical school) because it serendipitously coincided with the Olympic Trials year. So, I contacted my medical school deans and they were very supportive and nice to let me take the opportunity to train for the Olympic trials and give it a shot. So, this past year, I really lived my life as a professional runner. I worked part time at the hospital but I prioritized the running and I continued to improve. It was great to see what this life as a professional runner is like and to try to realize my potential as an athlete this year.
On what she's learned from her post-collegiate career ...
One thing racing over in Europe taught me is that it really does not matter what happens before your race in terms of your routine. That's why I try not to be too obsessive compulsive about my pre-race routine. My training partners and I would be trying to find our way to races the day of the race in places where we did not speak the language. We once missed our bus and got to a race just in time to put on our spikes and jump in the race. I even lost my spikes while I was there and had to borrow another American runner's spikes. We were out of our comfort zone in many ways. But that experience taught me to roll with the punches and keep my composure when things aren't perfect. It really doesn't matter - whatever happens before the race, what you eat before the race. As soon as the gun goes off none of that matters. Keeping your composure in these Olympic trials kinds of races is really important. Keeping the nerves to a minimum and also not letting erratic pacing or jostling or imperfect positioning throw you off.
On working with Coach Miltenberg ...
I don't like to mess with what works. Ever since I started training with Coach Milt when I was a junior in college, I've continued to improve. He's really good about keeping things in perspective and reminding us that this is a sport and it's meant to be fun. You really have to do this sport for yourself while also recognizing all of the people who have helped you along the way. You can't do it alone but in the end when you line up, you have to love it for yourself and be able to block out the extrinsic pressures and what other people are saying. He's really good about keeping it fun and keeping me and my training partners mentally calm for races but also pumping us up and making us excited to go out there and compete. I think he's one of the best coaches in America because he is an extremely hard worker and he's also brilliant at what he does - that's a pretty killer combo.
On her most memorable moment from the Olympic Trials thus far ...
I saw Amanda (Kimbers) right before I went to race the 800 prelim. She was so excited and said, "I got in!" with a big smile on her face after everything she went through to get into the 100 prelims. I just thought she was such a good sport. She kept her head on straight and she ran her second-fastest time ever. I was with her the whole day before and she was staying so calm and it was inspiring to see her handle that situation so well. I was just so happy when I heard that she got in. I was really proud of her. Georgetown has been really really good to me and I feel like the track and field program is very much a family. It has been so exciting and inspiring to see current and former Hoyas competing so well at the US Olympic trials here in Eugene.
DAY 7 / THURSDAY ON THE TRACK
3:50 p.m. PT / 6:50 p.m. ET: Women's 1,500m Qualifying (Treniere (Clement) Moser, Maggie Infeld, Renee Tomlin)
4:20 p.m. PT / 7:20 pm. ET: Men's 1,500m Qualifying (Liam Boylan-Pett, Michael Banks - provisional standing)
5:30 p.m. PT / 8:30 p.m. ET: Women's 400m Hurdles Qualifying (London Finley - provisional standing)
7:15 p.m. PT / 10:15 p.m. ET: Women's 5,000m Finals (Emily Infeld, Elizabeth Maloy)
7:38 p.m. PT / 10:38 p.m. ET: Men's 5,000m Finals (Andrew Bumbalough)
Declarations for each event are open for up to 48 hours prior to the start time and will be considered and released on a rolling basis throughout the trials. Full coverage of current and former Georgetown student-athletes at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be available daily on www.GUHoyas.com.
Thursday, June 28: 9-11 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Friday, June 29: 6-8 p.m. ET (NBC Sports Network)
Saturday, June 30: 9-10 p.m. ET/PT (NBC)
Sunday, July 1: 7-8 p.m. ET/PT (NBC)