See What's Up With Tate Sweeney

(Photo provided by Tate Sweeney)

First of all, how did you first start running?

In elementary school, we have a one mile race between all the different schools in the city. After the race, my gym teacher told me I should join some sort of running in the future. Before 7th grade, my Cross Country coach sent me a letter (and many others) inviting us to join the team. The final push was my older sister who was already in the sport and loved it.

What are all your personal records, including cross country?

800- 2:13.11

1600- 5:06.22

5k- 18:33

Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?

Growing up, I played soccer and basketball which I really enjoyed. After I joined cross country in 7th grade, I continued to play both sports. Each required its own commitment and I decided that I wanted to follow a path in cross country so I stopped playing soccer and basketball after 7th/8th grade.  I joined Nordic Skiing in 9th grade.

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?

Although this is a very cliché answer, my favorite cross country memory was winning State as a team for the first time. It was so memorable because after we all crossed the line we came together as a team and while we weren't sure of the results, we were so happy with our races and felt like we gave it our all.

Other than your own teammates, who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against?

I can honestly say I love competing against all of the Lake Conference and Willmar girls because they are so nice, supportive and, of course, they are really good competitors.  

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career?

For starters, my family has always been super supportive and has never put any stress on me to stay with the sport.  They simply wanted what's best for me.  Also, all my coaches! Especially Matt Gabrielson, who has always been someone who believed in me, and Lynn Sosnowski, who is always pushing me to do better than I think is my best. Finally, my teammates helped to create an environment that is so fun and energetic while pushing me when I need it most.

(Photo provided by Tate Sweeney)

Edina's girls distance team has been experiencing some pretty historic success recently. What is it about this particular group of runners that makes them special as a unit?

The Edina girls team is a special unit because we all want to work hard and are more than willing to go the extra mile to be at our full potential. I consider these girls family and have enjoyed seeing that we will do anything for each other on and off the track/course.

What is a challenge you have had to face as an athlete?

During my junior year of cross country, I endured a back injury which had me benched from a race and away from my team for a month and a half doing alternative training. The biggest challenge was staying mentally strong because I wasn't able to do the workouts with my team or be with my teammates during practice. Although my training wasn't the same as the rest of the group, I was fortunate to have access to an Alter-Gravity machine and an amazing PT which allowed me to continue to compete. Also, my coach/teammates were always there to boost my mental strength.

As a senior, how have your perspectives, strategies, or attitudes changed since you first started running?

When I first started running it was simply pure luck and adrenaline that allowed me to be successful. As my running continued, I found that putting in more miles, better foods and consistent hours of sleep (Sleep.Fuel.Hydrate) all helped me to become the runner I am today.

What are your main goals for this upcoming track season?

My goal is to leave everything on the track since it's my last year running for Edina. I'm focusing a lot on the 800 and 1600 but hoping to get a fast time in the 3200 as well.

(Photo provided by Tate Sweeney)

Do you have any college plans?

I am going to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities next year where I will continue my running career while studying Education.

What were some of the things that attracted you to The U?

The main thing that attracted me to the U was the distance from home and the fact that my sister is a student there as well. My family is a really big part of my life and knowing they're only a 20 minute drive away will be nice next year. That being said, the team is super nice, welcoming and the school is great!

Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?

The night before a race I usually have something healthy like roasted beets, sweet potatoes, salad and some type of meat. The morning of the race, I have oatmeal and some sort of fruit. Other than the foods I eat, I try and stay away from routines because I can get too focused on going through the motions and not doing what I need before my race.   

When not running miles or running on ovals, what might we find you doing?

When I'm not running, you can find me hanging out with family, friends, at my cabin or babysitting!

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.

I've been speaking French since kindergarten!