IceBerg - An Interview

(Photo provided by Isaac Berg)

Personal Bests

400:  53

800: 1:59 open, 1:57 relay split

1600:  4:24

3200:  9:48

5K Cross Country:  15:59

I've noticed that you are a hockey player for the Lumberjacks.  How has that helped your running?

I played hockey through my junior year.  It was a great way to take the pounding off my legs in the off season and stay in shape and have some fun.  It was a little weird not playing this year but I kept myself busy by running this winter.

Is Ryan Aylesworth your main coach in the fall and also the spring?  What is his philosophy on distance running?  What is your training like?

Aylesworth is my coach in cc and track.  His philosophy is to build a strong aerobic base while hitting the anaerobic system as well.  He is a great coach and my team's success proves it.  I will miss training with him next year and I am grateful for all the time and work he has put in to help me succeed.  Some of the hard workouts I have been doing are 400m and 200m repeats.  We are getting close to the end of the "grind" phase of training.

What is your race strategy in general?

My race strategy is generally to get out relaxed while putting myself in a good position.  I like to start pushing it about halfway through the race but I try to make sure I save a little for the finish.  When I was younger I got out a little hot and paid for it at the end.  Over time I have learned the importance of getting out fast but staying relaxed.

(Photo provided by Isaac Berg)

Why did you pick NDSU? 

I chose NDSU for three  main reasons.  I wanted to go to a school that wasn't too far from home, has an engineering program, and a successful track and CC program. NDSU had all three of these characteristics so it was an easy decision for me. My dad also ran track at NDSU in the 80's, but unlike me,he was a pole vaulter and hurdler.  It is also cool that Don Larson, who coached my dad, is still at NDSU and will be one of my coaches next year.

Do you admire or pattern yourself after any professional or college runner?

I'm a big fan of Mo Farah, Robbie Andrews, and Matt Centrowitz.  I wish I had a kick like Robbie Andrews does!  I have always looked up to my old teammates like Sam Carlson and Caleb Appleton as well who are both college runners now.

What kind of shoes do you wear and why?  Do you wear the same ones as Mo Farah?

I've tried basically every brand of running shoes.  Asic's and Nike seem to work the best for me.  I overpronate, so the Nike structures work great and they are my favorite ones to wear.  I think Mo wears Nike Pegasus so I guess not.

Tell us about the paintball craze in Bemidji if there is one.

I don't think there is any paintball craze.  I'm not even sure if the paintball place in Bemidji is still open. We do have a wall ball craze.  Every day before practice we play.  The game is played with a volleyball and you have to hit it back to the wall before it bounces twice.  We stand in a line rotate through until someone misses, once you have three misses you're out.  It can get very intense and we hit plenty of balls on the roof.  This week the janitors threw all the balls off the roof and we got a grand total of 16 balls back.  We play so often that we killed a patch of grass and it is slowly turning into a hole.  We had a sacred ball that was passed down from team to team since 2012.  Unfortunately I hit it on the roof at Sears in St. Cloud while stopping to eat at Noodles & Co. our way to the Griak Invitational Cross Country Meet. Luckily my teammates eventually forgave me.

Was it fun to run on 4 X 800 relay team in the Boys State Class AA Track & Field Meet last year?

Running 7:49.52 last year at State was a great experience.  I would have never guessed that a time like that would have gotten 4th place.  We were shooting for a higher finish but with the time we ran we couldn't complain too much.  Our team was very close and we are all friends which made it easier to train hard and stay relaxed before races.  Having a good bond with my teammates is definitely a key part of success.

Tell us about your nicknames.

"IceBerg" is one of my nicknames but "Mantis" is my main one.  I kind of gave myself the nickname in 10th grade in track and it has stuck ever since.

(Photo provided by Isaac Berg)