Mikey Kvaal Is Looking Forward To Success As A Junior

Mikey Kvaal, Class of 2020 - Dawson-Boyd High School (LQPV/DB)

What are all your personal records?  What State Meet competitions have you been in, and what were your results?
My personal records are...
-400: 52.8 (Split in a relay)
-800: 2:02 (Split in a relay)
-1600: 4:39
-3200: 9:52
-5K XC: 16:29

I've competed in the State cross country meet since eighth grade (2015). My results were...
-8th grade: 84th in 17:36
-9th grade: 42nd in 17:01
-10th grade: 36th in 16:57
-11th grade: 22nd in 16:33
I also went to State my freshman and sophomore year in the 3200 and once in the 4x800 
-9th grade: 9th place in the 3200 in 10:06
-10th grade: 6th place in the 3200 in 9:52 and 13th place in the 4x800 in an 8:20

How did you first get involved with track? Do you do, or have you done, any other sports?
My whole family has been involved with running, with my brother and both sisters running cross country and track. I am also a member of the boys basketball team.

What is your favorite or most memorable competition you've ever been in?
My most memorable race was my freshman year State 3200 race. I wasn't expected to make a splash by any means (seeded 14th of 16), but I was fortunate to be able to survive the 90 degree heat (as well as withstand a blister roughly the size of a half-dollar on my foot) and steal the last podium spot.

What is one of your favorite track-related memories?
A favorite non-race related memory I have is the pre-State meals I have with my teammates, where we talk about anything and everything in great, obscure detail.

Who are some of your favorite athletes to compete against (either teammates or from other reams)?
At larger meets, I enjoy any and all competition, but on a more local level, I enjoyed competing against guys like Josh Bailey of Benson/KMS and John Irwin of Windom. Though they have since graduated, I still think back on races against them the most.

Who are some people that have been most helpful to you in your athletic career, and how have they helped you?
My dad has been the biggest influence on my athletic career. He's with me every day in XC practice because he is the assistant coach. He was also my elementary track and basketball coach. My parents attend all my competitions, and my mom actually takes pictures for the local newspapers, so she's usually on the infield.

Who might we find cheering for you at competitions?  
At meets, you can find my teammates and family cheering for me, as well some athletes from other teams that I've gained as friends through running.

What is one of the biggest challenges you've had to face as an athlete?
My main challenge I've faced is that I had a rather disappointing sophomore year of XC as far as improving went. As a result, I took a year off from basketball to train over the winter.

What are your main goals for this track season?
In track, I'll be running a variety of events from 400 to 3200. My goals consist of...
-400: running in the 50's
-800: break 1:59
-1600: break 4:25
-3200: break 9:40
I'd also really like to get our 4x400 relay down to State.

What are you and your teammates looking forward to the most this year?
Our boys team won a third consecutive Conference title so we'd like to extend that streak. Our 4x800 set a school record at State, so that will be a goal again this year. Qualifying as many athletes as we can to the State meet is always a goal.

What are your goals/plans for when you graduate from high school?
After high school I'd like to major in the mathematics field. I'd also like to run for a college with strong cross country and track programs.

Do you have any rituals, routines, or superstitions either on or off the track?
I always like to have the exact same sub sandwich from Subway before races as well as a granola bar about one hour before race time.

When not doing anything track-related, what might we find you doing?
If I'm not doing something track-related, I'm still working out, whether lifting weights or core exercises. Other then that, very often I will be sleeping.

What advice would you give to younger athletes, or athletes just starting out in track?
For younger kids, success isn't always measured by a gold medal or a blue ribbon. It's about your experiences along the way and reaching your personal goals. Also, distance running isn't thaaaaaat bad!

Do you have any specific running advice or tips that you would like to share?
For a race strategy, I always try to run the mile/lap I'm currently in. Basically, that means that anything that has already happened in the race is something I can't change or do anything about. I can only determine what is happening in the present. For example, if I want to run a certain time with specific splits per lap and one split ends up being too fast or slow, I need to brush it off and move onto the next one.

Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.
I attend the same high school that Olympic athlete, Carrie Tollefson, graduated from. She actually used to run on the gravel road in front of my house. My cousin, Greg Liebl, won the State Class A Cross Country title in 2000 and the 3200 in 2003.