After nearly three years of being the site editor for Milesplit MN, I (Mark Rice), have made the decision to step down. I enjoyed my time as editor and I got to know many athletes and many coaches well during this time period, and it was always a joy to be able to help shed some light on the many accomplishments of Minnesota athletes. However, it wasn't realistic for me to be able to continue to do what it would take as an editor of the site in order to help it grow into an even better resource than it currently is. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to our readers to the next editor of Milesplit MN, who officially took up the mantle on August 1st, Trey Meadows.
Tell me how you first got involved in track and cross country.
My start in track began like many my age when a gym teacher suggested I join track after the presidential fitness tests. I always like that part but didn't know anything about running as a competitive sport. The track coach welcomed me in even though I was inexperienced and I found my home as athlete and never looked back.
What is your current involvement in the sport?
I coach cross country at Heritage Academy and I'm very fortunate to work under the leadership of awesome head coach Amy Hohenecker in the track program at Providence Academy. I also still like to mix it up in road races from 5k to marathon 5-6 times a year.
What is your favorite memory of your time as an athlete?
Great question that's hard to answer with just one memory. I ran high school and college races in 5-6 states, but misty, cool fall morning mileage with my college team still feels epic in my memory. One route along the River Road in Minneapolis we called "Ole" for the park where we turned around. It was an out and back running away from downtown first, so on the way back the turnaround gave us an amazing view. We always seemed to get a boost and the competitive juices turned an easy 6.5 miles into negative split tempo run the last few miles. The views and power of the team training still make me smile.
What is your favorite memory from your time as a coach?
Again, really hard to pick one after 15 years. I'd say watching a young guy run under 16:50 for 5k on the track under the lights at Macalester when he'd rarely ever broke 20 minutes in high school cross country. The whole team and a dozen non-running friends showed up and went bananas for him. That night, he shattered the limits he'd had put on him his whole life. His accomplishment and the fact our whole community took such pride in that moment still gets me emotional.
Who have been some of the people in track and XC that you have looked up to?
My high school coach, Tom Durbin, my college coach Greg Hayton and Coach Hohenecker at Providence. Their love and care for people changes lives. I wish every runner or athlete had coaches like them.
How has Milesplit MN been helpful to you in the past?
Like any track/XC junkie I love the stats and rankings hubs. But I also used it to track results for college athletes I was recruiting across the midwest. It's also really fun to create virtual meets or head to head rankings.
What are some ways you think the site can be improved?
I think we can get more content that gets fans to interact with MileSplit, athletes and coaches. I want the content that fans want. Let's try new things, let's give fans some input. Let's celebrate the incredible traditions, programs and experience HS track & XC in this state provides.
Why is it exciting for you to work as the Milesplit MN editor?
First I want to say a very big thanks to you, Mark, for your great work the last three years and your assistance and support getting started at MileSplit. Then I'd say getting to promote what I believe are some of the most dedicated and underrated athletes, coaches and programs in the nation is an honor and a thrill. The chance to meet and interact with these communities is a unique opportunity that is actually pretty humbling.
What do you think is the most impressive world record?
There are a lot of amazing accomplishments on the roads and track. But I think the legendary WR performance of Jackie Joyner-Kersee in the 1988 Seoul Olympics Heptathlon is still mind-boggling. I think of her as an incredible hurdler and of course long jumper but look at her 51-foot shot put or 2:08 800m in that competition. If you want to talk about the greatest of all-time, talk about Jackie!
Tell me one bizarre fact about yourself.
I have this strange thing with numbers on electronic devices. I have to set the radio in my car or the TV volume at an even dial number. My wife likes to tease me by moving the TV volume up by just one click! I also never set my alarm clock for a number ending with 5 or exactly on the hour so I often wake up at 6:01 or 5:59am for my morning runs.