Interview: Dutch Fork senior Niki Klasnic

Full name: Nicole Renee Klasnic
Date of birth: Nov. 6, 1990
Brothers/Sisters: Andrew and Jo
Hobbies: Making movies, watching Disney movies and being with my family and friends because I can't stand to be alone!
Academic interest: I want to major in theater and performance
Training shoe: Brooks Trance 7 purple and black
Racing shoe: Reebok, but I want to get some of those Nike lunaracers

scrunners: When did you start running?
klasnic: I started running when I was in seventh grade.

scrunners: Do you remember your first race?
klasnic: I don't remember the actual race, but it was against Irmo and my parents came at the very end of it and they thought I was just starting the race but I was actually finishing it.

scrunners: What made you decide to start running?
klasnic: I used to play basketball at Friarsgate Park and Randy, one of the referees there used to tell me that I needed to run cross country because I never got tired during our games. So I went out for cross coutnry the first year I could.

scrunners: What other sports did you play prior to this?
klasnic: I have tried almost everything, but I played basketball consistently until middle school where I made the C-team and did not like it at all.

scrunners: Do you have any family members that run?
klasnic: None of my family members ever ran until me, then my mom decided that each of my younger brothers had to try it their seventh grade year. Andrew, who is in 10th grade never did it again, but Jo who just finished his first season loved it.

scrunners: As a senior, what kind of goals did you have for the season and how has that been going?
klasnic: My goal for the season was to be able to run consistently in the 19s and for the races where we were told to go all out, I did that so I was happy.

scrunners: Do you see yourself running in college?
klasnic: Yes, Ihave been looking at several schools and its been fun to get to visit them because of the running.

scrunners: Have you been on any visits?
klasnic: Yes, so far I have only visited Wofford but I am planning on making more visits when the season is over and I get my weekends back!

scrunners: What schools are you interested in and why?
klasnic: I'm mostly interested in a school that will allow me to run and be a part of their thearter department because they tend to conlflct some during the year. I also want to be able to run track and cross country rather then going somewhere that only runs cross country.

scrunners: Finishing sixth at the Class AAAA middle state meet, having Samantha one in front of you and finishing first in team placement, how was that race and what did you think of having a different type of qualifying meet?
klasnic: Well, Me and Sam were running together and both made a wrong turn! I was dissapointed about that because the time was slower, but it all turned out ok because the team still won the meet. Sam doing so well this year has been great because it has pushed me to run harder than I have had to in previous seasons. She is a great teammate to have a practices everyday for training and making practice fun. It was a little bit weird having a qualifying meet in cross country since previously we have only had then in track, but I think it will end up being a positive thing because state meet will be less crowded. 

scrunners: What is your goal for Saturday's meet?
klasnic: I want to finish in the top five or 10 and hopefully get a good time.

scrunners: What did you think of your competition this year?
klasnic: I usually don't think that much about the competition but there is always a group of talented girls to compete against.

Do you have a tradition prior to each race?
klasnic: I don't do anything specific before a race besides trying to go to bed at a reasonable time the night before and I like to have the same pair of bright pink socks on for most of my races.

scrunners: As a runner, what has been your biggest challenge?
klasnic: My biggest challenge has probably been being able to get myself to believe that I can keep improving and run competitively with people I percieve as good runners but, this year I think I have managed to get over that.

scrunners: Are you participating in any post season meets?
klasnic: Yes, I am going to Foot Locker (South) with one of the other girls on the team.

scrunners: What kind of course do you prefer?
klasnic: I really like courses that are flat but then again who doesn't?

scrunners: What course do you consider is the most challenging?
klasnic: I honestly think that Dutch Fork's home course is one of the hardest courses I have run.

scrunners: What kind of winter training do you undergo?
klasnic: Once I'm done with cross country I mostly go back to running long distance again until track conditioning starts.

scrunners: Do you take a break after the season?
klasnic: I take about a week off usually maybe two at the most. I think this year I'm going to wait to take my break over Christmas vacation.

scrunners: Who do you admire the most and why?
klasnic: I really admire my parents because they have raised me and my brothers well and have taught us things that I believe are truly important and will help me for my whole life. As far as running goes, I'm not sure which you were asking? I really admire my old coach, coach Peterson. He has always been a positive influence in my life as far as running goes and has always been willing to help any of us that need running advice or help with our offseason training.

scrunners: Do you see yourself coaching in the future, if so, at what level and why?
klasnic: I don't really see myself as the coaching type, but you never know, it depends on if I feel like I could bring something helpful and inspiring to younger runners.

scrunners: What do you think it takes to be a distance runner?
klasnic: Being a distance runner takes a lot of discipline because you have to make yourself run when you don't feel like it and you have to give up a lot of time to practices and races.

scrunners: Are you planning on running track? If so, what will be your focus?
klasnic: Yes, I really prefer track and I usually do the mile, two , 4x8 and 800. This year I really want to focus on the mile though because I enjoy it the most.

scrunners: What do you recommend to younger runners that want to achieve their best in the sport?
klasnic: I would tell them not to stress over running because it does not help at all. You can work hard, do well, and have fun too.