Interview: Ashley Hall Distance Star Meagan Brandli

Full Name: Meagan Elizabeth Brandli
Date of Birth: April 14, 1993
Brothers/Sisters: Madison-age 10 and Min is a 17 year old foreign exchange student from Korea
Academic Interest: Latin and Science
Hobbies: Surfing, water skiing, running, and swimming
Personal Bests: 3,000 10:51, 1,500 5:01, 800 2:29, 3,200 11:55, 1,600 5:37, 5k 19:19, 400 1:06
scrunners: When did you start to run?
brandli: I started to run two years ago in the sixth grade. I joined The Mount Pleasant track team.

scrunners: What are who gave you the idea to become a runner?
brandli: When I was younger I ran the mile a couple of times for my elementary school and my friends all told me I should run.

scrunners: Do you remember your first race? Explain.
brandli: Besides those school events,the bridge run came around when I had just moved here from Indiana. My parents and I decided that it would be better that I only did the kids run. (Probably should have just run the bridge.) This race was actually where I met the Mount Pleasant coach (Tami Dennis), thanks to my good friends the Bridghams, whose daughter had run for her the year before.

scrunners: Does or did anyone else in your family run? If so, where and when?
brandli: My family never ran track, but my dad did run some of the L.A. marathons.

scrunners: What are you looking to achieve this track season? brandli: I\'m looking for the 1500 and 800 school record and maybe some SCISA records but I\'ve got time. I am just going to look for personal bests, without peaking too early or hurting myself and just having fun.

scrunners: What are you looking to achieve in the future in running?
brandli: I would like to run in college and maybe even go for the 2012 Olympics but it\'s hard to look that far ahead.

scrunners: What would you say is the most prestigious meet you have competed in? How did you fare at the meet?
brandli: I would have to say the track and field nationals in Indiana last year. Sadly, I didn\'t do that well in my best event, the two mile, because I was nervous. I came in eighth in the mile.

scrunners: How would you rate your cross country season in 2005?
brandli: I did much better then I thought I would and was able to set high goals for myself and I just hope to get better as I get older.

scrunners: Do you prefer to run cross country or track? Explain.
brandli: I have always liked cross country more than track because track is like swimming where you go around and around which is fun, but cross country is like my break away from it.

scrunners: Where is your favorite place to train? Why?
brandli: I enjoy running off the track for views and challenges, but I love running in the mountains. So far my favorite place to run is Yosemite National Park in California.

scrunners: What kind of training are you currently undergoing and how does the training change as the season comes to a close?
brandli: Right now is a little hard because I am running and swimming. My track team has been working hard. In a week or two we\'re probably going to start tapering to save energy for the state meet.

scrunners: How has your training changed from cross country to track? How much rest did you take following the cross country season?
brandli: My training is much more based on sprint workouts and intervals during track. Cross country is based on terrain and mileage. I had about a month of break, but it didn\'t seem like a lot because I was still swimming.

scrunners: What events are you looking to focus on this outdoor season?
brandli: I\'m focusing on the two mile because my best events are the ones with the most distance. I hope to break some records like the SCISA state records and find out what I\'m truly capable of running on the track.

scrunners: Does Ashley Hall have any team traditions prior to the start of the meet?
brandli: We do the same stretching and running exercises that we do before a race and most of us are so nervous that until the race is over were praying the whole time!

scrunners: Do you have any individual rivals and does Ashley Hall have any team rivals? Explain.
brandli: Well, it\'s hard to call them rivals, but I do have some friends that I enjoy racing with including Sydney Hazel, Megan Kirwan, Alisha Royal, and Jessica Nichols. There are lots of other girls that are really fun to run with. Ashley Hall is always rivals with schools like Porter-Gaud and Pine Wood Prep.

scrunners: What is your favorite running book or movie?
brandli: When I was little I read Crossing Jordan it really inspired me. I\'m working on a scrap book about all of my running and achievements so far. I\'m hoping it may help me get into colleges and its fun to look back over my accomplishments.

scrunners: Have you ever been injured? If so, what occurred and how did you recover?
brandli: I have amazingly never been injured because of running but if something hurts then the next day I just go to swimming instead of track and I\'m usually ok.

scrunners: When a race scenario changes how do you adapt?
brandli: At first I am a little stressed out and get nervous but then I just quickly set my new goal, whether it would be to beat someone in particular or just finish with a good time. I\'ve had races like this when I think I can do really well and then something goes wrong and I hope that I keep going.

scrunners: What would you say is the most challenging portion of running that you have encountered? Explain.
brandli: Running itself is a really hard sport, but what you get from it is the knowledge that you can do something that hard and do it well. This is why my favorite part is after the race, the feeling of accomplishment. The hardest race I\'ve ever done was nationals this December in Rhode Island. It was freezing cold with two feet of snow and there was no parking so my friend McKenzie and I had to hike up a big hill to get there. Our mothers, my sister and my grandma all missed the race after all that. I learned a lot but it wasn\'t a great experience.

scrunners: What do you look for in a coach and what do you expect a coach to look for in you?
brandli: I look for a coach who doesn\'t go easy on me and sets high goals for me to strive to achieve. When your coach believes in you then it\'s easy to believe in yourself.

scrunners: Where would you like take running after high school?
brandli: I would like to run in college and even swim a little. I would like to train for the 2012 Olympics but it\'s hard to look that far ahead. I certainly think that I will run for the rest of my life because it\'s what God gave me a gift for. Running is a great way to have fun and achieve goals while staying active.

scrunners: Have you ever thought about coaching runners in the future? If so, what level and why?
brandli: I have definitely thought about being a running coach someday mostly because of my coach Tami Dennis who has been such an inspiration to me. I would probably coach kids from ages 5-16. I find that younger kids are more determined and willing when they see other older kids (role models) doing well.

scrunners: Have you ever met a professional athlete? Who did you meet and what did you discuss with this individual, if so?
brandli: I have never met a professional athlete but I did meet Jordan Hasay more then once, who is two years older then me, but has set the 3,000-meter and 1,500-meter records for her age group in the country. She is someone I look up to because I can relate to everything she says about running.

scrunners: If there is one thing in the world you could do, what would it be and why?
brandli: I can not say that there would be only one thing I would do for the world, if I could. The world is a great place, but it needs a lot of work.