New Season, New Coach, New Roles
Sept. 16, 2005
When twins Amanda and Katy Trotter stepped onto Stanford's campus as freshmen for cross country training camp in the fall of 2003, they were star-struck. Already accomplished runners themselves from Red Bank, New Jersey, the Trotters were in talented company at Stanford. They walked onto a team that included Alicia Craig, an NCAA champion in the 10,000 meters, and Sara Bei, multiple Pac-10 champion and All-American.
'Just to be a member of the Stanford women's cross country team with those girls, I was in awe,' explains Katy Trotter.
'I looked up to everyone on the team,' agrees Amanda, 'I wanted to be just like them. These were girls I had read about in high school. I would call my coach and say, guess who I worked out with?'
The Trotters did more than just work out with the squad their freshman year. They made an immediate impact, racing in all seven races. Amanda tallied four top-10 finishes, including a tenth-place finish at the Pac-10 championship, and was Stanford's fifth runner at the NCAA championship. Katy finished 21st at the NCAA championship in 2003, earning All-American honors.
With the help of the Trotters, Stanford went on to win the 2003 NCAA championship their freshman year.
In their first two years on The Farm, the Trotters have been crucial contributors to Stanford's distance success. During indoor track her freshman year, Katy ran the 1200 meter leg of the NCAA runner-up distance medley relay team, earning her second All-American honor. Katy also finished second in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Pac-10 outdoor track championship.
As sophomores during the 2004 cross country season, the Trotters again raced in all seven races as the Stanford women won six of seven competitions. Katy and Amanda were Stanford's fourth and fifth runners at the NCAA championship where Stanford finished fifth as a team.
As the 2005 cross country season begins, the Trotters step into new roles both athletically and as leaders of the squad. Gone are four seniors from the 2004 season, including Bei and Craig. Without any seniors on the squad in 2005, the Trotters, along with fellow juniors Arianna Lambie and Teresa McWalters, are now being looked upon to lead the team.
'When we arrived here our freshman year,' says Katy, 'there were no seniors on the team. Now we're in a leadership role. We're looking forward to the change, the challenge.'
The Trotters have accomplished more in two years than most collegiate runners do in a career. However, they still have high expectations for themselves and the team.
'Our goal this season is definitely to be very competitive at Nationals,' says Amanda. 'Individually I want to stay strong throughout the entire season. I want to improve my placing from last season and be more competitive, physically and mentally.'
'We need to remain cohesive as a team,' adds Katy. 'Individually, everyone wants to improve. I want to be an All-American.'
Winning another NCAA championship is high on the list of priorities for this year's squad. Stanford has been ranked first at some point during the season for the last four years. In addition to Amanda and Katy Trotter, Stanford will also lean heavily upon Lambie and McWalters. Lambie was a cross country All-American in 2003 and third-place finisher in the 1500 meters at the NCAA outdoor track championship in 2005. McWalters was Stanford's second finisher at the 2004 NCAA cross country championship and third in the 5,000 meters at the 2005 NCAA outdoor track championship.
Perhaps the biggest change for the Trotters and the cross country team this season is the resignation of head coach Dena Evans and the hiring of new head coach Peter Tegan and assistant Ashley Couper. Evans was the head cross country coach during the Trotters first two years at Stanford, leading the team to two Pac-10 championships, two NCAA West Regional Championships and an NCAA championship during those two years.
New head coach Peter Tegan is highly qualified to fill Evans' shoes. Regarded as one of the most highly respected middle distance and distance coaches in the United States, Tegan has coached 43 individual national champions and two NCAA championship teams during 30 years at the University of Wisconsin.
'I'm very excited about the opportunity we've been given,' says Katy Trotter. 'Coach Tegan is an excellent coach. I'm confident in his ability to take us to the next level.'
'It's a transition,' added Amanda. 'There will definitely be some rough spots, but we're all prepared for them. We will miss Dena, she's taken the team far and helped us succeed. But it will be interesting to see how a new training philosophy affects our performance.'
Being twins has also greatly affected the Trotters experience at Stanford. The Trotters were the most successful twin duo during the 2005 cross country season.
'There's definitely a comfort factor in having a twin at school with you, especially as a teammate,' says Amanda. 'It's so much easier to adjust when you have a friend and teammate that you know so well immediately.'
'In terms of running, we try to keep each other in check, as normal as possible,' notes Katy. 'If one wants to go on an extra run, the other will ask why. Our competitive nature is good and bad at times. The running competition can help and hurt our relationship.'
The Trotters plan to work together during the next two years to continue to improve athletically and academically.
'We will continue to push each other,' says Amanda. 'Now we're in a leadership role. We balance each other out. I'm the more vocal, emotional one. Katy sets the example.'
Currently, the men's and women's cross country teams are training at high altitude in Mammoth Lakes, California. They return for the Stanford Invitational on Saturday, September 25 on the Stanford Golf Course.