Q&A with Bridget Duffy

Sept. 26, 2006

BERKELEY, Calif. - Senior Bridget Duffy looks to lead the California women's cross country program to its best season since her arrival on campus in the fall of 2002. The Bears head to the Stanford Invitational Saturday, Sept. 30, after taking top honors at the San Francisco Invitational and Aggie Open. Duffy, who earned All-America honors in cross country in 2003, sat down with CalBears.com to discuss her expectations for the 2006 season and her plans for the future.

CalBears.com: What are you hoping the team and you can accomplish this season?

Duffy: 'My goals for the team and myself are pretty simple this year. I would like our team to finish higher in the Pac 10 then the last four years (best was seventh in 2005), and I would like to return to nationals.'

CalBears.com: Has the team's early success surprised you at all?

Duffy: 'The team's early success was a bit of a surprise because coming into the season there were a number of question marks surrounding the women's team. We were hit pretty hard by graduation and are a bit low on numbers, so to come out and win two consecutive invitationals as a team is a pleasant surprise.'

CalBears.com: Do you feel any added pressure to perform this fall since it's yourlast as a Cal cross country runner?

Duffy: 'I don't really feel that there is added pressure this year as much as added expectations for my own personal goals. It is hard to believe that my time at Cal is almost over, but I hope to make the most of this year and run every race as if it were my last.'

CalBears.com: Do you and Rebecca Yau have any friendly rivalry stories you can share with us, as you've both been battling for the No. 1 spot for the Bears the last two seasons?

Duffy: 'Not really. I think Rebecca and I work really well together, and no matter who finishes first, we will only make each other better. Even though the two of us are opposites in many respects when it comes to training together, it just works.'

CalBears.com: What have been some of your most memorable moments at Cal in cross country or track and field?

Duffy: 'There are too many moments to even begin to describe, but what I will remember most will be the wildly entertaining time I have spent with my teammates over the last five years. I have been truly blessed to have been surrounded by such a wonderful group of people.'

CalBears.com: Why did you decide upon your major?

Duffy: 'I choose international political economy (PEIS) because I have always hada desire to enter a business-related career after graduation. With political economy, I was able to acquire a strong background in both economics and political science while being able to choose my own region and language of interest.'

CalBears.com: What do you hope to do after graduation running wise and careerwise?

Duffy: 'Good question, I hope to use this year to figure all that out. Running wise, I can't see myself stopping anytime soon. I plan on running my entire life. I will compete as long as I have the desire to win and a passion for the sport. If possible, career wise I would love to be involved in athletics in some way.'

CalBears.com: What do you enjoy doing besides running?

Duffy: 'Besides running, I love being active and enjoying the outdoors. Traveling,eating and spending time with my sister are all up there, as well.'

CalBears.com: 'It's been awhile since you competed in the Bay to Breakers. Do you have any plans on competing in that event when you're done at Cal?

Duffy: 'I would love to compete in the Bay to Breakers next year. I can't wait until I can finally enjoy the local road races in the Bay Area.'

CalBears.com: How has your brother, Matt, progressed as a runner at St. Mary's High School?

Duffy: 'My brother just started his junior year of high school. I give him a hard time because he has not brought home a state title yet, but really, I am so proud of him. He is such a tough runner. It is really inspiring. I think if he continues to improve (last year he finished fourth in the cross country state division IV meet), he should be able to continue running in college.'

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