Ashley Caldwell Featured on Q&A

Oct. 23, 2006

Senior Ashley Caldwell took some time out from her busy schedule for a Q&A session with about the fall cross country season and her experiences at UCLA as a whole.

1. You finished 43rd at the NCAA Pre-National meet this past weekend at Indiana State. How did you feel during the race and what was it like to compete on the course once again?

Simply by looking at the place I finished, one may conclude that I had a tough day in the Houte, but that actually wasn't the case. Prior to this cross country season my coach, Eric Peterson and I sat down to evaluate my goals for this year, which is to have a winning track season. Therefore, my training is not specifically geared for the cross country season, but rather in preparation for June. Despite a change in focus towards the cross country season this year, it was wonderful to compete on the course that I earned All-American honors on.

2. UCLA has this weekend off to prepare for the Pac-10 Championships. Now that the conference meet is upon us, how prepared are you and your teammates for the meet?

We are ready to rip! These next two weeks are going to be crucial for us in terms of preparing mentally and physically for the upcoming challenge, but I think I can speak for all the girls in saying, 'we are willing and ready to take on this challenge head-on and leave it all on the course'.

3. You've been the top finisher for UCLA all season long, including last season. While earning All-American after finishing 16th at the 2005 NCAA Championships, how have you tried to install your leadership and success to the rest of your teammates?

I think a huge part of being successful, is first understanding the things that make you unsuccessful. I have done plenty of things over the years that have made me unsuccessful, but I think by sharing these things with my teammates, hopefully it will make their careers more successful. One thing I love about this team is that it is just that, a team. Despite who happens to cross the finish line first for UCLA, we all bring something very special to the table. I have had the privilege of leading this team for the past few years, but the success I have had is due to the support and intensity I have gained from my coaches and teammates.

4. Now that the cross country season is on its final leg of the schedule, what will your basic training consist of?

The main changes at this point will most likely be in my weight training and hill work, but for the most part my training will remain the same, which is basically a mix of tempo and interval training along with a moderate mileage schedule.

5. Looking ahead to the track & field season, you competed in 2006 after sitting out in 2005 due to a stress fracture. With an extra year of training and preparation, how much of an advantage was it to you to have an extra year to compete?

Priceless. That's all I can say.

6. What are some of your goals and expectations in the middle-distance races this season on the track?

To be the best. As simple as that sounds, it has taken me four long years to say, and more importantly to believe.

7. Originally from Los Gatos, California, what led you to enroll and compete at UCLA?

It was a no-brainer. Honestly, deciding to attend UCLA was one of the easiest decisions I have ever made, deciding what to order at Jerry's Famous Deli took me longer.

8. With your senior year upon us, what are your plans after graduation? Would you still like to compete?

Yes, of course. Running is a gift.

9. What are some of your additional interests outside of track & field?

I have always been interested in law. I am a political science major, and definitely have aspirations of going to law school once I am finished competing.

10. You recently celebrated a birthday as well. As we all grow older, what have you learned the most from your tenure in college so far?

Never allow fear to cause a missed opportunity.

Trackshark interview with Ashley Caldwell

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