One Last Lap

Feb. 13, 2001

EUGENE - Last weekend, University of Oregon senior Katie Crabb claimed her first NCAA indoor qualifying mark of her career at the Cannon Meet in Indianapolis (mile, fifth, 4:46.38). Her time proved a 13-second improvement over the previous weekend's race in Reno at altitude (4:59.13), and now puts her on the NCAA qualifying bubble.

The Chico, Calif., native and outdoor All-American talked about her final season for the Ducks, and what's up next as she chases her third NCAA invite but first on the indoor circuit.

Q: You're getting towards the end of the indoor season, but have had only two races, and in seemingly much different situations. Talk about what's happened so far in each.

KC: 'At Reno I always have allergic reactions to the air there so I never run well there. I really wasn't expecting much, and went there to be competitive and not worry about the time. Even when the pace was slow early, I wasn't concerned. I knew it wasn't a very good racing environment for me to run fast. Afterwards, the time was horrible, so I decided I wasn't going to center on that. I went to Indy with an open mind, ready to take advantage of a good race field. Once I got in the race, it went well. I got a decent time, and know I can go faster. I've been ill the past month and a half with a bronchitis infection. After two batches of antibiotics I'm starting to feel better. It's a matter of time before I run faster.'

Q: How did the race at Indy unfold?

KC: 'It's a 200-meter track, so it's eight laps to a mile, which takes some getting used to. It was good that it was a run-and-gun race from the beginning - a good fast pace with pretty even splits. It ended up a matter of getting in there, hanging on, and going along for the ride. That kind of race is good for me. I prefer to run fast from the beginning, and try to maintain and hold on as long as I can. I focused on the pack, and they carried me to a fast time.'

Q: Outdoor season tends to build gradually, while indoors you only have a few races and have to be ready to go early. Is that a tough change?

KC: 'Indoors, every race has its purpose, while outdoors you can take your time a little more. Indoors, you don't have the option of waiting for a good race. You have to be ready to go for it or you'll be left behind. I've done a lot of traveling in a short amount of time, and I'm not sure where my next race could be: it could be Virginia Tech, Nebraska, the USA Indoor Champs in Atlanta. I only have really one more racing opportunity (to get a faster qualifying time), and the pressure's on a bit.'

Q: But in a way, is that pressure good since that's how post-collegiate life will be?

KC: 'That's true because when you're a post-collegian, you have to pick and choose your races wisely and make them count.'

Q: What have you enjoyed about racing indoors this season, compared to outdoors?

KC: 'It's a different racing environment, and you have to be ready to react in a different manner. You can't run in the same comfortable way you're used to. You have different things to deal with, but at the same time it's also the same. The main things I've noticed this season is that you pay more attention to how you feel and where you're at more closely. Things go by so much quicker, and the track goes by so fast. Also, when you make a move, you really have to make it because the straightaways are so short and you don't want to pass on a corner. You're always paying attention to how to set yourself up tactically.'

Q: Adjusting is a key word there, and I'd imagine it's a little harder to be ready just because of the physical season of weather. You don't necessarily have the warm weather or the outdoor track excitement in the air.

KC: 'Indoors is much different - it goes by so fast. I've never trained hard during this time of the year. Last year, I was doing more base mileage and longer reps at this time. It's different now, too, because no one else is on the same page with me. Others runners on the team are aiming for outdoors, and so am I, but this is my last season as a Duck, and I want to make the most of it. It almost feels like I'm kind of a loner. Last week, going to Indy, it was just Tom and I. It was fun, but it was different being there without the team.'

Q: It's still a few months off, but what's in your future once you graduate?

KC: 'I'll keep running. It's a challenging lifestyle, and you have to live a pretty disciplined life, but it's one I enjoy. Eventually, I could see myself taking a break at some point and time. But on the other hand, now is the time to take advantage of my youth and try to run as fast as I can. I think I'll go for it now, and see what I can take accomplish. I love Eugene, and I'd like to stay here if I can. It's definitely my new home.'

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