MileSplit Fast Four: A weekly glimpse at four of our nation's best
Each week here at MileSplit we will be giving you a quick look at four of the nation's best runners in our new feature called MileSplit Fast Four. Featured this week are Katie Flood (IA), Matt Mizereck (FL), Brooklyne Ridder (OH) and Tim Freriks (AZ).
Jr., Dowling Catholic
Des Moines, Iowa
Highlights: Part of a powerful 1-2 punch at Dowling Catholic that includes teammate Ashlie Decker … One of the premier distance runners in the Midwest, Flood (Photo courtesy of Fr. Jim Kirby), who finished eighth at FL Nationals a year ago, has continued to excel despite battling early season knee problems due to a growth spurt … Won the Roy Griak Invitational (18:22) for the second consecutive year … Set a course record in winning the Urbandale Invitational (4k) in 13:42 … Won state titles in track and cross country as a freshman and sophomore.
Coach (Fr. Jim Kirby) says: “Katie is just a flat out great competitor. She’s really a courageous runner. Through this whole growth spurt thing, maybe temporarily her quickness has been challenged, but her competitiveness or her intensity hasn’t diminished at all. If anything it’s even greater. She really wants to excel.”
Flood says: “[The season] has gone by really fast. We’ve only run about five meets, but things have been good so far. I was having a little knee trouble earlier, but I feel good now and am ready for states. I’m hoping just to improve the rest of the season and better my times.”
Summer mileage (max): 40
Weekly mileage: 55
Training shoes: Asics GT 2130
Pre-race meal: Bagel and apples
Favorite web site: AOL mail
Jr., Leon H.S.
Highlights: Mizereck (Photo courtesy of Joe Mizereck) won the Florida Pre-State Meet with a course record 15:17 … Ran a PR of 15:06 at Bale-n-Trail, finishing first … Finished second to teammate Will Stanford at the Lincoln Invitational … Won the individual 3A Florida State title as a sophomore with a time of 15:30, helping Leon capture the team crown … Last spring he ran a PR of 9:28 for 3200 meters at the outdoor state finals, finishing third.
Coach (Andrew Wills) says: “Matt’s a very talented kid, but he works hard and has good teammates that really push him in practice. He does whatever it takes to get better. He’s got a natural ability to run smart. He paces himself well in races.”
Mizereck says: “My usually strategy is to sit on the pace and let others do the work. Then when you’ve got the advantage, take it and hold on to the end. I don’t like to lose. I’m always pushing myself to the limits, so I can accomplish the goals that I set out for myself. I try to do everything in my power to make sure I win the race.”
Summer mileage (max): 80-85
Weekly mileage: 60
Training shoes: Mizuno Wave Ascend 3 or Asics Gel 3000
Race day superstitions: Envisions himself winning.
Hobbies: Guitar hero, football, basketball
Favorite athlete: Steve Prefontaine
Sr., Oak Hills H.S.
Highlights: Ridder (Photo by Jim Findley) is currently training on her own, except for Fridays when she runs with her team … Ran a season best time of 17:40 at the OHSAA District Cross Country Meet, placing first … Other victories this season include: Greater Miami Conference Championship (18:05); Centerville Stampede (17:43); St. Xavier Invitational (17:44); Troy Invitational (18:22); Alliance Running Invitational (18:39); Mason Invitational (18:23) … 2007 Division I Ohio State runner-up … Finished 12th at 2007 Foot Locker Midwest Regional (18:08).
Coach (Shellie Hageman) says: "Brooklyne is a very talented, determined and focused runner. She trains and competes hard everyday. She has a lot of confidence in her ability to run many different race strategies and still finish first. She is a very consistent lead runner in that she is not phased by tough courses, bad weather or intense competition. On race day she is the ultimate competitor."
Ridder says: “It’s hard because I don’t have anyone pushing me now and I have to get up the motivation to practice on my own. I have my schedule from last season, so I am kind of following that day-by-day. It’s harder in that perspective, but I feel more confident doing it this way because I know what worked for me in the past, so why change? I feel better going out there everyday and doing my own plan and doing what I know works for me the best. It’s hard on speedwork days, but because I know it works for me, I go out there and find the motivation to do it … Some of my closest friends are on the team, so I bond with them Fridays and Saturdays.”
Summer mileage (max): 55
Weekly mileage: 40-45
Training shoes: Brooks Adrenaline
Race day superstitions: Wears the same pair of gray socks. “I can’t go into a race without them,” she said.
Favorite singer: Brad Paisley
Sr., Mingus Union H.S.
Highlights: Won the Nike Pre-Nationals/Jim Danner Invitational with a course record 15:18 … First place at Wherley Invitational (15:39, 3.0 miles) … Finished second to in-state rival Brian Shrader at the Four Corners and Mingus Invites … Freriks (Photo by Margot Kelly), led his team to the Arizona Class 4 Division II XC title as a junior … Finished 23rd at Foot Locker West Regional in 2007.
Freriks says: “Getting into the sport, I wanted to be like my dad; he was a marathoner. I’d go out with him on weekends, got involved in cross country and took off from there. I’ve always preferred cross country to track. I enjoy running the course a lot more than running around the track. I love the sense of accomplishment you feel after a run … Definitely my goal is to try to make nationals this year.”
Coach (Jim Bostwick) says: “He’s a good kid, he’ll do anything for the team. I’ve coached him since sixth grade and it’s just a classic case of not determining where you are at from your junior high results, because his body and mind matured later. He was always the slowest kid on the team [in terms of foot speed]. He just persevered. He didn’t make his big breakthrough until his body matured. He’s just been a classic case of laying the foundation one step at a time. It’s been a steady progression.”
Summer mileage (max): 86
Weekly mileage: 70
Training shoes: Asics Cumulus
Race day superstitions: Triple-knotted shoelaces
Favorite TV show: Scrubs