photo courtesy Track and Field Photo
Welcome back to 5 Questions, where we pick the brains of people from all areas of the running scene. Today, we were lucky enough to catch up with four-time NCAA champion, Abbey D’Agostino, who took some time away from preparing for USATF Oudoor Nationals to answer some questions for us.
5 Questions with Abbey D’Agostino
1. Daily Relay: Congratulations on winning the 5000 at NCAA’s. How’d it feel to cap off an excellent year with a win like that?
Abbey D’Agostino: Thank you! It was a great way to end off this year’s collegiate season– Nationals is one of my favorite meets because it’s competitive and tactical for everyone, regardless of your initial seed time. It can definitely be “any man’s race,” so doing well is truly a rewarding feeling.
2. Daily Relay: You had quite the rise from good high school athlete to NCAA Champion. How has Coach (Mark) Coogan fostered your growth as an athlete over the past few years?
Abbey D’Agostino: Mark is incredible. We always talk about how great a “team” the two of us are– I’ve developed so much trust in him with both my physical and mental training. One of the things I value the most is his emphasis on the mental piece of this sport. Because of his own racing experience and interest in sport psychology, he has been able to teach me that even the simplest mental preparation (e.g. visualization, etc) can make a world of difference. I know I wouldn’t be the runner I am now without having mentally “matured” through the help of Mark.
3. Daily Relay: After coming so close to making the Olympic team last year, did you plan your schedule to peak more for NCAA’s or USA’s this year, with a trip to Moscow hanging in the balance?
Abbey D’Agostino: When planning for this season, US Champs was the long-term goal with the highest priority. We knew that if things went well, I would have a shot at making the team, so we catered my training to peak for this meet.
4. Daily Relay: There have been quite a few athletes re-locate to the Providence, RI area lately to train. In your opinion, what does that area have to offer and where do you do most of your running around there and school?
Abbey D’Agostino: I’m not too familiar with Providence– I’ve only been there once to visit Brown… a long time ago!
(Editor’s Note: I’m an idiot!)
5. Daily Relay: Now that you have finished up your college season, what your plans are beyond USA’s?
Abbey D’Agostino: I still have another year at Dartmouth. My plans after US Champs depend on what happens there. Taking things one step at a time!
If you enjoy 5 Questions, check out the archive of previous interviews over at Writing About Running