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An Interview with 2007 NXN Champion Chris Derrick

Published by
ross   on Nov 11 2009, 02:50 PM

http://www.runnerspace.com/members/photos/800/22436_full.jpg
Chris Derrick winning NXN 2007 - photo by Kirby Lee - Image of Sport

In 2007, during his senior year of high school, former Neuqua Valley High School (IL) standout Chris Derrick (pictured below by Spencer Allen) competed in NXN, running a tremendous race to win the individual national title, while helping his team to the team national title.  Since then, Chris has gone on to have a stellar cross country and track career at Stanford University, where he is once again eyeing an individual national title, as well as guiding his team towards a national title.

We caught up with Chris this week as he did one last tune-up before the NCAA West Regional.  In our interview, Chris talks about his current season at Stanford, what it's like to be a part of such strong teams and his experience at NXN.  He also gives a couple pointers to those teams and athletes lining up in Portland for Nike Cross Nationals this year.

Scott Bush (SB): You've had an amazing cross country season up to this point.  How do you view the season thus far, and what are your goals (individually and team) moving forward?

Chris Derrick (CD): So far the season has gone as well as I had hoped it would. Things are building really nicely towards nationals and I would say that I am pleased but not yet satisfied. Our goal as a team extending back to last year has been to win a National title and return Stanford to the top of the podium. I just want to go out and run tough and place as high as I can so we can reach that goal.

SB: This year you seem to have taken your talent to another level.  Have you done anything different this season to take that next step?

CD: Not really. I'm probably averaging 5-10 more miles a week but its not really anything different so much as it is the next logical step in the progression. I've been improving for a while applying the same principles so we've just been sticking with that.

SB: What was the experience like for you at NXN your senior year, when you won both the individual title and team title?

CD: Well back in my day we still called it NTN, before all these young whipper-snappers came along and changed it up. It was a pretty awesome experience. I'd say definitely in the top 3 most baller weekends of my life. The night after winning was pretty crazy.

SB: You had a busy post-season schedule as a senior.  How were you able to manage all those high stakes races in only a months time?

CD: It wasn't really all that tough until I stayed up until three in the morning at NTN and then woke up 5:30 for our flight home. That plus the traveling left me pretty shot for the next week. I wouldn't say it affected me too much though. I mean all you can do is lace 'em up and run hard and hope for the best.

SB: You've been a part of some amazing teams in your running career.  What does it mean to you to be a member of such strong, successful squads?

CD: It always makes running so much more fun to be working towards big goals with great guys. When you can go to a meet and come in with the kind of confidence (dare I say swagger?) that being on a great team brings. What's more the teams that I have been on have not just been  collections of talented individuals but teams in the in the true and communal sense of the word.

SB: What advice do you have for the individuals and teams that make NXN this year?

CD: Have fun but remember why you're there (if you're just there to have fun just disregard that last comment). If you can, try to talk to the pros because they are usually pretty cool and insightful. Prepare for your skits, if you have a lame skit everyone will think that you are lame and then no one will hang out with you at the dance.

As for the actually race I'd say you should definitely start right foot- left foot if you start left foot- right foot you're just dooming yourself to failure. Besides that one important fact, remember that its just running and you don't need to over think it. If its a little muddier it might be better to me more conservative at the start but you don't need to do anything different than what got you there.

The Quick Six

SB: Shoes you train in?

CD: Nike Zoom Elites

SB: Shoes you race in?

CD: Nike Matumbos

SB: Favorite movie?

CD: The Shawshank Redemption

SB: Favorite band?

CD: The Hold Steady

SB: What are you majoring in?

CD: Probably Economics

SB: Favorite pre-race meal?

CD: Yogurt mixed with cereal and banana

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1 comment(s)  
HIGGS

Pre-Race meal: Sounds just like his old teammate Dan Murphy. Loves that cereal.

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