Kevin Pitts discusses poetry, frisbee, and Mount St. Mary’s chances in the upcoming NEC Championships
By Craig Amoss
RunningMaryland: So what ultimately made you choose the Mount?
Kevin Pitts: I honestly don’t know. I wanted to run in college and I wanted to go to a smaller school. I guess coming from a school such as Gonzaga made it seem natural.
RM: And yet, you also had some doubts?
KP: I guess after cross country going to indoor last year, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to devote myself to it. And I knew in college the commitment would be much greater. But when I met with the coaches here, they were very understanding and encouraging.
RM: So what did you ultimately do after cross country? I don’t remember seeing you at any indoor meets.
KP: I didn’t run track my senior year. I was actually really excited at first. Our coach was talking about the times I could run and how good the team could be. I did do one indoor meet, and I did pretty well and the team did well. But I remember after the race, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it. And regrettably I chose not to.
RM: Did you play other sports? Your situation sounds like someone who either wanted to try something different or go back to a sport you previously played.
KP: I played soccer at Georgetown Prep before I transferred—transferring to a rival school, not the best of conversation starters.
RM: Were you on varsity?
KP: I was an aspiring varsity player. I love soccer, but when I got to Gonzaga, I knew that team was on a wholly different level. So I looked into cross country and thought I might be good enough to run for them. It all sort of fell into place after that.
RM: Have you been to any of the games at Mount St. Mary’s?
KP: I’ve been to two games so far this season. I’ve have a lot of friends I go to games with. Some fans, some not. It’s just a lot of fun. I also went to see a rugby match, but I wasn’t really sure what was going on.
RM: Frisbee is a big thing on college campuses. Do you partake in that at all?
KP: Frisbee is my sport; there’s just something about it. We’d be throwing the frisbee around before a meet, but this one time I fell over a chair and messed myself up pretty good. I was so sore I wasn’t sure I could practice the next day. Needless to say, Coach wasn’t too happy about it.
RM: When I was in college, we could actually take Ultimate Frisbee as a Phys Ed elective.
KP: I don’t think they offer that here, but if they ever did, I’d be the first one to sign up.
RM: You seem to have transitioned very well. In all of the meets thus far, you’ve been the fifth-place finisher. Have the 8K races been that much more different or difficult?
KP: The 8K is definitely different as opposed to a 5K. When I finished fifth in that first race, I definitely felt it. I high school doing 5Ks, I was always confident that if I started fast, I could maintain. So the 8K is definitely different in that respect. Plus, in high school I usually had guys like Colin (Leibold) and Mike (Crozier) out in front, so I could kind of gauge myself that way. When you first get to college, you don’t have any of that because you don’t know anyone.
RM: You guys have a race coming up tomorrow (Oct. 8). Have you been nervous before a race? A number of college freshmen we’ve talked to say that when they got to the line for that first race, their first thought was usually, ‘Oh, God, please don’t let me finish last.’
KP: Before high school races, I’d definitely get nervous the day before, but here, I’ve been a lot more composed. It was almost like I wasn’t going to a race. I guess with the 8Ks, I really don’t have any standard to go by, so I don’t think about it. With a 5K, I’ll be a lot more nervous. But running with mostly smaller schools, it’ll almost seem a like a high school race.
RM: What type of training did you do over the summer?
KP: It was actually very interesting. It was a schedule based more on minutes than on miles. It was mostly running for the prescribed time every day, and then on Sunday run twice. And there was also a weight-training schedule and a diet plan.
RM: They tell you what to eat?
KP: More like recommendations. Things you should make sure you get enough of and stuff like that. Most of it is more common sense than anything else.
RM: I know we ask everyone this eventually, but what type of courses are you taking this semester and have you settled on a major?
KP: Right now I’m still undecided. I’m taking a lot of core curriculum classes this semester. One class I really like is Introduction to Poetry. I really like poetry, but I haven’t always understood all of it. I guess if I had to choose a major right now, it would be English.
RM: What type of poetry? Classic poetry like Wordsworth or Keats or is it more contemporary?
KP: Anything from folk ballads to contemporary. If I ever have a chance to talk to you again, hopefully I’ll be able to tell you what it all means.
RM: Being a freshman, you’re obviously not that far removed from high school. Do you miss Gonzaga in any way?
KP: Our high school coach had his own website and after every meet, he’d post results and add some commentary on how everyone did, and I’ve been following that this season. So I do miss high school cross country.
RM: The NEC championships are coming up later this month. You guys have gone from 7th in the preseason poll to 15th regionally, I believe it is. That’s got to bode well for your chances.
KP: I don’t think anyone was expecting us to do that well. But after seeing that we have a chance to win, Coach has been sending out emails alluding to the fact that we could win. I think the team is really excited. There hasn’t been a lot of talk that we can win, but I think we’re confident that we can.
|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 17 January 2012 18:01 )|