Hopkins Men’s and Women’s Track and Field competed in their final meet of the regular season before the Centennial Conference Championship at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia this weekend. Both teams brought their best to the meet; many athletes posted personal bests. Sophomore distance runner Jared Pangallozzi is just one example. Pangallozzi spoke with The News-Letter about his achievements and what it took to make them happen.
The News-Letter: Your new time in the 10k (30:40.02) is the second fastest in program history. How does that achievement make you feel?
Jared Pangallozzi: The progression that I’ve had from my freshman year cross country season to now has been something that I’m really proud of and so thankful for. It’s been an incredible experience to be part of this program, and to say that I have the second fastest time in program history when so many great athletes have come through this program is a huge honor.
N-L: How did you get to where you are right now, in terms of your development overall, your new career best and who helped you get there?
JP: As I’ve adjusted to the larger amounts of weekly mileage that I’ve done over the past few years, I’ve seen my times drop, especially for the longer distances. [Coach Bobby Van Allen] has made sure that my progression has been smooth and gradual in order to avoid injury, while making sure I have those jumps in times that we’re both looking for. It’s really just a group effort, from talking with and getting inspiration from my teammates, to doing strength training given to us by our strengthening coach, Ryan [Carr], to talking with Bobby and/or our assistant coaches, Maura [Linde] and [Shedrick Elliott III], whenever I feel stuck with how my progression has been going. This season, like every season, is the sum of all of those parts.
N-L: You’re ranked in the top ten in the country and have already punched your ticket to the NCAA tournament. What’s your mindset or focus looking ahead?
JP: For the next few weeks, I just want to focus on recovering well from the workouts I’m doing and making sure that my confidence and excitement only builds as I get closer to nationals. While I have specific goals for how I want to place when I get there, I know that anything can happen on race day, good or bad, and I want to focus on doing the small stuff that will put me in the best position when I step on the line.
N-L: You’re still only halfway through your Hopkins career. How do you think your growth this year will impact your training and performance in the upcoming seasons?
JP: I like to remind myself that nothing is ever given from year to year; while I’m proud of how I’ve progressed up until this point, injuries are so common, and being sick is always a possibility, so there are so many things that can slow down progress if you aren’t careful. Going forward, my goals will certainly be higher, and Bobby will make sure that my training progresses in a safe way, but I want to always be conscious of when I may be pushing myself too hard to the point of injury.
N-L: What are you most grateful for this season and why?
JP: As always, I’m grateful to my teammates for being so supportive, especially to the seniors who have contributed so much to the culture of the program and who I will miss very much!