Milesplit Arizona Cross Country Journals
Billy Orman returns this season as the top runner in Arizona with a National ranking of 14. Billy had a great cross country season last year, making it all the way to Foot Locker Nationals and finishing 2nd at the Nike SW Regionals. Billy also posted some great times in track finishing the season with a 4:19.50 1600 at the Chandler Rotary and a 9:04.97 3200 at the Meet of Champions. He is set for a great season. Keep checking back as Billy journals about his final prep cross country season.
(Sr., Tuba City)
Journal Entry #2 (October 15, 2010)
Hey everyone, Billy Orman here again. The last couple of weeks have been really busy. I went on a couple of recruiting trips back east. I thought both visits went very well and I enjoyed seeing the schools and meeting the teams. But the trips were pretty tiring with all the travel and it was tough to keep my miles up and get my homework done.
In case you are wondering what a recruiting trip is like, here is a little detail. You will stay with a student host from the team in one of the dorms, and will get to meet the rest of the team and coaches at meals. You will also get a chance to see the college and athletic facilities, of course, as well as a bit of the surrounding town. And on one of my trips I got to attend a football game as well. I think most colleges also let you pick a class or two to attend to see what the academic side of the school is like. You may also get a chance to talk to someone from the admissions office. I also had a chance to run with the team members, although you aren’t allowed to participate in an official practice.
Since I mentioned recruiting and colleges in my last journal, I thought I would share a few tips that I have picked up along the way. These might help some of you who are thinking about attending a division 1 college. In my opinion, your junior year is the most important year to start planning for college. Many colleges will require either the SAT or ACT for admission. I know a lot of people wait to take these tests until their senior year, but my coach suggested that I take the SAT in January of my junior year. This was great advice. If you do well on it, you’re done with it. And if you don’t do too well, you can always retake it in May or June. Some colleges will also require SAT II subject tests and I strongly recommend that you take those your junior year as well. Once you start seriously talking to coaches, many of them will want to know your test scores and it really helps if you’ve already taken them.
I also recommend that you start thinking about what colleges you might want to attend during your junior year. Most of the programs will have prospective athlete questionnaires that you can fill out and send to coaches. I started doing this after my junior year cross country season. Then I followed up with an email to the coaches after my track season. Coaches can’t call you until July 1st after your junior year but they can reply to your emails. There is no harm in letting them know you might be interested in their programs and I think they appreciate knowing of your interest. So don’t be afraid to send out the questionnaires.
My last bit of advice is to go to the NCAA eligibility website and start filling out all the forms there to establish eligibility. A lot of coaches will ask for your NCAA numbers and it is better to start this as a junior.
Most of you probably know all of this already but I didn’t know any of it, so I hope it might help a few of you out there. If you start everything your junior year, you will have a lot more options your senior year. Plus, you’ll be done with it and you’ll be able to enjoy your senior year a bit more.
(Photo left: Billy Orman at the finish line at the Twilight Meet)
And now for something completely different. This past Friday I had the chance to run in a great meet in Phoenix, the Twilight Invitational. The meet is run under lights at the Toka Sticks Golf Course and it is a fast course! Most of the courses I run on are at altitude and are really difficult, so it was fun to be able to finally have a fast race. Thanks to all the runners who took it out really fast, especially Johnny Yazzie who led the first mile with a time of about 4:45. After the first mile, Will Firth stayed with me and helped push the pace but I really don’t know when I pulled away. The highlight of the race was when I entered the final straightaway and saw the clock at the finish. I was really happy because I was able to run a big PR of 14:51, almost 30 seconds faster than I’d ever run before. I’m usually too tired to throw my arms in the air at the finish but I was really happy with my time. I think a lot of the other runners also got PRs, so it was a really good race. Thanks a million to the race organizers for such a great meet.
I would also like to apologize to the Conley meet directors for not being able to attend their meet. Conley was the first big meet I raced in when I started high school and I always really enjoyed it. But this year our school just didn’t have the funds for our team to go and I didn’t think it would be right if I went without my team.
Instead of Conley we went to the Jack Boehle invite. Thanks to the Coconino high school cross country team for hosting this small but fun meet in Flagstaff. The weather was great and the course was tough with a long hill at the start but a really fast finish going down the same hill.
That’s it for now. I’ll write some more in a couple of weeks.