Tim Finnegan- Calvin College
Calvin College XC star
Tim has had a great cross country season. In fact, Tim has had several great cross country seasons while competing for Calvin College. In 2003 he finished 16th. In 2004 he finished 28th. In 2005 he finished 3rd and this year he finished 2nd overall at the NCAA Div III Cross Country National Championships, Read on to find out more about Tim and his thoughts on his race and his school.
RM:Congrats on your team championship and individual runner-up at the Div III national championship cross country race. What are your thoughts on the meet as a whole? Obviously you guys reached your team goal but how did you feel about your individual race and what did you think of the conditions?
TF: Overall, it was a fantastic experience. The course was pretty rough, but we went in with the attitude that everybody has to overcome the same obstacles- conditions don't make a bad runner good, or a good runner bad. We tried to just attack the race like we have every other race all season, and we came out and accomplished that goal, and actually performed better than we had all season. I was a little apprehensive about how easy it would be for me or any of our guys to fall and get hurt, and the possibility of someone not being able to finish, but we just went out there and actively defend our space and stay up rather than to try to avoid those issues. We also went in knowing that there was no choice but to fight for every place- there was no option but to get back up if we fell, and to keep going. Giving up was never an option, and knowing the every guy on that line was going to do that gives so much confidence. Overall, I could not be happier with the race. The team ran great and went after it, and I ran the best race of my life. I would have liked to bring in the win, but if there is anyone I would like to see win that race, Macharia is the one. He's such a great competitor and a classy guy, not to mention that there was no beating him- he was just so strong.
RM: You guys seemed to dominate all year long. Was there any pressure coming into the national meet due to your season long dominance or was it more excitement and why do you think you felt that way?
TF: There was definitely a little pressure coming into the meet, but we mostly just ignored it. We just came in so excited to see just how good this team was. We knew that we were doing well but we just wanted to see how far we could go. We also had so much determination to finish it since last year, we were ranked 1st all year and didn't finish it off. I'm a senior and it was my last chance and we wanted to just go out there and do our very best and see what we could do.
RM: 4 years ago could you see yourself accomplishing as much as you have so far? To give some background information to our readers, what were some of your personal best times in high school for xc, the mile and the 3200.
TF: 4 years ago, I couldn't even have DREAMED of accomplishing everything I have thus far. I was home schooled from the beginning of my schooling all the way until I came to Calvin, so I was never allowed to compete in high school athletics, so I ran a few road races, footlocker XC west regional, and a couple of club track meets the summer after my senior year. I had pr's of 16:10 for a road 5k, 16:23 at footlocker west, and a solo time-trial 3200 of 10:15. Coming into college I really had no clue about what I was doing, or how good I could be or anything. My collegiate career has been an absolute dream from start to finish. I accomplished more in my first season than I could have hoped to do in 4 years, and it just kept going in the 3 years following. God has blessed me more than I could ever have dreamed, and I am so very thankful for it.
RM: What are some of your goals for the remainder of your senior year with regard to indoor and outdoor track and do you see yourself continuing hard training after you graduate?
TF: Well, I didn't run track as a freshman due to a stress fracture, so I still have 2 track seasons left, and I hope that I can lead my team to new levels on the track. We have a ton of guys who are ready to blaze in track and I just want to enjoy it and see how fast I can go. I definitely think I'll continue training hard after college. I think I have a lot more improvement left in me and I just want to use the gifts God has given me to the best of my abilities.
RM: What were some of the reasons that you choose to attend Calvin? What made it stand out more than the other solid Michigan Colleges and Universities?
TF: Well, I was looking for a relatively small, Christian college, that had a 4 year engineering program, and a good running program. Calvin is the only college that really fit the ticket. Seeing as I'm from Los Alamos, NM, I wasn't really looking at schools from a certain region, I was looking for a school that had what I wanted, so Calvin is really the only school in Michigan that I looked at.
Thanks for the great interview Tim! (Interview conducted by Nick Cordes)