Beloit, WI -- Last week we sat down with Beloit Bucs Daniel Arkes (Junior, co-captain) and Miranda Simes (Honors-term Senior, co-captain) from the Beloit Cross Country team and talked about the Wisconsin Privates Championship Meet that took place Saturday October 14th. Both athletes placed in the top ten of their respective races and were named all-state athletes in the following awards ceremony.
What were both of you thinking on the bus going to this championship meet?
Miranda: “I was really nervous. I felt a little strange during my workouts during that week. And I wasn’t as confident and I knew that, like, top twenty got recognized or twenty-one yes. Top twenty-one. So that was big for me cause I’m right at the end of that I think, so.”
Daniel: “I was looking forward to this meet because last year I had gotten second and I know I wasn’t competing for the win but I knew I was definitely in the mix to get in the top five or so. And I think that our team looked, like I knew that our team could do really well at this meet because usually the quality of teams that go to this meet aren’t that good and we’ve really been coming into our own so I’ve been looking forward to this meet a lot.”
After being recognized as all-state athletes (Miranda 8th, Daniel 4th) what was your initial reaction?
Miranda: “I was really happy. Um, even as the race didn’t really go how I wanted it to. I felt a little slow. My first mile was way too slow so the rest was definitely too slow and I couldn’t really feel my arms, it was kinda cold out and rainy, but I was really happy when I crossed the finish line. My mom actually told me that I got ninth and I was like ‘Oh my God! I got in the top ten!’ and yeah. I was really happy because the ladies were coming in first, the men hadn’t come in yet so I thought the finish line was just going to be a cluster of people but I could see the first person finishing so that was really rewarding for me to be up there.”
Daniel: “Well I knew that like, well I call this phase the ‘Championship Phase’. So basically I really focus on three meets in the season. The Wisconsin Privates Meet, Conference, and Regionals. I think those are the three meets where I think I’ve structured my training that these three meets I’ll really make a splash, have good races, and the races before that are preparation. So when I saw my performance this past Saturday I was really pleased about that.”
In the week leading up to this Championship meet did you feel any anxiety?
Daniel: “I think it was definitely building up a little bit just because it is a championship meet but I think I recognize that this isn’t the big one. This meet won’t make or break our season. It’s important to keep things in perspective.”
Miranda: “Well said. I’m definitely not like that. I was creeping on the times from last year, which you should not do first of all because last year’s course was super hilly and I just, I did not do well last year so I think that’s what I thought this year was going to be like, because I think last years meet was the most difficult course and race for me. So I think I took that into consideration when I necessarily shouldn’t have.”
So Miranda, you just recently got into running, in relative terms, like one and a half years ago, and before that you did gymnastics. Did you carry anything over from that?
Miranda: “I think I still have that muscle base, because even though I haven’t been doing gymnastics for, oh my gosh, five, six years now I still kinda had that strength so that was nice and I still have the discipline and I know what it’s like to do a sport and have other things to also be doing so I have to have very good time management skills and what not. I also played soccer though and I played varsity in high school for a year I think; so running. That’s why I’m so good at backwards running too because we had to do a lot of that. So I’m quick on my feet and I had that kind of background and my Freshman though Junior year I kinda went on runs down by the river by myself every once and a while so I’ve kind of always been running.”
And Daniel you were kind of almost the opposite in that you’ve been running since high school. How has that all cumulated into what you’re doing today?
Daniel: “Yeah, well in high school don’t think I really took running seriously until my senior year of high school. I think my Sophomore and Junior year I was kinda running and really didn’t know what I was doing, I wasn’t really cognizant of my training and I think once my Senior year approached I really set goals, I was pretty strict about how I trained, kept track of my mileage, and I think I’ve done the same kind of things in college you know tracking my mileage, seeing my progress, setting new goals. So I think having that background really helped.”
What does all-state Daniel and all-state Miranda do after this?
Daniel: “So, as far as individually I would like to finish in the top ten at conference. I would like for our team to finish in at least fifth place. I think that we have a shot this year. Our conference is better this year than it has been in previous years but I think that outside of Cornell and Grinnell I think it’s really, uh, places three through seven are really wide open so I think that we can sneak into the top five in terms of the team race. For time I’m not sure. I mean it’s hard to make goals for time especially in cross-country. I like to position myself in the top ten and then hopefully that will lead me to a good time. I’m not worried about time till regionals.”
Miranda: “As for me, um I believe I’m ranked 28th in the conference at this moment so I think top 25 is a good goal. Dan is motioning 20 at me. I don’t know that’s pushing it. I would love to be in the top twenty. I would love it. I will try my hardest. I will try. I think maybe I can but 25 is a safe goal. And then, oh my gosh, as for regionals I have a time goal. Now that you [Dan] don’t have one it’s kinda freaking me out that I have one but closer to 24 minutes. I don’t think I’ll break 24 closer to 24. I think my PR (personal record) is like 24:44 so it I can get that to 24:20 that would be pretty cool. If all goes well and there’s no rain…or snow.”