Golden Eagle Q&A With Patrick Keeley
July 10, 2009
MILWAUKEE- Freshman distance runner Patrick Keeley competed on June 28 at the USA Junior Track & Field National Championships and recorded the top finish among Marquette's competitors, placing fifth in the 10,000-meter run with a time of 31:55.66. He recently sat down with GoMarquette.com to discuss his experience at Nationals and his freshman year in general.
What was your experience like out in Eugene, Ore., at the USA Junior National Championships?
It was really amazing with all the professionals being there and Eugene being the running capital of the world, basically. The atmosphere of the whole place made it a really special meet to go to. It went really well. Coach (Mike Nelson) and I talked about running the pace and that is what I did, a 76- or 77-second-per-lap pace. Thats what I did and it worked out really well and got me to the success I had.
Was there any advice from the coaches that helped you in particular?
Stick to the pace for the most part. Some of (the laps) were a little faster and some of them were a little slower, but in general I was right around the pace the whole time. It was good to be with a pack of people who were running the same pace that I needed to. Its a 10k so there is a lot of room. Don't be dumb early because you really will be paying for it at the end. I started out smart enough and was able to move at the end as opposed to struggling to bring it home.
What will you take with you about the event?
I would like to go back. That is something that I definitely took from (the experience). To know what the atmosphere of the big meets is like and that it is great to run in that type of environment. You can definitely get some fast times at those types of meets and I would really like to go back to something of that caliber.
Being out in Eugene, future Golden Eagle Spencer Agnew ran in the 5,000 meters and really held his own. Did you get a chance to see him at all? If, so what were your impressions about him?
We met up with him Friday when we were down there watching the meet. We met up with him after his race and talked to him. He was there to watch us and we were there to watch him. It was kind of cool knowing that we are bringing in guys of that caliber already. It looks good for the incoming group. He did really well, Coach was really pleased and he was really pleased. He is going to be good in his upcoming years at MU.
How was your first year at Marquette?
I thought it went really well. My goal was to go to Junior Nationals and I was able to obtain it and do well when I got there. Running-wise it was a success for me. Classes went well and it was a good environment all around. Coach Nelson was a big part about me coming here and academics were a big thing too. That got me looking at (Marquette) and I realized that I could run here. I liked the coach and liked the program. It's been awesome.
What have you been able to do during your off time in the Milwaukee?
The lakefront is really nice, just going down there and having the whole urban atmosphere. Marquette offers a lot, but you are not just limited to what we offer because you have the whole city of Milwaukee there too. If you want to go out to eat there is any kind of restaurant you would want.
Other than the National Championships, how has the summer been going?
Coach let us go home and I came up a couple of weeks before the meet. I was just doing stuff at home on my own, getting ready for the cross country season. I plan to go back home and recharge a little bit and come back in August ready to go. I live in Cincinnati now and there is a bike trail by my house so I will either go there or to a park and train.
Looking ahead to cross country season in the fall, with Kyle Saginus gone, what is it going to take for everyone to step up and fill that void?
Being able to train with everybody will help us a lot. We are going to be a young team without any seniors this year. So we will just look to build with what we have and make it happen come late October and early November.
The track squad also loses Scott Mueller, who is second in school history in the 5,000 and 10,000-meter run. Besides yourself who will emerge this year on the distance side of things
Brice (Cleland) and Nick (Szczech), who will be the cross country captains will definitely step up and be the guys to look up to. Those guys are definitely going to have to fill that role and they are ready to embrace it.
What have you learned over the last year from Scott and Kyle that you will remember?
A lot of the unwritten stuff that you just have to experience. They have done it all and they have told us "this is what its going to be like" and "this is what to expect." So it was nice to have them around for that.
What goals have you set for yourself looking ahead. What can you do to make sure you attain them?
We would like to place well at the BIG EAST Conference meet. We finished seventh last year so we would like to improve upon that and do well at the NCAA Regional and maybe sneak into Nationals. It is definitely something that is in the back of all of our minds.
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