Track Q&A: Caroline Archer

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Caroline Archer is a freshman on Pepperdine's track team. She explains her excitement and hopes for her first track season. She also tells us how she battled back from injury during cross country season:

Caroline  Archer

Q: How was your first indoor meet, running for around 11 minutes in the 3,000-meter race, especially since it was at a higher altitude?

A: It was difficult. I definitely felt it toward the second half of the race.

Q: How did you feel about the team's overall performance at the first meet?

A: I thought that it was a decent start. It is always hard at the first race of the season. We call it the "rust buster" but it was good to have all the training groups together and have the ability to compete. I feel that we all gave a really good effort.

Q: What are your thoughts for the second and final indoor meet of the season?

A: I think we will see a lot of improvement. After two more weeks of training we have a much better foundation now. We are definitely looking to be a lot more competitive at this meet.

Q: Are you looking forward to the outdoor season?

A: I am looking forward to outdoor season starting. I like it more than indoor since the track for indoor meets is only 200 meters, so I have to run a lot of laps and it is harder to stay focused after so many laps. So it is nice that outdoor has a longer track so I don't have to do as many laps. I also am excited for the fresh air at the outdoor meets compared to the more stuffy indoor meets. I feel like these factors are going to help me especially because I am an endurance runner.

Q: How was your first cross country season, even though you only got to compete in the last three meets?

A: I started the season with tendonitis, which was definitely disappointing. But I was really happy to be able to compete at the end of the season. I had a lot of fun traveling to meets. There were some very cool opportunities. I am still grateful for being able to run at all, especially at regionals, which was an awesome experience.

Q:  What did you have to do to come back from your injury?

A: I had to cross train. I was biking and swimming a lot to stay fit. The training staff helped me a lot by giving me strength work to do that was specific to my injury. I just had to slowly build up mileage.

Q: Being from Tennessee, what brought you all the way to Malibu?

A: I mean, what's not to like? I felt very called to come here. I had a really good feeling about Pepperdine. I have the ability to run and compete and have wonderful classes with a good class size. I am really happy I decided to come here, and even if it is far from home, I think it's worth it.

Q: How is your first year going overall?

A: It is going well. I've definitely been shoved out of my comfort zone but I think that's for the better since I have gotten to grow a lot as an athlete and as a person. I am really happy with being here.

Q: What are the major differences you see between high school and college?

A: There is a lot less structure here. Back in high school I had a very set schedule and knew when everything was going to happen. But here, every day looks different. There are more chances to be spontaneous, which is a good thing, but I also have to be more responsible and manage my time. Also overall I feel like there is a higher level of work expected from me here.

Q: Do you think that track and cross country work well with your academics?

A: Yes, I think they are very complimentary. They both require a lot of focus and diligence. But it is nice that they are different types of hard work so I can take a break from one and get to do the other.

Q: What got you into running long distance and what do you like about it?

A: I did cross country for the first time in middle school and since I am pretty competitive it was fun to go out and compete in something I am pretty good at. It has really become a big part of my life. I like how it is very counter-cultural, having to embrace pain and have all this delayed gratification. You have to train a lot before taking even five seconds off your time. I feel like it overall has taught me very good life skills.

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