Junior Garrett Rowe runs for the men’s cross country team, which will compete at the Wisconsin Invitational on Friday. Rowe recently spent some time with the ‘Prince’ to chat about freak blizzards, pre-race rituals and “Barbie Girl.”
Q: Where are you from, and what is it like?
A: California, and it’s like rainbows and sunshine all day.
Q: How did you start running?
A: Well, I used to play soccer when I was younger, and my coach basically told me, “You can run all day, but you turn like a fucking oil tanker. So why don’t you just try running?” And that’s how I got into it.
Q: And you’ve been running for how long?
A: Since I was about 14.
Q: Why do you run?
A: ’Cause I’m a masochist.
Q: Cross-country running is a little longer-term. What do you think about for that long?
A: You go through a lot of boredom. Usually on runs, when you run with a bunch of people, you go through a lot of stupid hypothetical situations. You make fun of each other, dirty jokes. That’s about all we do — keep occupied.
Q: What’s the best part about being an athlete on campus?
A: The best part ... oh boy, that’s difficult. Probably going around and seeing people I know from the team or from other sports. It’s nice to know people pretty well around campus.
Q: Thoughts on barefoot running?
A: Well, I’ve heard a lot of people argue that humans evolved to run barefoot. I also don’t see a lot of Olympians running barefoot. So unless that catches on and I start seeing all of our gold medalists running their races barefoot, I’m probably not going to do it.
Q: Do you have any pump-up rituals for your team?
A: Yeah, usually the guys just beat on each other with a stick, you know, for five minutes or so before a race. Or scream each other hoarse.
Q: What’s your role on the team?
A: Team goofball.
Q: Quirkiest teammate?
A: [Sophomore] Sam Pons, ’cause everyone thinks he’s a serial killer.
Q: Do you have a “welcome-to-college” moment?
A: It was actually before I started school. The cross country team put on a trip. At least some of the guys went to Mammoth [Mountain] down in SoCal, and I got invited before freshman year. I went up there, and my welcome moment was basically eight guys crammed into a one-person shower blasting the song “Barbie Girl.” That was my “welcome-to-college” moment. Actually, I heard, “Welcome to college, freshman.”
Q: Cross country’s not the most popular spectator sport. What would you do to get people to come?
A: Well, last year, we kind of advertised it to one of our professors, and he came out to the Heps meet, which was held here at West Windsor Fields on the 29th of October, and we had that freak blizzard. And I got hypothermia ... a couple of the kids on the team did. It was just all bad, and no one’s ever really come to watch us since. I don’t think that’s typical, but people came out for that meet, unfortunately.
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