Solinsky hopes to bring success with him outdoors

first_imgFor five-time All-American distance runner Chris Solinsky, all the awards, honors, and accolades aren’t important.They never have been, they never will.Rather, Solinsky has only cared about running consistently over his past three seasons at UW.And consistent he’s been.Going into the 2006 track and field season, there was little Solinsky could do to top the accomplishments of his previous two years.Nevertheless, he has achieved everything he had hoped for — to stay consistent.At the 2006 NCAA Indoor Championships, Solinsky successfully defended his title in the 3,000 meters, becoming the first runner in school history to repeat as a national champion since 1971.Whereas collegiate athletes would be ecstatic with a national championship victory, the indoor 3,000 meter crown isn’t as important to Solinsky when looking at the big picture.”Going into the season, it was one of the bigger goals on my mind,” Solinsky said. “But the main thing was putting in a good indoor season and then try to have good outdoor season.”Even though Solinsky’s main aspiration is to simply be a steady runner overall, there’s no doubting his desire to win in any competition — and it was ever apparent last week at the Indoor Championships.After a disappointing third-place finish in the 5,000 meters in the first day of action, Solinsky became determined to win the event no matter what the following day.”I was kind of angry,” Solinsky said of his 5,000-meter run. “I thought going in that I had a real strong chance of winning it and for it to come down to just a kick and being out kicked kind of ticked me off.””It was definitely motivation for me.”As if he needed any more motivation.In the 3,000 meter run, Solinsky made sure he didn’t make the same mistake he did in the 5,000 meters.Even when the event’s pace started at a fairly slow pace, Solinsky felt as if he had to win no matter what.”I wasn’t going to let it come down to down to the last 100 meters again,” he said. “I decided with just over 1,000 to go to get in position and try to pass people.””It worked,” he added. “It broke the field up and it made it whoever wanted to hurt more on that day feel pain and get the win.”The slow pace isn’t one of Solinsky’s particular preferences, but it certainly worked to his advantage this time. In fact, any time a race comes down to whoever has more desire to win, he feels as if he is the clear-cut favorite.”I’m definitely a guy who goes out and just hammers,” he said. “I can handle a hard pace for a long time.”With the indoor season now complete and the track and field team heading outdoors, Solinsky’s aspirations have changed a bit.He still wants to stay consistent and he has plenty of motivation, but just for once he would like to put together a solid outdoor season overall, because if Solinsky were to have an Achilles’ heal of any sort, the outdoor season would be it.It’s not like his outdoor seasons have been horrible — they just haven’t ended in the way he had envisioned.In 2004, he qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships in the 5,000 meters, but was unable to finish due to the extreme heat in Austin, Texas and last year he struggled early — at least in his personal opinion — before running a personal best of 13:37.55 in the 5,000 meters at the USATF outdoor championships, finishing 10th overall.This year, however, he has a great desire to run consistent throughout the whole outdoor season.So in actuality, his goals for the outdoor season are really the same as they are indoors — he simply has a greater motivation given the past two disappointing seasons.”My goal is to actually have a good outdoor season,” Solinsky said. “I haven’t really been able to put together a solid season outdoors.”To accomplish his goal, Solinsky has turned to a former teammate of his — Matt Tegenkamp.Now a professional runner for Nike, Tegenkamp has taught Solinsky invaluable lessons on the track as the two still maintain a great friendship to this day — they still talk, exchange race strategies, and even run together.”Basically, he just taught me how to race,” Solinsky said. “The guy had a killer instinct on how to race. He made every move when it was needed to be made and he knew to pick his place — that was one of the main things I learned from him.”While Tegenkamp has showed him what running at the professional level is like, Solinsky isn’t thinking about it any time soon.”If I’m lucky enough, [I’ll] be in that position when I’m done with college, but I don’t think that’s anywhere near where I’m at right now,” Solinsky said. “It’s out there that it could happen, but I’d have to say not at this moment.”last_img read more