Q&A With ISU Head Women's Track Coach Lee

Dick Lee's runners will be in action this weekend in Lincoln, Neb. at the 2006 Big 12 Championships

1. How has the season gone so far in terms of training?

"For some of our kids, we've had a very good indoor season. We have a fair number of kids battling illness and injury during the season so far. We're at about half strength of what we expected."

2. Are there any student athletes who have exceeded your expectations?

"Each year you set goals and hope all of (your student-athletes) over-achieve. The goals set are realistic, so they can overachieve. We've had a few kids who have had a very good indoor season. Ada Anderson is running the fastest she's ever run this early in the season. Erica Lynn has had her best early season in pentathlon, so I'm excited for her going into the next meet. Those are probably two of our best athletes this past year."

3. Ada Anderson had a really tough Big 12 experience last indoor season (winning the 800 meters but being disqualified for impeding a fellow runner). Do you see her rebounding this week?

"She rebounded about ten minutes after that race so it's not something she's been carrying with her since last year. Her background in basketball helped her deal with that, I think, because you have a lot of good things and bad things happen in that sport, so you don't dwell on them as much. She's always looked at each race as a new, unique thing that she is running toward. She would really like to go out winning a Big 12 title in the 800 and she's got a great shot. It will be a heck of a race between her and a couple of other kids in the conference.

4. How is Sara Boisen training and what are our expectations for her?

"She's had a great season up until about a week ago when she was diagnosed with mononucleosis. It's a slight case so there's an outside chance she could still run at the conference meet. It depends how she's feeling later this week. Up to that point, when she got sick, she was having a great season. We are hoping she has a quick recovery from that illness."

5. Could you talk a little bit about the sprinters and hurdlers?

"Rebecca Williams has been our top hurdler this year and our last couple of years. The Iowa State Classic was really a break though meet for her, to see her time drop in the hurdles. She probably would need to see another one tenth of a second drop to qualify for the NCAA meet, which is one of her goals. The rest of squad is fairly young. Leia Jackson has been improving in the sprints. We see most of our young kids improving week-by-week but we still have a long way to go until we place in a very tough conference."

6. Beyond Ada, how do you stack up the middle distance runners?

"We lost Sara. She started racing the 800 indoors this year and she had some very good races. Jenny Mockler is a past scorer in the 1000 meters and also in the 1500 outdoors, so she has potential to score in the conference. Lauren Lewis, who was our outstanding freshman last year, is red-shirting this indoor season, so we will be missing her. We're really counting on Ada (Andersen) and Jenny (Mockler). Katie Paulson is having the best indoor season of her career. We're pointing toward those kids as our leaders."

7. Could you talk a little bit about the distance and relay runners?

"The distance side is probably where we've been feeling the affects of injury and illness the most. We have several kids missing the indoor season because of illness and injury. We've had a couple of freshmen who were hurt during their spring season of track in high school. They are still coming back. They are just not ready to race at this level. Jenny Mockler is one that has been sick most of the indoor season and is finally getting back into shape. We are hopeful she stays healthier the next couple of weeks. We're missing Lisa Koll, who was our number one cross-country runner last fall, due to the tendonitis that she picked up over Christmas break. Krysta Metz is a senior for us and will probably run on the distance medley relay at the conference meet and that will be her best chance for scoring at the Big 12 Championship."

8. Say a little bit about the field event participants?

"Right now we're missing Agata, the Big 12 champion in the triple-jump outdoors last year. She would be the favorite to win the conference indoors this year, so that really hurts. She suffered an injury at home, in Poland, during Christmas when she was training. She`s back with us training now and we hope to have her ready for the outdoor season. In the high jump, Erica Lynn has been strong. Leigh Wagner has been jumping unattached but may still compete at Iowa State in the Big 12 meet. Jummy Alowonle is in her senior year and has come out in the last couple weeks in her jumping. She was gone all fall in a coop for her major, so she's been doing a lot of training. She's been working, getting back into competitive shape."

9. How do you think Erica Lynn is doing in multi-events?

"Erica has had a great career. She has improved every year, in all of her events in the multi. It's hard when you see someone have their senior year as potentially their best year. Sometimes the senior year can be a difficult year for kids since they are looking forward to what they will be doing after college, but each year Erica has become a better athlete. That's what you need to do to be successful at this level.

10. How does Iowa State stand up against the Big 12 Competition?

"If we had we had everybody healthy and ready to go, we would feel really good about going in to the meet, but we're going to be leaving half of our scholarships back in Ames, due to injury and illness. With the meet in Lincoln, that means those kids aren't scoring points because they're not at the meet. Team wise, we're not going to achieve near what we thought we would have at the beginning of the season or in the fall. We're looking to some key individuals, who have had really good meets and hope they'll step on the track and do their best, but we're leaving half our potential point total back in Ames. We hope to have them all back for the outdoor season."



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