Oct. 17, 2013
Senior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vickburg HS) discusses being named captain for the second straight year, this weekend's Wisconsin adidas Invitational, and his love for baking.
On the team's improvements since the Cowboy Jamboree ... "The whole season, we've been working on running together as a group, both in workouts and in races. I think we've probably seen the biggest step forward in the last week or two here. We've been running together as a single unit and that's really exciting to see."
On expectations for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational ... "We just want to have a really good team race. We had a decent season opener at Oklahoma State, but we're looking to get things a little bit more refined and really race the competition instead of going out and just running hard for 8K. We want to get things more tuned up for how they'll be for the championship season."
On the team's familiarity at this point in the season ... "I'd say we're all really familiar with each other and really close. It's pretty inherent of being a distance program to rely on each other as we go through the grind together day in and day out, especially as things get harder. It really brings you together as a team when you're going through everything together as a team. Preseason camp up north was also a really good time to get to know the new guys and for them to get to know us and how we operate as a team. I think we're a very close team at this point."
On being named a two-time captain ... "It's definitely a huge honor. I was a little bit surprised to be named captain last year, but I think the pressure was eased there because I had four other co-captains there with me. It's an awesome experience to be able to lead an incredible group of guys like this, hopefully to great things this year. I think the biggest thing we do as captains is to get everybody moving in the same direction. Coach (Alex) Gibby guides things from a training standpoint, but we are the guys who are right there with our teammates and are trying to get things focused off the track with how we live our daily lives. We try to get everyone going in the same direction from a social and emotional standpoint."
On something people don't know about him ... "I really like cooking and baking and have for a while -- probably going back to middle school. I really like baking banana bread and cooking all breakfast foods in general. Sometimes the guys in our house -- Morsi (Rayyan), Scotty (Albaugh) and Jeff (Sattler) -- will pool together resources to make a little house meal. I think once or twice now we've done a whole team meal where we've cooked for all the guys. One time we did a spaghetti dinner and that was really fun to get everyone together."
Previous Spotlight: Ben Flanagan