Sunday, October 30, 2011

Runner's Tribe Quickie with Mathew Mildenhall

Runner's Tribe Interview with Villanova's Mathew Mildenhall

RT: You guys are off to Louisville for Conference this weekend, can you guys emulate the All Blacks and win while doing it the hard way?

MM: The guys and I are really looking forward to this weekend. We’re expecting it to be just as much of a nail bitter as the AB’s [New Zealand's All Blacks rugby team] over the Frogs (Editors note: The Runner’s Tribe does not take responsibility for Mathews racial comments regarding the sovereign state of France). However, we do have a few Kiwi’s in our way, with the boys at Providence running awesome this year, but we’re looking forward to the showdown. The Big East is such a big deal for both the team and the coaching staff and this is the first time in a decade we have had a legitimate chance at taking home the title. So we’ll take it anyway we have to run it (be it ugly or not).

RT: Typically you have finished the money-end of each season as Villanova’s no.1 guy both on and off the course, are you starting to find some form?

MM: This year definitely hasn’t gone according to plan. I’ve really come to realize how big of a toll stress can play on a runner. Unfortunately this is part and parcel with being a student athlete at such an academically rigorous school. It has been a combination of a few things that we think (my coaches and I) has left me pretty drained. Things are turning around for the better, and after a great summer and an even better opener at the Mainline Invite I know the form is there. It’s really great to have a team of studs who have stepped up and kept us competitive while a few of the guys get back on track.

RT: Two years ago your team was 11th in the country and you were All-American, yet last year you didn’t quite match the same success. What happened?

MM: Last year was one of those years where things didn’t seem to click across the board, which is a tough thing to swallow on the back of such a good season the year before. We had a few injuries and illnesses take down some of our top guys early, but again we had guys step up to keep the momentum rolling. In fact I would say that a lot of guys left the season on a high note. We really got up and had a stella run at regional’s (considering the circumstances) placing second behind a very good Princeton team. NCAA’s was always going to be tough running against such a high caliber field especially when things aren’t going exactly to plan. We ended up 23rd which is honestly where we were probably expected to fall.

RT: Your team mates Matt Gibney and Keith Capecci are both running well this season and will be huge factors at Conference, who do you think would win in a mud-wrestling fight between those two?

MM: To your first point: The boys are really leading the charge out there this season! It’s great to see Gibney showing us distance boys how it’s done, and Keith being a Bawse as usual.

Now to the meat of your question: That’s a huge call. You have two large Alpha males squaring off. This thing is definitely going late into the 12th. If I’m going to go with my gut I’d have to go with Keith. Having had experience with the big guy in the ring I can say first hand that he knows how to get the job done. However if you’ve ever seen the Gibinator with 100 to go you know he won’t go down without a fight. I say Keith gets it in a choke out- give or take some hair pulling.

RT: I heard that you are engaged to be married, is that true?

MM: Mathew declined to offer a legitimate response to this question obviously due to the seriousness of the situation. We at The Runner’s Tribe wish him all the best.

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