Angela Bizzarri - MASON
AGE: 14
PRs:  5k xc - 17:47/3000 - 10:05
MAJOR ACHEIVEMENTS: 2001 13-14 JO National XC Champ.  Verizon Female Athlete of the meet.  2002 Division I State XC Champion. 
First off, congratulations on your first state championship! 

OGXC:  Were you intimidated heading into the state meet as a frosh with no team?  Did other big races you've been in help you to prepare?
:  No, I was just trying to stay as relaxed as possible.  It did not bother me going without a team.  I used it to be alone and help me get excited for my race.  I was a little nervous, but that is always good as the adrenaline definitely makes me run faster.  Yes, running in big races before definitely helped me not be as nervous. 

OGXC:  How did you prepare and get ready for the state meet?
AB:  I started incorporating more speedwork toward the later part of the year.  The week of state I tapered my week with a lot less mileage and less speed work repetitions.

OGXC:  Did you feel any pressure to perform or to win?
AB:  There was no pressure, but I definitely wanted to perform well.  The worst is when you are done with your race and  you know you could have run harder. 

OGXC:  What were your goals and plans heading into the race?
AB:  I wanted to win (who doesn't?) but if I didn't I would be happy as long as I gave it my hardest effort.  My plans were to stay with the lead pack and break away when I found an opportunity  that would be to my advantage. 

OGXC:  What were you thinking when it came down to you and Michelle Sikes with about a mile to go?
AB:  I was pretty sure it was between her and I and I did not know where Carolyn [Rauen] was.  I wanted to try to get ahead before the last 1/2 mile.  I REALLY did not want to get passed at less than 100 meters.  I was definitely thinking hte most there.  I hate getting beat at the very end. 

OGXC:  How good does it feel to win in your first state meet?
AB:  I am thrilled.  I was excited because the people I ran against were all great runners that I have great respect for. 

OGXC:  You obviously came into the season in great shape, with early wins over tough competition, what was your summer training like?
AB:  I had been training for track JO nationals 1500 and 3000 mostly.  At the end I was doing a lot of very intense speedwork.  It definitely helped me going into the season in great shape.  I mostly started with my base for the endurance of a longer race. 

OGXC:  What are your plans for the postseason? 
AB:  [This] post season I think I am going to [both] Junior Olympics and FootLocker.  I would really love to qualify to run in San Diego, but I will see how I race that day.  For the future it would be nice to go to college on a scholarship. 

OGXC:  It's a little early to think about it, but track is just around the corner.  Do you consider yourself a track or XC runner and why?
AB:  I like both track and cross.  However, I think cross is more fun, especially in the longer ditances because the repetitiveness of track is not as fun as the different terrain in cross.  I do enjoy the 1600 because it is a quicker race than most of my other ones.  I also like the team aspect of relays. 

OGXC:  How did you start running?  Why do you run?
AB:  I started running track in sixth grade.  I did well in the mile and enjoyed it so it kind of went from there.  Being in shape has definite positive effects.  I also love competition.  It probably makes the sport.  O yeah, and the feeling of accomplishment when you are done.

OGXC:  Who has the biggest influence in your running?  why?
AB:  Coach Branhan who is the coach of the Cincinnati Spirit Track Club.  He has helped me start to really get involved in running.  He is a great coach and is always positive.   He helps me set high goals that I personally think I cannot attain, but each time I do. 

OGXC:  Last one, one for fun, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AB:  I would like to run in college.  I have no idea where, yet.

OGXC:  Okay, I lied, one more...Any advice to aspiring runners?  Final thoughts?
AB:  Train hard and have fun, it's a CraZy SpoRT. 

My sincere thanks to Angela for this great interview!  Angela will begin the defense of her national JO title Saturday Nov. 9th.  and stands an excellent chance of qualifying out of the Footlocker Midwest Regional, where OGXC will be onsite Nov. 3
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