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October 31, 2013
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK
EVAN JAGER:Â With Chris, and then I did Fifth Avenue at the end of September.Â And I kind of like‑‑ I started to kind of take a little bit of a mental break going into Fifth Avenue, and then a couple more weeks after Fifth Avenue of completely off.Â So like Chris, I'm just getting back into it.
Q.Â You had a great season start this year, and then what was your goal, and then how you accomplished your goal this year?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â Yeah, this past year was a good transition for me, my first year as a professional.Â It was helpful to have guys like Evan who were kind of in the group and have a feel for how things worked.Â I've done pretty well in group trainings before, work that I had done previously.Â So I just tried to slide into the group as much as possible.
My main goal mainly is to try to make the World Championship Team, and I was able to do that.Â The summer didn't go as well as I would have liked.Â I had a couple of bumps in the road.
Q.Â What happened?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â I had a little Achilles injury that just I had to take some time.Â Training wasn't as‑‑ as I would have liked it going into Moscow.Â But I think going into Moscow was a good experience for me.Â I was able to come back and run pretty well at Brussels.
I owe most of it just to the guys in the group, just following their lead.Â Jerry's tutelage is really easy group to come in and just kind of follow and do things the way everyone else is doing them.Â You're doing them the right way.
Q.Â You were the best guy, you did not have great success in Moscow.Â Did you have any injuries?
EVAN JAGER:Â No, I had pretty injury‑free season.Â I had a little T‑band stuff going on earlier in the year.Â I think I only took like two days off for that.Â And other than that, I had consistent training, consistently good workouts, consistent mileage, and I think that's probably one of the biggest reasons why I had success in Moscow.
I was just coming back to a set schedule.Â I didn't really have any interruptions.Â I was just about as perfect as I could ask for.
Q.Â What's the highest mileage you're running?
EVAN JAGER:Â Like for the European season?Â So when we're in racing mentality, I'm usually around probably between 65 and 80, depending on the week.Â If I'm a couple weeks out from a race, I'll probably be up around 75 or 80.Â But leading into a race, I'll probably be right around 65.
Q.Â Is this your fifth season as a pro?
EVAN JAGER:Â Yeah, I just finished my fifth year.Â So I'm going into my sixth year.
Q.Â And with Jerry, how many years, seven?
EVAN JAGER:Â Going on seven, yeah.
Q.Â You went to Wisconsin and trained with him?Â How did that idea come?
EVAN JAGER:Â Well, it was kind of when Jerry told me that he was going to be leaving Wisconsin, we just kind of talked about the idea of me following him out.Â Initially, like my initial reaction was I absolutely wanted to do that, and then I actually thought about what I was going to be giving up with collegiate eligibility, the guys on the team at Wisconsin, and then moving farther away from home.Â I kind of started to rethink it.
But the decision‑making process took a little, like probably a month or two.Â And ultimately, it came down to what I thought was going to be the best for my running career.Â So I'm pretty sure that I wanted to go to Portland with him.Â So made the move, and thankfully it worked out pretty well.Â Within the first year, I saw a huge difference.
Q.Â How old were you when the you made the decision?
EVAN JAGER:Â I was 19.
Q.Â Isn't it‑‑ how old are you now?
EVAN JAGER:Â 24.
Q.Â Like when you look back, don't you think that was a little crazy as a 19‑year‑old?
EVAN JAGER:Â Yeah, definitely.Â I was very young to be making such a big decision like that, and thankfully, I had a lot of people to help me make that decision.Â My parents, Jerry, and then some of the guys on the team at Wisconsin, and then some of the older guys that were going to be moving out to Portland, Salitski and Simon Meyer.Â All of those guys helped give really good input into what they all thought was going to be the best move for me.
I definitely had a lot of help making the decision.
Q.Â When did you start running?
EVAN JAGER:Â I started running in middle school when I was in seventh grade.Â But I probably didn't start taking it seriously until my sophomore year of high school.
Q.Â So you only ran three or four years and then made the decision.Â When you realized you have the potential, like the capability to be a pro?
EVAN JAGER:Â I feel like I thought I had the potential to do that probably my freshman year of high school.
Q.Â Where did that come from?Â Did you beat some guy?
EVAN JAGER:Â Well, yeah, maybe my sophomore year in high school.Â I had success on the high school team.Â I was our number one runner like my freshman year.Â And then my sophomore year I had a break through and was sixth in state in cross country and third in state in the 3,200 in track.
So that's kind of when I started setting my goals and my sights a little bit higher.Â Like I knew it was going to be a very long‑term goal, but I thought that at some point, if I could, I wanted to run professionally.Â I thought, if I kept at it, I would have the opportunity.Â So it was probably around then.
I'd say that the initial success that I had at a young age just helped me to set my sights a little bit higher.Â Definitely as a very long‑term goal.
Q.Â Did you even think of being in the Olympics at that time?
EVAN JAGER:Â No, I didn't think it was going to happen so soon.Â It definitely caught me by surprise, how quickly it happened, and it definitely caught me by surprise how quickly I became professional.Â I had always thought that I was going to go to Wisconsin for five years, especially after redshirting my cross country season.Â So I thought for sure I was going to be there for five years, and then after graduating, I was going to graduate and probably live in Madison, Wisconsin, and stay there as long as Jerry was going to.
When he changed his mind, it definitely put my idea of what was going to happen to myself to a screeching halt.Â Really changed my ideas of what I wanted to do.
Q.Â [ No microphone.]
EVAN JAGER:Â In 2010, I had a stress fracture in my foot.Â And it kind of took me out.Â It took me a while to kind of get back into shape and feel normal running again.
Q.Â How about some of the other guys, German Fernandez, Alan Webb.Â They have kind of a different end to their career.Â How are those guys?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â I haven't seen Alan that much.Â He's taking classes again.Â He's been pretty busy.Â German is just heading back.Â Evan and I live with him and Elliott.Â So German, he took some time off for the summer, just lower leg stuff.Â So he's healthy and trying to start back up with his workouts and stuff.Â I mean, it's definitely like‑‑ I don't know.Â I look at that, and it's‑‑ I imagine it's got to be more frustrating than anyone can know to deal with that kind of thing.
I mean, everyone, especially if you happen to be like a runner, they see injuries as a moral failure, like it's somebody's fault.Â You know, if you look at how hard German works to stay healthy, like all the stuff he's doing, like you just‑‑ it certainly can make you angry to see that kind of stuff.Â I know it's really tough for him.
For whatever reason, he's just prone to lower leg injuries.Â He's really‑‑ he's trying to build everything from the ground up in terms of strength and his muscles and bones and all that kind of stuff.Â So hopefully, he'll have a great season this year.Â Hopefully, he'll stay healthy.
Q.Â What year were you guys in high school?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â We both graduated in '08.
Q.Â The same age?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â Yeah.
Q.Â [ No microphone.]
EVAN JAGER:Â I think definitely there's a certain magic that German or Alan deliver that kind of seems like their potential was limitless type thing.Â I didn't really have many races where like it was like, oh, I could definitely run like 2:29 or whatever.Â German has that ability that seems like you can do anything.Â People take ownership of that.Â They always want to find it's someone's fault.Â The sport is pretty cruel and arbitrary in a lot of ways, not always who deserves it.
Q.Â We like to believe the guy who works the hardest wins or some story book deal.Â How important was winning for your season?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â It was good.Â I think it just gave me‑‑ I felt like I ran‑‑ I mean, the Olympic trials was good and bad.Â But I also wasn't‑‑ I didn't‑‑ because of injury or because of my own mental weakness or whatever, I didn't take the next step to really contend and feel like I belonged with, say, like Matt, Dathan, and Dylan.Â I felt more comfortable competing with them.Â It gave me good confidence for the U.S. championships later in the spring.
Q.Â What is so special about Jerry?
EVAN JAGER:Â I don't know.Â I think he's a great coach.Â When I went to Wisconsin, he had eight straight titles in Lacrosse.Â He had sent Matt to the World Championships, and then after my freshman year, he had gone to the Olympics.Â Matt was the American record holder in the two mile.Â He had a lot of success at the collegiate level, especially in cross country.
And then I think what I liked most about Jerry, when I was deciding on what school I wanted to go to, was I felt like he got me the most excited about running at a high level.Â Just talking about him about the recruiting process, I felt like he made me more excited and wanting to do better than any coach I talked to.
Q.Â Is it his passion or training?
EVAN JAGER:Â His focus.
Q.Â So last time I saw you was at the Armory, you guys had the 5K there, and since then you were at World.Â Tell me about these last eight, nine, months for you and what it's been like for you personally.
CHRIS DERRICK:Â The first with the New York 5K through the world track season, it was all going really well, accomplished all my goals, had a little hiccup over the summer with just a little bit of injury.Â Worlds didn't go great.
Q.Â So the injury was post‑USAs?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â Yeah, just an Achilles.Â I was able to come back.Â I thought I did pretty well in Brussels.Â It's not quite what I‑‑ I think training‑wise, pulled a little closer to Evan in that race.Â It was still good to get a PR at the end of the year and feel like I kind of had not wasted running.
So, yeah, it was a good year in that I kind of‑‑ like I set myself up to continue to compete at the top, to place myself at the top U.S. level, but it's still a lot on the table to be better training‑wise.
Q.Â Can you talk about USAs, the 10k, hot night.Â People felt there was one spot up for grabs, and you got it.Â Talk about what that race was like.
CHRIS DERRICK:Â That was my anxiety.Â So much building up to making the team weeks in advance.Â Obviously, we were‑‑ it was good, I think.Â I put myself in second.Â It was good because I didn't have to look anywhere, at anybody else.Â So I just ran real easy for a while.Â Dathan made a big move.Â It was definitely tough running, and I kind of looked around up on the big screen, and I saw I had the lead all of a sudden.Â That was the first time I knew I wasn't in a group.
I thought just this once I would be happy to make the team.Â So it was definitely‑‑ it was a really‑‑ it was basically a big relief to make the team.Â A lot of tension building up, especially with how slow it went for so long.Â It's always an abrupt transition when you go from real slow like that to picking it up, and you don't feel really good.Â You would expect to feel really fresh, but it just feels arduous.
Q.Â Did you work on that at all during training, that transition?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â We didn't do that much.Â We worked on the constituent parts, like strength and faster stuff.Â I guess maybe earlier in the year we did some tempos.Â But that's something that it's more just a mental thing.Â You just have to remind yourself that your body is capable of‑‑ maybe capable of running this pace and you need to get into a rhythm and establish that, and you're going to be fine.
Q.Â One, two, three in that race was two different groups, but you're in the same city.Â Do you feel like you're running for your group?Â You're all running for the U.S., but how does it feel in terms of that?
CHRIS DERRICK:Â I definitely think there's a bit of a rivalry.Â I feel like there is a desire to represent your trainer well.Â Someone that's externally good, people have very short memories, and it's kind of like they want to anoint who's the better coach or whatever, and there's pride associated with that.
But I definitely think there's a desire to represent your group and your friends.Â And they've got like three guys that went to the University of Oregon, and I hate the University of Oregon.Â That was our main rival in college.Â There's definitely, I think, a bit of a rivalry there.Â I don't think there's any need to downplay that.
Q.Â Speaking of your Stanford background, talk here about Ryan Hall and his injury issues at Stanford.Â I'm not sure if you guys were close at all or talk ever.Â Do you have any thoughts on like his issues and the kind of perception‑‑ it's very hard on him because he's so well‑known, but he hasn't really run well for like two years.
CHRIS DERRICK:Â I don't know Ryan that well, but when I talk to him, he's a really nice guy.Â I hope that even people who are disappointed in his running can recognize that he's a really great guy.
I think that it's just getting more and more competitive, especially in 26.2.Â Where you can get through stuff on the track, you can't get through it in a marathon.Â I think he's going through a rough stretch, and he will‑‑ especially in distance running where there hasn't been that many people who have really shown the potential to contend for medals in the top places or something, people latch on to those who do show that and want to take ownership of it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports