March 9, 2012
Redshirt senior Jake Riley will complete his Stanford career tonight when he runs the 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho. Riley has earned seven All-America honors combined in cross country and track and been one of the keys to the resurgence of the Stanford distance program. He will graduate after this quarter with a degree in biomechanical engineering and then turn pro in preparation for the U.S. Olympic Trials. Riley took a few minutes to answer some questions from gostanford.com.
GoStanford.com: Will you have any extra emotions when you run this weekend as it will be the last time in a Stanford jersey?
Riley: I don't think so, I've done a pretty good job this season keep my focus on the matter at hand and not giving myself any extra pressure. Plus, it hasn't really sunk it yet that I won't get to wear the uniform again. I think once the quarter is over and I have some more time to process it it will feel more significant.
GoStanford.com: What is your personal goal for the your race this weekend?
Riley: Score. We feel that we have a good chance to come away with a trophy, but that involves everyone we brought contributing so that's the first goal. Second is to make sure I don't beat myself, that cover all the moves and leave nothing on the track when I'm done. If I can do those two things I'll come away happy.
GoStanford.com: Reflect a little bit on your career, what were your favorite memories?
Riley: Winning Pac-10s last year and going 1-2-3 with Elliott and Chris was huge. Pre season training camps at Mammoth Lakes and Tahoe, sophomore year when we got third at NCAAs and our seniors were so happy, those are some of my highlights
GoStanford.com: This year is kind of the end of an era for the men's distance team with many of graduating - what are you most proud of as a team and what do you think the future holds for "the machine".
When my class came in, there had been a bit of a decline in the machine, the class in front of us only had one guy, by the end of the year there weren't any juniors, and I think the idea of "the Machine" wasn't as strong as it had once been. Our goal coming in was to try and revitalize that, and I think we've done a good job. I'm really proud of that.
GoStanford.com: Finally, what are your plans the rest of the season? I assume you will both run professionally? Are you excited for the Olympic Year? Do you have marathoning in your future?
Riley: I'm really excited to see what the post-collegiate world has to offer. Right now I'm focused on training on campus through the trials with Coach Dunn and competing in the 10k, but after that I think I would like to move up to the marathon.
Remember to watch the NCAA Indoor Championships tonight on ESPN3. Riley and teammates Chris Derrick and Brendan Gregg will run the 5,000 meters at 7:05 p.m. Full coverage of the meet begins at 4:30 p.m. Other Stanford athletes to compete on Friday will be Amaechi Morton in the prelims of the 400 meters at 5:00 p.m., Arantxa King in the long jump at 6:15 p.m., Kathy Kroeger in the women's 5,000 at 7:25 p.m. and finally both the men and the women will run the distance medley relays at 8:05 and 8:25 p.m.
ESPN3 Link to the NCAA Indoor Championships