Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meet Team USA's Meghan Armstrong

Meghan Armstrong recently joined Team USA Minnesota as one of four new athletes in the elite distance development group. We asked the former Iowa Hawkeye a few questions in order to get to know her better.

DtB: What got you interested in Team USA Minnesota and continuing your running career up in the Twin Cities.

Armstrong: My interest began when I watched Emily Brown run the 5K at the Cardinal Invite. I ran against Emily in college and just seeing how much she had transformed in a year was really amazing. Also, after that meet I talked to Emily and she mentioned that Team USA Minnesota would be interested in me joining the team. Later, I was contacted by Dennis Barker and Pat Goodwin, regarding their desire for me to come and visit Minneapolis and see what the team was all about. Upon my visit I was instantly impressed with how well organized Team USA Minnesota is, how great my teammates are, and just how friendly the city of Minneapolis was. Being a "Navy Brat" I have lived in many cities in my life and I can say without a doubt that Minneapolis has the friendliest people.

DtB: Tell us a bit about your collegiate running. It looks like you ran successfully at everything from the mile to the 10,000, as well as Cross country.

Armstrong: When I was looking at colleges I wanted a school that was not only in a competitive conference, but also a team where I wouldn't be the best on the team, yet could still contribute. That school was Iowa. My coach Layne Anderson had a powerful dream, which he got me to believe in... and it was a success. My freshman year our Cross Country team was last in the Big 10, but by the time I was a senior we were 10th in the nation. This kind of atmosphere also helped me to grow as a runner. I came into college thinking I was a miler – which I had some success at. However, my coach saw greater potential. I followed his training and by the end I was 6th at the NCAAs in the 10K.

DtB: What event do you plan to point to in the coming years?

Armstrong: At the moment I plan on focusing on the 5K, 10K. I will just have to see how training goes and adjust my goals.

DtB: How have the first weeks with the program gone so far?

Armstrong: The first weeks of the program have gone really well so far. I am adjusting to doing a lot more work than I was used to doing, but my teammates are there giving me encouragement every step of the way. So even on the runs where my legs feel really tired because they are still adjusting to the the greater volume of running, I can still smile because I have my teammates there every step of the way. I am looking forward to the rest of the year and the progress I will see each week.

DtB: One last question... any relation to Lance?

Armstrong: HAHA Yep! Lance, Neal and Louis Armstrong, all of them, are my uncles. (In grade school, that was everyone's favorite question. Along with calling me "Legstrong").

Photo courtesy of Meghan Armstrong.

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