Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Aaron Studt Talks about NACAC's, Red Shirting, and His Future

The University of Minnesota's Aaron Studt won a silver medal in the shot put at the NACAC meet on Sunday. In an e-mail interview, he answers some questions about the meet, the decision to red shirt this year, and his hopes for the future.

Down the Backstretch: You red shirted the outdoor season this year. Can you talk about that decision.

Aaron Studt: The main reason is to have a fifth year and to make a run at a National title in the Shot Put. If I would not have red shirted I would have had to dual against Ryan Whiting (72' shot putter from ASU). I was never red shirted as a freshman, so I thought it only fair to be able to stretch out my career for one more year. It all came down to number crunching to still win a Big Ten Title. Luckily we still had enough firepower in the outdoor season to win a Big Ten Championship without myself and Hassan Mead.

DtB: You were still training and competing during the season, just not in
the regular schedule. What was that like? Was it a good break from the
grind of meets or did you miss being out there working to get points for the

AS: It was a great opportunity to rest up my hand, which had bothered me during the indoor season. I threw once or twice a week, but my main focus from this past outdoor season to the end of next year's indoor season is to build strength. I am slightly undersized, and I lack the strength right now to make it to the next level. Hopefully, if I can stay healthy this year, the red shirted outdoor season can prove beneficial to me and to the Gophers.

DtB: Give us a summary of how the competition went at the NACACs. Kurt won on his second to last throw. You had been leading up until then. Was he throwing before or after you in the rotation?

AS: NACACs was a very neat experience, although not everything was clicking like I had hoped. Up until the fifth round I had thrown after Kurt, but they reordered the competition after the third and fifth rounds. After Kurt passed me I did my best to relax and try to hit good positions, but for every throw something was misaligned. Couldn't get things going like I had hoped.

DtB: Is this the last competition for you this year or are there any other meets you have on the schedule?

AS: NACACs was my last competition of the year. I plan on taking a few days off and then getting back in the weight room. I won't be competing again till the middle of March, so I have a lengthy period of time to make strength gains.

DtB: What have you learned from this season apart from the team? Did it allow you to work on some things that will help you next year? If so, what?

AS: Having the outdoor season off allowed me to pay close attention to my body while still maintaining a good training regimen. I don't have to worry about a double peak next year(indoor and outdoor seasons), so I get to train hard up until March, which I am really looking forward to. My red shirt season was not only a benefit to me, allowing my body to rest up and get a jump start on next year's training, but I think it also benefited the rest of the team. My absence allowed people like Trey Davis and Micah Hegerle to step up and fill my shoes and do extremely well at the Big Ten Meet!

DtB: Do you have plans to continue to compete after college or will that depend on how you do next year?

AS: It all depends on next year. Shot Put is one of the most competitive events in the US. If I lived in any other country the door would be wide open to make a national team, and my hopes would be high. The biggest two components I am missing are size and strength. If I am able to put on about 15 to 20 pounds of muscle and increase my strength dramatically then the doors might open, but there are too many variables to decide at this point. Ultimately continuing to compete after college is a big goal of mine, but I just have to take it one day at a time.

DtB: Did you have any memorable experiences at the NACAC meet? Either on or off the track.

AS: I witnessed a 2:58 4x400 meter relay. That was incredible!! Other than that, I loved the atmosphere and all the people I got a chance to meet. I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten to compete for the best track and field team in the world. USA!!

Photo courtesy of the University of Minnesota

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