Saturday, November 12, 2016

Mason Tope Kicks for the Win

Mason Tope says he got interested in running by watching his mother run marathons. On Saturday he out kicked Luther's Isaac Jensen in the long final straight and helped Loras win the team title.

"I grew up in Davenport (Iowa).  The Bix Run is there.  So, I got to see that and my parents would take me to the track.  He played soccer a little bit in Middle and High School, but running was always his first choice.  On Saturday he went into the race looking to win.  He and Jensen have something of a rivalry.  Tope hoped to triumph by being patient, not making a move too soon, and by "running smart and running tough."

Part of that, he said, was that he couldn't let Jensen get too far ahead.  He was confident in his kick and was plotting to start that kick with 300 to go.  That's the way it worked out as the duo came roaring down the finish straight side-by-side, each ratcheting it up to get in high gear.  With less than a hundred meters to go Jensen broke and Tope continued on to victory.

A junior majoring in computer science,  Tope was asked if he was thinking about continuing running after college.  He said he hadn't thought about that yet aside from maybe trying a marathon. He got that idea from five Loras alums who decided to train for and complete a marathon. Asked if he improved enough to be in contention for something more, such as an Olympic team, Tope said: "Guess I haven't really thought about it that much." If that opportunity did present itself, he added, he'd be eager to give it a try.

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