September 19th, 2012 – Interview with Indiana’s Fastest Ever Girl XC Runner
Anna Rohrer Inteview
September 17th, 2012
By: Drake Sterling
Mishawaka’s Anna Rohrer has shocked the entire state thus far during the 2012 cross country season with her amazing improvement and race performances. We were lucky enough to be granted an email interview with Anna, and as you will read below, she has also shocked herself on many occasions this season.
Anna, a sophomore at Mishawaka enjoyed early success as a freshman last year. Last cross country season, she suffered an injury not long after the New Prairie Invitational but did post a personal best of 19:14 at that meet. She excelled in track, earning a state birth and finishing 17th in the 3200 in 11:19.
This season, Anna’s performances have gone to a new level. She opened the season sparking talk around the state as she ran a blazing 17:46 to win the Viking Stampede in Michigan. This past weekend, she did what most thought was impossible, beating Indiana’s State Record Holder for 5,000 meters, Ashley Erba at the New Prairie Invitational. The win also earned her the fastest time ever run by an Indiana girl for a 5,000 meter cross country race. Her time, 17:14.1, bested the previous mark of 17:14.4 set by Kanakakee Valley’s Celeste Susnis in 1988. She also currently has the fifth best time in the nation.
While her improvement has been impressive to say the least, its still early, and Anna will have to face other big names such as Erba, Abramson, Caldwell, Burgess, and Welch on October 27th as all will be in contention for the State Championship. She will also meet up with Abramson, Caldwell, Burgess, and Welch this Saturday at the Culver Invitational.
What did you do this summer to lead to the amazing improvement you have made?
This summer I put in a solid amount of miles, but emphasized cross training. I also made a point of getting stronger and doing basic exercises each day to improve my form.
Outside of training, has there been anything else that has helped in your improvement?
Based on recommendations from a sports medicine doctor, during track season I started working on my form and continued to make the adjustments needed. I also made sure my nutrition was what it needed to be.
What were your goals coming into this season?
My main goal was to make it to state without any injuries. At the start of the season, I had no idea I could run this fast!
Now that you have the fifth fastest time in the nation, what are your goals now?
My goals are to make it to state healthy, win state, then continue on and place in the top 5 at nationals.
I can only imagine what it must be like to go from State Qualifier to taking down the state’s all-time record holder at 5,000 meters in Ashley Erba. Have you been surprised with your improvements at all?
I am very surprised by my improvements. I knew I had improved greatly since last year, but I did not expect to be this fast so early in the season, especially with the limited miles.
Did you know, or did you think that you were capable of running the fastest time ever by an Indiana Girl in a cross country meet?
If I was asked this during the summer, I would have said no, but after running a 17.46 at the Viking Stampede mostly on my own, I knew I could improve a lot with competition. I never really thought about the state record or knew what it was.
What have you and your coaches done to ensure that your best racing is in late October and November?
My coaches and I are limiting my miles and hard workouts, but the main difference will be the intensity of the workouts later this month.
Indiana is becoming a hotbed of elite female distance runners in the past few years. Do you have any opinion on why this might be, and do you have anything to offer to other girls in our state who look up to athletes like yourself?
I believe female distance runners, not just in Indiana, are using the latest theories on form, nutrition, mileage, and mental toughness to become the absolute best they can be. So many things people said about running have changed and new technology has enabled experts to figure out the best ways to enhance performance. To other girls in the state, I’d like to tell them to set their goals high, and to never get discouraged after a bad race or workout because somwhere down the line, there is another race to be run.
Thanks so much for taking the time to interview with Indiana Runner and good luck throughout the rest of the season. We will all be cheering for you!
Thanks for the interview! Anna