Senior Andrew Jesien was named the ACC Performer of the Week this week for his season-opening 4:02.18 mile performance in the Lou Onesty/Milton Abramson Invitational last weekend. The reigning ACC Champion in the 1500m will head to Miami to compete in the 2009 ACC Outdoor Track and Field Championships this Thursday-Saturday. Events kick off at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday and conclude with an awards ceremony at 8:10 p.m. Saturday.Question: That was a pretty intense mile run Friday night in front of a large energetic crowd. What was it like to compete in an atmosphere like that?
Jesien: I didn't know there were that many people in Charlottesville that would be interested enough to make it out there, and the energy they brought to the track was really inspiring. I distinctly remember coming through at the bell lap and being surrounded with the noise of the crowd. It was an amazing experience.Question: The goal was to hit a sub-4 minute mile, and although that didn’t happen everyone was fairly close to doing so. What does your time mean to you at this point in the season?
Jesien: This was my first race outdoors, so it was a good step. I was hoping to be able to dip under four minutes, but I can't be expecting too much in my season opener.Question: Brad Hunt, an assistant coach, was on the microphone announcing what was physically going on in the race, but as a competitor, walk us through the stages of the race for you.
Jesien: The pace was a little slow for the first half of the race. I got out and settled in the middle of the pack, knowing that the other guys would be right there, and we would need each other later in the race when the rabbits dropped off. Emil [Heineking] ran a very tough race, surging hard throughout the third lap. I gave it all I had with 300 meters to go, feeling good until the last 100m, where I struggled a bit.Question: How did that race help prepare you for this weekends ACC Championships?
Jesien: Its good to remember what racing feels like; to wake up your body from a longer stint of training so you know what to expect when the gun goes off at ACCs.Question: As the defending ACC Champion in the 1500m, what is your outlook for this year’s conference meet?
Jesien: Personally, I plan on defending my title. As a team, we are very strong. We have a lot of firepower in all the distance events, and I am confident we will be in the hunt for at least second place.Question: What are you looking to accomplish in your last season on the track?
Jesien: I would like to be on a relay that wins a title at the Penn Relays, and then be an All-American in the 1500m at NCAAs.Question: Have you decided your plans for next year?
Jesien: I will be returning to run one last season of cross country. I can't get enough of this team.