A key performer on the Cavaliers' back-to-back ACC Cross Country Championship teams, senior Graham Tribble earned his first-ever All-Southeast Region honors at the regional championships last season - helping the men to a runner-up finish. With the Cavaliers heading to Fairfax, Va., to compete in the George Mason Invitational on Saturday, Tribble checked in with VirginiaSports.com to talk about his internship in D.C. this summer and the strengths of this season's team.
Question: What was your summer internship?
Tribble: I worked for Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Joe Wilson in their Washington offices. I helped them keep their offices running by answering phones and helping with some of the mail. I was able to give constituents tours of the US Capitol almost every day, which was really fun. I also was able to sit in on some interesting meetings, attend press events, watch committee hearings and meet people working in various offices.
Question: How did you find out about it and is it something you want to do in the future?
Tribble: I pursued the internship because I have become interested in how government works and what kinds of policies are good for the country, so I decided to look into interning for some Congressional members. Each member has a website where you can find internship applications and apply, etc. So I applied and was given an excellent opportunity. I am very interested in electoral politics, but I'm not sure what form that will take in the future.
Question: As a senior academically, what are your plans for after graduation?
Tribble: This year is the fourth and final of my undergraduate career. I plan to come back next year and run for Virginia another year. I had a disappointing first year and had a great year last year, so I think it would be wise of me to take advantage of this great opportunity. I also have some things I would like to accomplish academically so some of my returning will depend on what kind of academic program I can find to continue my growth as a student. Next year I will probably get some sort of master's degree. Whether or not I continue running after college will depend on how the next two years go for me. I am working hard to improve with each season. In the long term, I would like to go to law school, practice law and take some form of leadership position in a company or in the government.
Question: What would you say is the strength of the men's team this year?
Tribble: Everyone in our program wants to see the team do well, and we work together to make that happen. Most of our team wants to be ACC Champions and wants to earn All-American status. The guys on our team are used to winning and are used to being towards the front of important races. We have guys who are capable of competing on a high level and who want to compete on a high level. That is our strength.
Question: In order for the season to be a "success", what would need to happen?
Tribble: We need to finish in the top five or 10 in the nation for the season to be a success. In addition, we need to win the conference championship and the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship. With our talent, I think we would be selling ourselves short if we settled for anything less than conference and regional wins and a high finish at nationals. The last few years we have been in the top 15 or so at nationals, and I want to see us move into the top tier of the nation's best programs.