Third-year Trey Miller opened his 2008 cross country season by leading the men’s squad to the team title at the Lou Onesty Invitational on Sept. 6 in Charlottesville. Miller took first in the 8K race to win his first-ever individual collegiate event. After nearly a month off to prepare for the rest of the season, Miller looks to lead the Cavaliers again this Saturday at the George Mason Invitational. The men’s race is set to begin at 10 a.m. at the Bull Run Regional Park in Fairfax, Va. Question: What was it like to win your first meet at home?
Miller: It was great. Racing at home here in Charlottesville is a treat and quite a blessing. The hurricane-like weather made the race tremendously more interesting. For a while we thought we weren't going to have the race because of the weather, but I enjoyed the conditions. I liked the rain, getting out there, getting muddy, sliding around and throwing some elbows. It was really fun and it was just great to do it on the home course. This was a great start to our season, the team ran strong and we had a number of runners who really showed the depth of our program.Question: How do you think the long break between the first race and the second one will affect you?
Miller: I really like having the break. We raced pretty well at the Lou Onesty, but we have a lot of work to be done to be in good fighting shape. The course we're going to be at this weekend is up in northern Virginia, at George Mason. I think it will be a very good test for us and I think it will really get us ready for the regional course down in North Carolina. I think it will be really to our advantage to have had this amount of time before our next race.Question: How do you like first-year coach Jason Vigilante so far and what has it been like with a coach that was hired only a few weeks before the season started?
Miller: It was tough after having Coach (Jason) Dunn for my first two years to find out that he was leaving, but it's turned out to be an amazing thing. We were really excited when we heard that Coach Vigilante was the pick. We're really impressed by the administration, how quickly they worked and what a great job they did pulling him in. Every day I think the guys grow closer and closer to Coach Vigilante. We really like him and we're really excited about the future of the program even after we leave. I think he's the kind of guy that can really build our cross-country and track programs to be national powerhouses over the next few years. I have a lot of confidence in Coach Vigilante and I am proud to be one of his athletes.Question: What's it like to have five of last year's seven runners returning and to have that core group to lead the way?
Miller: It's huge. It really is a rarity and the five guys we've got coming back are hardworking, talented guys with great passion. As a team, we are very fortunate to have so many veteran leaders. Our team also has some very talented underclassmen, some studs who give a lot of excitement about the future of this program. There are some high expectations for our team considering all the talent that we have under one roof.