Connor Sorrells finished 22nd at last year's cross country state meet, but is coming off a very impressive outdoor season. The Barr Reeve senior placed second in the 3200 meters with a time of 9:01.40. He is hoping that success carries over to his final year of cross country. See how he got started in the sport, thinks the notoriety is changing, and his goals for the 2012 season.
How you got started in the sport?
I actually got started running just to stay in shape for basketball. I wasn't really 'inspired' I guess, because distance running is at the very bottom of the totem poll in the area that I'm from. It isn't a glamorous sport. I guess you could say I discovered it by accident.
Why do you think distance running is "at the bottom of the totem pole" in your school?
When I say XC/Track is at the bottom of the totem pole, I just mean that in Southern Indiana. My sport takes a back seat to all the other sports around here. Cross country isn't a very good spectator sport, so not a lot of people show or care.
Do you still play basketball?
I quit basketball my freshman year to focus on a REAL sport.
Have you seen an improvement in people's perception of running since you started? Do you think your success has influenced anyone's opinion?
I think I have changed a lot of people's opinion on cross country around here. I live in a very small community, and along with that comes the whole "everybody knows everybody." Since I started having success at the State level, people have really bought into it, and have shown way more interest than in past years. We have a bigger following now than we had five years ago for sure!
Do you remember your first race?
My first race was in 7th grade at the Northeast Dubois Invitational. I had no idea what I was doing and went screaming out the first 400 off of all the adrenaline and paid for it for the next 2.5 kilometers.
What meets are you looking forward to this year?
Meets I'm looking forward to this year are Semi-State, State, Footlocker Midwest, and NXN Midwest Regional. My training is really setting me up to run well in the second half of the season this year, and not a whole lot of emphasis on the first half, so hopefully it will turn out like I want it to.
What kind of training are you doing? Anything new, or are you sticking to your tried and true workouts?
I am sticking to tried and true training regimen and workouts, but my mileage will climb a little bit. If I can run 9:01 for 3200 on 48-58 miles per week, it shouldn't take a whole lot more to perform well at 5k.
You finished second at States in June. How does that set the tone for you for the cross country season?
Finishing second at the State meet in track was awesome. I never performed like I wanted to at the State meet in past appearances, so finally running where I wanted to was a great way to cap off the season.
Outside of running, what do you like to do?
Outside of running related training, you can find me on Patoka Lake on the wakeboard, or in my basement playing ping-pong for hours on end. Running is pretty much the majority of my life, but if I ever have some free time, those are usually the activities I occupy it with.