Q&A with Brooke Eilers - Hawkeye Sports Official Athletic Site
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Q&A with Brooke Eilers
UI senior sets a good example during her final year of competition
University of Iowa senior Brooke Eilers competes against 304 other runners at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 14 near Madison, Wis.
University of Iowa senior Brooke Eilers competes against 304 other runners at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Oct. 14 near Madison, Wis.

Oct. 19, 2011

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Brooke Eilers is a senior on the University of Iowa women's cross country team. She finished fourth overall and the Hawkeyes won the team title at the Sean Earl Lakefront Invitational on Sept. 24 in Chicago. In her second competition of the season, Eilers placed 127th out of 305 runners at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. The Hawkeyes finished 18th out of 44 teams.

As a senior, what have you done differently to be more of a leader on the team?
All the seniors are trying to set a good example, and not just in terms of how we work out and how we run, but more so we're just trying to be friends first and teammates second.

What specific goals do you have for yourself in your final year as a Hawkeye?
I would like (our team) to place the highest Iowa has ever placed at nationals. I think we got 11th once, so I would like to place above that. (Editor's note: The Hawkeye women finished eighth at the NCAA Championship in 1982 and 10th in 2007.)

You saw a lot of success both in the Big Ten and NCAA Championships during last year's track season. How do those race strategies translate over to the cross country season?
They gave me a huge confidence boost. Running is so mental and knowing I could perform at that level just gave me a huge confidence boost.

Do you plan on pursuing either track or cross country in the future? What other plans do you have for after graduation?
After graduation, my major requires grad school for speech pathology. In terms of running, I haven't really thought much about it, but I guess I'll just see where it takes me and go from there.





I think this year's team has more potential than we have ever had. We have so much experience and incoming talent, I think we've all had success and that just creates a more confident atmosphere, which has translated into workouts, so it should be fun to see how we race.
Brooke Eilers
Hawkeye senior


What is the most important thing for you to do in training to make sure you peak at the right time of the season?
I think a lot of it is trusting in coach's plans. It's easy for us to get anxious about workouts, but we need to just trust what (head coach) Layne (Anderson) has laid out for us, and not try to feel too good too early in the season.

Reflecting on your career here, how does the 2011 team compare to past seasons?
I think this year's team has more potential than we have ever had. We have so much experience and incoming talent, I think we've all had success and that just creates a more confident atmosphere, which has translated into workouts, so it should be fun to see how we race.

What has it been like managing the high expectations for the cross country team this fall?
I wouldn't really say they're high expectations, I think we've approached it more as a challenge. Until we race, we won't really be able to see if we can overcome this challenge, so it will be fun to see what we can do.

In the past, your team has put an emphasis on running as a pack. Is that pack mentality still a priority this year, or has the focus shifted?
It's definitely still a priority this year. There have been four of us who have been training together in workouts and finishing within a few steps, so I think that's going to carry over into races.

What are you most looking forward to after you graduate?
The new season of life. I like changes and I'm excited for a change.

What would you consider the defining moment of your racing career, either in college or before?
Qualifying for nationals (in the 5,000-meter run and placing 22nd in 16:25.62) last spring was great. I've dealt with a lot of injuries, so being able to make it to NCAA's after those was definitely an accumulation of all the hard work. It was awesome to be able to go with (fellow UI senior) Betsy Flood; we're really close, so it was awesome to be able to do that with her.

You're known for running, but do you have any other hidden talents? If so, what are they and how did you come to learn you were good at them?
I like water sports. I grew up on a lake, so it was something that was always part of our lives. It's definitely something I enjoy doing.

Not many people understand the life of a distance runner. In what ways does your life differ from the average student-athlete at the University of Iowa?
I know every sport has a mental aspect to it, but I think from experience with other sports, running is just so much to do with what you think. Going into the race with a positive attitude will definitely affect how you race.

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