Erik Stanley: Preparing for the Penn Relays
Senior distance runner Erik Stanley will be making his last trip to the Penn Relays as a Longhorn this weekend. Stanley is among a pool of runners that could compete in the 4x800, the 4xMile and the distance medley relay. The Horns are looking to defend their Penn Relaysí titles in the 4xMile and the DMR.
On the atmosphere at Penn Relays: The atmosphere there is pretty intense and exciting. Thereís a good crowd that comes out, and some good competition. You just want to be on your game when youíre there.
On his hopes of winning consecutive relay titles: Thatís our goal and we can do that. Thereís always the best of the best out there at Penn. Itís a good opportunity though for us to see what else is out there and push ourselves. Itís just a good opportunity and weíre excited and ready to race.
On approaching this meet like any other: Our expectations are the same as they always are -- to go out and race our best. Weíre just going to go have a fun time, enjoy the experience and give it our best, but we always like to win.
On the recent success of the Texas distance program: Itís been awesome to be able to be a part of it. All of the guys in my class and guys when we came in as freshmen worked well together and we got to push each other in workouts. I think weíve had the mentality that we, if we want to be, can be the best distance program. As the program has developed, we attribute that to Vig (Associate head coach Jason Vigilante) and Bubba (Head coach Bubba Thornton) supporting us with everything and giving us the opportunities you donít get at other places. Weíve been able to take advantage of some of those opportunities and weíre looking to keep on progressing in that way.
On what itís like training under Associate head coach Jason Vigilante and head coach Bubba Thornton: Itís been a great experience. Iíve learned a lot from them. At first, I was a little nervous coming in as a freshman under Vig and Bubba with all the expectations, but they are there 100 percent supporting you. Itís a good feeling to have your team and your coaches behind you and wanting you to do well. They know what theyíre doing, so pretty much we just listen and do what weíre told. Iím definitely confident in them.
On what he enjoys most about competing for Texas: What I enjoy about competition is the amount of focus and the need to really understand yourself to be a good competitor. There is no other school, I think, that would better prepare me for that and assist me with being the best athlete I can be. Iím just proud to be a part of the team and be able to represent Texas every day and every time I race. When you put on your burnt orange, itís a good feeling, and when you know youíre happy with the school and happy with the people around you, itís exciting.
On his expectations for the rest of the season: We have the conference meet coming up about a month from now and thatís our first real big meet. Itís going to be a good opportunity for our team to work together. I just want to make sure that Iím able to do my part in supporting the team and getting us to work towards another conference championship.