Q&A with Donovan Kilmartin
In a program known for talented combined events performers, senior Donovan Kilmartin fits right into that mold. The two-time National Champion and five-time All-American returns for his senior year at Texas with high hopes, looking to take home more heptathlon and decathlon titles in the vast array of events in which he enters every meet.
Add to that, the petroleum engineering major not only exceeds on the track but also in the classroom. Since his days as the valedictorian at Eagle High School in Eagle, Idaho, he has achieved the same sort of academic success here at Texas.
TexasSports.com recently had a chance to sit down and talk to Donovan about his summer activities, the type of training he undergoes during the off-season, and his career as a petroleum engineer.
What did you do in terms of training over the summer? This summer was different -- I took the whole summer off and went up to Oklahoma for an internship. In trying to heal from my injury (that occurred at the NCAA Outdoor Championships) and all the responsibilities I had, I didn't find much time to lift weights or anything of the sort. I lifted sporadically throughout the summer, but as far as running, I didn't run at all.
So was that a healthy, planned break, or was that just how the situation played out? That was just how it happened. Before I left, I had planned to relax and take some time off and then get back into it, but towards the end of my break, I never really got back into it. I started feeling better after a while of not doing too much, so I played some sand volleyball in my free time up in Oklahoma. But as far as lifting and running, I never got around to it.
When you got back on campus did you get back into training immediately or was it a gradual process? I started right when I got back, I noticed I was slow and out of shape really quickly. I tried going on a three-mile run my first day back and I finished it, but a guy who I normally beat last year in distance running smoked me. Obviously he was in shape and I was out of shape.
Do you find that you have to work twice as hard to get back to where you were? Yes, I find that I have to work a lot harder during my fall training. Things like lifting weights and doing drills are a lot harder when you are carrying extra weight. So the training you have to do this fall is a lot different than the training you've had to do in years past? Yes. Every year, I have competed at meets in the summer -- U.S. Track Nationals, junior and senior championships, or meets like that, but this is the first time I have taken a summer off in about 10 years, so it's been difficult trying to come back.
Switching to your education, would you talk about your internship in Oklahoma? It was a reservoir engineering intern where I worked on calculating reserves and running through economic scenarios.
How did you choose petroleum engineering as your major? I was originally a biomedical engineer major when I first came here, but after taking two classes I didn't like it. I switched over to petroleum engineering after looking into the field and seeing that petroleum was the number one type of engineering here in Texas. I decided to try it out, and it turns out I have liked it so far. That's where I have been since.
Is this something you want to do for the rest of your life or do you have your sights set on other areas? It is mainly something I want to do for right now. In a couple of years, I want to go back and get an MBA from Stanford University, Harvard University, or the University of Chicago. I want to work in the industry in a managerial position or higher executive office, and see more of the business aspects instead of the engineering.
The bulk of a very good team returns from the 2006 season, do you think that the team has high expectations for this year? Every year we have high expectations, and every year we try to set a goal to do better than the year before. Last year we placed third at the indoor national championship, so this year we are looking to get first or second. Like you said, we have most of our guys back from last year except for a few. We have a well-rounded team this year and our goal for indoor is to make ourselves a dominant force.