Turn Back The Clock: High School Careers Revisited
INTERVIEW WITH TIM BROE
Welcome to Turn Back The Clock: High School Careers Revisited where we we interview the world's top distance runners about their high school (and college careers). LetsRun.com had a lengthy and refreshing conversation with
#1 ranked US steeplechaser Tim Broe today from his home
in Ann Arbor, Michigan - where Broe trains under the guidance
of Michigan coach Ron Warhurst with the likes of Kevin Sullivan,
Paul McMullen, Alan Webb and Nathan Brannen.
has been on quite a roll the last few years and seems eager
to mark himself as America's #1 mid-distance talent. In 2000, Broe
finished his collegiate career at Alabama by winning the NCAA title,
improving his steeple p.r. by more than 20 seconds and just
missed out on making the Olympics straight out of college by an agonizing .09
of a second.
In 2001, his first year as full-time professional, Broe continued
to excel. Never afraid to mix it up and race, Broe
won both the USA 4k xc title and the 3k indoor title during
the winter and was one of the few to compete at both the
world indoor track and field championships and
world cross country championships. Outdoors, Broe
made his first world championship team in the
steeplechase and advanced to the finals in Edmonton. He also lowered his steeple best by
another 7 seconds to 8:14 - making him
the 5th fastest American ever - and putting him well
within striking distance of Henry Marsh's American record
The 24-year old Broe isn't resting on his
laurels as he opened up the 2002 campaign last weekend with
the fastest time in the world in the 3k and a 7:49 clocking,
in a race that included a sickening 4:04.5
final 1600 meters.
Sunday, Broe will run another 3k at the adidas
Boston Indoor Games - the first meet on the 2002 USATF Golden
Spike Tour - where a $25,000 bonus is being offered for
the American record of 7:39.
Born: June 20, 1977 in Peoria,
Current Residence: Ann Arbor, Mich.
High School: East
Peoria Community HS '95
College: Alabama '99
9th:1600m: 4:29; 3200m:
10th: 1600m: 4:18; 3200m:9:10
1600m: 4:16; 3200m: 9:08
12th: 1600m: 4:16; 3200m:
Illinois State champion in 3200 and cross country
junior and senior years.
Footlocker Finalist junior
and senior year (10th place).
2000 NCAA champion in steeplechase.
PRs: 3000m steeple 8:14.62
(2001); 3,000m: 7:39.45 (2001); 5,000m (13:24.13)
here for page listing IAAF statistics on Broe.
Interview conducted on January 23,
2002 by Robert Johnson.
LRC: Can you tell us a little about how you got into running? What
made you stick with the sport?
TB: I started when I was in 7th grade. I
didn't do any other sports and all of my buddies were doing
track. They were discus throwers and shot putters so I just
went out for the team as well. I wasn't
a world beater and don't have any great stories to reveal
from junior high.
I was real competitive though
and would just
run myself into the ground,and it just snowballed from there.
I just kept getting a little better, but I didn't do anything
real special when I was in high school.
LRC: What do you view as the
highlights of your high school career?
TB: I won the
state title in both the 2 mile and cross country both my
junior and senior years.
LRC: How did your career develop
from year to year? What was your rate of progression?
TB: I ran really well as a freshman. My first race outdoors, I ran 4:29 for 1600
meters. That to this day was one of my best races ever.
In the 3200, I think I ran about 9:30 or 9:25. As a sophomore, I ran 9:10 and 4:18.
Junior year - 9:08 and 4:16. Senior year, I had mono all
year and didn't run as well - 9:12 and 4:16.
LRC: Didn't you also make it
to Footlocker in cross country a couple times? And weren't
you sent home from Footlocker your junior year and forbidden
from competing? What exactly happened there?
Some of the greatest rumors in the history of track and
field seem to be circulating around about that episode.
Can you we ask you what really happened?
It's true. My junior year, I got expelled. I'm sorry though as I don't have
a great story. I don't know where people came up with all
of those wild stories. Basically, they had all sorts of official functions
that you were supposed to go to. On the Friday night before the race, they had an evening dinner and
I didn't feel like going. I had a friend
in town with me so we went out to grab a pizza and a movie.
I didn't think they would even notice. When I got back, they
were really, really pissed with me. They told me they had
to make an example of somebody.
I got sent home the next morning
and didn't even get to watch the meet. They wouldn't even let me
go back into my hotel room - I had to sleep on a couch.
I'm sorry I don't have any cool stories for you. I didn't go
to Mexico to buy drugs or anything which I'm sure
The thing that sucked about the whole
thing was that the movie
was terrible. That what was most disappointing. It was "A
Dangerous World" - I think - with Kevin Costner.
year, though, I went back and got 10th even though I was sick as
LRC: If you were asked by a high
schooler for one word of advice, what would it be?
TB: I would say, "Get yourself some short term goals and
also some long term goals. Work hard towards them but don't
take it too seriously along the way. You've got to try to
have fun. If you take it too seriously, it gets boring
and becomes work. Just turn your thinking cap off and have
fun with it."
LRC: How did you end up choosing to go to
Alabama for college? It's not exactly a collegiate powerhouse
in distance running?
I had a really good
time when I went there on my recruiting trip. They had something
pretty good going on there (with the program) but I ended up showing up at the worst
possible time. The head coach quit and then there were some
NCAA violations and we couldn't recruit anyone. Most
of the guys who were supposed to be part of my recruiting
class ended up not showing up.
Alabama really was the only school that offered me a full-ride. There were
some other schools that offered me scholarships but they
didn't really have a distance program and I didn't want
to go somewhere and be the only guy on the team. There
were other schools where I did want to go to but they either
didn't bother to call or didn't want to offer me a scholarship.
LRC: What schools did you want to go to?
say I wish I had gone to Michigan, but I had a great time
at Alabama and it was a good learning experience. We
had some ups and downs but if I had gone to Michigan I wouldn't
be where I am now so it all worked out great.
Click here if you want to read Broe's interview about his
professional running career and specifically his plans for the 2002 season.