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Turn Back The Clock: High School Careers Revisited

With Todd Reeser

Welcome to Turn Back The Clock: High School Careers Revisited where we are interviewing America's top distance runners about their high school (and college careers). Today's interview is with Todd Reeser. A former high school wrestler, Todd is currently one of the top US runners on the roads.

Todd attended highschool and college Rochester, New York where he still lives. After an injury plagued college career at Division III Rochester, Todd has blossomed since getting out of college. The 11th fastest qualifier for the 2000 Olympic Marathon Trials, Todd has three times earned the honor of representing the US at the world-half marathon championships. Todd's training is focused on developing himself long-term for the marathon, in which he hopes to compete in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

Click here to read the extensive LetsRun.com profile of Todd, who was honored as the LetsRun.com runner of the month in November of 2000.

The Todd Reeser File:
Height: 6'0"
Weight: 140 lbs.
November 7, 1973.
Current Residence: Rochester, NY
High School: Palmyra-Macedon (Rochester, NY) '92
College: Rochester '96 (Division III)
PRs 5000m: 5k 14:30 (uncertified), 10k: 29:18 20k, 60:00. half-marathon 1:04:13, marathon

High School Progression
11th grade: 4:42 1600m and 9:41 3200m
12th grade: 2nd in NY State XC, 4:32-4:33 1600m, 9:24 3200m, and 32:13 10k

Q and A With Todd Reeser
(October 2000)

LETSRUN: Tell us a little about your high school career. How did you get into running? It's not really the most popular of sports.

REESER: I started because I had to lose weight for wrestling, so my (wrestling) coach made me go out for the cross country.

LETSRUN: Did you like running when you started?

REESER: No, I hated it. I hated it until about the first meet, which I won and then I loved it after that. Something bout the competition and doing well makes it a lot easier.

(When I was a wrestler), I thought runners were like the biggest wimps going. I have lot more respect for what runners do now, but I used to bust my ass wrestling, and it makes the training I do for running seem a little easier. It's my edge, the Kenyans may have to run to school every day but they've never had to go through a Palmyra/Macedon Wrestling practice.

LETSRUN: How did you progress as a runner?

REESER: Well my junior year, I ran cross country, then wrestled and ran track in the Spring, but I didn't really get serious about it until senior year (when I decided to quit wrestling) when I really improved.

I ran 9:24 for 3200 meters, 4:32 or 33 for mile (actually 1600 meters) as a senior (as well as the country's leading 10k time of in the country of 32:13) and a 9:41 two mile (3200 meters) and 4:42 for the mile (1600 meters).

LETSRUN: Didn't you also win the state cross country title as a senior?

REESER: Actually, I finished second in the state to Joe Dunlop.

LETSRUN: Was it easy to give up wrestling for running?

REESER: Not at all. I had a tough time with it. I couldn't even go to the wrestling meets (because it was too hard). I went to the first (wrestling) meet and sat in the stands and cried. Looking back though, I guess it was worth it (to quit wrestling)

How good of a wrestler were you?

REESER: I was pretty good and our team was very good. We won Sectionals 3 years in a row. I would have been very good (individually) my senior year, (but I gave up wrestling then to focus on running).

How did you end up choosing Rochester for college?

REESER: It was the local college and I had gone out there to do a few workouts at their facility. I really liked their facility and liked their record. They had one the Division three national championship the year before so it was a higher end Division III school (which was a plus).

LETSRUN.COM: What advice would you give to someone in high school today? What do you view the keys are to being successful?

REESER: I guess in high school you should just try to have fun with it, but be serious at the same time. For me, having fun is going hard and winning races or at least doing my best. So my advice would be do your best and have fun.

Also probably don't try to do too many miles and stick with the shorter races.

LetsRun.com: Do you keep up with the current high school scene? The kids nowadays seem to be running a lot faster than when you were in high school 8 or 9 years ago.

REESER: I've followed it a little bit. You run to your competition and I think that's why their running that fast - there's other guys running fast. I guess we just went through a lull for while. I don't think it was anyone's fault, it's just one of those things.

Click here to read read the extensive LetsRun.com profile of Todd, who was honored as the LetsRun.com runner of the month in November of 2000.

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