April 12, 2013
Katie Moraczewski currently owns the Big Ten’s best time in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The Gopher junior will compete this weekend at St. Thomas. She took some time to talk about her favorite track event, her trip to the Stanford Invitational and more.
GopherSports: How did the indoor season (especially the 3,000 meters) help you prepare for the steeplechase outdoors?
Katie Moraczewski: It’s the same distance, so the 3K helps a lot. Getting up that speed, trying to do miles and 3K’s helps relate to the steeple and makes it feel a little easier.
GS: Do you look at indoor mostly as a preparation for outdoor?
KM: Kind of. I try to focus on indoor, too, but steeple is my main event. I was just kind of trying to gear up for outdoors, this year especially. I was trying to build on my fitness, because I took nine weeks off from running after my plantar fasciitis flared up in the fall. I’m just kind of building on that for the outdoor season.
GS: How excited were you when you got to transition from indoor to outdoor and start doing your main event?
KM: I was super excited. I hurdle everything in sight. It’s really exciting to finally get to do the thing you’re super passionate about. Outdoor is definitely my favorite time of the year.
GS: Distance runners can practice outside more than the other event groups even when the weather is not as nice, but how has it been this season with cold weather stretching so far into the spring?
GS: Have you steeplechasers been doing a lot of running and jumping through puddles?
KM: It’s definitely not been ideal, but we’ve made the best of it. We’ve gotten to do all our workouts on the outdoor track, pretty much. That’s been a positive. Just the past couple days have been super rough. The meet this weekend’s going to be indoors, so that’s definitely a bummer, but it’s been okay. It’s been nice to get away from Minnesota when we can, but it’ll work out. Hopefully this snow will melt.
KM: It’s basically just preparing us for steeple, with the puddles on every street.
GS: Paige Orcutt, Molly Kayfes and you went to the NCAA West Preliminary last season, and all three of you are back this season. How do you build on that experience from last year?
KM: It’s been a really good steeple group this year. We have a lot of newcomers, so people are really building and they’re really excited about steepling, which is always fun to see. I think it’s going to be a really strong group this year. Everyone definitely has their head on, ready to go. I think there’s going to be some strong leadership, too, because we’ve been there and we can kind of help coach them and tell them what to expect, because it’s kind of a crazy event. I think it’s going to be really great this year. I’m excited to see what they can do. I think we have a lot of people steepling at the Musco Invite.
GS: What was the Stanford Invite, where you ran your first steeplechase of the year, like?
KM: The Stanford Invite is always a really great atmosphere. There’s a lot of really good competition there. I was a little nervous opening my first steeple there, because that wasn’t the original plan, but it was really fun and I kind of surprised myself with my fitness level because indoor was kind of rocky. It was really good. It was really fun, because I feel like I can run a lot faster than that.
GS: Did you have a chance to do anything fun over spring break?
KM: I was in San Diego. I got some good training in. I went to the UCLA track, which was really nice.
GS: Do you have any funny road trip stories from the season?
KM: At Stanford, we had a small group, and it was really fun. Kelli Budd was pretty funny on the trip. She kept losing everything that she had. She lost her wallet, and we were looking around for it for like 20 minutes. We couldn’t go anywhere. Then she found it inside her animal cracker box.
GS: Are you taking fun classes this semester?
KM: I’m finishing up both my degrees (graphic design and advertising), pretty much. I’m taking a web and interface design class, so that’s been pretty fun. We designed an iPhone app and an iPad app.
GS: What are the apps that you designed?
KM: The first one was an app for designers. It was a font finder app. You take a picture of a font, and then the computer synthesizes it so can figure out what that font is. And I did an iPad app for music festival searching, so you can find music festivals to go to over the summer and information on that.