Sitting Down With the Muskies
Feb. 24, 2010
CINCINNATI- This week’s edition of “Sitting Down With the Muskies” features sophomore Caylin Howell and freshman standout David Gibson. They took time out of their practice schedules to sit down and talk with GOXAVIER.com
Caylin Howell hails from Sugarland, Texas and has been a contributor for the track and field squad as well as the cross country team. Howell set a personal best in the indoor mile this past weekend at the A-10 Indoor Championships with a time of 5:05.59.
When and why did you start running?
I started running when I was in middle school. I did it because I was beating all of the boys.
What is your favorite event to run?
I love the mile. In outdoor, it is a perfect four laps and is long enough where you can actually do something to affect the outcome but short enough so you aren’t running forever.
Do you think of anything when you are running?
I think of something different almost every single time. During competition, I think of a motivating statement or think about doing well for the team. When I think about the team is when I do my best.
Any goals for the outdoor season?
I want to be able to score points for the team; to contribute in a beneficial way. In terms of goals for the rest of my career at Xavier, I would like to go sub-5 in the 1,600-meters.
Why did you choose Xavier?
In terms of academics, Xavier has a really high acceptance rate to medical school, around 80%. For athletics, I wanted to be on a team where I could contribute and improve as a runner. Finally, I love the Catholic environment Xavier has.
Any favorite classes?
I really enjoy my Organic Chemistry class, have fallen in love with sign language and have learned a lot from my theology and philosophy courses.
What is the best part about being a student-athlete at Xavier?
Being an athlete helps keep me organized because there is so much time management that you have to do. Also, the travelling that we get to do is pretty awesome.
What has been your favorite trip you have taken with the team?
This past indoor season we went to New York City [to compete in the New Balance Collegiate Invitational] and I got to see a couple of friends from high school who were there competing.
What else are you involved in at XU?
I am in the Outdoors Club as the quarter master. I also participate in Life After Sunday adoration.
What advice have you gotten from the older runners?
It’s important to be focused and not get too wrapped up in what is going on around you because this is such a mental sport and if you think something is going to go wrong then it probably will be because you already had that thought in your head.
I love Brio because Italian is my favorite.
I love St. Patrick’s Day. I was born the day after St. Patrick’s Day and he is my patron saint. I also love the color green.
Favorite TV show?
Freshman David Gibson has had a great indoor season for the Muskies. His bread and butter is the long jump, but this season at the All-Ohio Championships he participated in the triple jump for the first time in his life and captured fourth place behind senior Derek LeBlanc. Gibson is looking to make an even bigger splash in the outdoor campaign.
When and why did you start track and field?
I started in fifth grade because all of my friends joined the team.
What is your favorite event?
The long jump. I didn’t start doing it until later on in high school but it’s been my niche.
How do you compare yourself against senior field athlete Derek LeBlanc?
Derek is at a high level and has made a name for himself and I just hope to be able to do the same during my career at Xavier.
I really liked the location, it was far enough away from home but not too much. I also liked the academics.
What is the hardest part about making the transition to college as a student-athlete?
Time management is really difficult because you have to balance practice, study table and class. I have made myself a schedule now and it helps a lot.
What is a benefit about being a student-athlete?
Priority registration [of class scheduling].
Any pre-event rituals?
I always pray before and I take a deep breath right before I’m about to jump.
Any goals for your career at Xavier?
I would like to increase my personal best in the long jump and place in the top 8 at the A-10 Championships.
What advice have you gotten from Derek and some of the veteran athletes on the team?
Just to stay focused and do what I need to do and not worry about any other competitors.