When Andrew Palmer won the freshman race at the Northeast Footlocker Cross Country Championships in November 2006, he could claim that he was one of four regional freshman champs in the country. When he placed fourth in the freshman mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals in March 2007, he could claim that he was an All-American in the freshman mile. On June 16th 2007, amongst the best high school athletes in the country, Palmer emerged from a tight pack on the final lap of the freshman mile at Nike Outdoor Nationals to win the race in a personal best time of 4:27.14. Palmer was then established as the best freshman distance runner in the country for the 2006-2007 school year. After this remarkable year, he tells mocorunning all about the experience.
MoCoRunning: Tell me about your race strategy going into the race.
Palmer: Well I wanted to hang out in the back of the pack, and then start to move up at the 1k, then at the bell just go balls out for the win.
MoCoRunning: How well did that plan work out for you?
Palmer: It actually worked out really well. We came through the 1200 pretty conservative, I think about 3:21, and I just felt awesome at the bell, and when I got passed on the backstraight I was still feeling awesome, and I said just tuck behind him and be patient and you'll get him off that curve.
MoCoRunning: What was it like after winning? Did you have fans screaming and reporters interviewing you?
Palmer: Well right after the race I didn't really feel any pain, I was just so pumped up, then immediatly they took me to this table and fit me for a championship ring and a jacket, and it sunk in.
MoCoRunning: Were you overwhelmed with happiness?
Palmer: At that point the fatigue really caught up to me and I was trying not to sweat all over the jacket, but once I got on the podium I couldn't take the smile off my face.
MoCoRunning: So where do you go from here?
Palmer: Right now I am taking a break, and enjoying my time off, but in about 2 weeks I'll hit the road and start to build up my miles. I am going to keep it pretty low volume, and then we'll see what happens next year in cross.
MoCoRunning: If you had to pick your favorite race that you watched, what would that be and why?
Palmer: There were so many. Can I give you three?
Palmer: My three favorite races would have to be the DMR, the 2-mile, and the mile. That was a nasty anchor leg by Forys and BRD, and it is just great to see someone bring their team from that far back to fighting for the win. Brian ran a real gutsy leg, from 1k to 1200 he split 28 and I love to see someone fight that hard.
The mile was awesome and it just showed the respect that Hubers has for Borchers. Hubers made it a race.
With the 2mile there is no way you can not love that race, and there it is great to see Matt win it. He ran the perfect race and it was awsome to watch someone that you know just go out and flat out pwn the rest of the nation.
MoCoRunning: OK, Congratulations. I hope you have a great summer.
Palmer: Thank you.