Q&A: Five questions with Ryan Haebe

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By Michael Hicks

Ryan Haebe had never won a collegiate cross country championship before winning the 2011 Division II national title. The former Evergreen High School standout and now Western State runner followed that up with a national steeplechase championship. The Canyon Courier catches up with Haebe and his growing collegiate accolades.

1. Six months ago, you won the NCAA Division II national cross country championship. Your team was also a national title. What was that like to have such a highly-successful season?
“It was awesome. All season we were kind of behind Adams State. Then at nationals we put it all together and ran amazing. I don’t know if any victory will be as amazing as that one.”

2. Even though you grew up in Colorado, what was it like running on the snowy grounds of Plates Ferry Athletic Complex in Spokane, Wash., during your national championship run?
“It was perfect for us. We deal with those conditions a ton in the winter in Gunnison. Two weeks before the race we were during workouts like that. We knew it wouldn’t affect us as much as other teams.”

3. As if winning a national cross country title wasn’t enough you followed that up a national steeplechase championship two weeks ago at CSU-Pueblo. Are you surprised by the success you’ve enjoyed in 2011-12?
“In cross country, I was going in shooting for top 5. As the race unfolded I felt good. When it was over it was unreal. I was really surprised. As far as the steeple goes, I had a pretty good season. I wasn’t as surprised that I won, but I knew it would take a lot of work.”

4. Why have you been so successful in the past year?
“I think it’s been a lot of things. The running program up here is awesome. The coaches are great. The workout training schedule, living at attitude is a big aspect to running. I think that really helps. There are so many great athletes, so everyday you’re getting pushed.”

5. What’s next on your agenda?
“Actually, I’m trying to get a qualifying time for the Olympic trials. Hopefully, I have time to get my qualifier. I stand 19th right now, but if I get bumped to 24th than I’m out. I have another race in Portland (Ore.) in two weeks. That’s my last race of the season before I start cross country.”