Hot Seat

This week’s guest is senior cross-country runner Keith Knapp. He is a political science major. Knapp ran in last week’s Border Wars placing 26th in the race, as the men’s team finished in second place behind Southwest Baptist.

How did you get into running?

I started running for my high school team when I was in the 6th grade. I went to one practice to see how I liked it and ended up outrunning all but one member of the team. I decided to stick it out for a season and before long it had become a passion.

What keeps you motivated to run everyday?

I think the most important motivating factor for me is my team. I started running as a way to shine as an individual, but being on a successful team, I have learned over the years, in high school and in college, is infinitely more rewarding.

What are some of your personal goals for the season?

My goals for this season are to improve individually in order to play an influential role in making this team more successful. The better I do the better the team can be.

What was the best advice you ever got?

My coach in high school used to tell us everyday to hem our skirts. No offense meant to anyone, but it really rang true for me. Whenever I wanted to quit or slack off, I would be able to hear him saying, “get the hammer out of the shed, it’s time to work!”

Do you have specific rituals you do before a meet?

Not really, I like to warm-up a little bit longer than most of the guys (usually 3-5 miles before a race) and I stretch enough to feel comfortable, then I always make sure I hit the port-o-potty!

How do you want to be remembered at this school/on the cross country team?

I would love to be remembered as a dedicated individual who strove to better himself every day: In practice, in the classroom, and in every aspect of his life.

What is your major?

Political science, with a legal studies minor and pre-law concentration

What are your plans after graduation?

If you couldn’t tell from my major and minor then I guess I’d have to say I want to be a garbage man…

What would you say to anyone who wants to join NKU’s cross country team?

Be realistic! This team consists of some extremely talented runners! It happens far to often that some really nice guy comes out and thinks it’ll some walk in the park, and ends up quitting. If you really do want to come out, I’d encourage you to do so, but come with the knowledge that you have to earn your reward when it comes to competing on a collegiate level.

What do you think of when you are running?

During training runs, I usually don’t think about a whole lot at all, I try to listen to my body and I always try to focus on my stride, and foot strike. During races, I tend to think about ripping the heads off anyone next to me. After all, coach always says, “it’s a war out there.”

What is one thing most people don’t know about being a cross country runner?

I think most people think they know just about everything there is to know about XC, but the reality is you can’t know until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes