After winning last year’s conference championship, Carnegie Mellon’s men’s cross country team is looking to repeat its success this season. Leading the Tartans is sophomore Brian Harvey. On Saturday, Harvey won the men’s 8K at the Carnegie Mellon Invitational. The weekend before, Harvey won the 4K at the Dickinson Invitational. Recently, Harvey sat down with The Tartan to talk about his season.

Tartan: When did you start doing cross country?
Harvey: Well, I was very athletic as a kid. I played three sports, and then in high school I did not make the soccer team. So I started doing cross country, really as something to do and a way to make friends, but then I really got into it; not necessarily even because I was good at it, but I just really enjoyed getting out there and just running.

T: Did you plan on doing cross country when you came to Carnegie Mellon?
H: Actually, I had no intention of running in college, and my high school coach heard, and was really surprised and kind of talked me into it. So I ended up looking at college teams and meeting coaches, and that is a big part of why I ended up at Carnegie Mellon, and I am really glad I did.

T: How do you deal with being a student athlete at Carnegie Mellon?
H: It is definitely a challenge, but it is great. Practice gives me time to just get away from everything and relax for a little while, and our coach is really amazing. He really works on making sure that we are doing well in every part of our lives and focusing on both cross country and our academics.

T: Do you have any pre-race rituals?
H: Well, everyone thinks it is pretty weird, but I have to shower before a race. It sounds really dumb because I am getting up early to go run and get dirty and sweaty again, but I have to shower before I race. A lot of people do some weird things, like wear the same dirty pair of socks during every race all season, but I just have to have my shower.

T: How do you focus during such a long race and what keeps you going?
H: I am naturally a very competitive person, which can be a bad thing because it overflows into basically everything I do, but during a race it helps a lot. I really just focus on the race itself, not a particular strategy or anything, but just running as fast as I can and ignoring the pain.

T: Is there anything in particular you would attribute your success to?
H: I have really done well from season to season, focusing on what my body is telling me to do. I have never had a running-related injury, so I have just been able to build every year.

T: Okay, we know you spend most of your time running through Schenley Park, but what is your favorite thing to do in Pittsburgh?
H: I really like going to shows and stuff like that. I went and saw the Blue Man Group when they were here and that was really cool. I like going to all the sporting events too; there are plenty of them. I would really love to go to a Steelers’ game, but I do not know if that will get to happen.