Since his 27:48.06 10,000 meter time run during his senior season at Chico State, Scott Bauhs has been considered one of America’s top young distance stars. Now as a member of the Mammoth Track Club and an Adidas-sponsored athlete, Bauhs has qualified for two World Cross Country teams and recently ran a half marathon personal best of 62:39. He is a favorite at the USA Cross Country Championships on Saturday and will be using the race to set up his spring and summer track season. We caught up with Scott prior to Saturday’s race.
Your winter season included a half marathon PR in Las Vegas and some cross country races in Europe. How would you evaluate your training the last few months leading up to USA cross country next week?
SB: My training has been more consistent than ever. I truly feel like I am finally getting the hang of altitude and coach Terrence Mahon’s training. I have been more thorough and diligent with my gym work which I think has helped a bit as well.
Let’s talk about the race next week. Do you have a strategy heading in? There seems to be a strong field, but no clear favorite like last year with Ritz. Does that change your outlook on the race?
SB: There is always time for more runners to sign up but as it stands right now my strategy would be fairly simple, move up to the front after the start settles down and hang out in the front for the bulk of the race. I will evaluate how I feel and how I think the others around me are doing and hopefully make a move for the win somewhere late in the race. Also while on paper the field seems fairly even, it is hard to ignore Abdi [Abdirahman] and Jorge [Torres], Abdi has run under 27:20 and Jorge runs on grass as though it is a track.
The course at Mission Bay Park in San Diego is pretty grassy and flat. Do you think these conditions favor your strengths?
SB: Being from California, pretty much all of our cross country courses had a decent amount of grass. I am comfortable on grass and it certainly isn’t a disadvantage. That said I’m not a pure cross country runner.
If you qualify, do you plan on running the World Cross Country Championships in Spain?
SB: No, I love World Cross Country but I feel like the past few years I have bitten off more than I can chew through the racing season and this year I felt like it was time to cut back. I will take a week off of running after San Diego before I get ready for track.
How does your decision on World Cross impact the rest of your season? Will the 10k again be the focus at USA’s to qualify for Daegu?
SB: I would love to qualify for Daegu and I will do my best to put myself in position to do that. That said I would say that my goal for the season is simply to improve my running to the point where I am competitive with anyone in the country and if I am able to do that I will be up there with pretty much anyone in the world. I got lapped by [Chris] Solinsky last year at Stanford and I want to make sure that I am no where near a situation like that again. I also feel like I need to get the A standard in the 10,000 for both Deagu and the Olympics. This would allow me a lot more flexibility going into the Trials next year.
You’re now entering your third season as a professional training up in Mammoth. Can you now say you’re fully adjusted to training at altitude and being a full-time runner?
SB: I don’t know if I will ever be fully adjusted but I have come a long way. Hopefully this will translate into my races very soon.
After the NYC Marathon, you wrote a blog post on Flotrack about your interest in the marathon. What about the event makes it so special to you? Is there any chance you run one before 2012, or will the 26.2 distance be a post-London aspiration?
SB: I went to the NYC Marathon last year courtesy of New York Road Runners’ generosity and I got to see what running can be. Their attention to detail and the excitement that runs around the entire event is simply amazing. I planned a trip to the Chicago Marathon this year to watch my Chico teammate and current roommate Jimmy Elam run and I got the same goose bumps. Even seeing the Vegas Marathon that started at the same time as the half was exciting. People have so much invested and it seems like running the marathon is so unpredictable and that makes it very exciting. You pretty much know what you are going to get when it comes to the 5k and 10k but the marathon is a whole different animal.
I want to make sure that I am fully prepared the first time I step on the line. Terrence is the perfect coach for that, he lead Ryan [Hall] to an awesome debut and I have full faith that he can do the same for me. I am definitely not ready to run a marathon right now but I am a lot closer than I was for the last two years. I will not debut at the Trials and a fall debut would put me too close to the trials so my time has run out for a run at the London Olympic Marathon but the marathon is certainly in my near future after that.
My brother is a high school cross country runner in Northern California and ran at the Scott Bauhs Invitational last season. How did the creation of the meet come about and how is it to be able to give back to the running community of the area you grew up in?
SB: My high school coach Tim Hunter has done a great job going beyond his role as simply the coach at San Ramon Valley High School to meet director and the director of a coaching clinic in an effort to further the progression of running in Northern California. When I found out that he decided to name a cross country race after me before I even finished college I was a little bit embarrassed since most people who receive similar honors have either passed on or are retired but I have come to embrace the race in my namesake. The meet has grown exponentially each year and is a great way for me to step back in time to when I was one of this kids with a weird fitting uniform running as fast as I possibly could for 3 miles, positive splitting and collapsing at the line. High school cross country and track are incredibly important and anytime a new event is created the sport is moved forward. To provide an opportunity for the kids to PR and try to beat their peers provides a further opportunity for the kids to fall in love with the sport and continue through high school, college and beyond.
We thank Scott for the generosity of his time during his busy training schedule. We wish him the best this weekend at USA’s and in all future endeavors.
For more on the USA Cross Country Championships, visit our coverage index page here.
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