One-on-One interview with Kim Najem

Oct. 19, 2005

This past week, Sports Information intern Jen Davison interviewed Kim Najem about her role on the 2005 women's cross country team.  Kim was the Mount's top finisher at the Great American Cross Country Festival in Cary, N.C. placing 18th in the field with a time of 18:51.50 on Sept. 24.  She was also the Mount's top runner finishing the 5K course in 11th place with a time of 20:36 at the Red Flash Invitational. 


What do you see your team accomplishing this year?

As we surprise the teams ranked ahead of us in the pre-season poll, I hope by the end of the season we can show the rest of the conference where hard work will get you. 


What do you wish to accomplish individually this season?

Cross country has always been a challenge for me; I consider myself more of a track runner.  I would like to be competitive with the same runners in cross country as I have been in track.  It won't be easy, but as a runner I welcome the challenge.


How did it feel to lead your team at the Great American Cross Country Festival?

It's always fun to travel as a team and see everyone respond well and run fast in the face of good competition.


The women's team was picked to finish seventh in the NEC's this do you feel about that?

I think we turned a few heads after St. Francis and Great American.  With the runners returning and a great group of freshmen, if the poll was taken now, we would be ranked much higher.  But I guess we'll find out in two weeks.


Other than yourself, who will be key in helping your team reach its goal of a Northeast Conference championship?

Well, our team goal is to finish top three at conferences this year; it will be tough, but we are capable on a good day.  The key for the future will be for the freshman to build upon this year's success and continue to work hard.


When you're not running on the cross-country course, what do you enjoy doing?

Being a student teacher has taken up most of my time.  It can be a hectic schedule between teaching high school art and training.  Other than that, I enjoy driving my fiancé Zach Emerson up a wall.


If you could race against one person in any event, who would it be? Why?

Deena Kastor, the Olympic bronze medalist in the marathon.  I would race her in the indoor 55m because it's the closest I'd ever finish to her in a race.  It would be neat to tell people I only lost a race with Deena Kastor by a few steps.


What other sports besides cross-country have you competed in?

I played soccer through my freshman year in high school.  Realizing I wasn't going too far with soccer (and anything else that required coordination), I tried out for cross country in the fall.


What is the best and worst thing about being on the cross-country team at Mount Saint Mary's University?

Rushing from student teaching at Catoctin to practice without a break isn't fun.  But it is well worth it for the friendships and satisfaction of being part of a close team like this one.


What would be some advice that you would give young people who want to participate in cross-country?

It's a fair sport; what you put into it is what you get out of it.


Who would you say are your biggest influences or role models?

My parents - the best coaches in life I could ever ask for.


Being a senior on the team, what is your most memorable moment as a Mount athlete?

Meeting and running with Fr. Darin Didier; I'll always remember his positive attitude and sense of humor.


Do you have any particular rituals or superstitions that you do before a meet?

I have to wear my pink socks and racing spikes Zach gave me for Valentine's Day.


What are the ups and downs of being a college athlete?

It's a big commitment with a lot of work, but the lessons learned will make me a better person in the long run (no pun intended). 


What do you see yourself doing after college?

Well I'm getting married next summer, and will be an art teacher and hopefully a track coach as well back home in New Hampshire.


What is your favorite sports team?

Being a New Englander, I'm obligated to say Red Sox and Patriots.  Even though I don't understand baseball or football.


What is your favorite movie?

When Harry Met Sally, Without Limits


What is your favorite color?



What is your favorite food?

Any kind of pasta.




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Kim Najem
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