Athlete Feature 51 - Rhianwedd Price - USA Athletics Scholarships

Athlete Feature 51 – Rhianwedd Price

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The term athlete development is thrown around a lot by coaches. The simple principle of it is that steady work over a long period of time will enable an aspiring athlete to reach heights they never thought they could ever achieve. This is done through slow, incremental adjustments in training which typically correspond to the performances of the athlete on the track. However, as coaches and indeed most athletes know, often the rule book on long term athlete development is thrown to the sideline as an athlete exceeds expectations. Case in point – Rhianwedd Price and her move to the NCAA.

Since making the move stateside, Rhianwedd has dropped her PBs considerably with a 2.05 800m (12 second improvement) to her name and an incredible 4.11 (15 second improvement) in the 1500 which ranks her 4th in the NCAA in only her sophomore year. Mississippi seems to be the place to go for milers right now with the Irishman, Sean Tobin at Ole Miss breaking 4:00 as a freshman as well. We caught up with Rhianwedd to discuss her time at Mississippi State and her expectations this coming season.

 

First of all, thanks for taking the time to interview. How did the exams go? What are you studying?

 

My exams went well with maintaining above a 3.0 GPA and I’m studying Animal Dairy Science with the hope of being a veterinary nurse after.

 

Many athletes in the NCAA experience a considerable improvement, what would you put your improvement down to?

 

My improvement from home to America in running, I feel is down to the great coaching I get out here. Coach Franks is really knowledgeable on what he says and I respect everything he says. I also get so much support from my teammates, and training with a group has definitely helped me a lot! I obviously still get the great support from my family which always helps and drives me to try and succeed for them.

How was the cross country season for you? Did you go into I thinking you’d be able to finish 24th at Nationals? What are your expectations for next year?

My cross country went much better than expected, I was nervous coming into it, as I wasn’t sure where my fitness was, but as the season went on I just gained more strength and fitness and was so happy with getting to nationals. I was surprised with the 24th finish, although many other people had faith that I could do it, I was ecstatic. Next year for the cross country season, I just really want to get to nationals with my team, individually I’d like to come in the top 20, but my main goal is for my team to be there with me.

To indoors. You had an incredible indoor season, with a great 4.32 in the mile. How was this indoor season?

Indoor season was a little frustrating I have to admit. I knew I had the fitness to run well, but the races leading up to SEC just weren’t going the way I wanted. But the PR in SEC made it worthwhile.

It must have been disappointing for you to DQ at Indoor Nationals. First of all, what did you get disqualified for? Has this served as good motivation for this track season?

Indoor nationals was very disappointing as I had known that I’d put in a lot of hard work to get there, and a lot of people wanted to see me do well, but to get DQ’d for stepping on the line 3 consecutive times, was frustrating and the fact it gave me no advantage. However I know rules are rules and I respect their decision. Also the way our head coach Dudley fought to keep me in the final, right up to 15 minutes before the start, made me increasingly proud to be a part of this team and I can’t thank him enough for what he did! The decision just gave me more motivation for outdoors to hopefully make it to national finals not for myself but also for all those people who supported me through the DQ in indoors, especially for coach Dudley and Franks.

So I go into every race ready to out tough as many people as I can.

You have started up this track season very well with a 4.11 1500m and a 2.05 800m, what are your expectations for this track season moving onwards?

For the coming track season I’m just looking to race smart and by doing this hopefully get to 1500m national finals and just see what I can do there. I’m also looking at going back home and doing the trails for Europeans U23 to hopefully get my first GB vest.

The SEC is one of the most hotly contested conferences with powerhouse teams like Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, LSU and Texas A&M. What is it like racing this meet?

It’s a very competitive conference and you know you have to race well to get points for your school. But going into it, I go in with the same mentality as any other race, to race fair and tough. We’ve always been told going into a race that the only reason someone should beat you is because they’re better and not because they’re tougher. So I go into every race ready to out tough as many people as I can.

How did Conference go?

Conference went well I came away with a PR in the 800m, which I ran in prelims and got 2nd in the 1500m so I was pleased, considering I was second to Dominique Scott (8.52 3k runner) who is a great athlete and person. The final of the 800 didn’t go quite so well, but I have an awesome teammate, Marta Freitas who got the points for both of us.

Mississippi State isn’t one of the generic British schools to go to (Florida State, Iona, New Mexico), why did you choose there? How was the recruiting process?

Although MSU isn’t one of the main British recruiting universities, it was one of the only ones where I could do my university degree in Animal Dairy Science and also had a good running program. I also knew the Monaghan twins, Andrew and Patrick, were there and they were enjoying it. Talking to Coach Franks also helped, he seemed, and is a great coach and I felt got on with him well, so it seemed like the best place for me to be.

Do you have plans to race on the British/European circuit this summer?

Yes I’m planning on doing the U23 championships and hopefully getting into the GB team, but also doing the British championships too, and just to see where I am and maybe a few races here and there. But mostly when I go home I’m just looking at spending some time with my family.

If you were to give advice to any aspiring NCAA athlete, what would it be?

If I were to give any advice to anyone coming to the States it would be that they should make the most of all the time they have here. It’s a great opportunity and they can get so much from the experience.

 

 

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