Russell Drummond, like many Mines students is a quiet kid. He won’t tell you how great he is or trash talk about how fast he can run. He doesn’t need it. But behind his red beard lies an incredible athlete; an athlete that is seeing success everywhere he turns. Drummond runs both track and cross country for Mines and has helped to solidify what is becoming one of the strongest collegiate distance programs in the country. After redshirting his first season, Drummond helped push Mines to a third place finish at the cross country national championships in 2009 (the highest in school history) and a fourth place finish this past fall. At the RMAC Championships on Friday and Saturday, the junior from Eugene, Oregon helped lead the Men’s Distance Medley relay to a second place finish behind powerhouse Adams State, while turning in a third place finish in the mile (4:19.28) to earn Second Team All-RMAC. On March 12 and 13 Drummond will complete his indoor season by traveling to Albuquerque, N.M. for the National Championships in which has provisionally qualified for the championships in the mile and 800m and the distance medley relay. The staple of a CSM student athlete, Drummond is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
[Oredigger] What is your favorite event?
[Drummond] Probably the relays. I love the relays. There’s something about running with a group of guys, the camaraderie. There is just something kind of magic about it.
Nationals are only two weeks away and you were privileged to be able to compete last year. Are you looking at them any differently this year?
I think I’ll look at them with a little more confidence this year. It’s not as new and I have some more training under my belt. Outdoors last year was a wake up call for me that some of these guys are really good and really fast.
What is your favorite part about being apart of the track team?
Just hanging out with the guys. It’s a unique thing. We all work on the same things, and have the same workouts, so we know what everyone else is going through. And we spend so many hours together, it’s great. I get to travel a lot too. For cross country we got to Louisville, and I probably wouldn’t have been there if I wasn’t on the team. It’s a great opportunity.
How are the RMAC championships and National Championships different from the rest of the season?
In the other meets, your are kind of racing against yourself, against a time. But for the RMACs and Nationals, you just want to go compete. It’s all about placing. I kind of like that. I don’t really like racing for a time, and now it’s just racing against the guy next to you.
What is the biggest difference between track and other sports?
Definitely the individual side of it. In football and basketball, you rely heavily on the other guys around you. But in the mile, it’s just you.
What has been the worst race you’ve been in?
(laughs) Any cross country race I want to kill myself. I remember one that was real bad. I got about two miles in and started hurting real bad, but you just have to keep going and racing for your teammates.
What has been your favorite race?
Going back to high school, I won state in the 800m. It was a great feeling and great experience.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Go to the rec center and shoot some hoops. I used to ski, but can’t really do that anymore. I actually joined a bowling league with some guys on Tuesday nights, it’s great.
How do you stay focused in athletics and academics?
All about time time management, really. I’ve learned that when I sit down to do homework, I’ve got to be brutally efficient about it. But it’s still tough.
What has it been like to train alongside your coach, Art Siemers?
He’s a great coach, you can tell by the results. Mines distance is becoming one of the premier distance teams in the nation lately and it’s not a fluke. He does the same workouts as us, and as an “old man” who is almost 40, he whoops our butts.