New Zealand steeplechase number one Harry Ewing posted an impressive personal best of 8:46.91 in Sacramento, USA in May. Here we find out more about the University of Wyoming-based Hamilton City Hawks athlete as he ponders our Five Minutes With questions.
What is your best athletics quality?
Being able to respond well in races - pushing when I need to and judging pace.
Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?
You never know, you might surprise yourself and have a knack for it - which can open up many opportunities such representing your country or paying for college tuition.
Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?
The outstanding Ange Russek. She is highly knowledgeable about the sport and also an excellent guide for me when it came to looking for a US university.
What are your athletics weaknesses?
Mentally doubting myself when a race isn’t going well, which can sometimes snowball. Once this happens, it is very difficult to recover from.
What is the funniest things you’ve seen on an athletics track?
Some ten NCAA officials taking 45 minutes to change the steeplechase water jump height from women’s to men’s (which ended up with the barrier being slightly higher on one side).
What is your favourite athletics session?
My favourite training session is probably ten times 400 reps with hurdles at a cool 68-second pace.
What is the greatest thing you’ve witnessed in an athletics stadium?
Josh Kerr breaking the NCAA 1500m record with a time of 3:35 as a junior in college.
Who has been your toughest rival?
I would have to say Jack Beaumont from Southland. I never won a gold medal at a New Zealand Secondary Schools Championship.
If you could star in another sport which sport would it be?
Freestyle skiing because I love the mountains, skiing and attempting tricks.
When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?
My running shoes. There is nothing like getting up early and exploring a new place before the day begins.
What is your greatest regret?
Not winning a New Zealand national title at high school.
Who is the person who most admire?
My coach, Scott Dahlberg. He was recruited as a basketball player in college, but tried running and found he was good at it - he went on to run 4:01 for the mile. It just shows that you might possess a talent you never knew you had.
What are you most scared of?
Bailing hard on the steeplechase barrier with 200m to go like Brian Barraza in the recent NCAA Div 1 men’s steeplechase final.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - it’s a classic, you can’t beat it.
When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?
I recently brought home my Mountain West outdoor conference medal, so today!