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Senior Lauretta Dezubay is a long distance runner on the Virginia track and field team. This weekend, the Cavaliers head to Greensboro, N.C., to compete in the 2009 NCAA East Region Championships. The top-five finishers in each event will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships on June 10-13 in Fayetteville, Ark.

Question: What are your expectations heading into this weekend’s regional meet?
Dezubay: Making the top five for the automatic bid for nationals is a really lofty expectation. However, I’ve had really solid training in the past month, and if I can run under 16:30 or low 16’s, then I’ll be really happy.

Question: As an older, more experienced runner, what do you tell your younger teammates to help prepare them for Regionals?
Dezubay: Going to practice and working out with them on a daily basis helps. It’s not necessarily what you say, but more your actions. I think for them to see the process of good habits is more valuable than what words can say.

Question: As a senior, do you know what are your plans are for next year?
Dezubay: I’m in the Curry five-year program, so I didn’t graduate this past year. I’ll be student teaching in the fall semester of next year.

Question: You have a season of eligibility left in cross country, do you plan to use it?
Dezubay: Definately! I’m hoping to get an outdoor season back too.

Question: Have you decided what you plan to do once your athletic eligibility expires?
Dezubay: (laughs) I have a couple of things in mind. I don’t want to stop competitive running once I’m done with college. At the same time, I don’t want to put off a career. Next fall will help me figure things out a bit more. If I’m able to manage student teaching with cross country, then
I want to teach elementary PE and continue training. My other options include possibly being a GA at a university to earn a Masters in exercise physiology. I’m also interested in collegiately coaching.

Question: What has been your most memorable experience either in cross country or track at Virginia?
Dezubay: Winning cross country regionals this past year would probably be my most memorable experience. We weren’t on anyone’s radar to be in the top two, and then to find out we won was awesome. I think after being on a team where the expectation was so much higher, yet we never won that meet, made the experience have more meaning.

Question: Has there been a specific season that stands out in your mind as the “best”?
Dezubay: This cross country season was really good. I would say it was my “best” season not just as an individual, but from the team perspective as well. Even though individual success is great, it is much better when your teammates are doing just as well with you.

Question: Has Virginia been what you expected it would be when you entered as a first-year? If so, why or why not?
Dezubay: Oh wow! There are so many ways this question could go. It honestly went by so fast, that I can’t even really remember what I expected of college when I first got here. Everything was so new and I was so naive! It has been a really good learning experience and period of growth for me. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be – both academics and athletics. It’s a lot different going from being the best of the best in high school to one of many in college. It took me some time to be able to handle that difference before I was able to be successful in college. Overall, I wouldn’t have changed any of my experiences so far. I’ve enjoyed UVA and can’t imagine where I’d be or what I’d be doing if I hadn’t come here.

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