Chipping in to help the University of Tennessee achieve its best NCAA region finish since 2006 was senior Chris Rapp. Rapp was a 2006 graduate of Mason High School. Chris ran a career best 31:31.14 over the 10k course and was the Big Orange's third scorer in the 147 runner field.
Chris was the 2010 Cross Country team captain for the Volunteers. Some of Rapp's other accomplishments at UT included getting his degree in Civil Engineering, being named Most Improved Runner at the 2008 XC banquet, and SEC All-Academic. Chris is the son of Mary and Tom Rapp and both parents were All-Americans at Penn State University.
An article regarding Chris can be found on the Vols website at the following link:
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If you haven't seen this video of our Mason Alumni Angela Bizzarri - you need to check it out. Angela talks about running at Mason her senior year in HS at the OH State meet. Also below is an article in Running World Magazine! Congrats to Angela on her success.!!
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A Brief Chat With Angela Bizzarri
By Jon Gugala
Photo courtesy of Brooks
Angela Bizzarri, 22, of Mason, Ohio, is one of the greatest athletes the University of Illinois has ever seen. While competing as an Illini, Bizzarri earned nine All-American honors, broke school records seven times, and was a three-time NCAA Champion in cross-country (2009), outdoor track (5000 meters, 2009), and indoor track (3000 meters, 2010). After her final season of eligibility in the spring of 2010, Bizzarri signed with Brooks Sports with plans to remain at Illinois for her final semester, training full-time while assuming volunteer undergrad assistant coaching responsibilities with the U of I women’s cross country team.
We haven’t heard much from you lately. What have you been up to since your final semester of track?
Angela Bizzarri: This fall, I’ve been putting in a lot of base hopefully for a good spring track season while finishing up my undergraduate degree (Bizzarri graduated in December with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology). I helped out with the cross country team and went to the meets with the girls. It was a lot of fun to see them race well and to see them get better and improve throughout the season. It also allowed me to run with the girls and train with the coaches. It’s nice to have people around me doing similar things. I’m excited about the opportunities (with running) I have and I really want to focus on that and give it a good try while I’m young and my body can still handle it. I took about 10 hours of classes in the fall, so I had a lot more time than normal for training, which was nice. But I still think it will be a bit of a transition for me just having running (this year).
You were injured for the 2010 NCAA Championships. What was the injury and have you fully recovered?
AB: At the end of track season, I had a lot of problems with my left plantar. Originally I wanted to do a whole season in Europe, but it was affecting my training and affecting daily life so at that point I decided to finish up at U.S. Championships (Bizzarri would finish fifth in 15:39.81). I took a chunk of time off for that and came back really slowly. Things are going really well right now, so I’m excited about that.
How has training been?
AB: It’s been really good. It’s been different for me. I never red-shirted in college, so I was going from cross country to indoor track to outdoor track. To get time to do a ton of base has been a lot of fun, and I’m getting excited to see how that will affect my racing coming up. I’m used to always having a race I’m gearing up for in the next few weeks or a month. It’s been very different, but I think it’s a really good opportunity to hopefully build some strength for this year and the years to come.
You’ve been unique among distance athletes with a relatively low-volume training schedule. Has that changed any this fall?
AB: I’m in the upper fifties now instead of the upper forties/low fifties. Not a huge transition, but I think the biggest thing has been just more weeks at that (volume) than I had been previously.
Now that you’re finished with school, how do you expect your life change?
AB: Truthfully, it’s going to be pretty similar other than the fact that I’m not taking classes. It’s obviously going to allow me more time for training and a lot of down time for recovery. I’m expecting a little more down time than I had in the last three or four years.
Have you considered leaving Illinois?
AB: I’m definitely considering moving. I’m between two groups right now. Pretty soon I’ll make a decision and get my butt somewhere else (laughs). I’m looking at a group in New Jersey – Coach (Frank) Gagliano coaches a group of women and men out in the New Jersey area – and also Mammoth Track Club out west. The one out east has a lot of 5K/3K girls around my ability and I’m kind of excited. I’d like to have some people to do workouts and training with because I’ve had a lot of people to do runs with, but never a lot of people to push me in workouts. And then out west, there’s obviously a good group of girls also that I’d be able to train with. I should know pretty soon. I’m kind of finalizing some things. I’m excited to get things going.
When can we expect to see you race again?
AB: Right now, I think the only definite race will be an early 5000 for outdoors. I’m definitely going to do some more races before that, but I haven’t nailed down what they are. It depends on how training is going at that point.
What will be your focus for the spring season?
AB: At this point, I definitely think that it will be the 5K. I guess I feel most comfortable with it. Obviously if I go into a different (coaching) situation and training for a different event goes well, or they see some type of strength I don’t see, then I’d be flexible, but right now it’s an event that I enjoy and it’s a distance I feel comfortable with.
You’ve watched an exciting summer in U.S. women’s distance running. How do you see yourself fitting into the elite ranks?
AB: I’ve seen a ton of younger women do amazing things in the 5K this summer which has been so much fun to see. I enjoy seeing American women doing well and I enjoy the fact that it gives me some type of hope that I may one day be able to do that also. I’m really excited to see the women step it up.
With the World Championships coming up and the Olympics right around the corner, what are your goals for the next few years?
AB: I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wanted to be there. Who wouldn’t want to be there? I’m at the level where it’s definitely not certain, but I’m going to go for it. Right now, in the U.S. it’s a really deep and competitive field for a lot of the distance events and I’m sure it will be difficult making it. I’d love to make a team and I’d love to do well when I get there. But I think there are so many variables along the way that I’m just focusing on my day-to-day training and not getting ahead of myself.