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 - Mason Grad - Rachel Weber (UD) 

Rachel Weber graduated from Mason High School in June 2008. She had a successful track career highlighted by a school record 56.33 seconds in the 400M, resulting in an  individual district championship her senior year.
 
She decided to further her athletic and academic careers at the University of Dayton. She is a Business-Marketing major and is on schedule to graduate in May of 2012. In addition to her track obligations, she works part time as an intramural official for the university.
 
During her three years at Dayton, the program has experienced unparalleled success in the Atlantic 10 Conference (A-10). Rachel has enjoyed individual success as well while running primarily in the Open  400M sprint and the 400M relay. In her freshman year, running in the Pepsi Relays at the University of Florida, her 4x400M relay team set the school record in a time of 3:48.20. That same year, she finished 6th in the Open 400M at the A10 Conference Outdoor Championship. In her sophomore season, she finished 8th in the Open 400M conference indoor championship.  In addition, she was a member of the 4x400M relay teams that finished 8th in the 2010 indoor conference meet and 6th in the outdoor championship….the 4x400M relay race is the last race of the meet and in both cases, their finish helped to secure Dayton’s 1st and 2nd place finishes respectively.
 

We asked Rachel a few questions and here are her responses:


How does running in college differ from High School?
Running in college is more individual than running in high school. Practice times are scheduled around class times, so I usually only practice with 2 or 3 other girls that run the 400. College track is a lot more competitive also. Everyone you run against has earned their spot on that university's team, and they want it just as bad as you do.
 

What have you enjoyed the most about your new team/coach?
I have enjoyed becoming a team with girls from very different high schools. I think it's fun to see how we ran track in high school and how we fit together now 
 

What moment are you most proud of with your new team?
When we tied for first with Charlotte at indoor A 10s in 2010. This was the first time they didn't solely win the title and I was so proud we were the ones to tie them. Because it came down to how many points my 4x400 scored, other teams were coming up to us and wishing us luck, hoping anyone would beat Charlotte!
 

What advice could you give the Mason HS runners that are interested in running/competing in college?
Love the sport or else you will burn out quickly. Mason's track program is great for preparing you for college track, but make sure it is absolutely what you love. I knew I loved it when I couldn't picture what I would do without it. 
 

Can you tell me about a special memory from your HS running days?
I could talk about a thousand memories from HS track! But I always loved being at practice, I looked forward to it everyday. I liked how everyone in each event warmed up together and was on the track at the same time. It got crowded every now and then, but we were always able to cheer each other on during workouts. I loved my Mason track team and how great we got along!
 


Chris Rapp finishes Collegiate running career with a PB at NCAA regionals



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:
In Step with Chris Rapp.

  Congrats to Chris on a great career with the TN Vols!


If you would like to submit a story about a Mason alumni please email Kayla Wills at
ALUMNI in the NEWS! - Angela Bizzarri

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.!! 

New alumni stories coming soon..  if you have a story you would like to contribute please email Kayla Wills at or email our webmaster - Jean Martin on the link to the left!


Watch more Videos on Flotrack


 

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 Bizzarri_Brooksearned 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.