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The Campanile

Athlete of the Month: Naveen Pai


The Campanile: Who are you and what’s your position on the cross country team?

Naveen Pai: I’m Naveen, and I’m a senior varsity runner.

TC: Alright Naveen, what’s your favorite part about cross country?

NP: My sweet legs.

TC: What about your legs?

NP: They’re very toned and defined, I would say.

TC: And do these toned legs help propel you to victory?

NP: Always.

TC: Ok, as a Varsity runner, what hopes do you have for yourself and the team this season?

NP: Hopefully we’ll be able to win CCS and place top ten in states.

TC: What part will you miss the most about running for Paly’s cross country team over the past four years?

NP: The baby dino.

TC: Tell us more about what the baby dinosaur is like.

NP: He’s kind of a mysterious character, and boyishly good-looking. That’s really all you can say about him; even I don’t know him that well.

TC: Ok, so we know how much you love cross-country, but can you give us your opinion on the boys lacrosse team?


NP: We have a lacrosse team? Lacrosse is a sport? That’s strange.

TC: I’m just going to move on. If you had to pick one teammate to go into a zombie apocalypse with, who would you choose and why?

NP: Probably Kai Oda, because he has those super toned muscles, and he could just carry me through it.

TC: I would leave you there.

NP: *awkward silence*

TC: Do you see any difference in the crossover between the girls and boys cross country team with the new slogan, “one team,” introduced this year?

NP: Yes, I think our new mentality as a unified team has definitely helped our team chemistry.

TC: In what ways?

NP: For example, at our pasta feeds you can make connections by talking with other teammates you may not have known very well before, which helps build a connection in the team overall.

TC: Do you plan to run cross country after high school? If so, where and why?

NP: I’m actually training for an undercover CIA mission in Ethiopia, so that’s probably where my running career will continue.

TC:  In Ethiopia, do you anticipate… I should actually stop it there. Um, do you have a spirit animal that motivates you to run?

NP: Once again, I would have to say the baby dino. He’s just so fierce, competitive and hungry.

TC: What do you think is the most important element to focus on for those trying to get better at running and why?

NP: I would just say staying committed and trying to get longer runs in to build a pace.

TC: How do you feel about the new coaches, Michael Davidson and Michael Granville? How have they changed cross country so far this year?

NP: They work us really hard and I can tell they have a plan for us. I think we have a promising future with them.

TC: Are there any things they’ve done differently?

NP: Yeah, we’re focusing more on longer workouts in the beginning, and are focusing a lot more on core, which is painful.

TC: How many abs do you have, Naveen?

NP: I lost count.

TC: Lastly, how do you stay focused during the season?

NP: I get really inspired by my cat, Rascal. He’s really dedicated and always reminds me to stay strong and keep pushing. He’s been a real source of motivation for me. In fact, I’m gonna end this interview because I want to go home to my cat right now.

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