When Robert Chapman took over as Indiana mens cross country coach in 1998, he had a detailed timetable of goals for the program. One of the advantages to this game plan was that he could call upon some of IUs former All-Americans and Olympians as a resource. Such was the case on Aug. 16, when former Indiana All-American, 1986 NCAA outdoor 5,000-meter champion and 1988 Olympian Terry Brahm addressed the Hoosiers at their season-opening meeting.
Four years ago, the goal for this program was to emerge as one of the nations top 25 teams and have some runners compete at the NCAAs, Chapman said. We have reached that goal, and now we are looking to compete with the nations elite. One of the best runners in Indiana history, Terry Brahm, is going to help us take that step.
Brahm, who lives and works in Indianapolis, looks back fondly at his undergraduate career in Bloomington.
I knew why I was here at IU, Brahm said. I was here to get my degree in special education so that I could be a teacher, and to run as fast as I could. I had a pretty regimented routine, but I also had fun.
Brahm spoke to the team for 75 minutes and also showed them videotapes of two of the biggest races of his career the 1986 NCAA Championship and the 1988 Olympic Trials 5,000 meter run.
There were a lot of things that could have led to tension in this race it was the last meet of my college career, it was in Indianapolis, and some representatives from Nike were there, Brahm said. I needed to have a great performance if I wanted a shoe company to sponsor me and allow me to run professionally.
Brahm used the tape to illustrate a valid point.
However big the meet in which you are running is, the distance is still the same and its running, plain and simple, he said. Risk taking is so important. Youve got to move out of your comfort zone. There are going to be ups and downs. Its easy to remember the great things. But its tough when you fail, to pick up and do it again.
Despite all of his success and international exposure as a world class athlete, Brahm says some of his fondest memories came when he was a Hoosier.
Nothing replaces what you guys currently have, Brahm told the team. At the Olympics, you train with your teammates at Olympic Village, and I got be friends with some of them. But only in America can you combine high level running with high level academics. Have fun. Take advantage of it.