Sept. 24, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - IUHoosiers.com will take a look at this year's newcomers on the Indiana men's cross country team. Next up is freshman Ben Bizuneh.
The 2007 cross country regional champion for Pike High School, Bizuneh earned all-state honors and all-Midwest honors at the Foot Locker national meet as a senior. He was the track regional champion and all-stater in the 3,200-meters. The Indianapolis, Ind., native also earned all-state honors as a junior in cross country and owns personal-bests in the 5K (15:36), 1,600-meters (4:20) and in the 3,200-meters (9:21).
Bizuneh helped Pike to a state cross country title in 2006 and holds the school record in the 3,200. He was also a six-time letterwinner.
Setting the Pace with Ben Bizuneh
1. If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
I would like to visit the Amazon Rainforest in South America because I really like nature, and it would be a fun adventure.
2. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself working in the media field and really enjoying whatever my job is.
3. Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My two older brothers have really paved the path for me. They are the reason I started running, and have continued to do so in college.
4. What is your favorite childhood memory?
I don't know if 11 still counts as childhood, but I visited my parents' home country, Ethiopia, at that age. We saw a lot of cool sites. The whole experience really stuck with me.
5. Something that many people don't know about you is:
I recently started writing stand-up comedy, and am looking for an open mic night to test my material at.
6. The teammate I most admire is who, and why?
I really admire Danny Stockberger for his perseverance. He hasn't been able to race or really train at a high level while he has been here due to recurring injuries, but he shows up every day with a positive attitude and does what he can. That shows a lot of character.
7. Name one thing that you wish you were better at?
I wish I was better at playing guitar.
8. What makes Indiana special from any other program?
We're in Bloomington, one of the best college towns in the U.S.A. It's also good for running; lots of trails.
9. What do you like best about Coach Helmer?
He has a no nonsense attitude about him. He'll tell you the truth no matter what, and he won't sugar coat it. I think that honesty is a great quality in a coach.
10. What are your goals for this year?
I want to perform at my full capability running-wise, while still being able to stay sane and happy outside of running.