“Christian is not only the best runner in the state at the
10 k level, he’s probably one of the best in the nation at this
level,” said Schwinn. “I let him plan the training routine for
the team, and his plan has made a great difference. It took
a while for some of the team to adjust to the routine, but it
has produced great results.”
Unfortunately for Madsen and the Sea Warriors, he did not qualify
for Nationals after finishing sixth at the Western Regionals,
officially ending his college career and the season for HPU's
men's cross country team.
Initially everybody, including both Honolulu newspapers, assumed
Madsen had qualified for Nationals because six Western Region
qualifiers were taken last year. But the number of qualifiers
was dropped to five this year. Madsen finished the 10 k race
in 32:45, six seconds from fifth place.
Junior Abdeslam Naji finished second amongst HPU runners, 37th
overall, in 34:33. Sophomeors Chris Larson and Robert Tyler
finished third and fourth amongst Sea Warrior runners, 45th
and 66th overall in times of 34:50 and 35:44, respectively.
The only other senior on HPU's team, Shadrack Nabea, finished
71st overall in 35:57. Junior Samual Macharia finished 84th
in 37:05 and freshman Harald Buerkle finished in 38:05, 93rd
amongst the 118 top Western Region runners.
HPU was 10th overall with 213 pts., 70 behind winner Chico
Madsen, who logs up to 110 miles of roadwork a week, ask his
teammates to do a mere 70 miles or so. Most of the team tries
to log the mileage. They see the trainer's performance, five
individual titles this year and 11 in his collegiate career,
and look for similar results.
“You have to love running to do what he does to his body,”
said Schwinn. “He is one of the truest competitors that I have
met. What I like about him is that Christian is so disciplined.
He trains his body physically usually he runs twice a day but
he also has a great understanding of sports physiology, how
to combine fitness, mental toughness, and nutrition into the
Madsen hoped this package would pay off at this year’s regional
meet. He had an outstanding season last year, but fell ill in
the end and finished 31st in the championships. Madsen stayed
healthy in the 2002 season and wanted to compete with the best.
“When you reach the level of regionals and nationals, everyone
is pretty much equal,” said Madsen. “It all comes down to all
those hours of training. Whoever has the strongest legs in the
end, the strongest mind, the ones who aren’t afraid of the pain—they
will be there.”
Although Madsen had individual goals in mind, he takes his
role as captain seriously. He seems to get as much satisfaction
from a Sea Warrior victory as his own. Madsen is definitely
NCAA II All-American status, but he takes great pride and pleasure
in being a part of a bigger team. He sees his teammates succeed,
and it gives him added satisfaction.
Madsen still had team captain duties as teammates Sayuri Kusutani
and Nina Christensen qualified for the women's race at Nationals
in Ohio (Nov. 23).
“When I run a meet, I know what I want to do, I am focused
on winning,”said Madsen. “But as a team captain, I also watch
what my teammates are doing and try to help. The better they
do, the better I feel about the race.”