Llamas Ready for Action
AMES, Iowa - Iowa State redshirt freshman cross country competitor Brian Llamas is ready for action. After sitting out last season as a redshirt, the Cyclone runner placed second at the Cyclone Cross Country Classic,on September 15, to open up the year. Llamas was unsure of redshirting at first last year but is glad he did now.
"It was a hard position, no freshman wants to redshirt they always want to compete," Llamas said, "It is our base, it's our first year of training to get used to the faster runners. It was a good thing I took a redshirt rather than compete."
Llamas, who was used to running against other high school cross country runners, says that college cross country is a big step up.
"Everybody is very talented and fast," Llamas said, "You cannot run on talent only, you have to put in the work and hours. In high school it was much easier running against other people. In college everyone is on the same level or above your level. Sometimes the guy next to you can be an Olympic runner."
This fall the Cyclone is expected to be a big contributor to the Iowa State cross country team. Iowa State cross country coach Corey Ihmels agrees.
"He's somebody that was a freshman last year and came in and had a pretty good freshman season, redshirted the whole year, but worked and did a really good job for us." Ihmels said, "He took advantage of this summer. I think he had a good if not the best summer of anyone on our team. He has blossomed into someone who is going to be a factor for us this fall."
Ihmels describes Llamas as a hard worker and someone the team can really count on.
"I think he has been leading our group, he has been day in and day out," Ihmels said, "He has been in the front pushing everything we have done. He is still a redshirt freshman so there is still a lot to learn as we go along, but he is somebody we are going to depend upon as we go on in the year."
Llamas just wants his chance to show his teammates and Iowa State fans that he has what it takes.
"I just want to work hard and show my teammates that they can count on me when it matters," Llamas said.