Oct. 1, 2009
By Allison Taka, UCLABruins.com contributor
Marc Hausmaninger from the men's cross country and track and field team is the featured athlete in the latest UCLABruins.com Spotlight. Hausmaninger is a redshirt sophomore from Lake Forest, CA who competed in four cross country meets as a freshman and finished fourth in the 5000m in the track & field dual meet against USC. He had to sit out both the 2008 cross country and 2009 track seasons due to injury.
Q: Going into this season, what goals do you have for yourself and for the team?
A: I always have very high expectations for myself and for my team. I expect myself, as well as my teammates, to be ready and compete at an elite national level this season and place higher than we did at the National Championships last year. We are going to have a very strong and experienced team this year, and I am excited to see our success. Another goal is for everyone to just keep improving and getting better. But an underlying goal for the team and myself is to stay healthy and uninjured. If we remain injury free this season, we're going to have a great year.
Q: What are you doing to prepare?
A: Right now, the cross country team is just beginning season. Over the summer, the team put in our base mileage of anywhere from 50-90 miles a week, depending on the individual. We are also lifting three days a week and working on our core and flexibility. Several of my teammates and I who are recovering from injuries are also working with the trainers in Acosta five days a week to get back to 100%. In the middle of September we all met for training camp, where we went up to Mammoth for some altitude training and team bonding. The rest of the track team is just working out and lifting to stay in shape.
Q: You're coming back from a stress fracture in your leg. What was that experience like?
A: When I first found out I had a stress fracture last September, I was devastated. I put in the hardest summer of training I ever had and was ready to make an impact and help out our team. After being diagnosed with a stress fracture, I was on crutches for 2 and a half months. My entire cross country and track seasons for the 2008-2009 year had been destroyed. Honestly, I was pretty depressed for awhile because my identity was with running, and that was taken away from me so suddenly.
Then while talking to some of my friends on the team, at school and back home, I realized that there was something more than just sports and school, and I can't just depend solely on myself. What I was lacking was a faith in Jesus Christ. In November, I made the decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ and make him the Lord of my life. Since my decision, my life has drastically changed its social, emotional, and personal aspects. I realized the only thing that I can truly and always depend on is God. Finally, after 10 months of going to the training room 5 days a week, pushing myself harder than ever to come back, making progress, then getting held down again with minor injuries, and especially the grace of God I am running again and getting ready for season! I am now running five days a week, along with cross training on the bike or swimming. I am so grateful and blessed to be back and ready to contribute to UCLA's cross country and track teams again.
Q: What advice would you give to athletes going through similar experiences?
A: Just have faith. Know that you are at the best school in the nation at UCLA and have the best doctors, coaches, teammates, and trainers devoted to getting you back to your best. Remember that you are at UCLA for a reason, and you are a great athlete or else you wouldn't be competing here. Also, the best thing you can do is rely on God and just know it's all going to work out in the end. Never get down on yourself; that's the worst thing you can do. Just follow what your trainers and coaches say and have faith.
Q: Why did you choose to attend UCLA?
A: UCLA was my dream school since I was a kid. I always wanted to go here when I was younger, and it still sometimes feels like a dream when I walk around campus. I think to myself, "Wow, I really go to UCLA!" Thinking about that is crazy to me sometimes, and it's such an honor and blessing to be a Bruin. When I walked on campus that first time and took my tour, I knew it was the place for me. Also, having great teammates and a great coach also helped. And UCLA being one of the best academic schools in the country really persuaded me! I love being a Bruin.
Q: Who are your role models?
A: My dad. He came from Austria when he was very young with his parents and sister after WWII as an immigrant with literally nothing. His mother died while shortly after coming to America, and his father died soon after that. He was left to take care of his younger sister and himself. He worked his way through college and became an accountant. Now he runs his own accounting firm, HBLA, in Irvine. But the real reason I see him as a role model is that he has always been a great example to me of what a Godly man should live and act like.
Q: Are you part of any organizations on campus?
A: Yes, I am an active member of Athletes in Action, which is a weekly college Bible study for student athletes at UCLA. During the meetings we hang out and have fellowship together, play games, give team updates, pray together, and discuss the Bible and Jesus Christ. I am also a member of Campus Crusade for Christ, which is another weekly college Bible study for students. It's a great place to meet people, learn more about God and the Bible and just have a relaxing break from school.
Q: What's your favorite thing about being a Bruin?
A: My favorite thing is the pride that everyone has in being a Bruin.
Q: What makes the UCLA track and field program special?
A: The UCLA track and field program is special for its strong tradition of success in the sport. UCLA had and continues to have many track and field Olympians and record holders. Also, the program has one of the strongest team bonds and alumni support across the nation. Each member of the team is always so supportive and concerned about making themselves as well as the team better. Also, the coaching staff has always been top notch and focused on making the team the top program in the nation.
Q: What is your favorite song and why?
A: I have too many favorite songs. But "More Than A Feeling" is one of my favorites from the band Boston.
Q: Describe yourself in 3 words
A: Passionate, friendly, fun
Q: What is your most prized possession?
A: My faith in Jesus Christ.
Q: Something that most people don't know about you
A: I'm really afraid of spiders. Haha
Q: In your free time, what do you like to do?
A: Read, write, watch movies, listen to music, spend time with friends.
Q: What are your pre-meet rituals?
A: I don't really have any. I say a short prayer in my head and read 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.