There is only a week left before the Little 500 and there is probably a lot that you, the loyal reader, are dying to know. This week Greg and I will provide you with interviews from as many riders as we can. Each day we will post a few of the Q-and-As in what we'll tenatively call "Burning Questions". I just came up with the name and it's probably pretty corny, so I'm open to suggestions. Without further adieu here is the first installment of Burning Questions with...
Matt Lee- Delta Tau Delta senior
Q: What are the dynamics of your team this year?
A: Everyone that's riding this year rode last year, so we have four returning riders. That's going to be a big boost for us this year. We all have a lot of track time and are really experienced.
Q: Does your qualifying position (9th) put you where you want to be on race day?
A: Definitely, especially with the race how it is this year. There are a lot of good teams in the back, so the first couple laps, there will be a lot of kids moving up. So it's good to be up in the front of the pack to avoid any crashes that might happen.
Q: What do you think has changed from last year's team to this year's?
A: I don't think a lot's changed. We're all in a lot better shape. We're finding ourselves a lot more opportunities and a lot more is coming through, but it's pretty much the same.
Michael Retter-Ride DMC senior
Q: What do you consider some of the strengths of your team?
A: I think we have a lot of experience finally. That and we just work really well together. We've had a great season of training, we've had a lot of fun and now it's just time to put it all out there.
Q: What are you looking forward to in your senior year?
A: I'm looking forward to a really good race for our team. This is my last year. The overall experience of it is just an incredible part of college.
Q: Will it be weird going out there for your last Little 500?
A: I think it's going to be exciting. It's definitely bittersweet, because I've done it four times. It's going to be sad, but I think it's going to be the most exciting one for me without a doubt.
Morgan McNeely-Delta Zeta senior
Q: What are some of the strengths of your team?
A: I would say teamwork and we're good at pace-lining and we're pretty safe riders. We're good at riding in packs and three of the seniors are returning.
Q: Do you consider that experience to be an advantage for you?
A: I think experience is one of the best advantages. You can tell when someone doesn't have control of their bike and crashes are a big part of the race. Having experience can help you stay out of the wrecks.
Q: What will you take away from your Little 500 experience?
A: I'm kind of excited for the end. Even though it's kind of sad for the last time, it's going to be fun afterwards knowing that we've been together now for three years. It will be exciting to end it all together.
Natalie Deinlein- Alpha Chi Omega senior
Q: What are your expectations for this year?'
A: I think we're the underdogs. I'm the only vet and we have three rookies. They've put in so much hard work that I think we'll surprise people on race day.
Q: What's the best thing about the three rookies?
A: Having done this for four years, it's just the excitement of this being so new to them. It's something really fun to be a part of, just to kind of share when I was a freshman how excited I was and how new and nerve-wracking it is. It's kind of refreshing to have that experience all over again with such a good team.
Q: What are you looking forward to this year?
A: It's my senior year so it's a bittersweet thing. There's a lot going into it. Besides physically, it's emotionally exhausting as well. I think it will be fun to say that I've done it for four years and that I've completed such an awesome thing.
That's all for now. Stay posted throughout the week for more Burning Questions.
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