September 14, 2011

Ten Questions with Tom Randall

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For this edition of 10 Questions, Sun Columnist Katie Schubauer sits down with senior sprinter Tom Randall. They discuss his nomad lifestyle, relationship potential and lack of a filter.

1. Tom, you are a senior on the track team. What has track meant to you over the course of your college career?

It has meant a lot. I didn’t start until my sophomore year because of football. I love the sport just because it’s black and white — there are no politics involved and it’s very competitive. And you are able to see on paper when you are getting better and when you are getting worse. I just love training for everything.

You used to be on the football team, correct?

I did. I retired a couple weeks ago to go full-time in track. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I think it’s going to be worth it. Coach Taylor is honestly the best coach I have ever had. He’s not only an amazing coach, but an amazing person. He’s always there to talk and to guide his athletes outside of track — like a father figure.

Is there anything you want to say to your former football teammates?

They are some of my best friends — the [senior football players] Chris Murrays, the Jon Schiedlers, the Drew McGowans. I think they are going to do really well this year. Everybody has worked really hard and the new coaches have done a great job at turning the program around. I owe a lot to Coach Archer. He’s been a mentor for me during my college career and always has had my back.

What was it like when you were on both the football and track teams?

That was probably the hardest thing, especially sophomore year. I did spring ball and track at the same time. My body was a mess. I probably slept the whole afternoon before practices after class. I would just go to class and practices and that was it. I really didn’t have much of a social life.

I understand you have two Collegetown residences. What is the purpose of that?

I have my track friends and I have my football friends. I didn’t want to seem biased towards one team and it’s my senior year. So I took a small room in each house and weighted the rent out differently. I’ve been spending a lot of time at the track house lately because of my track schedule right now. They are both such great groups of guys so I really couldn’t pick one.

Do you think it is at all disruptive when you come home to one residence to get dressed and are turning the lights on and off in the morning?

Well I live across from [senior football player] Mike Spooner who I just love messing with. For example, a couple years ago on April Fool’s, I waited on the roof with a paintball gun and shot him from the roof a couple times. It wasn’t really a great joke but it was fun for all of us. But anyway, I live across the hall from him and I like to turn my lights on to let him know I’m there. I leave them on and when he wakes up the next morning, the lights are on and it really bothers him. It’s one of his pet peeves. But I’m just letting him know I’m home. Sometimes he comes in at night and snuggles with me when [his girlfriend] Julie isn’t there. He gets lonely and he doesn’t like to sleep in the dark. So I’m really just doing it for his own comfort.

2. Please explain this movie night tradition you have with some of your female friends.

[Senior Women’s Lacrosse players] Shannon [McHugh] and Cacki [Helmer] are part of this tradition. We’ve upgraded a little bit this year but usually I’d go over there with some of my track buddies and bring a movie — I’m not too hard on myself with school to say the least so I kind of like to have a little fun. Wednesday is usually my day off from practice so I go over there, pick out a movie, bring some treats — preferably something sweet. We have cookies, ice cream, watch a flick and basically just relax. Last week I made them a full course meal and just kind of hung out.

Is it true that when you made this full course meal, you were in nothing but an apron?

I mean, yeah. I was in nothing but an apron. The backside was kind of showing a little bit. I just hung out … I guess everywhere, you know. It was fun.

Did you think it might be creepy to come over like that unannounced?

Well, unannounced? I think they knew I was coming. But I don’t think they expected the apron deal. That was a sweet surprise for them.

3. What do you plan to do now that “Randall O’s” is closed?

I mean, it’s really a struggle. Bar tabs are going to be hard now and Pixel is just so hot. Pixel seems to be the new scene for everybody and I’m pretty much just going dry myself to focus on track. But I think Pixel is going to be a fun time. I’m going to try to get some bar tabs going for some of my friends this weekend. If you are around, you should show up.

Some of your friends have alleged that you like to go to the bars at night to creep on girls. Is that true?

Well, my friend [senior men’s lacrosse player] J.J. Gilbane — he’s a real gem — I guess is my partner in crime. I’ve tried to adopt a nickname like his. He’s called “The Sober Assassin” because he doesn’t drink. J.J. just kind of goes to the bars abd doesn’t go to the girls; the girls come to J.J. It works. You’d be surprised. The girls are all like, “Look at these drunk a**holes” and J.J. comes and he’s like, “Yeah, I know. Let me give you a ride home,” and the girls are like,“This isn’t the way to my house,” and J.J. is like, “I know. This is the way to my house.” The kid’s a gem. I don’t know how he does it; he’s definitely one of my favorite people — he’s adorable.

When was the last time you were “doing too much”?

I always do too much. They say more is less but in my case it’s the other way around. More is way more for me. I kind of like to go overboard because I’d rather have too much than too little because then I don’t have any regrets. But probably the last time I did too much was two weekends ago at Pixel. I was bringing my dance moves to the floor and it’s really a limited selection of moves but I guess you could say I was bringing too much.

4. I understand you have a younger sister, correct?

I have a younger sister.

Is it true that you have expressed on multiple occasions the willingness to offer her to the “highest bidder”?

Hey, I mean, I wouldn’t go to the extreme of that but we’re at Cornell. It’s a great school, people here have promising futures and, you know, I’d rather offer her to one of my teammates and somebody that I trust than someone I don’t know at all. So yeah, and if I can get a little something out of it — a little cash in the back pocket — then whatever. I think it was [senior football player] Troy Lewis who wanted to take me up on that offer and he was running to the ATM but he didn’t get back to me in time and he was kind of disappointed about that.

How about yourself? Do you see yourself in a long-term relationship any time soon?

I mean, it’d be nice. I’ll give you my number if anyone wants to hit that up in The Sun. It’s (201) 264-5818. I was a big relationship guy. I was in a relationship for four years — a very loyal relationship from my freshman year in high school until the end of my freshman year in college. So I didn’t really go out too much my freshman year in college. Then that ended and I guess my given alter ego of “Trandall” came out. He loves fun.

Is it true that this potential girlfriend must be an athlete?

Yeah. It has to be an athlete. You know, someone who understands the life of an athlete. Because usually girls expect a lot of time commitment and all but track is my first priority, at least for right now. Hopefully a lax girl. Everybody knows that deal. If you don’t, you will.

5. Word on the street is you owe [junior field hockey player] Paige Mollineaux dinner at the Antlers. Is that true?

I do owe Paige dinner. She helped me out studying for one of my finals last year. She helped me out a lot. I’ve never had time with my busy schedule and her busy lifestyle. But Paige, if you are reading this, in the words of [junior women’s lacrosse player] Veronica Lizzio, YOU ROCK!

Is it true that you try to seduce the waitress at Sunset Grill every Sunday morning?

I mean yeah, we usually take turns with it, but if nobody is up for the challenge, I’ll just go for it anyway. If all else fails, we’ll put down Jordan Heller’s number. The worst you can get is a simple “no” and I mean, Sunset waitresses — it’s not like I’m going to see them every day on campus. So I’ll throw in a nice little note on the bill and maybe a number with a winky face or something. Just to let them know I am thinking of them. Maybe I’ll get a discount next weekend on a meal? Who knows.

6. What would you say to the allegations that you are a gear queer?

A gear queer?! I’d say I was more of a gear queer when I came in than I am now. But I mean I like to look good to play good. My little brother [junior football player] Max Martinez is in the same boat as I am. We connect on multiple levels. He’s a fellow meathead. There is nothing wrong with being a gear queer. I’ll accept that.

Is it also true that you shave your legs?

Every once in a while, when I’m in the mood. I used to do it for football when I went to get my ankles taped so it didn’t pull out hairs. But I’ve got decent legs, so why not show them off in the summer time? I might get on the [senior football tight end] Ryan Houska program of walking on my toes everywhere to get the ultimate calves. If you see him walk, you will know what I mean.

Being such a ladies man, how do you deal with the fact that many women find this habit unsettling?

I really don’t care. I don’t worry what people think of me for the most part so I’m going to do what I want. I just do what makes me happy.

And shaving your legs makes you happy?

It doesn’t make me happy. I just get bored and I hate hair in general.

7. Please explain to the audience what it’s like to have no filter.

I have no filter. It’s really hard to make me feel awkward and luckily I have people like Shannon and Cacki to put me in my place and tell me when I’m doing too much. Then I have people that really bring out the lack of filter like Chris. He often just throws a casual, antagonizing “you won’t” to get me to do stuff. I pretty much say whatever and do whatever and sometimes people just look at me and shake their heads in disbelief.

Has the lack of filter ever caused any serious issues in the past?

Luckily I haven’t had too many serious issues. I had a couple in high school, where I would egg on my teachers just for the fun of it. I went to an all-boy’s school and it was kind of a competition of who could say the most outrageous thing to the teachers. But my respect level has come into it’s own since then and I’ve calmed down since then.

Is it true that you are notorious for discussing your teammates shoe sizes with girls on campus?

A couple of the girls try to ask who the bigger men are. I’m very comfortable with my sexuality so I’ll just give them a couple of names. Sometimes when I see one of my teammates talking to a girl in Collegetown, I’ll just come up behind him and give her a measurement with my hands over his shoulder when he isn’t looking just to make the situation a little awkward.

8. Why are your favorite letters “O” and “T”?

I have a female friend on the track team and we have an ongoing sass-battle to say the least. We make some pretty interesting comments to each other during practice. There have been a couple instances where things got a little physical so I guess that’s what my teammates are referring to. But “O.T” really stands for “Over the Top.” That’s all.

9. One of your friends claims that you might have a fetish for carbon dioxide emissions based on how much gas your truck uses on a daily basis. Any comments?

I sometimes leave my car running. I just leave it idle. The car I drive is probably the least economically and least environmentally sound vehicle. Sometimes I’ll just run in somewhere and leave it running thinking I’ll come right back out but I’ll go a little ADD with my friends and start talking. I get off topic and next thing I know, Chris is telling me I’m an animal and that I’ve left my car running for the past 40 minutes. It gets a little extreme sometimes.

Speaking of your car, do you think anyone at Cornell has had more parking tickets than you?

Actually, I can claim that I have the most parking tickets out of a Cornell student. I’m doing a better job now but my freshman and sophomore years — those 10-minute zones — they’ll really get you. They’re brutal. At the end of my junior year I was up to 158 parking tickets. Transportation knows me by name and sometimes they just give me a little wave and let me off with a warning — they’re pretty good about that. I’ve gotten a few so far this year. It’s just that the 10-minute zones are so brutal.

You also have a weird obsession with collecting earrings from odd places. Please explain this to readers.

Last year, there was an instance where I was with a girl and an earring fell out of a certain crevice and I was kind of shocked. I held it up and asked, “Is this yours?” and I was expecting an, “Oh yeah, it must have fallen out” but instead I got the response, “I’ve been looking for that all day, where did you find that?” I don’t know how you don’t feel that but it was back in her ear the next day, so I don’t know.

10. Which other Cornell team do you like to hang out with the most?

Definitely women’s lacrosse by far. Women’s lacrosse has the hottest girls and they’re the most fun to hang out with. Nobody’s even close to them. There are a lot of good-looking girls here but there aren’t a lot of good-looking, cool girls at Cornell. You can just hang out with them and do whatever — they are pretty much down for fun all the time. Any one of them would be great girlfriend material to say the least. I’ve had my favorites in the past and someone wanted me to rank my top five. Top five, in alphabetical order I’d have to say: Cacki, Olivia Knotts, Kelly Lang, Veronica Lizzio, Shannon McHugh, Jessi Steinberg and Kate Ivory. I know that’s seven, but five is too hard.

Is there anything else you want readers to know about you?

Well, I was talking to [senior men’s lacrosse player] Roy Lang, who also had a great 10 Questions article and I would like to casually one-up him with an eleventh question of your choice. We have an ongoing casual one-up competition.

11. Your friend and teammate Max Martinez has said that you two are “both meatheads” and that you two “share the same way of life.” What are your comments on this description of your relationship with Max?

Max and I have a very similar taste in music. We go back and forth playing each other songs. Sometimes we go on casual joyrides going through our 310-electro profiles. The first time Max and I met, I thought he was exactly like me — just a very combine guy, really into his training. He had Brian Cushing stuff all over his locker. He was really into Cushing and I just casually walked by and I was like, “I went to high school with him” and Max pretty much got super excited over that one. He thought that was the coolest thing. I showed him cool pictures of us in high school because I was kind of Cushing’s little brother in high school. He used to take me around with him a lot. Max’s jaw dropped and he just thought that was the coolest thing. In terms of “meatheads,” that means someone who just loves working out and regiments their diet and a “physical specimen” is someone who is genetically engineered to put up ridiculous numbers in a weight room or turf setting and that’s what Max and I both are.

Original Author: Katie Schubauer