Sun staff writer Mary Barger sat down with women’s cross country senior captain Briar Brumley to discuss everything from dessert to thorny bushes.
The transcript has been lightly edited for content and clarity.
1. What does your pre-race pump up playlist consist of?
My pump-up playlist consists entirely of country music. I’m a big fan of Thomas Rhett. I’m extremely aware that this is very different from what most people would consider a pump up playlist, but oh well.
2. What’s your favorite food?
People always tell me I eat like a five year old, because my diet largely consists of simple carbs and dessert. I’m extremely picky and hate vegetables, despite being a vegetarian. My excuse is that I’m a super-taster. No actually, I have more tastebuds than normal, so everything tastes really extreme to me.
3. Which Cornell teammate has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
I’d have to say Jackie Katzman ‘18. We roomed together in the hotels at all of our meets, ran everyday and did all of our workouts together. Because of all this, she really understood me and was able to help me through my ups and downs. Our mile personal bests are .01 seconds apart and my PR was the result of racing with her at ECAC’s last winter. It was the day after the snow day and we barely made it to Boston in time but then both had one of our best races ever.
4. You’re from Southern California — what about home do you miss most when you’re here in Ithaca?
I miss the sun in the winter when it goes away. Before coming here I’d never gone so long without sun. But it’s okay because I have my happy lamp which supposedly keeps you from getting seasonal depression. Not sure how well it works.
5. Who is your favorite athlete and why?
I really like Emma Coburn, who runs for New Balance. She’s the first American woman to medal in the steeplechase in the olympics, and steeple is my favorite event. She uses her status as an Olympian to help others by traveling the world to promote drug free sports and hosting a charity run in her hometown.
6. Do you have any race-day superstitions?
I feel like the only thing I do is wearing the same brand of socks. I don’t know if that’s even a superstition. It’s actually kind of weird because most runners, especially in steeplechase, refuse to wear socks, but I can’t run without them. I also always wear this one ribbon that my mom bought for me for my first race freshman year at Cornell. And I wanted that specific ribbon because it’s the same one I wore in high school, but in Cornell colors.
7. What is your best cross country memory at Cornell?
When we have to race in really cold temperatures during cross country, instead of wearing pants, we cover our legs in olive oil to provide insulation. It really does help, but it’s just such a ridiculous thing to do that we all end up cracking up on the starting line.
8. What is one thing most people don’t know about you?
Well, obviously my name is Briar, but people may not know that the word “briar” means “thorny bush.” And in seventh grade we had to write an essay about how our name relates to our personality, so I had to write about how I’m a thorny bush.
9. Weirdest thing that’s happened to you during a race?
I’m from Southern California and during a high school race at a regional park with a zoo in it a peacock cut me off while I was racing. I was pretty annoyed.
10. What do you want to see the team achieve this season?
With so many seniors leaving after this year, we want the younger girls on the team to realize how much they’re capable of so that they’re confident going into next year and set their goals high. And of course we’re hoping to have a strong championship season and place well at Heps and Regionals.