Photo: Taylor Soule
Sophomores Brogan Austin and Omet Kak racked up almost half of the team’s total points in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships. Due to their dominance of MVC distance events, the two will forever be linked as the powerful duo of the 2011-12 Drake track season.
Because Austin and Kak are teammates with great success, it might be assumed that they would work closely with one another. This is not the case, however.
“We don’t really train together. I train with another mid-distance runner on the team named Charlie Lapham,” Kak said. “Brogan and I only do a workout together once in awhile, but not very often. We train for different events, so I can’t do what he’s doing, and he can’t do what I’m doing.”
When Austin and Kak do get the opportunity to train together, they use each others’ strengths to work on their own weaknesses.
“It is nice to have a training partner because on tough workouts, we can alternate the lead on workouts. For instance, we will do 1,000-meter repeats,” Austin said. “Omet will take the first 1,000, and I’ll take the next, or vice versa. It might not seem like much to run behind someone in a workout, but in reality, it does.”
Kak‘s best event is the mile run, while Austin excels in the 10-kilometer run. They have been known to run against one another, but both Kak and Austin conceded that they still have work to do when competing against each other.
“Omet’s best event is the mile, and he is a machine when it comes to that distance. I have a hard time competing with him in that event, but I don’t plan on letting him beat me forever,” Austin said.
Kak shared Austin’s sentiment in regard to races of longer distances.
“Brogan’s best events are (the) 5,000 and 10,000-meters. I have never run a 10k, but I don’t think I can keep up with him,” Kak said. “The 5,000-meter, on the other hand, is a different story. I think I can keep with him at this distance because it’s not as long as the 10k.”
Mutual respect and admiration describes Austin and Kak’s dynamic. It is clear that they both look up to each other in several ways, but like any great athlete, neither of them plan to ride the back seat for long.
“Omet is a modern marvel. He has only been running for about three-to-four years where as most good distance runners will run 10-plus years to get at the level where Omet is,” Austin said. “He has the mindset to do whatever it takes to be the best, and he is not scared to sacrifice for the good of the cause. Omet is a weapon to be reckoned with, and I’m glad he is my teammate.”
Kak also expressed admiration toward his teammate.
“He is really dedicated, and I look up to him. Everything that he does has running in mind,” Kak said. “He doesn’t stop being a track and field athlete after practice; that’s what sets him apart from me and my other teammates.”