With October coming to a close, most of Emory’s fall sports are wrapping up their regular seasons and are looking forward to postseason play. The Wheel caught up with four athletes who have stood out so far this season and asked them all the hard-hitting questions.

Alex Fleischhacker, Senior, Men’s Cross Country

Fleischhacker has crossed the finish line first for the Eagles twice this season. His most recent performance was at Oberlin, where he finished 22nd in a 283-man field with a 26:01 8K. He and the Eagles will race next at the UAA Championships on Nov. 2nd.

On the Team’s Goals: “Our primary goal is to win the South region. We will definitely have a battle on our hands, but recapturing the title is undoubtedly achievable with a solid team performance.”

On His Individual Goals: “My goal for this weekend is to make the All-UAA team at our conference meet and place in the top seven at the regional championships.”

On the Team’s Ceiling: “Even though the team is in a rebuilding process this year and we are relying on multiple freshman, we are still the best team I have been a part of in my time here. We have the opportunity to post our best finish at the UAA conference meet in years, and we should make our first trip to NCAA nationals since 2010.”

On His Mid-Race Motivation: “Good performances are often rewarded with a post-race trip to Red Robin. Rumor has it Emory Men’s XC single-handedly caused Red Robin to revoke their free root beer float refill policy.”

On His Policy on Throwing Elbows vs. Wash U: “No elbowing, just ‘sweep the leg.'”

Eric Halpern, Junior, Men’s Tennis

Halpern and the Eagles are off to a hot start in the fall portion of their 2013-14 season. He most recently won the ITA South Region Singles Championship, beating teammates in the semifinals and finals en route to the title.

On the Team’s Goals: “My individual goals are consistent with my team goals. I want to win another national championship for Emory Tennis. We are going to make sure that the rings return to Atlanta this spring.”

On the Team’s Ceiling: “We have no limits this year. We are going to work hard so that come the springtime, we shall crush the competition. We are living the D-III Dream and don’t plan on waking up anytime soon. Gonna be number one yet again. They might as well ask for our ring sizes now…”

On Which Teammate Would Back Him Up in a Fight: “I’d have to choose Tricky Nicky to back me up in my first fight of the night. He’s got some experience, he’s pretty crafty and I’ve heard he’s quick in a fight. After we’d won that fight and made quite the scene, someone would probably want to challenge us for round two. In this case, I’d sub out Tricky Nicky for someone different. I think Bigtime Bayer could do some damage in the later rounds of combat.”

On Swoop vs. Dooley: “Swoop > Dooley because A-squared plus B-squared equals C-squared. And Swoop can fly. I think.”

Jordan Morell, Sophomore, Women’s Soccer

Morell has provided strong midfield play for the Eagles, who are primed to make a run at a UAA title. Morell scored two goals in the team’s 8-0 trouncing of Agnes Scott College. The Eagles are traveling to Rochester next.

On the Team’s Goals: “Our biggest goal is to win a national championship. We came so close last year, and now we’re looking to finish what we started. So far we’re in a good position to make the NCAA Tournament, but we do have two tough weekends of UAA competition ahead of us.”

On Her Individual Goals: “I just want to help the team as much as I possibly can. Every time I step on the field, I’m working hard for our senior class because they’ve worked so hard for four years and deserve one last shot at the title.”

On the Team’s Ceiling: “Literally there is no ‘ceiling.’ I hate to be cliché, but the limit does NOT exist for the women’s soccer team.”

On a Theoretical Match vs. the Men’s Soccer Team: “We’re in such good shape from all the suicides we do at practice that we could run circles around the guys’ team and beat them at least 2-0. I just hope they wouldn’t cry like little girls after we beat them…”

On Her Go-to Goal Celebration: “After I score a goal, I jump up and down like five times. In fact, once I almost hit myself in the face with my knees. I don’t even know why, but it’s by far the most emotion I ever show on the field.”

Emily Caesar, Senior, Women’s Cross Country

Caesar is helping to lead the Eagles as they approach the UAA Championship meet, having recently turned in 23:13 6K that was good for second on the squad and 66th overall at Oberlin.

On the Team’s Goals: “We wanted to have as few injuries and illnesses throughout the season as possible because usually that’s what holds our team back from reaching our full potential in past seasons. So far, we’ve done a great job with weight training to help with strength and injury prevention.”

On the End of the Season: “We have our two (hopefully three) big championship meets left and are looking to be a strong team within the UAA this year, despite how competitive the conference is compared to others in DIII. We’ve had some great performances so far, some not so great, but we’ve learned from each race and are prepared and psyched for some successful championship races this season. All of us have been training since June and are ready to see the results of all of this mileage and hard work from the past five months.”

On the Team’s Ceiling: “We’re a relatively young team, and in fast workouts we’ve seen how well we can run together. Honestly, there is no ceiling in terms of how well we can perform. Every year you see some pretty crazy things come UAA’s and Regionals, so who knows what to expect. We easily have potential to be one of the top 20 teams in the nation, if not better.”

On Which Two Teammates She Would Take to a Desert Island: “Well definitely not Elise … she’s a Cards fan. This is a tough one; someone’s feelings are going to get hurt. Probably Mackenzie since she’d entertain me with her beautiful voice bank filled with Disney classics that I could listen to for days on end. I feel like for some weird reason Shannon and Marissa would want to stay on the island, so not them. Lydia would just keep running laps around the island, so not her either. Ehh, I’d probably choose Aileen as my second since she could aqua jog me back to safety.”

On the Victor of a Cross-Country Race With Forrest Gump: “Hmm, probably him. His training trumps mine by a few miles, you know.”
– By Ryan Smith