Molke preps for homecoming at Larry Ellis Invitational

first_imgThis weekend will be homecoming for Robert Molke and his family.The senior distance runner will have both of his parents in attendance when he returns to his home state to compete in the 5K at the Larry Ellis Invitational in Princeton, N.J. Molke’s sister Jen, a sophomore at Charlotte, will join her older brother at the meet racing in the 5K, as well.“We have a nice little family reunion going on,” Molke said. “It will be cool.”While the two siblings won’t compete head to head, Robert wants to put on a show in New Jersey for his final race before the Big East Outdoor Championships.Molke was a member of the nationally recognized Don Bosco Preparatory High School outdoor track and field teams in 2007 and 2008. During the course of his four years at the school, Molke went from running on the seventh-ranked team in the state his freshman year to the nation’s No. 6 team during his junior season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Nike Team Nationals competitor credits the guidance from the older guys on the team as the reason for the program’s transformation, along with Don Bosco Prep coach Kevin Kilduff’s leadership.“Over my four years there, it sort of blew up in terms of how good the team got,” Molke said. “As you got older, you learned how to become a leader and help out the younger guys. It helped out the program a lot.”Molke’s transition to college caught him off guard. He underperformed in his first fall season at Syracuse. Coming from a Catholic school where everything is strict, he struggled to adapt to the college environment, where leisure is prevalent and self-discipline a necessity.“College is a completely different level and atmosphere where you really have to take it upon your own to learn and grow,” SU distance runner Griff Graves said. “Don Bosco is a great school, but no high school can prepare you for what it’s going to be like in college.”Molke has come far to find his niche on the team. In his last two seasons, he has become a consistent leader and competitor for SU, winning a silver medal at the Big East Championship last year.Molke, a typical 10,000-meter runner, has taken it on his own to gain confidence in himself as a runner in the past four years. He uses the 5K to help him build his training base and improve his times in the 10K.The shorter race helps him judge his 10K due to the similarities in strength and speed training.In a mental sport, head coach Chris Fox is looking for Molke’s training base and experience to keep him focused heading into the weekend.“Our sport is sort of up and down, and he’s on an upswing,” Fox said. “He ran OK (in the 10K) at the Stanford Invitational, but we hope he runs a personal record in New Jersey. He looks great right now.”In his final tune-up of the season, Molke will be dropping down to the 5K this weekend to continue preparing for the Big East Championships on May 3 at Rutgers.With the championships two weeks away, Molke’s face lit up thinking about a gold medal finish in the state in which his career began.“With all my family and friends there, taking the title would be a really great accomplishment,” Molke said. “A No. 1 finish this season would be awesome.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on April 18, 2013 at 12:31 am Contact Bryan: [email protected]last_img read more