May 4, 2011
Conversation with freshman Katerina Ruzickova prior to the Aggies' first day of competition at the NCAA West Regional at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Washington.
You thrived in your first conference championship with a second-place individual finish, and now you and your team are getting ready for your first NCAA regional tournament. Are you excited about the challenge you and the Aggies will face in Washington?
KR: "I am very excited about regional tournament. The course is beautiful and we will bring the momentum from Big 12 Championship, especially the last round and we'll be just fine."
Does the regional qualifying format change your mindset since everyone's No. 1 goal is simply reaching the NCAA Championships by finishing in the top eight?
KR: "I don't think so. It's just another tournament on our schedule. We cannot concentrate on outcome, or how the other teams will do. We will stay in process and trust all we do and the rest will take care of itself."
This regional will be the fourth of your teammate Sarah Zwartynski's career. It will be your first. What has she told you about what to expect?
KR: "We did not really have a chance to talk about this. I am so sure Sarah will give her best and enjoy this last regional tournament she will ever play. I will take it as another tournament, do my job to contribute to the team's work and have fun out there."
What do you know about the golf course? What are you expecting with the weather conditions. There's a rumor that it rains a lot in Seattle...
KR: "The golf course is so beautiful, the greens are big and soft, perfect speed as well. It was awesome weather for today's practice round but it supposed to rain in next days. We don't mind rain. We will choose to be positive no matter what the conditions are while the others will complain."
What do you think about the field at the NCAA West Regional? There are several teams that the Aggies have already played against and beaten this year.
KR: "I did look at the field and I think it is awesome chance for us. When we stick to the plan and let the birdies come, we can beat any team in the country."
What the funniest way any of your teammates have mis-pronounced your last name? Are you used to it?
KR: "I am used to it. I think it is really not that hard to pronounce it. You can practice it by pieces.. RU-ZI-KOVA. Julia (Boland) tries hard to say it in Czech and I appreciate it. I think Nat (Reeves) called me RUZAKOVSI or something like that. But overall I appreciate their effort!"
You're from the Czech Republic. You went to high school in Arizona before coming to Texas A&M. What's been the biggest adjustment for you since coming to the U.S.?
KR: "It was very easy for me to adjust to American culture. There is so many opportunities and options here compared to the Czech Republic, however the biggest change for me was the very different education system."
What about Texas surprised you?
KR: "Actually it pretty much fulfills my imaginations. People are super-friendly and open. What is interesting to me is how much people in Texas love to drive the trucks and can't park it any other way than backing up...all the respect to track drivers though!"
There's lot of "celebrities" on the A&M campus these days with the national champions in several sports and people getting drafted high for professional teams. Who among your fellow Aggie athletes do you want to meet the most and why?
KR: "It is awesome to be part of this amazing community of student-athletes. I would love to meet Danielle Adams. I like the way she dominates and nothing will get in her way. Meeting Von Miller would be sweet too! I am personally most inspired by the men's golf team. Jordan Russell's story motivates me much."
Besides your coaches and teammates, who has helped ease your transition in your first year of college at Texas A&M?
KR: "Transition in my first year here at Texas A&M was pretty easy thanks to all the helpful people around. My brother helped me as well even though he was 6,000 miles away."
Besides your family and friends, what do you miss the most about the Czech Republic?
KR: "My Mom's cooking, real traditional Czech food."
Favorite place to eat out at College Station?
KR: Traditions dorms... hah NO WAY! Coach Trelle's house
Describe Coach McCombs in one word: meticulous
Describe Coach Wiese in one word: enthusiastic