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Andrews Adjusting Well To Professional Life

He's been training with Alan Webb.

He’s been training with Alan Webb.

(c) 2012 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved. Used with permission. 

For 21-year-old Robby Andrews, 2012 has been an exciting year. After choosing to leave the University of Virginia track team and turn professional in March, the two-time NCAA champion over 800m joined coach Jason Vigilante and teamed up with Alan Webb, the American-record holder in the mile. From there things have only blossomed.

Since Andrews and Webb began training together, Andrews says he has transitioned into a harder working and better overall athlete.

“Alan is quite the training partner; he definitely has the best work ethic I have ever seen of anybody,” said Andrews in a telephone interview with Race Results Weekly earlier today. “If you are going to train with him, you better bring it everyday. There is no slacking on those easy days and he makes sure you are honest with everything you give.”

In the two months since turning professional, Andrews has realized that the elite level is a bit different than the NCAA running that he became accustomed to for two years.

“I’m not saying I wasn’t hard working before I teamed up with Alan,” Andrews, a three-time All-American, said. “But I definitely could have been a little bit more serious with training and what not.”

A result of the improved training showed at last Friday’s USATF High Performance Meet in Occidental, Calif., where Andrews set a personal best of 3:34.78 and finished third amongst a strong 1,500m field.

“Training is going really well,” said the Charlottesville, Va. based Andrews. “Now that we are getting closer and closer to the [Olympic] Trials, I’m just trying to get better and better each race.”

When organizers of the adidas Grand Prix announced Tuesday that Andrews would be joining a world class 800m field at the June 9 Samsung Diamond League meeting, Andrews couldn’t help but get excited. The meet, which is held on Randall’s Island in New York City, is only 65 km –or a one hour and ten minute drive– from Andrews’ childhood home in Manalapan, N.J.

“Having so many friends and family able to make the meet,” Andrews paused momentarily, letting the effect set in. “It’s definitely going to be a home field advantage for me. I’ll have all the help I can get running against David Rudisha and all the other amazing names in the field.”

Though Andrews wants to run well against Rudisha and 2009 IAAF World Champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, his main focus is the U.S. Olympic Trials two weeks after the adidas Grand Prix.

“This year, we don’t even have the goal of running the NCAA meet. We can solely focus on the Olympic Trials and not trying to get in amazing shape for two weeks before the Trials, but get in amazing shape for the Trials.”

Andrews doesn’t have to worry about earning the Olympic “A” standard for the 800m. With his personal best of 1:44.71, set at last June’s NCAA Division I Championship meet, that is all taken care of. The only thing on Andrews’s mind now is placing in the top three at the Olympic Trials 800m final on June 25.

“I feel everything is going exactly how I wanted it to,” he said