"My dad has always told me to accumulate options and to not make rash decisions—make important choices only when necessary. Oddly enough, it is this advice that has taken me to UND, and I feel very fortunate to be here."
20 Questions: James McFarlin
Courtesy: Rachel Whipple, UND Media Relations
Release: 03/28/2017
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This week on '20 questions' we met senior and Minnetonka, Minnesota native James McFarlin. He transferred to UND from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn.


20Q: How did you get started in track & field?

JM: I started in track and field in sixth grade. My brother and sister had participated in the sports before me, it was something of a natural progression for me to start competing.


20Q:In your own words, describe your event and what you love about it?

JM: I am a sprinter, primarily in the 400-meter dash. The 400-meter is incredibly raw—it tests your body’s strength and stamina in a way no other race can. I think I’ve always enjoyed how hard it truly is, and how gratifying running it well feels. 


20Q:What is your goal for the season?

JM: I would like to score points at the Big Sky Conference Championships in the 400. I would also like to run sub-48 seconds in that race.


20Q: What was the best advice ever given to you?

JM: My dad has always told me to accumulate options and to not make rash decisions—make important choices only when necessary. Oddly enough, it is this advice that has taken me to UND, and I feel very fortunate to be here.


20Q: Which athlete inspires you the most?

JM: Professional bowler Pete Weber embodies passion and intensity for one’s work regardless of what others think about it. I appreciate a guy treating every bowling match like it’s the Superbowl, when everyone else thinks it’s just bowling. The mentality of staying true to your own passions regardless of other perceptions is very inspiring.


20Q:What would you like to be remembered for?

JM: I hope to be remembered for bringing a positive environment to the track team for the short time that I am here.


20Q:What is your pre-competition ritual if you have one?

JM: Kev Skrip and I watch Wes Anderson movies. 


20Q: What are your hobbies outside of athletics?

JM: I am an avid bowler. I also like to collect mollusks and Vietnamese currency.


20Q: Name one thing most people would be surprised to know about you?

JM: I missed a track season due to a knee surgery, so I joined a theatre troupe to fill the time.


20Q: The best part of being an athlete?

JM: I love being a part of the team atmosphere. It’s also nice to eat basically 24/7.


20Q: Which teammate inspires you the most and why?

JM: I have not been here for very long so it’s tough to pick one. That said, I have been very impressed by Jared Michel, another sprinter on the team. His positive attitude and the way he attacks even the hardest of workouts is contagious.


20Q: What are three things on your bucket list?


  1. Bowl a perfect 300
  2. Get a dog
  3. Go skydiving, with my dog maybe 


20Q: If you could do any event in track & field, what would it be & why?

JM: I always thought I would enjoy being a decathlete. It would be extremely demanding on the body but it would also be an awesome way to maximize one’s own potential in a variety of events.


20Q: Who has made the biggest impact in your life?

JM: My parents, no question.


20Q: What is your goal after you graduate?

JM: I plan to attend medical school, with plans to eventually work as a witch doctor.


20Q: How would your teammates describe you?

JM: I’m not sure, but I probably like bowling more than anyone they’ve ever met so maybe that would be part of the description.


20Q: What is your favorite movie of all time? Why?

JM: Airplane! It’s a family classic. Surely, it’s one of the best.


20Q: Which road-trip are you most looking forward to this season and why?

JM: I’m excited for Myrtle Beach, as it will serve as an excellent opportunity to train and compete in great weather, against stellar competition. 


20Q: What makes UND special to you?

JM: The High Performance Center here is incredible. This is one of the greatest places to train for indoor track in the country.


20Q: What is the best thing about living where you do?

JM: I’m a big fan of seasons. 20 degrees below zero is tolerable when you know 100 degrees and humid is coming in the next 6 months.

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