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DURHAM, N.C. - The men's cross country team finished first at the Great American Cross Country Festival on Saturday, September 29.  Recently, GoDuke.com sat down with senior distance runner Joseph Elsakr to learn more about the Daytona Beach, Fla., native.   

GoDuke.com: What has been your proudest moment at Duke?
Joseph Elsakr: Walking on to the cross country team my sophomore year. I trained really hard my freshmen year to make the team and I was happy when I made it.

GoDuke.com: What do you think is the most misunderstood thing about cross country?
JE: How to train for it; most people don't understand that it takes running a lot of miles to train for cross country.

GoDuke.com: What's your favorite part about being a Duke student-athlete?
JE: Probably the free stuff and the laundry. I'm really slow at folding my laundry and it helps that our running stuff gets folded for us.

GoDuke.com: What has been your favorite class at Duke?
JE: I would have to say Electro-Physiology. It's really interesting and has applications with deep brain simulation which is involved with how people learn to walk again. Also, it had some math and some biology and this combination of subjects that I like made it really interesting.

GoDuke.com: Any words of wisdom for freshmen or future Blue Devils?
JE: Don't waste time while you are here. Stay on top of your work and make sure you don't get into a habit of not sleeping enough. And enjoy it.

GoDuke.com: Can you talk a little bit about your first time you started running competitively?
JE: I started cross country freshmen year of high school because a friend convinced me to. I had no idea what I was doing, so my friend and I ran as hard as we could every day and raced all of the runs. It was a blast and I really got into it throughout high school.

GoDuke.com: Who has been the biggest influence on your life and why?
JE: I would say my mom. She helped me out with my life as a kid and taught me what I know. If I am ever feeling bad or have a problem, she is the first one I want to talk to and she would help calm me down.

GoDuke.com: If you won the lottery what is the first thing you would do?
JE: I would have the Bull City classic end in the football field and start somewhere else.

GoDuke.com: If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
JE: Seeing what is inside people's minds.

GoDuke.com: What is your favorite midnight snack?
JE: Carmel Delight ice cream

GoDuke.com: If you weren't a runner, what other sport would you play?
JE: Badminton

GoDuke.com: What one possession you cannot live without?
JE: Salt. We need salt to live and I use it quite often.

GoDuke.com: What is your favorite restaurant in Durham?
JE:  Pauly Dogs

d-u-k-e 


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