LARAMIE, Wyo. – Freshmen Harry Ewing and Daniel Hintz are not only newcomers to the University of Wyoming cross country team, but newcomers to the United States of America. The New Zealand natives arrived in Laramie last week and had just a few days to adjust to American life before fall camp began Monday. The harriers answered questions about the adjustment at their preseason meeting on Sunday.
What have you already noticed that’s different than home?
Daniel: A lot more trucks. Trucks are bigger. Everything’s bigger. Portions of food are bigger.
Harry: Extremes in temperature. Like yesterday [Aug. 20] it was quite cold, and now it’s quite warm.
Daniel: [New Zealand is] pretty mild. We don’t really change a lot. When we say, ‘four seasons in one day,’ it changes like five degrees.
Harry: Here, they actually mean it.
What was your perception of Wyoming before coming here?
D & H: Cowboys and snow. Jackson Hole. Country music. Skiing. Most trucks per capita.
Is it harder or easier to run here?
H: Harder. Definitely harder. It’s going to take a little while to climatize, or acclimate, as you guys say. You feel really unfit. You know you’re fit, but it’s a lot harder. Heart rates are up.
D: It’s a lot harder. I just feel really unfit. The first day or two, I was like, ‘oh, this isn’t too bad,’ but your recovery stacks on top of you. Each training [session], you just feel worse because you’re not recovering. It takes you so much longer to recover. I severely underestimated that. It’ll take some time.
Does it help you adjust to the U.S. knowing you have a coach (Amanda Clower) and a teammate (Kerry White) who have already made that same exact adjustment?
H: It’s been really helpful having Amanda guiding us through it, and then Kerry as well. I met [Kerry] in her hometown. She lives 20 minutes from me, so I drove over in December and talked to her and got all the details about it. It was really helpful and we connected. It was a much easier transition.
D: You have someone on the inside who knows that change and everything in terms of culture. They kind of know where you’ve come from, and they can relate to situations which you do and do not have in each country. There’s a culture barrier. It’s just a lot different, but it’s all good.
What are you guys looking forward to most about American culture?
H: Country concerts, going to some of those.
D: There’s so much pride, it’s crazy. You see the university’s insignia, or logo, everywhere. It’s just mind-blowing, going from where we’ve come from, where the university is an establishment, a university, but it’s not really bought in by the whole community to the same extent as here. It’s awesome. A lot of pride.