The XC Countdown: Devin Hart of Point Pleasant Boro

The XC Countdown is a series of interviews previewing the 2017 cross country season brought to us by Jordan Brannan, a two-time winner of the Indoor Meet of Champions 3200 meter.  He'll be joining NJ MileSplit for some summer cross country coverage. Brannan graduated from Colts Neck this past spring and will be attending Iona College this coming fall. - Robert Kellert

Devin Hart - JR

Point Pleasant Boro

Outdoor 3200 MOC winner ✓
4:09 1600 ✓
9:05 3200 ✓
14:57 5k (Track) ✓
1st XC 5k returner @ 15:12 ✓
1st Holmdel returner @ 15:58 ✓ 

Interview from 7/13/2017

128 days until The Meet of Champs

Q. How's training going right now?
A. I started 2 weeks after nationals but I kept up with cardio on the rowing machine and I feel that kept my fitness up so I can just build up from outdoor track. Right now I'm at 40 or 50 miles a week but I really want to get it up into the 60 to 70 range this year because last year I felt like I did too many short but fast runs, but this year I kind of want to increase my mileage and do a few more long runs. By the end of August we'll start doing more interval work, like 6-7 mile repeats on the bowl at Holmdel, but as the season progresses and we start to sharpen up we'll move the intervals down to 400s and 800s naturally.

Q. Are you training alone this summer?
A. I try to start runs with my team a lot, but obviously I have to do some long runs alone. But at least 2 days a week I try to run with either my teammates or the other Shore kids.

Q. How's your training outside of your main workouts?
A. I like doing the rowing machine as much as I can and I'm starting to do doubles 2 days a week, but I don't really want to overdo that. Then every night I'll go to the gym and do some strength training. Nothing heavy, of course, but I think it helps me maintain some muscle mass. As opposed to last year, I'm trying to stay on top of my core after every practice. This year I'm really getting into doing 2 workouts every day and staying committed with the strength training and I think it's kept me healthy-that, and knowing when to take some rest is really important for me. 

Q. What are some of your goals this season?
A. Obviously my goal is to win the Meet of Champions, but aside from that I want to try and qualify for one of the national meets and maybe win a regional race, and hopefully get top 20 at one of the national meets [All American].

Q. Any time goals for this year?
A. 14:40 at OCP [Ocean County Park; Course record]; as for Holmdel, I told [Jim] Lambert I wanted to run 15:15 [Hart laughs]. I mean, you have to set your goals high.

Q. Outdoor MOC you won by taking it from the start. Is that going to be your racing plan in cross county?
A. That's usually my go-to. I really don't like playing with strategy. I'll just go out and try to take it. I will NOT run tactically. If you can keep with me, great, because you'll probably beat me in a kick at the end.

Q. How do you feel last year went?
A. In XC I achieved all the goals I wanted to: top ten at the Meet of Champs and under 15:30 in the 5k, and going into winter track I was fairly confident of my ability, but I got injured with my hip and it didn't go the way I wanted it to. But I stayed on the rowing machine a lot and I came into spring track feeling really fresh and I was running every workout with such energy, and I feel like that really helped me later in the season because a lot of guys ran too many races and didn't get a break between winter and spring like I had, and I think that really gave me an edge at the end of the season.

Q. Who are you looking forward to racing most?
A. Definitely Chris Romero. This year I think me and him are gonna have some great races in the Group 2 meet and the Meet of Champions. We both have similar racing strategies so it's fun to just go at it and see who's got it at the end all the way to the line.