XC Countdown: Lexi Westley of Warren Hills

Interview with Westley after her 3200m MOCs win this past spring. 

Lexi Westley - JR

Warren Hills

Outdoor 3200 MOC Winner ✓
5:02 1600 PR ✓
10:35 3200 PR ✓
5th Holmdel Park returner @ 18:48 ✓
4th at 2016 XC MOC ✓

Interviewed 7/16/17
124 days until the Meet Of Champions

Q. You are a multisport athlete. How do you balance doing both basketball and running?

I play basketball in the winter and then I continue to play all year round. I'll go to basketball practice after track practice, so it is a little difficult to balance the two, but during track season I know that track comes first. When I have a big meet coming, I always sit out from basketball.

Q. What is your training structured around?

Last year we weren't as high mileage, but this year we're going up by almost 10 miles [per week]. Right now we're in the mid 30s, and hopefully in the next few weeks we'll be going up to the mid to high 40s. It'll be a big change, but it'll help me with what I want to be this season.

Q. When does the intensity start to increase?

Right now we're meeting up 4 days a week to practice as a team. When late August hits, we'll start meeting every day and then we bring the difficulty up. Then once September comes, that's when we do our hardest workouts of the season.

Q. What is your most difficult workout?

Warren Hills' home course is extremely hilly. Our coach makes us do 1k meter loops in the hills. They are VERY painful but it prepares you for a challenging course like Holmdel.

Who do you normally train with?

I train with the guys on our team for the most part. Our cross country girls team has only 5 girls; the whole team is about 12 runners. I actually just got my uniform and it had a tag on it still. No one has worn it in the past 10 years [she laughs]. So, even days where there's no practice, I'll train with the guys. I think it really helps, because they are ahead and I can push myself with them.

Q. Is there anyone in particular you are looking forward to racing this season?

Definitely Alyssa Aldridge. Going into track, she was my main focus; now, seeing what I did this spring, she's hopefully who I plan to run with.

Q.  How can you describe your racing style?

At Holmdel, after the Bowl is where I really start to go. I like to get out strong, but the end half of races is way more important to me.

Q. Is Holmdel your favorite course, then?

I would say so-it's the most challenging course I've raced on. I like a challenge. We do a lot of hill training on our home course, so I feel I can benefit from being on a hilly course.

What are your big takeaways from last year?

After seeing my [Spring] season and seeing what I can do, I know I need the strength to work the last parts of courses like Holmdel. Last year was my first year in the sport and I learned so much about running in general-all aspects of the sport, not just the running part, but a lot of the little things like sleeping and eating right. I know who I need to be running with, where I need to push myself, and how I need to race.

You always seem to perform well when it counts the most. What can you attribute that to?

I know I have to go out there and do what I have to do because it's the end of the season. I also have a great support system that is always coming out to these huge meets, so I want to make them proud. Having them there is huge for me. Being at the big meets there are so many people, so I want everyone to say "Oh my god, look at her" [she laughs]. Having an adrenaline rush from racing in front of so many people I think gives me an edge at the bigger meets.

What are some of your goals this year?

I would really like to break 18, hopefully, at Holmdel this year. I know that sounds crazy but it seems like something I can do, seeing how I dropped so much time in track in one season. I want to race Aldridge and see what happens. I would love to win a cross country title. I am really excited to just see what happens. Last season, I dropped 28 seconds from my Group to MOC time, so I'm feeling if I can do that in a week then I could really drop a lot in a year. I'm also looking to head up to NXR after the normal season.


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