XC Countdown: Matt Schaefer of Colts Neck

Matt Schaefer - SR

Colts Neck

9:16 3200 PR ✓
8th MOC returner @ 16:30 ✓
4:17 1600 PR ✓
15:47 5k PR ✓
5th @ Outdoor 3200 MOC ✓

Interviewed on 7/31/17
109 days until the Meet of Champs

Q. What race is the biggest focus for you this year?

The biggest one obviously is the Meet of Champs, but our first race is a dual meet with CBA, that'll be a fun race because I know most of those guys personally and we've always been really competitive with them so I want to beat them all out individually, but as a team... we're most likely gonna lose.

Q. What, or who are you looking to race most this season?

Well my favorite course is probably Holmdel, I know its rhythm and we're there all the time over the summer. We race there the most out of all of our other courses.  I'm also looking to race Matt Lepine, I didn't realize it at the time but I kicked him out of the All Shore team and l'd like to keep him out [laughs].  We've become pretty good friends so it'll fun to race against him.  I've also got Will Hare on my radar.  We talked a lot spring of last year and he was beating me bad in cross country but I think this year I can get up with him.

Q. How are you training this summer?

I'm doing around 60 miles a week and by the end of the summer I'll end up doing around 70.  Outside from running I've been on top of my core and flexibility work, doing it every other day.  I try my best to get my 8 hours of sleep, and I hydrate and try to run either really early on the morning or later in the evening.  I try to not eat absolutely horrible but you know...  I've been training a lot with the other seniors on the team, Matt Hartman and Liam Hoagland.  We have a nice pack now, and of course some alumni come back to train with us.  We start bringing our workouts up towards August, right now we've just been doing tempo and progression runs along with some workouts at Holmdel Park.  Most of the time when I look at training I think "well, I really don't want to do this", but I know that I have to do it if I'm going to race well and I love racing well.

Q.  What would you say is your hardest workout this fall?

Critical velocity workouts are most of the time repeat miles with a 60 second rest in around 5:15-5:20 pace and those really suck.  They are supposed to be about 20 seconds faster than our tempo pace.  An honorable mention goes out to our Saturday long run, 14 miles at around 6:30 pace isn't a fun time.

Q. How did last year go for you?

In cross country I wasn't racing that well in the beginning, but as the season went on I kept getting faster which helped a lot for MOC because I peaked at the right time.  I still don't feel like I ever hit my peak in cross country, so I'm very excited to see what I can do.  Track for me went really well, I hit all the times I wanted to hit and the 4xMile went All American so I was really happy.

Q. Last year each season got significantly better for you. How did you pull that off?

My work ethic really improved with each season and I also finally had a full year of training under me so that was huge.  I also had a lot of the seniors on my team like Jordan [Brannan], Kevin [Berry], and [Anthony] Russo helping push me along when I started training with them.  And of course my fabulous coach Jim Schlentz.

Q. What colleges are you looking at so far?

I've talked with Northeastern, Binghamton, Villanova, and Syracuse. I've been mingling around trying to talk to a few more as well.

Q. What are a few of your goals for this year?

Well I'm the 8th MOC returner so I'd like to come in at least 8th there. Time-wise I'd like to run 15:10ish at OCP, any time better than Anthony Russo's 15:12 from last year.  Sub-15 is a reach goal, but that would be really nice, and at Holmdel I'd like to break 16.  I'd also like to win the Monmouth County meet and our sectional meet.  Winning Group 3 is also a big one because there are a lot of really good guys all around the same level, so I think I'll at least have a shot.  As a team we want to win sectionals and make it 4 in a row for Colts Neck, and place top 3 at Groups.  We have a bunch of kids that didn't have great seasons last year and I think with the training that they are doing we can pull out a big year for what we have.

Q. You are the only man from last year's top 5.  How are you stepping up and leading the team?

I've been doing all the same things that I have always been doing and the other guys are following in the footsteps of the seniors last year.  With all of the returning kids we have, the team already knows how to work hard from those guys, and we are just showing the few new freshman what it's all about at Colts Neck.

Q. What is motivating you during summer training?

Last summer I didn't get the full time to train that I wanted with my... injury.  I was out for a month last summer with an injury involving my butt and if you don't know the rest ask it's quite the story.  Summer training really isn't that fun in all honesty but I feel like if I get through it I can have a great year which I'm really excited about.

Q. With the seniors gone will you carry on the Shaka tradition at Colts Neck High School?

All I have to say is ALL YIELD TO THE SHAKA

Q. Can you tell us something about yourself non-running related?

I enjoy long walks on the beach and one time I solved a Rubik's Cube while on a unicycle while chewing 50 mini gum balls. I'm serious