Arrowhead's Brynn Bartlett on track goals, tough training & water skiing in Wisconsin

Make note of the name Brynn Bartlett. The Hartland Arrowhead senior, who was a member of the school's state winning cross country team in 2013 and the lead-off leg of its runner-up performance in the 4x800 last year, is quietly making a name for herself this indoor season. The veteran distance runner, who has generated interest from the likes of Wisconsin, Marquette, Purdue and Northern Illinois, hails from the state's southeast region and currently owns the US #6 indoor time in the 1600m and US #10 in the 3200m. She's rarely featured in major meets nationally, but expect that to change. Bartlett, who finished sixth in the Gazelle Sports Elite Seres mile sponsored by New Balance this past Saturday at Grand Valley State University, still found time to claim a USATF National Youth Indoor Track and Field Championship last year in the 800m, finishing in a time of 2:20.79. Is New Balance Nationals Indoors in her future? We caught up with Bartlett to get acquainted with her indoor season, to find out her goals for the rest of the season and to figure out what she's looking forward to as she finishes out her career in Wisconsin.

Cory Mull: How would you describe distance running in Wisconsin? Do people look at you weird and politely ask why you aren't playing hockey?

Brynn Bartlett: Distance running in Wisconsin is all about dressing right for the weather. We have both extremes: 90s in the summer and below freezing in the winter. Whatever season we're in, I'm always wishing for the other one. Funny you should bring up hockey, I actually played varsity hockey my freshman and sophomore year. Our high school team was low on athletes so I was recruited by my friends and the hockey coach. They knew I grew up on a lake and played pond hockey. Despite never playing actually hockey before, I was already on the first line and starting. Then my sophomore year I broke my wrist the first minute of our first play off game by another girls failed attempt at hitting the puck. This led me into track with a heavy cast on my right wrist and made me realize hockey probably isn't the best sport to be playing in the off season.

Cory Mull: So you're story is quite interesting. If one would take a look at your resume, they wouldn't find much. Last year you claimed a USATF championship in the 800m, but there's no prior performances in Wisconsin's track and field championships. There's probably an easy answer to this. What's the story?

Brynn Bartlett: The training system at my high school left me tired and unprepared to race.

Cory Mull: You're obviously a talented runner. Have you done much training prior to your races, or are you operating mostly on instinct and God given ability?

Brynn Bartlett: This offseason I have been building up my mileage and working the edges. I haven't done any interval work yet, so my coach (Jeff Morgan) and I feel I have some faster times still yet to come.

MileSplit Profile: Brynn Bartlett

Cory Mull: What has your training looked like? If it hasn't been very thorough, do you think it will change in the future and/or what does your ideal training look like?

Brynn Bartlett: I'm what you would call a mixed bucket runner. I need a little bit of everything: short speed and long tempo sessions. After some experimentation, my coach and I figured it out and adapted a training program to fit my individual needs. While I wouldn't say I always appreciate every workout he gives me, I'm extremely happy that I've finally found a training program that works for me. My current one allows me to finally do what I knew I could do and each day I realize I can do more than I every thought I could.

Cory Mull: Would you consider yourself a "gamer" when it comes to races? Can you describe your motivations once you get on the track and take out a race?

Brynn Bartlett: I definitely have a competitive nature to me. I grew up with an older brother and have played every sport in the book: soccer, basketball, softball, competitive dance, gymnastics, lacrosse, volleyball, hockey. You name it, I've probably played it.

Cory Mull: What has been your best performance over your career and why?

Brynn Bartlett: My indoor 800 at USATF National last year was definitely my best race. Not only did I claim All-American, but I wasn't even tired after the race. I felt like I could run another two laps.

Cory Mull: Which competitors in Wisconsin do you look most forward to racing? Is there anyone out of state you would like to race? Any friendly rivalries out there?

Brynn Bartlett: I just look forward to running in some good races and competing!

Cory Mull: During the cross country season you ran a PR of 19:33 and competed in the Foot Locker Midwest Regional, finishing 79th. How would you describe your season? Did you meet all the goals you set for yourself?

Brynn Bartlett: Foot Locker didn't go as well as I hoped. It was my first XC race in two years and a pretty big one to start on. I like track better and respond better on the track. I actually ran a time trail 5K on the track before and ran 17:55, so my Foot Locker race didn't really show my actual fitness level.

Cory Mull: What primary goals have you set for yourself this indoor campaign?

Brynn Bartlett: My main goal with indoor is to run at New Balance Indoor Nationals. While I already have the qualifying time for the Emerging Elite Mile and 2-mile, I'm going for the championship in the 800, mile and 2-mile.

Cory Mull: Are you going to continue to run in college? Where will that be, and can you describe why you chose that particular school?

Brynn Bartlett: Yes, I am planning on running college. Where is the big question right now. I'm bring recruited by a couple schools and starting to narrow them down.


Cory Mull: What's been your favorite workout so far indoors?

Brynn Bartlett: 4 sets of 5x200 I started at 42 with each rep getting one second faster and each set starting one second faster than the last. 30 seconds of rest between each and 4 minutes between each set.

Can you describe a typical week of training?

Monday: Short recovery. 5-6 miles.
Tuesday: Workout day. (Depends on what training cycle I am in)
Wednesday: Night run after work, 6-7 miles.
Thursday: Normal run, 6-7 miles.
Friday: Shorter day, 4-6 miles.
Saturday: Harder workout (type of workout varies depending on what time of the year)
Sunday: Long run, 1 hour (If the workout was hard on Saturday, just an easy hour kicking a soccer ball around with the occasional snowball fight).

Cory Mull: What are your #MileSplitGoals for 2017?

Brynn Bartlett: Keep getting better and have fun!

Cory Mull: What's your biggest weakness and why?

Brynn Bartlett: My biggest weakness is probably not getting enough sleep. It's something I'm working on. I know it's important for my body to recover.

Cory Mull: How do your biggest strengths help make up for it?

Brynn Bartlett: I don't know if you would call it a strength, but my desire to keep getting better and never settle.

Cory Mull: What's your favorite event?

Brynn Bartlett: Probably the steeplechase. It's not a high school event here in Wisconsin, so I have only run it a couple times at USATF meets. The steeplechase allows me to combine my hurdle work -- from running the 300m hurdles -- with my distance work. It's a fun and unique race unlike any other. Not to mention getting cooled off from the water pit isn't the worst thing in the world on a hot day.

Quick hits…

Professional athlete you look up to the most and why: That's a tough one, but I'd have to say Usain Bolt. He always has so much energy and fun when he races. He's so confident and never fazed by competition.

What's your favorite thing to do in Wisconsin, and which season does this happen in: I love to do anything on the water. We live on a small lake so during the summer I go out and swivel ski everyday. Swivel skiing is on a wooden ski with a binding that spins 360 degrees to allow you to perform tricks on the water. I also do that for my show water ski team Badgerland. We perform shows every Wednesday where we do a variety of tricks on the water: pyramids, ballet, jumps, bare footing, and other crazy acts.

Weirdest long distance run you've been on: My freshman and sophomore year before state cross country the seniors on my high school cross country team create a Code Red run with paint, water balloons, glitter hair spray, and games throughout the run. We always have a laugh and the looks we get from people driving by on the road are priceless.

What's your favorite cheat food: Cookie Dough

Who's the best athlete in your family and why: No one in my family was really a stellar athlete, but my parents both can slalom water ski, wakeboard, and many other water activities. I'd say that's pretty impressive.

Website you spend the most time on: Lululemon or anything that consist of online shopping! I have a serious shopping problem -- my dad loves it of course.

How do you think your track career will be remembered by: That I always had fun!