(Matthew Bradley took 2nd in the Boys Championship race at Desert Twilight.-photo by John Hays)
Name: Matthew Bradley
School: Prescott HS
Matthew has improved steadily over the past year, first breaking into the scene with a 15th place finish in the Division 3 boys race at the Arizona cross-country State Championships. This past spring, he concluded his junior track season with podium finishes for 1600m and 3200m at the Division 2 State Championships. Last month, he opened with consecutive victories at the Peaks Invitational in Flagstaff and the Ray Wherley Invitational at his hometown in Prescott. Most recently he ran sub-16 PRs for 5k, twice within a week.
Where are you from and when did you begin running?
I am from Portland Oregon, and moved to Prescott, Arizona in 5th grade. I started running in 6th grade for Cross Country.
What does a typical week of training look like for you?
A typical week of training is:
Monday: Hard intervals
Tuesday: Easy distance
Wednesday: Tempo or Threshold run
Thursday: Easy distance
Friday: Easy run
Who do you look forward to racing against this season?
I look forward to all the great competition in the upcoming races and especially State Finals. There are plenty of talented runners in the state right now so I won't name anyone specifically.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for a race? (Do you listen to music, or walk the course? etc.)
(Bradley finished 8th in the Elite Boys race at the Doug Conley Invitational.-photo by Harold Smith)
I just find shade to relax in with some friends. I usually keep my mind off of the race until the warm up, otherwise nerves can kick in a little early. To pass the time before the race I usually read, listen to music, play cards, or just talk with friends.
What's your favorite XC memory?
I have tons of fun memories but one that sticks out is a night run the evening before the Nike Cross Regionals last year. A couple friends and I went for a run on a dirt trail outside of our hotel in the pitch dark, spending the whole time trying to avoid potholes and rocks. We laughed the whole run, hoping not to twist an ankle. It was an extremely funny and relaxing run. I have many great memories of running with friends over the years.
Do you have any role models on the team or from years past? If so what's the most helpful advice they've given you?
I have been lucky to have some great role models and friends in the past few years.
Jordan Twombly-Ellis, now at Cornell University, always helped me stay focused and motivated. I can't say enough thanks for that. She also showed me how fun running can be and was the perfect example of a team oriented runner. She taught me a lot about the importance of your attitude towards running and life and that will stick with me forever.
Simon Paige, now at Arizona State University, was always a go to for running advice. He taught me a lot about training and racing. Seeing him become a triple state champion in track was awesome, and I can't wait to see what he will accomplish in his running career.
John McMahan, now at Trinidad State, was my training partner all last year and always kept things fun and a little crazy. We have more running stories than I can keep track of. I know he's got great things ahead of him in Colorado.
What's your favorite thing about training in Prescott?
It's really beautiful here. It's no problem to drive a few minutes in any direction and find great trails and nice views. The weather is also hard to beat most of the year. It is a pretty perfect town for training.
What's your favorite post-race meal?
My favorite post-race meal is watermelon and any fruit smoothie.
Have you set any goals for yourself or with your team?
(Bradley finished 15th at the Arizona cross-country State Championships.-photo by John Hays)
Everything is easier as a team, and I'd love to see the team make State Finals like last year. The atmosphere is completely different when you have friends there with you.
What's your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school is English because I really enjoy reading.
Do you plan on racing any post-season meets? If so, where?
If my season goes well I'd like to race at the Nike Cross Regional's.