Photo by John Roemer
(MileSplit senior student writes Brian Lau and Joel Simpson contributed to this interview.)
MileSplit: How did your summer training go this year?
Madeline Till: Summer training went really well. I got a good amount of mileage in considering the hot and humid weather we've had.
MS: What are your goals - both team and individual - for the upcoming cross country season?
MT: As a team we have a few goals we want to attain this season. First, we want to improve our overall performance at regionals. Second, we want to remain healthy and injury-free. My main goal this season is to be in contention for the state title.
MS: Do you have any rivals that you look forward to racing against, or anybody you would like to beat this season?
MT: I look forward to racing against the Northern-Calvert and Bel Air girls - they both have really strong teams and are very competitive.
MS: To what (or whom) do you attribute your improvement as a sophomore?
MT: I attribute it to my summer training, being focused and determined for my improvement throughout cross country and track. Also, my coaches, teammates and parents.
MS: Do you have any plans for running in college yet? Would you like to?
MT: Yes, I plan on running in college. I really love the sport and would like to see how much more I can accomplish.
MS: Which meets are you looking forward to the most this season?
MT: I'm really looking forward to Bull Run because the course is challenging, both mentally and physically. I'm also excited about counties, regionals, states and NXR.
Till set a personal best in the rain when she ran 19:31 at last year's NXR Southeast regional race. (Photo by Dan Loughlin)
MS: Do you have any plans for postseason meets this season?
MT: We plan on going back to NXR this year - we all enjoyed it and had a great experience.
MS: Towson also has a very competitive boys team; do you feed off each other's success? What is the relationship like between the two teams?
MT: Yes, watching the races and cheering for each other motivates us to do well. The success is infectious. The relationship between the two teams is open, supportive and encouraging, because in the end we all strive to do our best.
MS: What have you learned about yourself from running over the past two years?
MT: I have learned how to challenge myself in races, but also how to stay positive and not get nervous. I've learned that I can do anything I put my mind to.
MS: Do you still find yourself getting nervous before races? If so, how do you control it?
MT: I normally get more excited than nervous for races. I just tell myself to go out there and have fun. I can't control how well the other girls do in the race. My mindset is the same as it would be in any other race.
MS: Which races from cross country and track are you most proud of, and why?
MT: The races that I am most proud of from cross country are 2018 states and NXR - those two really boosted my confidence. During the track season, my favorites were the Gator Invite, regionals and states - those races were some of my breakthroughs of the season.
MS: You really showed out this year at the outdoor state meet. Did you think you were capable of pulling off such a great distance "triple" heading into the meet?
MT: Thank you! Yes, I definitely knew I was capable of performing well in all three events because regionals gave me the confidence to believe that I could be competitive with the top girls.
MS: What has been the most challenging part of your running career so far?
MT: I think the most challenging part of my running career so far has been staying mentally tough when you're not feeling your best. Also, increasing my mileage has been another challenge. But I know all of this will help me in the future.
MS: Who is your biggest inspiration in the sport of running?
MT: My mom is one of the biggest inspirations because she was a competitive runner in high school, college and post-collegiate. It is amazing to see how far she went with her running career my competing in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Trials. She has taught me so much and it's nice to know I have her there for support. As far as my current inspiration, Colleen Quigley is someone I aspire to be like and look up to in the sport.
Favorite pre-meet meal?
Bronwyn Masters. She is going to be a freshman in college, but she would always make the team laugh.
Favorite running shoes?
Age when you started running?
Middle school, but I didn't take it seriously until high school.
Hobbies outside of running?
I swim on a league team during the summer. I also like to hang out with friends, draw and listen to music.
Favorite subject in school?