WATCH: Good Counsels Leah Stephens Exclusive Interview

MileSplit caught up with #1 ranked Maryland Runner Leah Stephens this week to talk about the success of her senior season, training, and her goals for the next two months! Watch the video above and/or read the transcript below!

Talk about your season so far this year. How have the first few races gone, are you happy with the results?

I had a really great summer of training so I think that led to being prepared for the season and I am really happy with how both races went.  it's great to see the summer training pay off and come together. 

Last year you were running in the 18-19 min range for your races, and now you are running in the low 17's which is a pretty big jump for someone already running so fast. What are some of the things you have done in the past year that has led to that success?

I think just staying really healthy and consistent has really helped me. I have also increased my mileage a little bit and honestly just the consistency and staying focused

How many miles per week have you increased up to?

Around 50 miles per week

According to Milesplit, you are currently ranked 35th in the country. What goals do you have for the rest of this XC season? Are you planning on running other big invitationals? Have you thought about postseason meets (Footlocker (Eastbay) vs Nike?)

I would love it if my team came together and won the WCAC championship, that would be really cool. Also, I would say going to the (Eastbay) northeast region and trying to make Nationals. I also think I may run at RunningLane. 

You transferred to Good Counsel after your freshman year, what were some of the reasons that brought you to GC and how has your experience been while being a student-athlete here?

It's a really good balance of athletics and academics. The football team is really good and it's also a little bit closer to my house. It's just a really supportive environment.

Are there challenges that come from practice and training being a few minutes faster than your teammates? Can you talk about how your coach plans practices (easy days vs harder days) and what that dynamic is like at practice?

It's definitely a little bit of a challenge but I typically try to stay part of the team and I usually run with the boys and start together with the girl's team and branch out a little bit. It's kind of a working dynamic. 

What is your favorite type of XC or Track workout?

Definitely tempo runs, nothing specific just general tempo work. 

What advice would you give a new runner (or maybe your younger self) about running and Cross Country? 

Staying consistent and keeping your goals in mind. Trust that it will happen for you even if it doesn't happen immediately. It will happen. 

Do you plan on running in college and if so are there any front runners as far as your selection goes? 

Yes, I have a top 3-ish. I am looking at Georgetown, Notre Dame, and Florida State so far

What's your favorite Maryland Cross Country Couse? 

Favorite - Georgetown Prep - it's hilly but I like it. 

Least Favorite - Utica Park - It was flat but it was a confusing course to run

Current Running Shoes?

Brooks Adrenaline

Favorite TV Show?

New Girl

Next Race?

MileStat Invite (VA)