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Interval Session #1 - Kevin Williams

Now a senior at D’Evelyn High School in Denver, Colorado, Kevin Williams had a solid junior cross country campaign, ending with a 37th placing at Foot Locker Midwest. It was in track last spring that Williams truly emerged as a national-level distance talent, with a succession of increasingly quick 3200 wins at CO state (9:19), Great Southwest (9:10.97) and Golden West (9:04.12). Last Saturday, he showed the sort of fitness that has people talking about him as a possible Foot Locker contender, with a blistering 14:51.1 course record at the Liberty Bell Invitational (beating Ryan Deak's 14:58) that placed him 1.4 seconds faster than top FL-returnee Ben Johnson of New Mexico, who competed in a separate section.

DyeStat assistant editor Dave Devine laces up the trainers and heads out for a quick interval session with the latest star to emerge from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

1) How is it running for D'Evelyn High School? Do you train with a large team, or are most of your training runs done by yourself?

I really like running at D’Evelyn. We have a lot of great trails close by that are easy to get to. We have a young team (our biggest – 35 guys) and we practice together as much as we can. I do most of my long runs and workouts on my own.

2) You just took down a pretty solid course record at the Liberty Bell Invitational. Is that something you were shooting for, or did it just come in the flow of the race?

My coach, Micah Porter, and I talked about trying for the record and decided to go for it a few days before the race. The conditions were perfect and I was able to get it. At the two mile I was a little slow so I just tried to run as hard as I could without hitting the wall.

3) What other things are you into besides running?

I really like to do things outdoors – camping, hiking, skiing. I also like to hang out with my friends and we play a lot of ping pong. We also like to go ice-blocking during the summer.

4) Can you point to any one thing that has helped you break through to the next level?

I have a great coach and I feel like I work hard. When I was a freshman we had a lot of really good guys on my team and I learned a lot about work ethic. I think it was good to see how hard work pays off. Now I just try to have confidence in my training and in myself.

5) You've had a chance to race some of the top distance guys from around the country. Anyone in particular you relish racing against, and if so, why?

During the past year I have had a lot of opportunities to run against some really good guys. They were all really nice and it was great to see how I stack up. Last year, I focused a little too much on other people and how they were racing and I think it hurt me at the end of the cross country season. This year, my focus is just on my training and what I need to do to get myself where I want to be.

6) Toughest workout you've ever finished? And how about a workout that lets you know you're ready for a big race?

My toughest workout was 30 quarter miles at 5K pace. Repeat miles are what let me know I am ready for a big race. Last week at my workout my legs felt great and I thought things were going to go well at Liberty Bell.

7) Why do you think so many good runners either come from Colorado or choose to train in Colorado?

Colorado has a lot of great runners in its history. All the guys out here are friends and I think we push each other really hard to get better. Training at altitude is also something that a lot of people credit to their success and there are a lot of great trails everywhere in the state. The weather is usually really good for training too – lots of sun and not too hot.

8) How would you complete this sentence? "I will know this cross country season has been a success if...

...I reach my goal at state and I feel that I did the best I could have done. Having a good race at FLMW wouldn’t hurt either!

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