2020 Maine XC Watchlist: Abbott Valentine, Hampden Academy

Notable Finishes: 16th Festival of Champions 2019, 8th KVAC Championship 2019, 7th Northern Maine Regional 2019, 16th Class A States 2019, 84th New Englands 2019

Comments: Valentine made a huge jump as a rising sophomore a year ago that saw him finish 16th in the Class A state meet. Abbott clocked a best 5k time of 16:32.51 last fall at Belfast which improved on his freshman year time of 17:55. During indoor, he set personal bests from 200-2 mile and is primed to continue his progression this fall. 

How has COVID-19 affected you?

COVID-19 has caused many activities I was participating in to be canceled, which allowed me to do a lot more training for this upcoming season.

What has your summer training consisted of? How much mileage are you putting in?

I have been doing about 60 miles per week since the beginning of the summer.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

I want to break the 16-minute barrier in my next season.

What is your favorite workout that makes you feel most prepared for success?

One of my favorite workouts is 1000 meter repeats; it's the perfect distance for a workout in my opinion.

What did you learn from the last xc season that will help you improve in 2020?

The most important thing I learned from last year's season is how to train to shore up my weaknesses, and that is something I am looking forward to seeing the results of this season.

How is your team looking for the fall?

My team is looking competitive for this upcoming season; we have a solid group of veterans who have improved a good bit since last year, as well as some great new arrivals.

How do you stay motivated when you don't want to run?

My dad really helps me stay motivated. He's always there for me, always pushing me to be better.

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

The best piece of advice I have ever received is to train smarter and do things in their proper time. While it may seem fun and cool to go do every run at 6:20 pace, you will gain a lot more by taking your training runs slower and working harder on the workouts.

What are the top three "little things" that you do to prevent injury?

The three things that help me avoid injury are stretching, using a rowing machine, and taking my training runs slower.

What is the one thing you have done during COVID-19 that you have never had time for in the past?

I've had a lot more time to read since this pandemic started, which is something I haven't done nearly enough in recent years.

What's the farthest you've ever run at one time?

The farthest I've ever run is about 15 miles.

If every day were a holiday, what would yours be?

If every day were a holiday, the holidays would stop being special, so I would keep the holidays the way they are.

Favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school is Latin.

If you could go on a run with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be? Why?

I would run with my team because they are always very fun to run with and be around

If your teammates gave you a superlative, what would it be?

My teammates would probably call me the nerdiest, just based on how many random tangents I go off on during runs about random science topics.