MileSplit Fast Four: A weekly glimpse at four of our nation's best

MileSplit Fast Four: A weekly glimpse at four of our nation's best

Each week here at MileSplit we will be giving you a quick look at four of the nation's best runners. Featured this week are Juliet Bottorff (DE), Jonathan Nelson (UT), Laura Tremblay (CO) and Tyler Udland (NJ)


Juliet Bottorff
Sr., Tatnall School
Wilmington, DE

Highlights:  Delaware State DII Champion, clocking 18:29, the fastest time of the day … Also won the New Castle County Championships …Bottorff ( photo by Don Rich) set a new course record and personal best of 17:34 en route to winning the Bellevue Invitational … Finished fourth overall at the McDonald’s XC festival at Maymont, leading her team to the title … Placed sixth in the Eastern States Race at the Manhattan College Invitational, helping her team to a second place showing … Delaware State 800 and 1600 Champion

Coach (Patrick Castagno) says: “Juliet is probably the most consistent racer in Delaware’s history. She’s been at the top of the Delaware runners since she was a freshman. She’s an extremely hard worker and she’s a very efficient runner. She doesn’t waste any energy when she runs and trains, but she’s also very conscientious about her workouts. She’s completely committed to the sport. She’s one of the top girls in her class academically and she smiles the whole way through everything. She’s just a wonderful kid, a coach’s dream. She’s one of those kids that absolutely have not stopped listening to the coach. She has not stopped listening to the advice and really respects the coaching staff, and I think that’s one of the reasons her improvement has continued over the four years.”

Bottorff says: “It’s really exciting with us moving up in the national rankings, we’ve all been really excited about it ... I owe a lot of it to my coach. When I first came in as a freshman, I  knew almost nothing about running. I trusted him. Having teammates who were just like that that too, who loved the sport and knew what they had to do to get better, without being psycho about it, it was just a great environment. Our team has been real level headed. We have a lot of  fun.”

Summer mileage (max): 55

Weekly mileage:

Training shoes: Asics 2130

Superstitions: Nothing serious

Hobbies: Soccer, hanging out with friends

Favorite school subject: Science


Jonathan Nelson
Sr., Timpview H.S.
Provo, UT

Highlights: Competing in only his second full cross country season, Nelson ( photo by Margot Kelly) dominated at the Southwest Region Championships placing 2nd overall, in one of the fastest times in course history, 15:15. 7 … Nelson breezed through the Utah state course in 15:17 to win his second straight 4A title, one of the top five individual performances all-time … Won the BYU Invitational … Placed first (15:51) at the Bob Firman Invitational, where he defeated US#1 North Central's standout Andrew Kimpel, who recently placed 4th in the NXN Northwest Region Championship … Nelson will head to Portland, hoping to add a National Championship to the state titles he has already earned.

Coach (Monte Marshall) says:
“Jon is obviously naturally gifted. He’s very talented. But there have been talented runners that don’t know how to push themselves to the extreme that Jon knows how to do. I think Jon’s greatest strength is that he knows how to push himself to an extreme without collapse. He has exceeded my expectations, although I am not surprised, because I know the kind of runner he is. Halfway through the season, my expectations obviously increased as I saw his performance in Boise at the Bob Firman Invitational. I got a better glimpse into his potential after that race.”

Nelson says: “I am very happy. Things wound up better than I expected. I was hoping to retake my old title and just kind of do my best. I was [reluctant] to run at first. Every time I showed up, I hurt really badly the next three or four days. It took me a while to get used to it, I suppose. I’m grateful I’m doing it now. I don’t know what I would be like if I didn’t run. It changed me as a person in general. It has allowed me to do a lot of other things that weren’t as easy when I wasn’t a runner. It’s boosted my confidence a lot. It’s showed me that I could do hard things, so I can really focus and apply myself in other areas besides running.”

Summer mileage (max):

Weekly mileage: 50

Training shoes: Karhu M2

Superstitions:  None

Hobbies: Frisbee, mountain biking, hiking

Favorite school subject: Chemistry


Laura Tremblay
Sr., Thompson Valley H.S.
Loveland, CO

Captured the Nike Southwest Regional in dramatic fashion, out leaning Xavier Prep star Jessica Tonn at the line to win in 17:40, a season best … Tremblay ( photo by Margot Kelly) also finished first at the Thompson Valley, Fort Morgan, Dave Sanders and John Martin Invitationals as well as the New Balance Centerra Classic … Placed second at the Colorado 4A State Championships in 18:27 … Colorado 4A State Champion at 800 and 1600 meters last spring 

Coach (Matt Norton) says:
“She’s a very bright kid. Her first couple of years she battled a lot of injuries. Through the rehab process, talking to different doctors and trainers, she just learned a lot about herself. She directed her training this past year. It was pretty close to a 50-50 partnership in that regard. She would tell me what she needed and what was working for her, and we would adjust things based off that. I think for young kids to understand themselves that well and know what works for them, and be confident enough to communicate that to their coach, is pretty rare. She had a good cross country season last year, but it wasn’t really until track last spring when she really started to see herself as being a top flight runner. This fall she’s been outstanding.”

Tremblay says:
“I have more of  a kick than most of the girls that I have raced against, so that’s probably the main advantage that I have. I kind of base my running off of the competitiveness of the field. So whoever is in front I just go along with them and kind of kick at the end. There’s only been one or two races that I have been racing alone and still been able to win … I did a lot of cross training. When I got injured a lot [my coach] kind of let me do my own thing for a while and I was able still do pretty well in meets. I kind of am moving away from cross training now.”

Summer mileage (max):  45

Weekly mileage: 35-40

Training shoes: Saucony Omni 7

Superstitions: None

Hobbies: Plays the cello,  reading

Favorite food:  Anything Italian


Tyler Udland
Jr., Millburn H.S.
Millburn, NJ

Highlights:  One of the most race-tested runners in the Northeast, Udland, won the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in 15:40 … At the NJ Group 3 Championship, he held off Ocean City standout Brett Johnson as well as Jersey studs Joe Rosa and Sean Pohorence to win in 15:36, the seventh fastest time in the history of Holmdel … Also won the North II Sectional Championship … Placed second to Johnson at the Shore Coaches Invitational … Finished third (12:28) to Solomon Haile’s course record run at the Manhattan College Invitational …  Clocked 9:04 last spring to win the 3200 at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions

Coach (Jeff Kaye) says: “He’s a very dedicated hard worker, which you would expect from most runners, but I think what separates him is he’s mentally tough and he has the heart and desire. He knows how to win. [The competition in NJ] has gotten better and it sort of raises the bar for everybody. He went out there, especially the last two weeks in a row, and proved he can run with the best of them. This past weekend he came from behind; he was about 20 meters back at one point. He just never gave up and ran his race. If he had any doubts about what he can do, hopefully that race put them to rest. That should give him some good confidence going into [Foot Locker].”

Udland says: “It was tough every week. Every week you went out and there was someone out there in New Jersey that was ready to run. It was pretty ridiculous this year. Early in the year at some invitationals, I didn’t always win those races, so I think that helped later in the year, when I got to states. It helped having run with someone that late in a race. It definitely helped me mentally. Even losing early in the year helps you gain experience for later on. The season has worked out better than I could have imagined. My number one goal coming into the year was to try to win Meet of Champs. Now that that is done I want to try to be top 10 [at Foot Locker Northeast] and make it to San Diego.”

Summer mileage (max): 78

Weekly mileage: 70-75

Training shoes: Asics 2130

Superstitions: Eats a bagel before every race

Hobbies: Golf, hang out with friends

Favorite movie: American Gangster


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