Tessa Barrett Q&A: First-Time Millrose Qualifier


A first-time Millrose qualifier, senior Tessa Barrett has already broken her PA record in the 3000, and was 4th in the Millrose Trials in January.


PennTrackXC - First off, coming off a Foot Locker national title, what did you do to recover in order to have a successful indoor campaign?

TB - After Foot Locker, I took a solid week off from training before getting back to the grind. The following week, I started off running low mileage and building strength with cross-training (biking, swimming, elliptical). After about three weeks, I was back up to my fall mileage again and I've stayed around there for most of the winter season. 

PennTrackXC - With your win in San Diego have you had any famous runners reach out to you?  What have they said? 

TB - In San Diego, I met many famous pro runners at Foot Locker who were all so kind and encouraging. I was so humbled just to be in their company. When I got home from San Diego, some of my high school running idols who were a few years older than me got in touch, and that was really heartwarming! Most of the messages were congratulatory and it really meant the world to me!

PennTrackXC - There have been many obstacles you have faced in your quest for greatness.  Would you count any of them as contributors to your success as a competitive runner? If so, why?

TB - Yes, absolutely. One of my favorite quotes is, "In the face of adversity, we often find ourselves." I believe that everything happens for a reason, good or bad. The struggles that I have had to face have made me a stronger person, and because of that, I have become a stronger runner. I am competitive by nature, but every setback that I have faced has added more fuel to my fire. 

PennTrackXC - You have run your fastest indoor mile and 3k so far this season.  Is your cross country strength a big part of it or have you added a little more speed training this winter?

TB - I would say my strength from cross country has helped me a great deal during this indoor season. Cross country is a true endurance sport, and that definitely helps in the distance events in track. I have done some speed work this winter, (weather permitting!) just to keep the legs going. 

PennTrackXC - As a classic distance runner, what do you think you are capable of running for a mile race this season?

TB - I really love the distance events in track, and I am planning on focusing on long distance in college. For this winter, however, I wanted to get a little more experience with the shorter distance events as a way to work on my speed. My training has been going pretty well, and I feel stronger than I did at the Trials so hopefully I will improve upon my Trials time.

PennTrackXC - What are your expectations for yourself entering the Millrose Games mile?

TB - I'm hoping to run faster than my 4:59 time at the Trials, and have fun competing against the top milers in the country! 

PennTrackXC - With a solid season so far what goals do you have for the PA state championships?

TB - I'm very excited for the State Championships! I am planning on just running the 3000 and hopefully a DMR with my team. For States, I am hoping to run smart and enjoy my final Indoor State meet!

PennTrackXC - If you are competing at indoor nationals, what goals do you have for yourself there?

TB - If all goes well with training, I'm hoping to compete at Indoor Nationals. I am either going to run the 5000 or 2 mile races. It would be great to make the podium again!

PennTrackXC - Describe your favorite winter workout and why you like it?

TB - One of my favorite workouts this winter was 12x400 interval workout at mile pace with limited recovery. It was challenging, but I felt strong afterwards. 

PennTrackXC - Best thing about indoor track?

TB - My favorite part of Indoor Track is traveling to meets and running at amazing venues such as Penn State and the Armory. 

PennTrackXC - Worst thing about indoor track? 

TB - My least favorite park of indoor track is cooling down after a race outside in the cold.

PennTrackXC - What is the most exciting thing you have experienced on the track this season?

TB - I was really happy to run a 9:45 3000 at Susquehanna. 

PennTrackXC - What is the most exciting off-track experience you have had this season?

TB - Signing my National Letter of Intent to run at Penn State next year was pretty awesome!