We asked some of the top high school runners in the area how they prepared for cross country. Here’s how they spent their summer:


ABBEY LEONARDI, a junior at Kennebunk, is the two-time Class A champion, former New England champion and a runner-up at the Foot Locker Northeast Regional. She also finished 22nd at the national finals in San Diego.

She said she took three weeks off following her last outdoor track race, at a national meet in North Carolina in mid-June.

“I always take a little break off after each season, then slowly build up the mileage. … I started off at maybe 20 miles the first week (in early July). Then throughout the season the most I ever get up to is 40 or maybe 45.”

Once the season begins, “I try to hold myself back and not get too crazy with the first couple meets or workouts, and try to focus on the end of the season. Because I look farther into the season, I have more time to gradually work in the harder workouts.”

EMILY DURGIN, a Cheverus junior who ran in San Diego with Leonardi last December and won the New England title last fall, saw her outdoor track season cut short by a stress fracture.

“That was from over-training,” she said. “I did not have a base (in April) and I started in with speed (workouts) way too early, when I didn’t have the easy miles.”

Normally, Durgin said she begins fall training around the Fourth of July, running between 25 and 45 minutes per day, four days per week. Each week she adds another day of running until she reaches six.

“the time practice starts, you want to be up around 40 miles a week,” she said.

Part of her summer training included elliptical work, biking and waterskiing.

SILAS EASTMAN, a Fryeburg Academy sophomore who finished second in Class B last fall, said he tried to run about 30 miles a week through the summer.

“Nothing really special,” he said. “I don’t really keep track in a notebook, but I try and go out five or six days a week, usually around 45 minutes to an hour each day. Every once in a while I’ll bike and then I’ll swim a little bit. The biking is a little easier on the legs and it still keeps up your stamina.”


JACK TERWILLIGER, a Cheverus senior who is the fastest returning runner in Class A, cut back on his weekly mileage this summer.

“Before, I would get really excited and try to hit 40 in preseason,” he said. “This year I started with 20 to 25 for two weeks. I increased the mileage gradually. Last week I was up to 35 and I’m probably going to stay there.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

[email protected]