Turn Back The Clock: High
School Careers Revisited
WITH MATT HOLTHAUS
July 10, 2000
Welcome to Turn Back The Clock: High
School Careers Revisited where we are interviewing America's
top distance runners about their high school (and college careers).
Today's interview is one in a series of interviews in conjunction
(if you haven't ordered this great
book do so today), and it is with US miler Matt Holthaus - the
1999 US Indoor Mile Champion and 3rd place finisher outdoors
at the USATF 1500 meters.
Holthaus grew up outside of Washington,
DC in Columbia, MD and attended Wilde Lake High School in Columbia
before going on to be a collegiate standout at James Madison
University. He still lives in the Washington, DC area is a member
of the Reebok Enclave and a graduate student at American University.
Click here if you want to read Holthaus's interview about his
post-college development and shot at the Olympic Trials.
The Holthaus File
9th grade prs. 300m :39 (?)
10th grade prs. 400m :53 pt.
11th grade prs. 400m :51.3
12th grade prs. 500m-1:07
Q and A
RWTB/LETSRUN.COM: Tell us a little about your high school career.
Did you run both cross country and track? What events in track?
HOLTHAUS: I ran indoor track all four years in high school.
I only ran outdoor from my sophomore year on. I ran cross-country
for my junior and senior years. Until my senior year, I ran the
300m and 500m indoors, and the 400m, 110 hurdles, and triple
jump outdoors. My junior year, I noticed one of my main competitors
in the 400 winning the 800m at the State meet. I thought, "If
he can do it, I can probably do it. My senior year, we got a
new coach who talked me into running the mile, too. In cross-country
that year, I finished 13th in the county, 3rd in the Regional
meet, and then 1st at States. From that point, I won every race,
except one, for the rest of the year. They were all sit-and-kick
races, though, and my PRs were 4:28 for the mile and 9:51 for
the 2 mile.
RWTB/LETSRUN.COM: Did you play any other sports?
HOLTHAUS: I swam a lot as a kid. In high school, I played
two years of JV football.
RWTB/LETSRUN.COM: What advice would you give to someone
in high school today? What are the keys to being successful?
HOLTHAUS: Don't do too much mileage in high school. Maintain
the health of your bones and joints and let your body develop.
Be consistent, though. Develop a long-term training program and
stick to it. The improvements will come with time. Don't be too
hard on yourself. Learn to bounce back from disappointment and
keep your optimism. You'll outlast a lot of people and find yourself
ahead of much of the competition.
RWTB/LETSRUN.COM: Do you have any impressions of today's
crop of high schoolers? They're putting up some pretty quick
HOLTHAUS: It's amazing how good the current crop of high
schoolers is. From what I've read, many of them sound like mature
competitors. I expect to see many of them at USATF Nationals
in a couple of years.
RWTB/LETSRUN.COM: How did you end up choosing JMU for
college? Did you enjoy your four years on there - both on and
off the track?
HOLTHAUS: JMU took more of an interest in me than most
schools. They were also willing to take a risk and give me some
scholarship money. It was an excellent choice for me. I think
the coaching there developed my talent. There was a good mix
of guys on the team and a variety of ability levels.