Molly Kiley

[Molly is a senior at Andover High School in 2022-23. She began in the GTD program when she was 6 years old. Among her running accomplishments - won the Merrimack Valley Conference title in XC, indoor mile, and outdoor two mile; D1 indoor state title in 2019 and 2022, and 3rd at D1 XC states. Molly is a member of the National Honor Society.]

GTD: Molly, you began training in Coach Braz's summer program in Andover at least as early as 2011, when you were 6 years old. What do you remember from those early years?
Molly: The earliest memory I have is of the relay races that the youngest group would do, and how much fun everyone had with those. Then, I remember progressing each year into the older age groups, which became more challenging. I definitely remember needing to work harder at GTD practices than for any other sport, but that's what I liked about the program.

GTD: You didn't choose running as your sport until high school. How did the switch happen? Molly: In the spring of 8th grade, the High School hosted a fall sports informational meeting for incoming freshman. I went into the meeting with the intention of trying out for soccer, but decided that I liked the team environment of cross country better, surprising both myself and my mom with that spontaneous change of heart.

GTD: Tell us about your running in high school.
Molly: There are different aspects of both cross country and track that I enjoy. Cross country is fun because there is less of an emphasis on running certain times-- everyone is mostly out there to compete with each other (especially since there can be so many runners in one xc race). In track, I tend to like the 2-mile the best, but I love that there's always a chance to try faster, shorter events to work on building speed.

GTD: The 90+ minute sessions have phases, and each day is different, and each week is different, and progressively more challenging. What drills and segments did you really like? Any that were not your favorites?
Molly: I like the plyometric exercises we do quite often because they are a good way to build strength and endurance without doing as much mileage. There are also some drills we do on the fields that imitate parts of a cross country race, which helps me visualize pushing through when it gets tough in a race. I do not think there is a segment that I dislike. Even when it is not fun in the moment, you always feel accomplished after the session.

GTD: How do you keep your focus during the sessions?
Molly: I definitely imagine racing during the sessions to keep me motivated. Oftentimes the coaches don't tell us how long an element will take, so I try to picture being out in the middle of a course when I feel tired and it is hard to keep pushing.

GTD: How do you handle nutrition on Braz Camp mornings?
Molly: It's different for everyone, and I have a sensitive stomach so I eat something small that has carbs for energy (like a granola bar) in the morning before Braz Camp. Then I focus on refueling after the workout.

GTD: The last phase of each training session is devoted to core work, flexibility, and strength. Tell us about it.
Molly: The time allotted to doing core, hurdle mobility, and strength work is super helpful to be able to run faster and prevent injury. I was having problems with my hip flexibility at the end of sophomore year, which affected my stride and performance in races. After the following summer at GTD camp, my stride had improved and I was able to take over a minute off of my 5k PR. The core and strength work may seem tedious, but the benefits motivate me and my teammates to continue it throughout each season.

GTD: What is the most important thing you learn from the summer program?
Molly: Aside from getting into great shape for the upcoming cross country and track seasons, the summer program helps me to develop mental strength to use in races. Having these challenging workouts teaches me how to stay strong mentally when all I want to do is give up. I think that a lot of the discipline required to perform well in distance races is exercised at GTD camp.

GTD: How would you describe the program to a runner who has never done it, but might be interested?
Molly: The program is difficult but rewarding because you can see your progress each week as you are able to complete increasingly more challenging workouts. With that, it is not intimidating if you are a beginner because there is a large group of runners at all different levels, so you won't feel alone. I would recommend it to anyone who is motivated to becoming faster and stronger.

GTD: What are your plans for the upcoming fall, winter, and spring sports seasons
Molly: I want to continue to be competitive at dual, conference, and state level meets in the fall, winter and spring seasons. This fall, it looks like we have a good cross country team as many girls have been attending Braz Camp this summer. Therefore, I think that it will be fun to be more competitive as a team this year. I want to leave senior year feeling fulfilled with my times, but also be able to look back at the memories made in all three seasons.

XC Edge Athletes

Interview Home

Michaela Staniec, Central Catholic HS, Sep. 2022
Sarah DiVasta, Peabody HS, Sep. 2022
Mike Brown, Andover HS/UMass-Amherst, Aug. 2022
Molly Kiley, Andover HS, Aug. 2022
Ellis Iurilli-Hough, Melrose HS, Aug. 2022
Colin Kirn, Andover HS, Aug. 2021
Victoria Lombardi, Stonehill College, Oct. 2020
Adam Abdulghani, Peabody HS, Oct. 2020
Shannon Bresnahan, Bishop Fenwick HS, Oct. 2020
Summer 2020 - click here
- Caroline Johnson, Marblehead HS, Sep. 2020
- Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Sep. 2020
- Victoria Lombardi, Stonehill College, Sep. 2020
- Emily Ernst, Essex North Shore Tech, Sep. 2020
- Rachel Brennan, Gordon College, Sep. 2020
Sean Kay, Arlington Catholic, Oct. 2019
Shannon O'Connell, Colby-Sawyer College, Oct. 2019
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Sep. 2018
Kate Mitchell, Boston Collge, Aug. 2018
Nadja Ueckert-LaPlante, Ipswich HS, Dec. 2017
Marissa Farago, Triton HS, Apr. 2017
Anthony Pizzo, AIC, Dec. 2016
Matt Loehle, UConn, Dec. 2016
Emily DeMarco, Ipswich HS, Apr. 2016
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Jan. 2016
AJ Ernst, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2015
Sydney Packard, Bishop Fenwick HS, Dec. 2015
Griffin Barriss, Melrose HS, Dec. 2015
Tia Patterson, Boston College, Dec. 2015
Thomas Mackin, Lynn Classical HS, Dec. 2015
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Emily Weigand, American University, Nov. 2015
Connor Wolff, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Lexi Buonfiglio, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Victoria Holleran, St John, Peabody, Mar. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2014
Riley Dowd, Peabody HS, Dec. 2014
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2014
Tia Patterson, Lynnfield HS, Nov. 2014
Emily Horgan, Univ. of Vermont, Nov. 2014
Arianna Maida, Bishop Fenwick HS, Sep. 2014