Today we chat with Las Lomas HS junior, Chloé Hansel (photo courtesy of www.laslomaspage.com). This past Tuesday, Hansel broke the course record at the Monte Vista Invitational that was previously held by former Amador Valley and current Northwestern University runner, Jena Pianin. Hansel and Las Lomas are both part of the tough DFAL league which has produced many successful runners and teams. She finished in 4th place as a frosh at NCS MOC XC meet and improved to 2nd place last season as a sophomore. Hansel finished in 16th place at the state XC meet and improved to 4th place last season. On the track, Hansel has recorded personal bests of 4:54.50 and 11:04.44 in the 1600 and 3200 respectively. At the 2014 NCS MOC, Hansel just missed qualifying for the state meet in the 1600m. with a 4th place finish. She is off to a great start in XC and we thank her for taking the time to answer our questions below.
1) How did you get your start in running and what other sports have you participated in aside from Cross Country and Track and Field?
I got my start in running since my brother had done CYO track and I decided to join the team when I was in the second grade. I did one year of cross country in 5th grade. I also did soccer until I was in 8th grade. I tried out basketball for about 2 years in middle school.
2) What were some of your highlights during your freshman season in both sports? Proudest accomplishments?
One of my highlights from freshman year was my team winning DFAL. It was the first time our school had ever won a DFAL championship for cross country so it was really something special to be a part of that team. Another highlight was getting my school's mile record at my first track meet. It was a season goal and really neat to be able to accomplish it so early on in the season. My proudest moment of freshman year was probably getting 16th at state for cross country. I had no idea what to expect and I was so proud that I was able to get top 20 as a freshman.
3) Did you do anything differently in preparation for your sophomore cross country season in terms of training?
Before my sophomore year, the only thing I really changed in terms of training was increasing my mileage and running more regularly.
4) What were your highlights last school year in both XC and TF? Proudest accomplishments?
A big highlight of my sophomore cross country season was my team getting 5th at state. Another highlight was the Lowell invitational in San Francisco. It was the first time I have ever gone sub 6 pace per mile in a race. My proudest cross country accomplishment of last year had to be getting 4th at state. My proudest accomplishment of track was going sub 5 in the mile with a 4:54.
5) Tell us a little about your training this summer. Mileage per week? Longest run? Any workouts? Pace per mile for most of your recovery runs?
This summer I started training on a regular basis with the varsity boys. I also do swim team in the summer, so I do a swim workout every day as well. My mileage is about 40-45 a week. My longest run is up to 9 miles. I went to two cross country camps where we did some fartleks, hills, and tempos. I also did mile repeats at the end of the summer. My pace for my recovery runs were 8-9 minutes.
6) Tell us a little about your coaches at Los Lomas and how they have helped you develop throughout your high school career.
My coaches at Las Lomas are really amazing. Coach Cynthia (Green) is super supportive and really pushes me to my full potential. She is really good about increasing my intensity and keeping me healthy. Cynthia also has us do outside exercises to prevent injury and make us more well rounded runners. Coach Jon (Lucchesi) has helped me a lot this past year with rolling techniques and stretches and my general post run recovery, which I think has helped a lot.
7) This past Tuesday, you won the Monte Vista Invitational with a new course record time. What was your race plan before the race? Can you tell us a little about the race itself?
Coming into this Tuesday, I really wanted to break the course record. I came in actually not knowing Megan McCandless was racing until I was warming up, so that was a surprise! I decided to stick to my plan regardless. Relax on the first mile and don't lead, then on the hills in the second mile really push it and pass whoever was in the lead to open up a gap. I also wanted to use the downhill to my advantage and really pick up speed for the finish. The race started and Megan took the lead, which allowed me to stick to my plan. She opened up a little bit of a gap on the flat and the track. I started pushing to catch her on the hills. When I passed her, we were about 800 meters from the finish. I pushed it up the last little hill then really just opened up my stride and let loose on the way to the finish. As I crossed the line, I was really happy to see my time.
8) Aside from McCandless who finished in 2nd place, you also had Brooke Starn who finished in 3rd place. You have raced both of them quite a bit during your high school career. How much have those two motivated you and helped you during your training and racing?
Both Megan McCandless and Brooke Starn are great competitors. I have been racing Brooke since very early on in CYO track and I looked forward to the opportunity to continue to race her. Brooke and Megan have both helped me push myself throughout the years. They are both amazing runners and we are so lucky to live in an area where I can race so many talented runners.
9) Favorite cross country course? Favorite cross country invitational? Favorite cross country workout? Favorite Track distance? Favorite Track invitational? Favorite Track workout? Favorite distance run?
My favorite cross country course is Woodward Park. Although I only been there my freshman year, my favorite cross country invitational is Woodbridge Invitational. We run super late at night and there are so many people cheering SO loud and blasting music. It is really just a great, high energy meet. My favorite cross country workout has to be mile repeats. We usually do 3 and then a few 800s. I don't know why, but I always get excited on mile rep days! My favorite track distance has to be the mile, it's fast but not too short like the 800. My favorite track invitational is the Dublin Distance Fiesta. The music, the sombreros, the t-shirts, they have it all! My favorite track workout is 800 repeats. My favorite distance run is this one run I do from my house in the Shell Ridge open space, it has some great hills and is super fun.
10) What does a typical week look like for you in terms of training with a Saturday race?
I would probably do 1-2 workouts that week, one track and one tempo. The day after the workouts would be a recovery run and then also just a regular long run one day.
11) How has your role on the cross country team changed from your freshman season to now? Are you taking more of a leadership role this season?
My role on the team has changed so much. My freshman year there was a group of junior girls that were the team leaders. Now that they have graduated, the leadership has switched to me. I am now a team captain and people come to me and ask me questions a lot more than they did before. I make more of my own decisions and help in deciding what is best for the team too. I feel like I am more of a vocal leader this year as well.
Huge thanks to Guillaume Hansel, my brother and former cross country runner, my parents and Andrew Schreiber. They are the best support team anyone can ask for. I will always hear them cheering for me no matter how big the crowd is. Without them, I couldn't be where I am today. Also, thank you for operating a great website, it's such a valuable resource!
Thank you very much for your time Chloé! AJC