Brady Mullen Breaks 15:00 5K Barrier!


Nine days ago, under the lights at LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terra Haute, Indiana, Jesuit's Brady Mullen became the first Louisiana high school distance runner to break 15:00 in a 5K cross country race.

"I think he was excited," Jesuit head coach Cullen Doody said of the best distance runner in Louisiana and one of- if not the-best ever.

Like the clock above the finish line at the Nike XC Town Twilight Invitational, time will tell. Mullen is only a junior.

The story it told for Mullen Saturday, September 30th was 14:59.80, good enough for a fifth place finish. 

There was no rah-rah speech from his coach. For Doody, by the time the Jesuit team arrived at the venue, there was little to say.

"I didn't really tell him anything," Doody said. "You do so much leading up to the race, by the time you get to a race it's like showing up for a test and knowing all of the questions which are going to be asked. You just have to execute."

Mullen knew all of the answers as he ran with the lead pack on the challenging and hilly course. 

"At the beginning, I felt good," Mullen said. "At the end, I was near the front and knew it was going to be a fast time."

It's the second year in a row Mullen has a strong showing in Indiana. Last year, Mullen's fastest 5K time during his sophomore campaign came at the Nike Town Twilight. His 15:04 was good enough for 6th place. 

"Oh, it's amazing," Mullen said of the LaVerne Gibson Championship Course. "The fans are super hype--which helps. The competition is definitely some of the best we face." 

Doody agrees.

"As big as the Southern Showcase is, this race is on another level," Doody said. 

Mullen and his Jesuit teammates are following the same schedule as last year, and have found themselves following the same routines at each venue.

In Terra Haute, the Blue Jays stop at Subway and then take their pre-race meal to a park where they eat on the banks of a river that runs through the park. 

While the schedule and routines are the same, Mullen's approached the race with a different mindset, and he believes it made a difference in his performance.

"At Southern Showcase, I was mad at myself," Mullen said. "In Indiana, I made up mind to enjoy the race and stay positive." 

The source of his displeasure in Alabama? Not hitting goals which he had set for himself. 

As he went to line at the Nike XC Town Twilight, Mullen used self-talk to remind himself to stay relaxed-stay in the moment-and not wander.

Jesuit's other scoring runners included Leland Crawford (15:29), Brady Monahan (15:30), Michael Vocke (16:11), and Lucas Sampedro (16:20).