For The Record: Joe Barrett Is Ready For Season's Final Lap

The postseason is here, and Joe Barrett is ready for one last pick-up. 

We sat down recently with the Christian Brothers Academy (NJ) junior, a COROS NextGen athlete, whose calendar year has been beyond impressive: NJSIAA Group and Meet of Champions wins in cross country, two New Jersey No. 2 all-time performances in the 3K and 2-mile indoors and a New Jersey state outdoor record in the 3,200m with a U.S. No. 18 effort of 8:43.26. 

Barrett will continue his campaign this weekend in Alabama, with hopes on zeroing in on a fast mile during the Running Track Championships on Saturday at Milton Frank Stadium in Huntsville. 

From there, Barrett will continue his season with a few more races before calling it a year. 

We chatted about his season, his breakthroughs and his hopes forward as he moves toward his final year of high school cross country and track and field. 

Here are a few key takeaways from the conversation. 

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Barrett Starting Training For The 3,200m Right Off The Cross Country Season


Looking to hit on fitness right after a successful fall, Barrett and his CBA teammates transitioned quickly to the 3,200m and 2-mile distances, where they were looking to clock fast times. 

In February, Barrett secured the second-fastest 3K of all-time in New Jersey -- only behind Edward Cheserek -- clocking a time of 8:14.09 at the Scarlet Knights Open on the fast Boston University indoor track.

He then ran a career best 4:15 for 1,600m at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions and went 8:55 for 2-miles at New Balance Nationals Indoor, which was No. 2 in New Jersey history as well. 

"I ran the 3K indoors, ran two more 32s after that at nationals and one before that also," he said. 

Doubles Have Helped Build Strength For Barrett And His Teammates


Barrett said what's helped his fitness the most over 2024 has been the team's workout plan. 

In the bulkier build-up phase of the season, the squad ran three doubles per week -- emphasizing shorter sessions split between morning and afternoon periods.

"Before Arcadia, like the two weeks before it ...we were doing really good workout on a Tuesday and then some slower tempo stuff on Friday," he said. "We did that for two weeks straight. I feel like two weeks of really good workouts, that really set us up.

While Barrett said his bread-and-butter are tempo workouts, he's been working on building up his speed. 

Barrett Is A Talker Before He Lines Up For A Big Race


Everyone's process ahead of a championship race is different. 

Barrett commented that when he's readying for a big race, what best helps his ability to focus is to keep things even-keeled and even loose. 

"I don't really like to get too locked in before my races because then I'm thinking I always visualize my race before I race it, but I just don't like ... I always like to talk to people. I can't just sit there and focus straight (on the race in front of me). That's just not me." 

For Arcadia, it was that process which allowed Barrett to break through for a New Jersey state record in the 3,200m. He opened his first 1,600m in 4:25 and closed in 4:17, which included a 63-second last lap.

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