Tuesday @ Home: Well, the weather was slightly better than Saturday's mess, so we went ahead with our cold (but snow and rain-free) meet vs. Wauconda. Since the Gerald Green Invite was cancelled on Saturday and rescheduled for Wednesday, we ran a light line-up today. Our 4X800 featured two season PRs (Jackie & Mary) and two LPRs (Shayla & Helen). Of this group, I was most impressed with Helen's grit; in her first lap, she gained ground on the Wauconda girl, and in the second lap, she decided that she was going to win the race. Her race embodies what I am looking for from EVERY race: aggressive racing.
Our 3200 racers did a great job of showing flexibility during a meet by switching to the 800 after finding out that they would not have any competition from Wauconda (literally). In the 800, they both stepped up to run great races! Lainey ran a season PR of 2:49, looking assertive and poised the whole way. Em nearly matched her lifetime PR in 2:58. As a group, the 800 women looked great. Takyra looked focused during her race, Kristina's form looked outstanding as she cruised to solid 3:26 and and LPR. Naya completed her first ZB track race ever, looking so strong in 3:38. Diana ran her first 800 and looked great doing so. And Sam rounded out this group, running an aggressive race and earning a lifetime PR of 3:22. Great work, ladies!
Finally, our 1600 crew made me smile. Julia took control of the race from the start. She earned a huge LPR of 6:01 by running with confidence and focusing on great form in the final stretch. Jo was not far behind in 6:15, also an LPR. Janelle came in only a few ticks behind in 6:21 and earned an LPR as well. These three worked extremely well together during the race; their teamwork surely paid off! After a quick start with that threesome, Karyn earned a nice SPR of 6:32. Other highlights included SPRs by Steff, Ivory, Mel, Monica and Tianna. Alana finished her first race as a ZB and looked great doing so!
Overall, I was pleased with the way this group handled the weather and competition. In addition, I appreciated the camaraderie within the D-Crew and larger team. I watched you cheer for one another, set up hurdles, and generally make our meet run smoothly. Thank you for understanding that ALL of those "little things" add up and make this coach proud.
Wednesday @ Gerald Green Invite: Unfortunately, the rescheduling of this meet caused three teams to drop out. The D-Crew seized the opportunity to race against Waukegan and a very strong Grayslake Central team. Our 4X800 raced well. Liana started us off strong with a SPR match of 2:46. Julia took over with goals in her eyes and action on the track. She raced to a new LPR of 2:37; this record was short-lived as she shaved off a second in the open 800 later in the day. This impressive set of races shows that she is fit and ready to drop more time. Her sis was not to be outdone; she also earned an LPR for the day, running an impressive 2:47. She, too, came back with a solid race in the open 800 of 2:50. Although she claims to be disappointed with the second race, she looked strong throughout the race and corrected her arms for the last 200 meters to finish strong. I know that she will continue to PR with this growth mindset! Jocelyn rounded out our relay of PRs, earning a SPR of 2:47, and looking aggressive and focused the whole way!
Our second relay also looked strong. Lainey started our group off with a very peppy first lap of 78; her overall time was not quite as crisp as the prior day, but I know that her risk-taking in the first lap will pay off soon! Em ran a great race by following Lainey's lead of a strong first lap; her risk earned her a new LPR of 2:50! Ivory earned an LPR of 3:09 by having a strong kick. Monica did a great job bringing the race home by matching her SPR of 2:59. Although she was upset to not earn a new PR, I liked her focus during the race--that kind of tenacity will produce PRs soon enough.
Our 3200 crew got out strong, but let Grayslake control the race soon after. As we debriefed, we concluded that all three could work on using the right people in the race in order to improve their times. That being said, their times were solid: Karyn earned a 13:32 while running an SPR at the mile mark; Shayla ran her trademark consistent race, running close to her LPR from Carthage; and Mary looked stronger than I have seen in quite some time, earning an SPR at the mile and two-mile marks. I was tough on this group post-race because I KNOW what we are capable of racing-wise. I know they will rise to the occasion next week!
Three out of four of our 800 posse were on their second races of the day. Steff was the one fresh freshie. Although she was mad about not breaking 3:00, I know it will happen if she keeps running her first lap so aggressively!
Finally, our mile crew looked great today. Jackie was our first finisher, earning a big LPR of 6:27 by finishing with a strong kick. Lainey was not far behind in 6:38, with a solid second effort for the day. Helen ran a strong race, finishing in 7:02, well ahead of her times from last year at this stage in the season. Finally, Sam had a HUGE race, earning an LPR of 7:23 and kicking with strength. Her exclamation of "I have butt lock!" post-race shows that she was not afraid to get out of her comfort zone.
Overall, I am proud of our racers and supporters today. There wasn't an empty corner of the track when our D-Crew was racing. That support is invaluable! I'm especially impressed with the back-to-back performances of our women. Let's keep that gritty mindset rolling into Saturday's workout and next week's races.
In case you haven't seen this video, please take 2:49 to watch it. And if you have watched it, go ahead and watch it again. This story should become part of your DNA!