Yes, it was an early morning for the bus, but that facility was worth it! Our bees took advantage of the 200 meter track and really stepped up. Here's what impressed me most:
Seniors stepping up. Katelin helped our horizontal jumpers get their marks, but she went beyond just the technical stuff. She reassured newbee Sofia that she was making progress, and she reassured Nyana after a rough jump in the triple. She also deployed senior Audrey to help our brand new high jumpers get their marks and learn the ropes of this new event. Riley made everyone's head turn with her assertive performance in the opening leg of the 4X800. Jade set the standard of competing with her crazy-fast 60 and 200 performances. And Estrella showed us what track is all about--beating your previous best. What a great way for our newbees to learn about this sport!
Growth. All three of our throwers threw PRs today. Both Ne'Zyah and Audreynah's are indoor PRs, and Ximena's is a lifetime PR. Congrats to all three of our throwers for their strong efforts today! In triple jump, Katelin set a huge indoor PR of 29' 1.25"--nearly besting her outdoor PR! She is WAY ahead of schedule, which is awesome to see. Nyana set her first PR in this event, and I know that she will continue to grow into it. She shows so much promise already with her willingness to try new events. Katelin set a huge LPR in the long jump--15'0.25"! So impressive, Kate! Way to step up! And in the high jump? Freshies Mary and Niyanna both cleared 4 feet for the first time despite not having jumped into a pit yet in practice (we will get our brand new pit in a couple of weeks!). These two, along with Baakir, bravely attacked this new event in order to grow!
On the track, we had several other signs of growth. Brionne ran her first 800 to help our relay place 4th and run a 10:20--only 3 seconds off our recent best outdoors from 2018. So proud of the way this group (Riley, Lauren, Bri, and Audrey) attacked this race! Rachel ran her first 3200 and looked awesome doing so. She ran a pretty even race (6:38/6:58), and she did so by competing hard. When the very experienced runners from Maine South and Palatine came up on her, she made them work, which helped her to really attack the second mile. Her time of 13:36 is impressive for her first go, and I anticipate that she will grow in this event! Our 60 meter hurdlers also slayed today. Baakir and Tati both ran lifetime PRs. Baakir handled hitting a hurdle by being gritty and switching legs, and Tati had such an aggressive start, not to mention a clean run. Proud of both of you! Jade, Hunter, and Jada ALL ran PRs in the 60 meter dash. Impressive work by this speedy crew! As they continue to work on block starts, I know they will continue to grow. I already mentioned Estrella's LPR in the 800, but I'd like to give her another shout out here. Not only did she set a new lifetime, she did it by running negative splits (last lap was the fastest). That tells me that she is ready to start out even harder, and that her new LPR will fall quickly! Our 200 hurdlers all earned LPRs because this is a brand new event. I'm so proud of how well Baakir, Rachel, and Tati ran. Not only did they each attack the race, but they also embraced a new distance. Baakir really turned on the power coming off the final curve so that she could finish in 13th place out of 36 racers! These three are fearless and fun to watch. Our 4X200 of Jade, Kennilyn, Jada, and Taylor looked awesome today. Despite some difficulties with a handoff that was not of their own making, they fought hard and looked great, running a speedy 1:57.29. Nice work, Bees! In the mile, newbee Juliana ran a new PR, beating her previous best from practice by nearly 45 seconds and reaching her goal of touching 7, finishing in 7:46. Nice work, freshie! She did so by pulling on Cheyenne and working hard in the last laps. Speaking of Chey--she broke her indoor PR, and nearly bested her outdoor PR, missing it by only one second. So proud of your growth, Cheyenne! Jade improved her 200 time, zooming to a new LPR of 27.01 and dropping over 2 seconds. She also managed to earn a medal despite not being in the fastest or even the second fastest heat. Great work, Jade! Niyanna and Auriel both set LPRs in this event, too. I know they are only going to grow as they get used to the race and improve their block starts. Proud of you, freshies!
Pride. Mr. Niemi wants to bring back the idea of ZB Pride, and I saw a lot of it on display today. Our team made me smile before our 4X400 even stepped on the track. During the second heat (we were in the fourth), our team lined up on a curve in order to support our squad. By the time Audrey stepped on the track, our bees had spread out across the whole track in order to yell like crazy. And our actual relay? Well Audrey took off like a shot, pushing to make it to the break line first and handing off in first. Lauren pushed hard on her leg, nearly matching her outdoor best from last year. Brionne zoomed to a new indoor PR of 68! And Riley got the baton with a gritty look and attacked the first lap in 29, hunting down other teams. Our relay finished SIX seconds faster than last week and looked outstanding. Proud of you all for such a ZB Pride moment to finish off the meet. So proud of our team for uniting to cheer them on, too!
The name of this meet is the Rockford Auburn Showcase, and showcase we did! Without stacking our line up, we placed 10 out of 22 teams in this very competitive field. You can check out all the stats for the meet here. Overall, us coaches saw A LOT of great performances that have left us excited for the upcoming meets! Let's use this week to keep growing as athletes and teammates. I have a good feeling that we can do something special as a team this year. Let's start laying the groundwork for that to happen: get to know your teammates; appreciate their efforts; encourage each other to push through the difficult moments; and let's have a great week!
Nutrition Tip of the Week: Did you know that vitamin D is made in our bodies when our skin is exposed to sunlight? In our part of the country, it is REALLY hard to get enough vitamin D in the winter. Improve your chances by getting in the sun whenever possible, even if it's a short walk around your block on the weekends. You can also get vitamin D from foods such as salmon, tuna, egg yolks, and foods fortified with vitamin D such as orange juice, millk, and cereals. You can read more about it in this article from Harvard.
Sleep Tip of the Week: Did you know that having a similar bedtime routine EVERY NIGHT (including weekends) helps you have better sleep? Our bodies love routines, so making a sleep routine is important. I know that you are all working hard in practice, but your body does a lot of repair work while you sleep. Miss out on a few hours of sleep? Then you miss out on the hormones that are released while you sleep that help make that workout stick. You can read more about the importance of sleep in this article.