I have been looking forward to our first meet of the season, and Saturday was finally the day! Despite the sunny skies, there was still snow covering the track when we rolled up to Wheeling High School; luckily we were headed to their fieldhouse for competition.
In the team race, we placed 8th out of 12 teams, with a very stacked Lake Zurich winning the meet. You can check out the team scores here. You can also use that link to check out results for each event--just click on the event at the top. To be fair, our goal was to bring as many athletes as possible because we have a lot of newbees we wanted to try out in different events. Since we do not have an indoor track, we have to use these first meets of the season to help our field events get practice in their events, not to mention hurdlers and sprinters in blocks.
We had several medalists today: Ne'Zyah earned the first medal of the day in the shot put, placing 4th with an indoor PR of 9.82 meters; Taylor took 4th with a sweet lifetime PR in the 55 of 7.95; Jade took 2nd in the tricky 200 (three turns on this small 150 meter track) in a speedy time of 29.28; and our 4X400 placed 5th--Riley, Janalise, Brionne, and Niyanna. Awesome work to our medalists! :)
We also had several newbees bravely tackle events for the first time today: Ximena in the shot, Jade in the sprints, Nyanna in the long jump and sprints, Sierra-Rayne in the hurdles indoors, Rachel in the 800, Janalise in the 4X400, and Niyanna in two relays. It takes courage to try something new, and these bees stepped up big today!
There were several performances that stood out. FIrst, Riley's opening leg in the 4X800 was cool to watch as she hunted down the entire field, putting us in first at the end of her 800. Jade's opening leg on the 4X1 lap relay showed that she is going to help us quite a bit in the short sprints, and Taylor's closing leg showed her gutsiness to compete! Rachel & Aniya were both feisty in their respective 800s, challenging other competitors and fighting to the line. Awesome work you two! Like Riley, Lauren ran a savvy 1600, picking off competitors in the second half and running a strong time. Tati had such a great start out of the blocks in her hurdle race, and she handled her rolled ankle like a champ.
Two other takeaways stood out to me today. I stood by the finish line to catch times, and I saw athlete after athlete collapse at the finish, rolling around and acting, well, extra. If you compete hard, you should finish on empty, but you should also not be dramatic about it. Real women walk off and catch their breath and accept that racing hard IS HARD. Not a single one of our competitors was dramatic today, so let's keep it that way! The other takeaway was that we had great energy! I loved watching you all cheer for one another and celebrate each other's efforts. There was a lot of good sportsmanship, too--cheering for other teams and generally appreciating our sport. It was really cool to see! Special shout out to Emily, our temporary manager until her collarbone heals, Sheila, and Audrey for getting times for us today.
Speaking of Audrey, I need to give her a shout out too. She is trying to meet some time standards in order to run at Brown University, and thanks to the coaches at Lakes, she got the chance to race the 3200 on Friday night. She was within one second of her time goal, and she broke our school record in the process. The previous record was held by Kerri Norris since 1982! Kerri also held the mile record before Audrey broke it last spring. The new 3200 record is now 11:08.35. While obviously times mattered in this situation, the time came as an outcome of Audrey's tough racing. She wasn't afraid to go out hard and push when she was tired. Congrats on a new school record, Audge! Want to know what our other records are? Click here to check them out!
And speaking of numbers, here are the State Qualifying Standards for 2023. We have a while before they matter, but it's good to know!
This week, we have another meet on Saturday--this time in Rockford. The ride is long for this one, just about 2 hours. We will let you know who is attending as soon as possible. Please plan for a long day. I will post the meet info on Monday, hopefully (I don't have it yet). If it's like last year, we won't be back to ZB until 4:00ish. In the meantime, it's supposed to be warm at the start of this week, so please plan to be OUTSIDE for practice. Bring lots of layers plus a hat and gloves. Also, we have concussion baseline testing this THURSDAY. If you are a new athlete, a freshman, or a junior, and you have not tested this year, you need to report to room 350 after school on Thursday with a charged Chromebook. It doesn't take too long, and it is required.
One last thing--the spring blood drive is coming up. While this is a VERY worthy cause, I implore you to NOT DONATE BLOOD DURING THE SEASON. Your training over the last month has been built on blood! Each day that you train, you build blood volume in your system. The average adult has 5 liters of blood. Trained runners can increase their blood volume which helps with endurance (meaning you don't tire as quickly). Distance runners can DOUBLE their blood volume! If you donate blood, you are donating a month of training away and are essentially starting over. Don't do that to yourself! When the season is over in May, go for it--donate away! But don't do that to yourself during the season. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to see me!
Let's have a great week!