Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 @ Waukegan High School with Lake Zurich
I was so excited to see our whole team finally have the chance to show off the fitness we have been working on. While it was a bit chilly, the sun kept peeking out from behind the clouds; the weather was certainly better than most at most meets last year.
We started strong in the 4X800 with two teams competing. Our first crew of Kaila, Mary, Carmen, and Angie all looked tough. Kaila led off with a solid 2:56. She got out in sub 80 (79), which is the direction she needs to move to get her overall split down. I know that she will get her second 400 down when she is finally over this silly virus she has been working through. Mary (if the stats are correct) ran a negative race: 91/81. She looked strong for the whole race and ran the fastest split on the relay--2:52. Carmen looked strong, too. She got out well in 88 and closed in 98. Based on her workout on Saturday, I am confident that she will be able to close that split gap and go sub-3 very soon! She handed off to Angie--who by her teammates' accounts had beautiful form the whole way--looked great as our anchor. Her splits (88/1:45) were solid, but I know she will get that second split back to normal when she bounces back from her spring break trip. Our other relay of Elyssa, Aubrianna, Illyana, and Delilah also looked strong. Elyssa was our lead leg and started us strong with a 3:09 (92/1:43); she looked aggressive and focused as she handed off to Aubrianna. Aubrianna ran a much more even race today, compared to indoor: 92/1:43. She ended with a solid time of 3:15. She handed off to Illyana, in her racing debut. She ran pretty even splits (1:43/1:55) to finish in 3:38, a great starting point! After watching her in the workout on Saturday, I know she will drop some serious time from this effort very soon! Delilah was the anchor, and she ran very evenly (93/98) to run an new LPR of 3:11. Nice work, Delilah! Overall, we looked solid in the relays, but the competition was spread out. I definitely looked forward to seeing us compete in open events that are more closely contested.
In the 3200, it was obvious that LZ's top to girls were doing a tempo workout. Our girls went out with the next pack and competed well. Vic moved up smartly throughout the race, and ran a really even race: 90, 99, 1:41, 1:42, (6:32) 1:42, 1:44, 1:45, 1:38 (6:49). These splits reveal a few things. First, Vic had a real kick, which has been a weak spot for her in the past. Second, it shows her fitness that she was able to keep all of her splits at 1:45 and under. Based on the Paavo work we have done as well as Saturday's workout, I know she will be able to drop that average when she races this distance again. Karen ran within a second of her season PR, and ran pretty even splits as well: 96, 1:48, 1:51, 1:51, (7:06) 1:54, 1:55, 1:57, 1:46 (7:32). Like Vic, she did a nice job picking it up on her last lap. I am confident that she will drop some serious time after seeing her strength on Saturday. She looked healthy and assertive which will help her in future races. Nice work to these two!
The open 800 had a big posse from us, so there ended up being two heats. Shout out to Ashley for stepping up to race in the Varsity heat with Jenna and Di. These three worked so well with each other throughout the race, switching leads and pushing one another through the finish. Although the times were not blazing, their racing tactics were outstanding. Nice work, women! In the JV heat, we got to watch a big pack that also worked well together. Shout out to Natalie Fig for leading this pack, running an impressive 3:11 for her first track race of the season. She looked smooth and focused from gun to finish! Jenni, Katherine, Ixa, Bianca, Dianna, Angie, XC Nataly, and Blanca were all newbees to racing, too. Like in the first heat, this group worked well together to push through the discomfort of a first race. Shout out to Ixa for a particularly impressive kick! I know the hard work of this weekend will help this group continue to improve. In the meantime, I am proud of this group's tenacity!
In order to work on her speed and kicks, I sent Vic to the sprinters for the open 400. She took on the challenge with an open mind, running a speedy 79. She is getting better with turn over, and this race showed it! Nice work, Vic!
The mile also had a big pack like the 800. Mary was the first bee, running a season best of 6:19. She looked sharp and even the entire race. Kaila was not far behind in 6:48, a solid day's work after running the 4X800. The last bee under 7 was Elyssa with a new lifetime PR of 6:59. It was so good to see Elyssa racing so well. After an injury-riddled XC season, her hard work and dedication are paying off finally! Carmen was not far behind her in 7:06, with perfect form on the kick. Angie was only seconds back from Carm, kicking with noteworthy speed! In her mile debut, Aubrianna was close to Angie, making moves in the second half of the race to run a new lifetime PR of 7:22, shaving just under a minute from her previous best. Nice work, Aubrianna! :) Emily made her mile debut, too, running a speedy 7:31 and a season PR by working her kick hard and smiling every time she moved up in the race. Great job, Em! Jenni looked so strong, running in the low 8s and pushing to move up throughout the race. Ixa was not far behind, mirroring her kick from the 800 and finishing strong! Our final bee in the race was Illyana, in her second race of the day. Post-race, she said she felt much better about how to tackle racing from now on, and I anticipate that she will look sharp at Libertyville, especially after her beast workout on Saturday. Overall, this group was much like the 800: everyone was thinking about how to help one another to make us all shine in the race. Nice work, bees!
We finished the meet with a whole bunch of 4X400 relays. The purpose is to work on speed as well as practice hand offs. Props to you all for your flexibility in a crowded race. I'm proud of you for just going with the flow and gaining valuable race experience. A few splits that stood out: Kaila's speedy 74 impressed me, as did Ashley's aggressive 86. Overall, I am really proud of you all--nice work!
As I headed to the bus post-meet, I was so happy. In race after race, you all seized the opportunities before you: decent weather, great competition, and your teammates at your sides. What else could a coach ask for? Well, as we head into our second meet, here's what I want: for you to take an honest look at your race as well as your hard work from this week, then make an aggressive plan for your race. We are going to have some nice weather for racing; let's make the theme of the day RISK. Believe in your fitness and take a risk early in your race. Go out a little faster, pass a girl earlier, hang onto a pack a little longer. I promise you will not be disappointed! In order to make that happen, you need to start NOW. Plan for a good breakfast, pack a smart lunch and snacks, and start drinking water NOW. Make sure that you are sipping water all day during school so that the warmer weather is not a factor. Until we race, please remind yourself about the incredible workout from Saturday. You are fit. You are mentally strong. Let it shine in Libertyville!
In the "student of your sport" headline, check out Katelynne Hart's sub-10 3200 race from Arcadia this weekend. Pretty beast! Click here to watch the race.