With only one meet this week, we were able to get some quality work done at Wadsworth on Tuesday. Here's what I hope was the learning opportunity: even when the surface is uneven and hilly, you are capable of running fast. This workout was not easy, but you handled it well. Please lock it in your mind--for later in the season when we return to Libertyville's Adler Park for Conference and Regionals!
Saturday, September 24th @ JT Invite (Grant):
Our Frosh/Soph crew started things right for us: we had two lifetime PRs--way to go Daz and Victoria who each dropped 11 seconds on this more challenging course; two sets of bling--Kaila finished an impressive 10th place to earn a medal, and Steff ran strong to earn a ribbon in 23rd place; and one "first race ever" from Angie who showed grit and tenacity the whole way! Overall, I was really pleased with the progress of this group. They placed 4th out of 8 teams and offered our other racers some valuable feedback. Nice work, women!
Varsity ran it's typical pack race, with Jo leading our group, and Julia only 51 seconds behind. Jo and Mary earned ribbons for their finishes in the 30s, and Shayla and Taylor were only 1:33 off Jo. As we discussed in our post-race talk, this tight split is what makes our team great. We need to get into a mindset more like the boys, however...we need to shift our focus from individual times and think more about racing and placing. If our pack were to move up just 15 seconds in the race, we would've ended up 5th in the team stats. Honestly, I think we are ready for that. One of you needs to step up to take the risk and bring the pack with you. Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to take a risk; Stevenson's course is flat, fast, and familiar to you all. Let's hold each other accountable to all of our talks from this summer. Let's capture the same fight that we showed at our home course. Let's channel the same enthusiasm we had at the opening meet at Deerfield. I know what this group is capable of, and I think you do, too. Let's go!
Our Open women ended our outing with solid races, too. Ashley got out hard and took a risk for the first mile. Tianna and Helen both worked in their second miles to stay awake and pursue other racers who were asleep. Takyra and Sam both used their long legs to maximize the downhills. Meghan used second-half grit to catch up to Naya and finish strong. And Naya used her tenacity to overcome an(other) ankle roll. In our post-race talk, this group was generally pleased, with Takyra proclaiming that she truly raced--that was my whole goal of the pre-meet bus reading, so props! :)
Shout outs for this week: all who helped paint our #hoco2016 window, especially Daz and Naya for their mad drawing skills and Emily and Steff for their cute handwriting; Lance and his fam for hosting the pasta party this week; Janelle, Alexia, Alana, Karyn, Diana, Carmen, and Sarah for taking care of stickers and getting times and pictures at the meet; and all of you for your honest talk on Thursday. Who is interested in hosting the next pasta party?
In this coming week, I have a new challenge for you all: lose yourself in the fun of spirit week, but stay balanced with homework, hardwork at practice, and a honed focus at our only meet this week on Tuesday. Saturday, we do have practice, so please plan ahead! I want you to be ready for our XC homecoming on October 4th! :)