Tuesday@Stevenson with Mundelein: For the second week in a row, we only had one meet, and it was on Stevenson's speedy, flat course at Half Day Forest Preserve. After walking part of the course and warming up on the rest, I felt confident that we would be ready to make the most of this course and cool weather. Our pre-race motto was to simply take a risk. In writing, that task sounds easy, but anyone who runs knows that it takes some mental gymnastics to convince the brain to go out faster than usual or to get out of the comfort zone. I was pleased to see that many of you were able to rise to the challenge. In the end, we were no match for Stevenson's speed and depth, but we nearly bested Mundelein--they edged by us by one point. Three of our Varsity racers--Lainey, Taylor, and Shayla--all beat their number five runner to keep the score close. This effort illustrates that every single racer matters, and that every place matters. We need to continue to live that mindset as we enter the final stage of our racing season.
There are plenty of highlights from this race. Of our 23 competitors, 15 earned either a season or a lifetime PR in this race. Julia slashed 42 seconds from her previous LPR to run 20:03; her splits were very consistent, and I know that she can break 20 at our home course Tuesday. Jacqueline was able to drop 31 seconds in order to earn a new LPR; like Julia, her splits were solid; if she works on her third mile, I know she will run the time she wants on our home course. Taylor ran a very even race, keeping two of her splits in the 6s in order to match her LPR; a more aggressive third mile will allow her to drop even more time from her LPR. Victoria had an outstanding day as well! She got out strong to shave 28 seconds from her LPR; her progress this season has been tremendous, and I know that she will continue to drop time in our remaining races. Takyra wasn't going to be left out of the LPR parade. She ran an aggressive, even race to drop an impressive 41 seconds from her previous LPR to land herself solidly in the 25s. She is showing her fitness now and will continue to drop time this season! Daz also had an outstanding race. Not only did she drop a whopping 1:24 from her previous best, she also ran an aggressive finish to put herself in the 26s for the first time! Kristina and Alyssa worked together through every mile to help each other to earn LPRs. Kristina dropped 15 seconds, and Alyssa dropped 10 in order to run in the very low 28s. If these two keep working together on our home course, I know they can break into the 27s! Odalis had an awakening today, too. She dropped 2:14 from her previous SPR, and 29 seconds from her LPR to move into the 31s for the first time! I know she can get into the 29s before the season ends! Finally, Angie earned the final LPR of the day by running a very focused race; she brought her third mile down; undoubtedly her overall time benefitted from her outstanding finish (which she is becoming known for). Great work from all of these LPR-earners!
We also had a nice crew of season PRs. Mary ran another even race to earn a SPR by 5 seconds. I know that she can bring that final mile down to get back to the 19s where she belongs. Lainey also earned an SPR by 6 seconds; more importantly, she fought hard in the final miles for her teammates. Shayla matched her SPR by getting out harder in the first mile--nice work! After a week of rest, Karyn ran a sharp race, earning a season PR and looking more like her real self. Carmen also earned an SPR with her Carmen-kick; if she is able to keep her last split closer to the others, she will be able to smash her LPR at home.
Although she was not able to earn a new PR, I'd like to give props to Ashley's final kick. Coming off the bridge in the final loop, Ashley was not afraid to challenge a runner from Mundelein; after numerous lead-changes, Ashley managed to best the other runner in the final step into the chute. This kind of prolonged grit is what we are looking for! Don't be afraid to challenge other runners AND yourself throughout the race!
Heading into our final dual meet of the season, I ask that we consider a few truths:
1. We had a tremendous week of racing and workouts. Saturday's workout on our home course should create an even deeper confidence for our race on Tuesday. In our first home meet, we looked crisp, focused, and aggressive. I want to see that same edge when we enjoy our homecoming race.
2. There has been A LOT of progress this season so far. If you look at our season progression (click here!), you will notice that there is A LOT of highlighting on the grid. Our workouts are designed to make you the fastest during the upcoming weeks. Have pride in how far you have come, and believe in how much more you can accomplish.
3. I am really proud of how you have picked each other up as a team. This part of the year can start to feel stressful academically--stay focused and continue to lean on one another. Let's keep the grades looking great, and let's keep elevating each other.
4. Finally, let's continue to work on honest racing. Accept the pain as the price of running, but focus on how you feel after you accomplish your racing goal!
Tuesday will be my final opportunity to evaluate our team to decide our Varsity line up for Sterling, our annual overnight trip. If Sterling is a goal of yours, then I need your race to tell me just that.
Also, we need to start thinking ahead to our Regional. There are ten teams, and we need to be in the top six in order to advance to the Sectional, which will be held at Waukegan's course. Here is our competition. Feel free to start scoping them out on athletic.net!
Libertyville Regional (10T)Date: Saturday, October 22
Adler Park--10:00 a.m.
Lake Forest (H.S.)