Tuesday @ Shiloh vs. Lake Zurich and Warren
Sometimes things just click. People's fitness catches up with their mindsets. The weather is right. The course is fast. The competition is great. And then races just click. Our home meet (technology aside) was definitely a click night. When I left the nightmare that was our tech mess and headed to the starting line, you had all taken care of all of the things: warm up, spikes, drills, strides, heck...even a bootleg breakdown: "Bees eat chicken!" We came together for a brief moment to talk, but I could see that you didn't need me--you were ready to rock.
At the gun, we got out well as a group. By the time our bees were by the building and the pines, I could see we were in for a great day. You were working well together, pushing yourselves beyond where you had been before. I managed to catch most of you over by Shiloh, and I was amazed at how fast everyone was moving. You all looked free along the goose poop alley, and making the turn back into the woods, I was impressed by the turn over and focus. Watching everyone cross the road, I could see your eyes, and I was stoked. Everyone was just LOCKED IN. As I scanned my watch, I was really excited to see how fast we were running, and I knew that there would be a significant number of PRs. In fact, we ended up with 5 LPRs and 4 SPRs from this race!
Fig looked great today, putting together a complete race and really fighting through the third mile. She dropped 29 seconds for an SPR. It's so great to see her racing more like her real self! :) Illyana had a big break through, too. Not only was she eating in that last mile, but she also dropped 20 seconds overall for an SPR of 25:09! Aubrianna was only seconds back in her best race of the season. Yes, the clock says so, but I could also see the focused look on her face the whole way! She was fighting to keep her race more even, and she lopped 1:16 off her previous SPR to run 25:24. So impressive! :) Fellow senior Blanca also dropped a sick amount of time--58 seconds--to race where she belongs. She looked fantastic and had a nice kick at the end, too, to earn a new SPR of 26:22. This squad really took some risks today, and I was so excited to see it! :)
The LPR crew was impressive, too. First, Leilani keeps chipping away at her time. She dropped 15 seconds for a new LPR today. More importantly, I can see that she is gaining confidence in her training. Way to go, Leilani! Melanie had an outstanding race. Not only did she get out aggressively, but she also had a great kick. She dropped nearly a minute to earn a new LPR of 34:25. For perspective, she only ran 6 seconds faster in a 2.5 mile race at Parkside at the start of the season--what GROWTH! Proud of your tenacity, Melanie! Estrella just keeps figuring out this sport with every race. As her fitness grows, she keeps gaining confidence, too. She dropped 44 seconds to earn a new LPR of 26:20--so impressive, Estrella! Riley...whew...this kid set it on fire today. Not only did she drop 30 seconds, but she looked like a woman on a MISSION. She got out strong and ran a sick second half to earn the #3 spot on The Board with a speedy 19:06. Her kick at the end was pure poetry! She has definitely had a shift in the last week, and I am here for it. :) It's hard to out do Riley's race, but Audrey absolutely lit it up today. She was NOT intimidated by LZ's lead duo (who are ridiculously fast--Brooke set a new course record today, btw). She simply went out and ran HER race, using those two as guides to pull her along. Her second half was impressive, and I could not be prouder of her focus during this race. Afterwards, she claimed that she was worried that she was going slow. Clearly she was not, as she knocked Bailey Lippeth off the top of The Board with an incredibly speedy time of 18:16, beating Lippeth by 29 seconds. That time has sat for nearly A DECADE (Bailey ran it when we last hosted Conference), so that fact that Audrey did it during a dual meet is really impressive. Audrey--I hope that you are soaking up this big achievement. We are so proud of you! SO many alums, including Bailey, sent me messages after I posted the pictures for the revised board. Your sisters in running are proud of your accomplishment!
There were speedy times in this race, but there was also a lot of big moments, too. Lauren looked strong in her first race back post-achilles issues. Marisa worked well with her, looking MUCH more like herself and helping our team score. Katelin had a gritty race with a sweet kick and rounded out our scoring. We ended up beating Warren because these three kept fighting until the end. Proud of you all! FYI, LZ nabbed us, but they are in a different zone than we are right now, and that's ok! We just need to keep growing so that we are ready to compete at Conference and Regionals.
Before I wrap this one up, I need to thank all the hives for their great work for our mini-senior night. Teams are built by the wisdom of the seniors. Their experience and leadership helps shape the season, and I cannot thank our current crew of seniors enough. Marisa, Natalie, Illyana, Aubrianna, Blanca, Nataly, and Lily--thank you for helping this very young team grow this season. We could not have done it without you! :)