After an amazing invite performance on Saturday, we returned to Lakewood for a dual against Lake Zurich. Unfortunately, most of our women looked anything but intense during this dual. Not only did LZ run a perfect score on us (15-50), but many Bees ran significantly slower than Saturday. While it is sometimes difficult to get back up emotionally for a Monday meet, we need to do a better job with this in coming duals.
On a VERY positive note, though, we did have two women who ran exceptionally well against LZ: Olivia and Ashley. Both ladies ran a full minute faster than Saturday! I am confident that Olivia and Ashley will continue to shed time as they become more confident in their fitness.
On Saturday, we ran at the notoriously fast Warren Invite. The course was altered slightly, which made it even faster. The weather was perfect for racing, and the Bees were ready to PR! The Frosh/Soph Crew started things off right with a great team race (7th place out of 15) and some fabulous individual efforts: after battling some illness and shin problems, Ana ran a LIFETIME PR by 45 seconds in 20:39; Alexis ran a season PR of 21:21 and earned a 9th place medal; Violette dropped nearly two minutes to run a LIFETIME PR (she is finally figuring this whole XC thing out!); Ally ran a season PR in 21:47 and looked great racing with Rachel; Rachel ran a LIFETIME PR in 21:49 (I can't wait to see her run when her hip is 100%); Syra also ran a LIFETIME PR by nearly 2:00, finishing in 27:30; Monica ran a LIFETIME PR, despite a very sore achilles, finishing in 26:06; Iris ran a LIFETIME PR by almost a minute, finishing in 25:58; Karli also battled a super-angry achilles and ran a solid race as our 5th runner and beat her best 3 mile time by 30 seconds; Jennifer ran a great race, shedding 2:00 from her best 3 mile time, clocking a LIFETIME PR of 26:56; and Alexis R. showed true courage as she continues to battle a bad hip and continues to drop time! She ran a LIFETIME PR of 28:34!
The Varsity race also provided some great highlights: Kimmy ran a gutsy race in a season PR of 21:32; Joseline matched her season PR of 21:51; despite being very sick much of this week, Lindsay ran a LIFETIME PR of 22:09; and not to be outdone, Maira did the same by running a LIFETIME PR of 22:48; Bug rounded out our 5 with a gutsy race in a season PR, holding off an opponent in the final meters of the race despite waking up with the plague that has made its rounds on our team. Overall, I was also pleased with the progress of this group this week!
The Open racers continued the great parade of PRS. Cora looked amazing throughout the race, running a LIFETIME PR of 22:53. She was outkicked by a very determined Karolina. Every time I saw her during the race, she was passing people...up the hill, down the hill, around the path--what a great race! She, too, ran a LIFETIME PR of almost a minute improvement: 22:40! Angie, despite having her wisdom teeth out just seven days ago, ran a LIFETIME PR of 25:10; after the race, she was disappointed with her time...I love that she is not satisfied! Peyton ran a season PR of 24:10, only 25 seconds away from her lifetime; I know that will come once her legs are feeling better. Stephanie continues to improve from race to race; she ran a LIFETIME PR of 31:04, and she looked great doing so! Neida and Marlen both completed their first races as zbxc members! Both of them showed courage and tenacity throughout the race--I am SO proud of both of these young women! Arranda is showing that she is figuring out this XC thing--she continues to improve from meet to meet, and she ran a LIFETIME PR of 24:23--a huge drop! Riley ran a great race (and finished with a "flourish"), running a season PR of 24:30 and inching closer to her lifetime. Tori broke the 24:00 barrier and keeps looking stronger with each race; she ran a LIFETIME PR of 23:55! Lydia, despite being very sick this week, also ran a LIFETIME PR of 26:46, and looked great doing so! Jazzman continues to drop time each meet, running a LIFETIME PR of 25:05! And her bus-buddy Paris ran a HUGE race on Saturday, shattering her LIFETIME PR by nearly two minutes when she ran 23:12!
While all of these times are fun to report, I am most impressed by how we are starting to gel as a team. As Neida finished the last loop of her race, I saw her teammates cheering her on from every corner of the course. When we returned home and nominated people for links, I loved all the positivity. If we can continue to build that support...if we can continue to work hard, I know that we will surprise some folks at the end of the season. I saw a glimmer of what we could be during the workout on Wednesday...let's continue the momentum of this week!