Rocket/Druckery Invite Recap
Cross country is the ultimate team sport. In the span of 15 or so minutes, it's up to each man to overcome any doubts and seek additional discomfort in their pursuit of improvement. But the underlying motivation that pushes a man past his own limitations is the power of the team. One man left to his own mind will never be as powerful as the men that rely on each other for inspiration in finding that extra gear as the race progresses. Every person matters in what type of energy gets created at practices and on race day.
This past Saturday the men in the first race set a great tone, showing improved aggression to start the race and coming away with some solid races en route to a 3rd place finish. Frank Bevsek broke up the top 5 by placing 5th overall and was followed by his teammate Chase Witty who broke out with his best race of the season. Chase gave himself that chance to succeed by taking a risk and putting himself up front earlier. Sam Walder and Deven Eiler did a nice job setting the tone early for the pack behind Frank and held on to be our 3 and 4 man, while David Bevsek slowly moved his way up in the race to finish as a solid 5th scorer. The freshmen duo of Elijah Sayeg and John Gruichich ran together and pushed each other the whole way and have shown great potential in the sport. Both can be great if they choose to be over the next four years including running each day over the long off seasons where athletes go from good to great. Kai Bruner made some more strides as our other freshman in the field and is just starting to find his way in this sport. A love along with a desire to improve are two of the recipes to success and pursuing no limits, and this freshmen group seems to be developing in both of those areas.
It is very important for all of these young men to see the long term vision of the sport of running. The success of the team depends on growing together and being process focused. Not every meet is going to go perfect, but progress is happening nonetheless. In 2018 when I took the head coaching role at Hale, there was some detachment from seeing the success of some other programs. Many thought they had something that we didn't, but it turns out that wasn't true. The only thing we were missing was a belief in what we stood for and where we could go. We had to believe we were great before we could actually be great. In that 2018 year, the men built a belief and it spread through the entire team, leading them to qualifying for the state meet. In 2019 they came back again finishing as the 15th place team in the state. The point of this is that just because a team that beat you on an early September day and looked unbeatable on that day means nothing. We can compete with any team and believing in the process and taking the steps to get there as a team are what will make that statement a reality.
The second race gun fired and our men took it in great position. Alex White and Collin Raschka appropriately set themselves in the front of the race, being two of the top three men in the field based on the first few weeks of the season. Parker Szura put himself up there this week while Jack and Carson weren't too far behind. Our starts were very solid and through about halfway we were primed for a great day. After coming out of the 2nd woods section after the mile, our men were hanging on a bit rather than moving up like early in the race. In looking at the mile splits, we can see an area of improvement will be in the middle mile. We have been building really nicely this year and are excited to see where we can improve through practice this next few weeks. The 3rd mile will always come down to the will power of the guys on the team and running for one another, but that second mile we will build on our fitness with some sustained tempo work and more racing experience.
Alex and Collin finished as our top two once again and certainly are excited to bounce back. They have had some fantastic training and put in great weeks. We would expect a bump in racing about this time of year with all of the work we are putting in, so to still lead the team to a 2nd place finish on off days is really nothing to be disappointed about. I was proud with their start up front and they will continue growing confident in leading races. Parker and Jack made some nice jumps in their progressions and are ready to have a huge breakthrough this week! Carson and Dylen rounded out our team scoring. The entire team will help push our 1-5 (whomever those men are) to be faster and faster, so continue seeking your personal best to help the team!
Results and notes can be found on the Rocket Invite tab,
2021 Hale XC Results.
The week ahead
This week the men will have TWO meet days. The freshmen will race Thursday and everyone on our entire team will be dismissed from class at 2:30 p.m. Due to bus issues, our district is giving us the two vans so Coach Dewitt and I can drive 14 athletes to the meet (including the freshmen racing of course) but are looking for some athletes or parents to drive to Arrowhead High School so we can get the whole team there to support. Non racers will do a run around Arrowhead that day while supporting our freshmen when they race.
Saturday we will all travel to Tendick Park with bus time at 7:30 a.m. Freshmen this day will come do their run at the course there and support the rest of the guys competing. It should be a fun opportunity to freshmen to get into an all freshmen race at a fun course at Arrowhead.
Thursday Frosh Meet Info
Saturday Marquette Meet Info
Parents, I should be getting any parent fan shirts this week. We are also excited as we have had a few additional members to the team, so welcome to Hale Cross Country! We are encouraging guys to ask friends out to the team after having less communication over the prior year. I owe some guys some Oscar's coupons and eventually a tshirt to anyone who gets someone to join in.
We are yet to have a pasta party host for the next few weeks so let me know if anyone wanted to host! Here's the link,
Twenty teams lined up in what was the best meet in the entire state of Wisconsin this past weekend. Six top 20 state ranked teams, including our own Hale men's team, along with probably 5 other teams that will now be ranked went to battle. In addition to the great competition we also saw probably the best racing conditions in Betz history with cooler temperatures and overcast skies.
The Hale men were focused this week on taking a risk. The biggest risk anyone can take is never taking any risks, so that is not a risk we want to allow. With losing a state champion from last year along with 3 other scoring seniors, this year's team has found itself in an opportunistic spot with all the guys being potential scorers for the first time! With that, we understand that there will be a process with the growth of this team and we have a history of improving and running our fastest at the end of the season as is evident with our last three years. An important thing to realize for our younger athletes is that we also have ten seniors on this team and we want these underclassmen to start putting themselves out there more and realizing that they are going to have an impact and be relied on big time very soon. Although the sport takes great patience and consistency, we aren't looking to be patient in our aggressiveness in workouts and races. There are a number of athletes from amongst the teams at our meet that went from the 19's to the 17's just this week, and we believe our guys haven't scratched the surface of what is possible. The breakthroughs happen when you allow yourself to make them happen.
We kick off our meet with a freshmen only race and had both Elijah Sayeg and Kai Bruner out there racing. Elijah made huge improvements from his first race and is loving the sport which will help him improve a lot over the years. Kai finished his first 5k which was a big breakthrough and hopefully this influences his confidence in his ability to run further and faster. We had two other freshmen just join who will join these two this weekend we and are looking to add a few more still so we can have a complete team at our freshmen boys race on the 16th! With the pandemic year, many frosh simply don't know about cross country so we are encouraging guys to each get an athlete to come join the team! We welcome guys from any grade and encourage each guy to get one person out for the team!
The JV men's race was next up and we had many of the guys in this race wanting to get out more aggressive. Dylen Eiler set a great ton early and ran much more aggressive this week and more like the Dylen we come to expect over 5k very soon. It didn't stick this week and that was expected. We are ecstatic with his risk of going out faster and running with more confidence. He's a guy that is one of our top returners from last year and we believe can be running up front with our guys. His confidence is growing, and confidence is a special weapon to getting big breakthroughs. With Dylen early went a group of Mikey and David. David has been on the team for just 1 week and simply needs more time to develop while Mikey had the best distance workout of his life this week and now will look to translate that into a more consistent race. It's about loving the discomfort instead of treating it as hard. It's about running for the team and pursuing one's best.
Ryan Bergeman had the best race of his career and when he realized he was our 5th man, he ran with guts for the team. He had a great finish, scoring as our 5th man and running well over a minute faster over 5k than he ever has in his life. Ryan truly embraced a for the team mantra at this race and stepped up for his teammates.
The varsity men's race went last and the conditions were perfect. Alex's risk goal was to get out with the leaders and he did just that. Getting out around 5 minutes, the leaders were out in a hot 4:55 or so first mile. He executed amazingly well and gained trust in himself and the coaches in that he finished to a first time sub 17 minute race and 17th place team scoring spot. Now he will continue to grow in his ability to be a front runner and drop significant time and keep improving in placing. It's about being ready for later in the season, and everything we do now is practice for that. Collin had a big breakthrough week in a different way. He started gaining confidence with his best workout of the season on Tuesday after I challenged him to get better and put him in a different position than he had been previously in workouts. After lighting a little fire under him, he came back with consistent practices all week and finished Friday with a 23rd place scoring place and also medaling at the Betz Invite in a personal best time to boot. Collin and Alex can continue to build each other up and take each other along for an amazing ride these next several weeks. The question will be, will they take others with them?
Carson Shane stormed back the last mile to finish as our 3rd man while Jack Hutter and Parker Szura rounded out our scoring. I believe we have a group here that will continue to feed off the breakthrough of our top 2 and move up together with consistent max effort at practice. The guys just behind these three will continue to improve as well which makes the whole team move up together. When we talk about taking risks, it's also about giving less credit to the legends. Instead of seeing guys up front as legends, you realize they are just kids like you who put in the time to improve. The more you put yourself up front and take risks, the more it will continue to stick and soon enough it's others looking up at you. Taking risks demystifies the legends and paves the way for breakthroughs and for new legends to be made. Every person is just a kid from somewhere. Have no limits.
Meet results and team notes below,
2021 Hale XC Results.
This week we travel to Grant Park on Saturday. Meet Information is linked on our schedule and can be found here. Full Meet Info ---- Bus is at 8:30 a.m. Within our team meet info link, be sure to see the link to the meet info linked on there from the hosts with information about parking as well as bringing a non perishable food item. Please bring those with you to the meet to drop off.
This Friday's pasta dinner will be at coaches' house! Our address is 827 S. 97th St. Should be good to go right after practice as usual. We will be getting lasagna catered by the West Allis Cheese Shoppe.
Monday - 6:00 p.m. Practice - come dressed to run by the Hale Commons (school will NOT be open)
Tue-Fr - 3:30 p.m. practice (meet by tennis courts unless otherwise shown on lockerroom)
Saturday - Bus at 8:00 a.m. Full Meet Info
Anyone that wants a meet t shirt this weekend they are selling them online to pick up at site. Here's the link, https://ultimateteamsports.com/spiritwear/xcinvitational/
Make it a great week. Lead with love. Love wins.
Palmyra Invite and Runathon Recaps
The early season heat didn't subdue the feeling of fall in the air as the 2021 cross country season officially kicked off last Thursday. The men put in a big week of training with the focus on being on growth as a team through the season. Workouts and races are all used as part of the learning process in becoming better racers and a better team. Thursday brought a great opportunity to get back to racing and in both races the men were able to take home first place.
In the first race, the field was a bit smaller but the Hale men were focused internally on our own race plan and put in great efforts nonetheless. Sam Walder went out near the front and kept his teammates close behind on the pedal. Deven got out aggressive and we LOVED that. These are the meets we look for athletes to take risks and show courage in challenging themselves. It is risks and failing that bring about improvement. If Deven continues to take those types of risks in practices and meets, great things will happen. While he fell back a bit this week, Mikey and Dylen were able to come back up on Sam and form a pack of three. Mikey kept fighting and ultimately finished as our top scorer with Sam and Dylen right behind him. For his effort in staying with the pack, Mikey earned athlete of the week. This has been stressed a lot at practice, to give yourself a chance to stay latched on with teammates as although you'll experience discomfort in the short term, ultimately you'll be rewarded with the energy of your teammate.
Chase Witty and Deven rounded out the team scoring. A shout out as well to Elijah Sayeg for completing his first 5k and putting in positive work his first two weeks. We look forward to watching him improve!
In the 2nd race the men experienced a quick start with Carson leading the Huskies out. Collin and Alex stayed right off his pace while Jack and Parker created a bit of work for themselves early but were positioned ready to move up. We sent just five men to the line, so all of them knew they would be needed for scoring. Alex found himself in 5th place on his 2nd lap entering the woods and was able to focus ahead seeing 1st place not too far ahead. Coming out of the woods Alex was in 2nd place and finished 3rd overall in a tight battle. Collin was able to finish strong as well after feeling fatigued coming off a great Tuesday workout and Monday double. He is a guy who will do well off a restful Sunday and reap huge gains from the great week. He finished with a great runathon Saturday to boot.
Jack Hutter was our 3 man and ran a solid first race. He has made huge strides with some great training and is now working on improving the pace to go off his already strong aerobic capacity. Carson Shane, who took the race out, fought back late to help his team garner a lower score toward the victory and earned runner of the week for this. Parker Szura rounded out our 5 man scoring and didn't have his best race but is fit and ready to surprise a lot of people this year.
The team finished the busy week with a Runathon Saturday night. We faced some adversity at first with the lights not being able to get on, but we were patient and ready to find a way to overcome any obstacles. The night turned out to be a great success and we thank all the parents who came to be involved with it!
Donations to our Runathon will be due by Thursday's practice. Make any checks payable to 'Nathan Hale Boy's Cross Country'. Athletes can turn the money into me.
Below are the meet results and Runathon results so you can use for lap donations! Let me know if you have any questions on that.
2021 Hale XC Results.
2021 Runathon Results
Betz Invitational this week!
Meet information and lineups can be found here - Betz Invitational
This is our home invitational and it's a 20 team invite. It's one of the best invitationals in the state every year and we look to put on a great meet. With that, any parent help is appreciated and we have some simple jobs if you are willing to help when your son isn't racing.
I can use a few parents from 3:45 - 5:30 (var parents), and a few from 5:30 to 6:30 (frosh/jv parents). Just let me know if you can help. Thanks!
Here's what the week looks like, all the way through Labor day practice next Monday.
Monday - 7:45 a.m. practice at Hale
Tuesday - 7:45 a.m. practice at Hale
Wednesday - First day of school! Practice will now be 3:30 p.m. - meet in Room 108 (Dewitt's room)
Thursday - 3:30 p.m. practice - 5:00 pasta party at 1750 S. 96th St. (Thanks Zabzebski's and Witty's!)
Friday - Betz Invitational! See the meet information.
Saturday - On own runs assigned (no formal practice)
Sunday - Veteran's long run meet up / assigned (younger athletes off)
Monday - Practice at 6:00 p.m. - is mandatory so please communicate