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.