Hale XC Week 6
Muskego Invite Recap
This week at practice the Tuesday team workout focused on being able to make moves during races. Our team talk for improvement this week was about fighting for spots at the finish and getting better starts in the races as well. Last week we had some close defeats to teams and had opportunity to pass guys during the race that could have flipped the scores, but the guys improved this week winning more of the tightly contested packs and helping the team finish on the better side!
In the first race of the day, the team finished 5th overall. It wasn't our best team showing but we had some great moments. We loved how the top four got out in the race, establishing themselves up front. You can't afford not to do that. If you never teach yourself to run up front and push yourself, you'll never be in a position to do so. The more you challenge yourself early in races as a young runner, the more you set yourself up to break through perceived limits and find yourself and your teammates winning races and finishing high up. Consistency is one huge part of being able to hold position, but as young athletes, confidence and belief are two abilities that can be improved as well. Take chances, be fearless and be willing to be uncomfortable racing fast!
Preston Plier surely got out great, putting himself in the early lead. Coming around the bend near the 1200, he let himself slip back about 15 to 20 spots early. From there he started finding a pack to roll with, but he learned for next time to maintain confidence and keep with the front group. Getting caught in a race is not a bad thing because it's the competition that challenges us to improve. He will respond earlier next time and surprise himself. He finished as our top man in the race. Will Zag is close to putting together a big race finishing as our 2nd man and will be ready to be under 20 next weekend. Damien finished as our 3rd man this weekend and continues to improve. He has found better purpose at practices and has even added some morning runs to his routine. It is cool when guys really start to love the sport and commit to being great, we could be seeing the roots of that with Damien.
Our 4th man was Brody who ran to another personal best for the 4th time this year already. Rounding out our scoring was Wyatt, right behind Brody. Four more guys in the race ran personal bests. Travis has also started to take more to the sport and we saw greater focus from him this week and it showed in his race. Finding love in the sport is a huge step toward becoming great and makes it a lot more fun. Emmanuel's first race was on this course last year and he ran 36:25. This year he ran 22:24! Bigger things to come!
In the second race, the team finished 3rd overall which was a solid performance for the team. Back to back weeks finishing in the top 3 is solid, and this week's performance was better. To beat some great teams, it took competing when things were quiet, and making sure to scratch for every point. Elijah continues to set a great example of what can happen when you are not only consistent for a long time, but also bring the proper intensity and level of care to be your best. He continues to break through limits and ran to a great 8th place finish in a huge personal best of 17:31. Kai has also put in a lot of miles over the year and finished in a solid 18th place in a huge personal best of 17:52.
Some of you may have seen the Twitter post, but Eli improved from last year's 57th/21:21 in the JV race to 8th/17:31 in the varsity race this year. Kai improved from last year's 83rd/22:09 in the JV race to 18th/17:53 in the varsity race this year. Both are great examples of how this sport is earned and how "talent" is built by consistency and effort. It doesn't happen overnight, and it will be fun to look back on this year as they continue to improve and go for greatness.
Speaking of improvement, our 3rd man at the meet, Ethan, ran to another personal best by knocking on the door of the 17's and finishing in 22nd place. Starting from summer to now him and his brother have seen awesome progress and put in great consistent training. No limits!
Our 4th man today was a huge difference maker. Eric ran much more aggressive and held on to finish 41st, breaking into the 18's for the first time. This was only his 4th xc race ever so there's so much more to learn and build on, but he took the best step he could by running faster early and allowing himself the chance to race faster.
Our 5th man, Nate, battled awesome the last mile to finish just behind Eric in 44th place. When you run only 5 men on varsity, they all go to the line knowing they are scoring. And when you have a younger team, guys will break through at different moments. Nate in just his 4th ever XC race as well will see the ups and downs of progress and is a guy we see finishing toward the front of races for years to come.
There are some amazing opportunities and challenges upcoming. There are two regular season meets left before we get to the best part of the schedule that we have been working hard for with conference, sectional and state. Let's keep building and rolling with the ups and downs of patient progress.
We have had Matt out taking photos as well I'll get the photo albums out when I have them.
First off, it's Homecoming week. Of course we want everyone to enjoy themselves and get involved, but understand the difference in accountability a student athlete takes on that the regular student body doesn't. We are getting close to October racing, so last thing you want is to get sick or injured from not sleeping or having bad diet. Take care of the body and be responsible with your decisions this week.
We travel to Naga-Waukee Park for the KM Laser Relays Meet. Parents, please read closely the parking information! It's a county park so you have to pay to park.
We will be in Box 10. Here's the meet info,
KM Laser Relays Meet Info and Lineups
There's no pasta party this week due to many athletes needing to be in the parade right after practice among the other things going on.
Next Monday, the 26th there is no school. We will have our annual lakefront run that day at 3:00 p.m. Information on who is participating will be announced this week.
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