GMC Conference Recap
The purpose has been clear, the guys run for a bigger purpose than themselves. They race these championship meets for their team. That has been the building focus from the start of the season, and the men are really building on this concept in practices and meets. The selflessness to race for your teammates is what has produced a great progression and some great racing.
The GMC Conference meet now splits the first race into two which I love because it intentionally creates a situation where athletes are put up front in a race. Put into a new position is in itself a risk, and risks are what create breakthroughs especially for younger athletes.
In that first race, Kai Bruner took advantage of the opportunity and put himself out in front at the 300 meter mark of the race. He was out great, but honestly made me nervous for a bit for how long he kept the pedal down early. He wisely found a nicer pace early and came around the mile around 20th place. From there, he got stronger and stronger, moving up to finishing 12th and running a personal best time of over 2 minutes! Kai thus far has gone from not being able to run 5000 meters in practice, to racing 26:03 in his first 5k, and now to running 19:30 this week at conference. The coaches have always seen a powerful runner in Kai and believe his potential is great if he chooses to build off of it. Congrats on a big step!
Continuing the momentum from that race, Will Zagzebski came rolling in next with a personal best time and continues to improve over the past few weeks. Robert Petrovick brought good energy and brough home his best race of the season as our 3rd man. Kyle Steele had a huge personal best coming in as our 4th man while Ryan Bergeman gutted it out to finish as our 5th man. Jon Kuchinskas continues to improve and ran an awesome race! He put himself up into a racing position and should have the confidence to continue growing. Emmanuel Continues to improve and has really started developing a runner's stride!
In the second race, the men got trapped behind the masses early which meant they would have to move up. This course narrows quickly and some of the younger guys got caught early. Frank Bevsek was able to get out in great position and run a fast first mile and hold on as our first runner. His brother David continues to improve and came in as our 2nd runner in a personal best time. Chase Witty, Mikey Lee and Bronco were the next three in, all running personal best times and races. Bronco joined Kai as their first time under 20 which is always a great starting spot for freshmen. Elijah narrowly missed the 20 minute barrier, but time is irrelevant and his focus will be on keeping a positive mindset when the race isn't going as you imagined. It's a skill that is developed to be able to adjust to different feelings of races and different scenarios. He's part of that young core that we know has months and years of good learning and consistent running to keep developing into a top tier team.
Then, it was finally the time for the varsity racers who did a wonderful job supporting their teammates and getting fired up from the great performances from them. Our focus this past week was on getting out in great position at the mile then turning it on into race mode the 2nd mile. The men got out through the mile in fantastic positioning and executed extremely well. Alex was focused on winning the race behind the guys who we knew would be out in the lead. Collin was working his way up smoothly while Jack, Carson and Parker rolled through together with Dylen right behind. The 2nd mile went mostly smooth as well as guys moved up or maintained positioning.
Sometimes, things happen that you can't expect and Carson lost his shoe at about the halfway mark of the race. But as he knows, a team standard is no excuses, and he wasted no time getting himself back into racing mode and doing his best for the team. He ended up holding on as our 5th man and was disappointed to be back further than he normally would be for the team. The unexpected does happen in races, and it was an experience that Carson and the team will use to get better from headed into sectionals this week. Setbacks seem terrible when they happen, but there comes a day that you look back and are thankful for the setback as it made you better. We believe in Carson and that the day will be this Saturday where he uses the race as motivation to come in confident and relaxed ready to run with his team.
Alex kept moving his way up and fighting off guys behind him, finishing 7th overall and earning first team all conference honors. In the GMC, earning all conference is very significant. Collin did an awesome job keeping his spot and finishing 12th to earn 2nd team all conference honors. Not far behind came Jack who finished with 24th to snag the last all conference spot for 3rd team. This is the first team I have coached as a head coach which has had 3 men earn all conference! Congratulations to all three on the honor and well earned. Bigger things to come.
Parker fought well and is excited to move up this next week into a lower scoring spot. He finished as our 4th man and was in great position. He and all of the guys have a lot of fire power to really make even a bigger jump this week and put us in a position to qualify as a team. Dylen Eiler finished as the 6th man and had a great first mile. His feedback was he wanted to work on his 2nd mile and get into the 17s for sectionals.
2021 Hale XC Results.
Upcoming Week - Sectionals and JV State
Sectionals week is always an exciting week. For our men, the message is clear. We keep things focused on our standards and our team, we don't worry what other teams are doing, and we run with love for each other. These men have made the coaches proud on their love for each other and being team oriented. Their understanding in that has only grown as the season has gone on, and that has made us a dangerous team as we head into sectionals! We believe in these men and are excited for the opportunity to continue the season for another week. The top two teams will advance to state and so will the top 5 individuals not from those teams. Love wins.
Our non-sectional racers will be able to finish their season at Grant Park in a fast racing opportunity. For seniors in this race, it will be the last race as a Husky so let it all out on the course!! For younger athletes, use this week as another opportunity to learn and get better, while keeping the mind on the bigger picture. What type of team do you forsee in the future? A team that trains together in the off season can do powerful things and build on the Hale tradition and history.
All sectional racers will go to watch the meet Thursday, and all JV state racers will come to watch the team Saturday at sectionals. On Saturday, we expect our non racers to let the racers be focused on their race and we will have them go on a run with coach and get ready to spread out in quiet spots to be loud and support their teammates. They will be positive and supportive and bring good energy to the team. This is a chance for young athletes to see what championship racing is all about.
All athletes will practice Friday as well, and just the sectionals racers will have a dinner gathering this week at Jack Hutter's house. Next week we will have our state qualifying athletes continuing practice and it will be optional for others. For guys racing Thursday as their last race, I will communicate information on an end of the season meeting, 1x1 meeting, uniforms, our awards ceremony and later yet some information on winter running with a blog next week.
Let's embrace each day together and make it a great week!
You are ready to go. #ForTheTeam
JV State Meet Info
Sectionals Meet Info
A proud tradition. Let's keep it rolling. Love you guys.