Week 4: Rocket Invitational
A big thank you to our parents, athletes and alumni Brad Glisczinski! Brad was with me from early in the morning until the meet started helping set up and prepare to put on a first class invitational. Many parents stepped up and helped with concessions or with the race and on the course. The athletes were accountable and showed good character, getting themselves prepared and ready to race, knowing that I was hosting an invite and coaching as well. The guys also did a great job taking down the course and some stayed well after the meet as well to continue helping. I can truly say, this was the best Betz Invitational I have been a part of, and it takes a monumental effort. Preparations, from small to big things, were in process since last year, so to have it all come together with a successful meet for everyone was cool to see.
It was a very special evening. For the first time we had a freshmen only boys race which was a huge success. There were 90 boys in the race! It was an exciting way to begin the meet. We had music playing, and a ton of energy throughout the course which led to some historic performances. And of course, this was the first meet ever run on the newly named Ron Kurtz 5k Cross Country Course. A man that changed my life and the lives of many others over 39 years of coaching cross country at Hale.
After a sub par first invite, our men stepped things up this past week, and with that, saw progress as a team at our home meet. The varsity placed 6th overall, moving up 2 places from last year when we were 8th. The JV guys took 5th overall. Our top 24 guys (in comparison to the 24 who ran last year) were all faster than the corresponding runners from last year's Betz. Everyone also dropped significant time from last week. Yet, time is just one measure we use, and are biggest focus is on how we compete. This week, we saw some much better aggressive racing early, guys giving themselves a chance to succeed. That will continue to pay off if guys continue to crush it in practice and learn from every experience.
Cole Orlowski in his 2019 debut stepped up to be our 3rd man in a nice breakthrough of 17:44. With a year of experience and a successful track season, we were well prepared for Cole to be a big contributor to us this fall. He showed early that he will be a low stick for us the rest of the way! Cole is part of a huge group of guys that are continuing to grow together and run for each other. He will help that big group in workouts and will bring that pack further up with him as he continues to get faster.
The JV racers really set a nice tone, with an aggressive first mile. I believe we were in or near the lead as a team around the mile mark. Although we finished 5th, it was still a very nice performance and showed that guys came with much better energy this week. Our team is much deeper as well this season, which means the JV and Varsity will both compete very well. Everyone pushes the team upward!!
For all first year guys, expect some huge improvements with it being your first season. Simply learning to race 5k and understand that you can push harder in the middle is a slow process for many. Keep using practices and races as opportunities to take chances and push further than you have in the past. There are no limits.
And of course, the race up front for the varsity men was historic. I can't recall the last time there was more than 1 guy under 16 at our invitational, and on Friday we had 3 (and a near 4th) accomplish this feat. I had so much adrenaline from watching those guys, and they will definitely be four runners that will be competing for the top at the end of the season. The winner was extremely humble and showed great character, coming to tell me how great our guys did. His dad also helped our girl's coach take down flags from the course. It's another reason to love the sport. After guys go to battle with each other, they still show love and good character to others.
With all of the amazing tradition of the Hale Cross Country program, it is quite the accomplishment to run faster than anyone in history. Joshua Truchon's 15:52 performance puts him ahead of Adam Nelson as the fastest 5k in Hale Cross Country history. The record was accomplished with a focus on the process, with consistency and purpose and a team first focus. Congratulations Joshua! Pretty cool to do at the home invite! Bigger things ahead! No Limits.
Some more shout outs to some guys that really got out this week. Guys were racing selfless and putting themselves in discomfort for their team. Nick Burgess was more aggressive than I have ever seen and it helped our top 5 in the JV race get out and race well. Joey Elliott really stepped up this week scoring as our 3rd guy. Frank got out great again, and held on a lot better than last week! He had an epic run Wednesday after doing a hard effort on Tuesday last week. He's amped up his training, and it's already translating to racing. We always tell guys, you can't expect to flip the switch once a week on race day, it's how you bring it in practice that will translate to races.
The more guys continue to commit to each other, the better the team will perform. Keep everything selfless and go into each race with character and confidence. We aren't yet near where this team is capable of, and it's very much alright as we are sitting only on September 8th. The guys that came and did the long run this morning are showing that we are winning each day and taking advantage of the opportunity presented to this team. Stay fired up, this team has amazing fire power and a love to drive it.
Week 2 of school! Make it a great week. We will meet in room 108 Monday and it's a pretty straightforward week! The pasta party is at Jack Hutter's this Friday! His address is 12137 W. Verona Ct.
I'll post workout for Tuesday soon, setting up next few weeks.
Week 4 Workouts
Our invitational this week is at the sectional site! It's the Rocket Invitational at Grant Park. I will post lineups Monday night. The bus will depart at 8:15 a.m. and info will be given out.
The hosts have asked us to bring nonperishable food items again! Please bring morning of meet if you can help out! They will sell meet t-shirts for 10 dollars as well for those interested. Please read the bottom of the meet info link below for info on parking (they close off lot so may need to park on streets nearby).
Tentative Hale Meet Info
Our focus this week is on Love. It drives what we do and who we are. Love creates the selflessness and unity necessary to achieve the unimaginable. We are the counter culture and we win with love. Good days, harder days and everything in between, always remind yourself to love and cherish what you have. In a world where it's easy to want what you don't have, or envy others, it's important to never take for granted the simplicity of love from family, friends, teachers, teammates and coaches.
Build each other with love.
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