Break On Through To The Other Side
An incredible group of young men from Nathan Hale High School continue to forge on in their journey of selflessness and counter cultural ideals. They are the rare high school students that understand the privilege of testing one's perceived limits. Seeking discomfort, but not alone in their adventure, these boys are building themselves and one another to be better each day. They are becoming self governing, holding one another accountable not only to be great runners, but to be kind men of character. There is no ultimate outcome goal, but rather a focus and appreciation for the current moment. Through increased purpose and building selflessness these past few weeks, these men are starting to break through.
Week 4 Recap
Built upon our selflessness theme this season, our training has emphasized pack running. Our workouts have been built around guys in each pack not letting down their teammates by falling off. It's understanding that discomfort will exist with each runner when pushing yourself to the edge. It's taking that discomfort, understanding it, and embracing it because your teammates depend on you overcoming it. This group has an unbelievable potential, and our patient approach will bring out these guys bests at the right times.
After two solid weeks of team training, we have seen good progress. And also with two weeks of being back in school, that brought on some sickness and a new stimulus for the guys. It's all part of the journey, and we had some guys that stepped up in training and racing to make sure we didn't have a let down at the Rocket Invitational.
The JV guys set a good tone early. Matthew Kees ran up front and shook some rust off of a tough sickness he battled for almost four straight weeks. He finished 3rd, and after being a strong 4th man for us last fall, we believe he will regain his intensity and form these coming weeks and be a solid producer for us. Nick Burgess continues to get out and help guys with him, including Alex White who in his first season of cross country has shown signs of being a top tier high school runner, and probably sooner rather than later with the effort he has been showing in practices. Losing a shoe in the final part of the race, Alex finished as a solid 2nd man for the team and has moved into our top 8. No limits.
The entire group on JV definitely improved from Betz in terms of getting out and holding on. We are looking to improve however in the middle lonely miles, where most teams let it be too hard and slow down. We want to be at our strongest the second half of the race, so our training will focus on good starts and being able to close better. The JV guys ended up 5th overall, and as our depth improves, we expect the JV to keep moving up and pushing our varsity to be better as well.
With our pack behind Joshua being as large as it is, we have seen some fluctuations in our finishing order. The coaches love this group and believe in it's firepower. A lot of these guys are new to the scene and are now starting to settle into the roles of being big dogs. Behind Joshua's dominant win, Liam Kelley held on to finish right ahead of teammate Cole Konczal who stepped up as our 3rd guys. Cole Orlowski had an off day, but an amazing week of training which will pay off huge. Finishing as our 4th guy Saturday is exciting because it shows how solid our team is this year to have a guy of his ability in that position. He's a great runner and as he breaks through, he's going to bring this group with him. The 5th and final scorer was newcomer Carson Shane, in just his 3rd cross country meet. Coming over from soccer this fall, he definitely made an excellent decision. He's enjoyed the sport, and put in great training this first season. Close behind him was Collin Raschka finishing as a strong 6th man. On a wet and sloppy day, those guys made some big jumps, and are just scratching the surface of where they will be soon with continued consistency and purpose.
Collin had a fantastic long run last Sunday and improved a lot on trying to be with the pack. As a coach, we get to see all of these guys and their growth as runners and people. On my run this morning, I talked with Coach Chase about how cool it is to see guys improve so much within just one year. When parents, the fans and the state see guys starting to break through, they are amazed. But us coaches and within the team, we are not in awe. We see the ups and downs. We see the process and the daily work put in by the guys that make the successes possible. We see the setbacks and the disappointments along the way. And throughout each guy's journey, we keep the constant state of belief and allow for no limitations to be set. This team is just getting started.
Finishing 3rd overall, we take away some good positives but are nowhere near complacent. We move on to week 5 and are excited to get back to work on Monday. Our guys that were sick will get better, the guys that missed a practice have learned to be more accountable, and the couple of guys that got a bit banged up on Thursday will be back to full power this week.
We live in the journey, so it's important to enjoy it. As we enter our 5th week with this amazing group, we remind ourselves to love each day. The special moments we look back on will be our impacts we make on each other, and the moments we share every day. If it's any wonder, this week's focus message will be on the journey and the process.
The freshmen will compete on THURSDAY this week! I was invited to this meet last week and think it's a great opportunity for our group. Coach Dewitt will take them to Arrowhead, and the race will be on campus at 4:30 p.m. It's a freshmen only boys race on a faster course. It's a good opportunity for their development.
The rest of the squad will travel to UW-Parkside on Saturday. I will get meet information up by Tuesday. The blog and results have taken many hours today to gather, along with getting ready for our youth camp this week! Also have been working intently on our workouts and continuing our progression for each guy which is a big priority.
Some guys will be helping at our youth camp from 6:00-7:15 p.m. Mon-Wed. at Hale. On Thursday, I will have a FREE youth race for any 1st through 6th grade boys and girls at Greenfield Parks starting at 6:20 p.m. Feel free to share and get all youth involved. The race will be one mile with a half mile option, and will be low key and very fun!
Parents have been awesome out on the course!! We do want to remind you as well that the boys have a job to take care of prior to and after races with warming up and then cooling down. We have still taken a bit too long on starting our cooldowns so we want boys to finish the job before talking with parents, and prior to races we want them to be together and on their tasks so thanks for understanding the big picture. Please continue to be loud out on the course and being with us when all is wrapped up. I no doubt have the most amazing group of parents and families in any sport at the school. Very thankful for you guys and the support you give!
This meet and the WIAA also request that dogs are not allowed at meets. I love dogs, but please help with this rule as it is shown in the meet information.
Next week's Monday practice (the 23rd) will be at normal 3:15 p.m. time at Hale. No school this day.
This week's pasta party will be at Gavin Graham's! His address is 9306 W Mitchell st
Again, please check back later for Hale meet information. Remember our lineup depends on things that happen throughout the week and can change.
There is a 5 dollar fee for parents/fans at the Angel Invitational this Saturday.
Here's a tentative information, the lineup may change.
Hale Meet Info
Here's our week's focus message,
Pound The Stone
Here's meet info from the hosts Saturday,
Here's our season results,