District and Sectional Championships

Congratulations to Brett Davis on qualifying for the State meet for the second year. We were confident that he would move out of the district without much trouble. He did. Brett has been great about taking good care of himself this season. In concert with coaches he has made decisions throughout the season to rest, opt out, and train properly and wisely to get the most out of his ability while dealing with a variety of aches and pains that have kept him from going full out all the time. We hope we have pushed and rested in the right measure to get the optimum performances from him. In the Sectional race he knew he was safely in to qualify for State and as he said, “cruised” into punch his ticket for November 4th.  Saturday he has the opportunity to lay it all out one more time in his high school career. Last year on the State course he ran his lifetime best to that point. If he runs another lifetime best on Saturday, he has a good chance to be All-State, Godspeed, Brett.

Other solid performances at District were given by freshman Daniel Tabaka, who validated our faith in him and finished number two on the team that day. With our returning upperclassmen and the great freshmen group, we are looking forward to a great season in 2018. John ran just off of Daniel for another good race. He has been steady all season, giving consistent performances. It’s tough not to wonder what might have been had we had him as a freshmen. Justin is the other senior who has been a consistent force for us this year. His improvement over previous seasons has been eye opening and enjoyable.

Our JV and freshmen runners ran in the open race to wrap up their seasons, albeit unofficially. It’s hard to race for real at Castlewood and then run exhibition at District on a more authentic cross country course and improve one’s time. Still, many gave good efforts and can be proud of the way their seasons wrapped up, most notably James Stone, who although took a big bite early in the race, still broke nineteen minutes.

The All-Suburban Cross Country Championships and The Patriot Classic

A lot of faster running happened in the past week. Twenty-seven of our thirty-seven competing athletes ran all-time bests at these two meets. At the All-Suburban Conference Championships Brett Davis had the race of his career. Running smart and fast he finished ninth in a field of 161. He dropped about twenty-seven seconds off his previous best. The guys in front of him were from the powerhouse teams, West, Lafayette, and Kirkwood, teams that should finish high in Jefferson City next month. It was great to see him compete so effectively and to finish so well. At The Classic, Brett took a risk, running the first mile in 4:58. He paid for that but still ran a best time of 16:26. As we head into the State series, this should give him a good deal confidence, confidence borne of demonstrated ability. David continues to move past his knee issues and is running faster each time out. Justin Klopfer hasn’t done much, other than run personal bests each of the past four races.  It has been great watching his improvement over the past year. John has also been steady. There has been a positive progression this season, and at the Classic, he broke the eighteen-minute barrier for the first time. Luke will enter the District meet as our second man. He has been dedicated to finding a way, and at The Classic he broke into the seventeens again for the first time in a year. Jake has been an enigma this season, but on Wednesday he put the puzzle together and showed us he still is in the game. Watching his success after the struggles he’s had this season was a refreshing gust of cool wind.

The cool weather Wednesday was what we’ve been waiting for. Having that and the speed-friendly Castlewood course, we expected a good day. Twenty-five of our twenty-seven PRs came from The Classic. Before Wednesday, though, there were some real fireworks at The All-Suburban XC Championships. We knew our freshmen were good. Luke Diehl has become an Athletic.net junkie. He’s been tracking our team against other freshmen teams in the state. Our freshmen took four of the top ten spots at this meet among 147 runners. The great misfortune of Noah being sent the wrong way by a garbled volunteer, which cost him at least :30 seconds and an unknown number of places, couldn’t keep the boys from bringing home the Championship over fourteen scoring teams. Bravo boys! During my first year as the freshmen coach in 1994, I had a good team too, an undefeated team. Still, they never went on the line against all of suburbia like these guys did. This is a great bunch. We’re quite lucky to have them. They work hard. They race hard. They are smart and fun. And Luke has informed us they are now the number four freshmen team in the state. Finally, congratulations to Daniel Tabaka, who raced himself into the top seven. He will compete with the varsity at District.

Except for the varsity, the official season is over. We will run all non-varsity in the open race at the district meet, but no scores will be kept. We will take times and include them in our team statistics. We are glad the team finished the official season so well at our home meet. Good job boys.

Priory and Capital City Invitational Footspeed Notes

Between these two meets we had thirteen personal best performances. The boys who ran at Priory did themselves and the school proud. Ten of them ran their best times ever, on what I am told is a challenging course. Some of these guys just ran their best times the previous week at Rim Rock. Five of the freshmen ran in their first varsity, race and three of them ran their best ever, Daniel 18:20.1, Eric 19:16.3, and Luke 19:18.9. The other two, James and Noah, still had good or better than good races considering the course. It’s nice to get a varsity race under one’s belt as a freshman. We are thrilled with the job these guys have done this season. Oh, the future looks bright. Among other freshmen running on the JV there were four other personal bests: “I am Matthew Vincent Rogers” 21:40.3; Carson Plaster 23:40; Caleb Parker 23:54. 4 and Michael Dowdle 25:47.8. Other best times were run by Ryan Bauer 22:24.2, Trey Lowenthal 23:22.8, and Cullen Dittmar 24:46.1. Coach Klebolt said the boys ran wonderfully. It was a good day for all involved.

In Jefferson City, the varsity finished 15th of 24 teams. Brett’s IT band was squawking too loudly, so we sat him out. The other boys ran hip to hip for two miles, only breaking apart on the infamous firehouse hill. It was a wedge of red, and it was wonderful to see. It was what we have been hoping for all season.   We have a few more opportunities for these guys to work together and give us the performance of their varsity careers. Let’s hope for good health and that the training pays off when it needs to. In this race three of our varsity ran best ever times. John Gordon displayed his underrated tenacity in leading the way for us. John has been a stalwart member of the team since he joined us as a sophomore. It is good to see him having personal success in his senior year. The fast courses at our next two meets should get him into the 17s. Justin Klopfer has been steady all season and has made great progress, especially in the past two weeks with personal bests at both Rim Rock and at Jeff City. Running 18:18 on the state course means you are becoming real. We also expect him to be in the 17s coming up. Luke Hoeferkamp had his best race of the season considering the course. He has been training well and we look for a breakthrough race next time out. Shawne ran his best at 18:28.5. We think there is still an eye-opening race that he hasn’t shown us yet. That’s OK. Our most important races are still in front of us. Jake avoided any real bad luck this time out. Running a little smarter early will yield better results for him.

Today (Tuesday) we ran our annual 1000s workout. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many guys finish 10×1000. It was a confidence-building day for all of us, coaches included. The boys should be proud of the work they did. We hope to see it pay off in the near future. It was a thing of beauty.

Rim Rock Footspeed Notes

Our annual trip to Kansas yielded positive results for most of our guys. Skip sent a note about the bus ride and the heat. I don’t know what he is talking about. The bus driver told us he had a 2×11 air conditioning system on our comfort coach—two sides, eleven windows… Still we encouraged lots of hydration, and it paid off. Brett, John, Bryan and David all ran season bests on Saturday. The four freshmen who made the trip—Eric, Luke Diehl, James, and Daniel–all ran lifetime bests, and James and Daniel both broke nineteen minutes for the first time. Drew and Justin also ran lifetime bests. That’s ten who ran season or lifetime bests. The most impressive part of this is this was the toughest course we have been on this season, and the weather was unseasonably warm. Of course, the excitement of making this trip and running on a big stage sets them up for a big day. They still have to answer that challenge, though, and they did.

This is an extremely competitive meet. Fifty-seven guys ran under seventeen minutes—that’s fast. Brett was just over that at 17:02.1. He meted out his effort wisely. Later in the race, he closed on and passed runners who were less measured in their efforts. He is progressing well through this season, and we are excited at his prospects moving forward.

Andrew Hediger had a great day. He ran almost a minute faster than he has all season except for on the Castlewood fast track, but he was still twenty-seven seconds faster than he was there. That’s a real move forward. We have been looking for this type of performance from him. Nicely done, Drew. Justin dropped nearly eleven seconds from his previous best performance when he led the way for us at Forest Park. He steps up at the important times.

Jake Bode has been snake bit this season. He had a much better week in practice, and we were hoping for an indication that he is heading towards the expectations we have for him. Unfortunately, his shoe was stepped on and he lost it. A little later he lost the other. Shoeless Jake Bode ran the last mile and a half worse off than “my son John” of “Deedle deedle dumpling…” fame. That guy had at least one shoe on. As the blues song says, “If (he) didn’t have bad luck, (he’d) have none at all.” Let’s hope his (bad) luck has run out.

And the freshmen just continue to impress. They conducted themselves like gentlemen and raced with great tenacity. Bravo once again.

The ride home was fine. The same air conditioning system cooled as well as it did on the way there. I’m not sure if it contributed to Skip’s leaving his cell phone in a roadside restroom, but he got to take a long round trip Monday to retrieve it. Although the pizza eating contest of years past was exciting, no one challenged anyone this year, and we are happy no one fouled a cooler when his stomach rebelled from the abuse….

Thanks to Ryan Bauer who was spotted on the rim of a rock at the race. He and his family made the trip to visit family at KU. Since he made the effort, we’ll almost forgive the wearing of the KU colors.

Good efforts this past week. Keep it up.



Northwest Footspeed Notes

Thanks to Ken Campbell and all at Northwest for having us out for a race. When we arrived Coach Campbell was making sure the course was well marked, so no one could go off course. They are proud of that course and groom it well. If only they could have groomed the weather to be a bit cooler. Having left our top fourteen runners at home to train in prep for Rim Rock, we knew this was going to be a challenge. Still, our boys fought the good fight. We expected Noah Tennant to be among our leaders today He took the lead early, but an illness he was as yet unaware of had other ideas. He’ll race again soon in the way he has made us expect him to race. The heat clearly overcooked the efforts of our guys, and the opportunity to race fast on this fast course wilted under the unforgiving sun. Jeffrey Ying led the way with a 20:32, followed by Drew, Andrei, Scott, and Will to make our scoring five.

Despite the heat, some of our newer and/or younger runners, ran their best ever at Northwest: Ryan Bauer, Caleb Parker, and A’sonte Brooks fended off the weather to do so. Fortunately, all our runners should get an opportunity to pop a really fast time at our home meet in October.

Lutheran North Footspeed Notes-Skip


The cross country gods were looking out for our best interests today. Not only did the Team run fairly well against two teams that waxed us last week, but we had two Big surprises:

Brett arose to sublimate his illness and vanquish the field; and secondly we scored a deluxe Husky Bus for a circuitous ride both ways!

This was an unusual meet in that the entire team started together and the top 100 medaled. It was to be a duel to the finish with the other Husky team Priory and Clayton. We were in the mix until the 2-mile mark this week, definitely missing Jake Bode chasing Brett due to his blisters that put him on the bench this week…

So it was” all for one” and ” one for all” as the boys raced for position both on the Team, in the race, and maybe for a place on the bus to Rim Rock next week.

Everything played out well through the first mile, as we asked the Varsity to hit the 5:40 or better split: Brett 5:13/Luke 5:30/John 5:36/David 5:36/Justin 5:36/Shawne 5:39/ with Daniel, James, Eric, BVG, Jeff, Ethan and Luke trailing close behind. We had positioned ourselves into the lead. Now it was time to sustain the effort throughout the race and hang tight together as long as physically capable.

Brett was grinding it out up front, slowly putting distance between himself and the entire field. The fight was on for the next 45 athletes to see who would make the top 25!

At the 2-mile Mark Brett rounded a turn and was alone for 80m! His look said it all- calm and machine-like…the tough workouts he laid down last week paying their dividends Thursday. No one in this field could match Brett’s drone-like grind along the course. He easily loped home the last mile for victory, unchallenged.

And then came the pack of Patriots, except that the pack disintegrated into Indian running, single file, following those ahead and not regrouping and attacking. They had held it together as long as possible, however, and were racing for those precious medals of the top 25 and maybe a Team title! Luke, John and Shawne held tough to finish within 18 seconds of each other and in the top 25! – but we needed them hitched at the waist. David, showing signs of overcoming the debilitating pain he’s been experiencing for the last 6 months, raced to 29th, just ahead of Freshman Daniel Tabaca and senior Justin Klopfer in 29/31/32 respectively. Freshmen James Stone and Eric Boles were closing fast in 35/43 position with Drew Hediger in 44th having experienced some breathing problems lately.

We finished 3rd as a team, ahead of 12 other teams but five points behind Clayton and Priory. Still, it brought home the first trophy for the boys, with the realization that it just gets tougher from here on out and that hard work and sacrifice pay dividends in personal growth.

Aside from the front group, we had good, competitive runs from many other Patriots. Will was in a battle with Rocky (what’s new?) with Andrei finding a way to separate them eventually at the finish line. Ryan and Cullen have progressed each week and finished within a couple of seconds of each other. Jeff/Scott/Luke and Drew finished in the medals, with Nathan Patterson one place shy of the top 100…disappointed, but with incentive to work harder in practice each day.

Michael Dowdle/Simon/Trey/Shayne finished within 30 seconds of each other- and can definitely run faster times if packed in a group. The same is true of Spencer/Michael/Kushal.

We had a few casualties as a result of exuberance  in racing. Both Ethan and Cameron went out hard with their respective groups, but paid a heavy toll by the 2-mile mark. Both recovered after the race and celebrated with the Team at the awards ceremony. We train as a team, race as a team. We respect the efforts of all our Patriots. Some days are disappointing, some exhilarating. Let’s work each day to be a bit better than the day before. To progress as a team we must out-train; out-rest; out-eat/sleep/hydrate; out-think; and ultimately out-race our competition. Challenge yourselves. Let’s work hard the next 4 weeks and achieve a successful season with a great District effort. We know its possible.

And Thank You, Gods, for the Husky Bus!




Skip’s Forest Park Recap, edited by TF

It was a struggle from the start. Due to a great week of difficult but successful workouts, the team suffered from a combination of ills: fatigue, sniffles, blisters, heat stress, bee stings, etc…

There was a welcomed appearance by Nicky Matteucci.  He graciously met new team members and encouraged his former teammates.  We are sorry we didn’t give him a better show.
The varsity forgot that they were a Team and raced respectively. The Fr/JV fared better in their efforts, buoyed by fine teamwork from Daniel, David, Luke and James, with Ethan closing fast with a limited giddy-up to seal the 5th spot and bringing the team to a 16th-place finish of 24 scoring teams. The top freshmen, Daniel, Luke, and James, all ran sub 20:00 in their first cross country 5K, and Eric was a just handful of seconds from doing that as well.  Their performances are promising.  Look for some moves to varsity from this group soon!
On the varsity level, our rock solid senior, Brett Davis, came down with debilitating sniffles, (attributed by his father to his unkempt room…Karma is a …) and was removed at the 2-mile mark. Behind Brett, Mr Jake (I’m going out hard) Bode ran until the piano fell on his shoulders, and hot coals toasted his feet – about 1.5 miles. Justin and John did yeomen’s work in covering for those two downed Patriots, with John pulling Justin the entire race until the roll into the finish. BVG sealed the six with a solid/even race, as he was asked to step in for Drew.
Andrei got out fast but fizzled the last two miles. He will need to learn about controlling his throttle to race effectively in the future.  Nick almost set a PR in his first mile as well and consequently suffered the last two miles.
Gentlemen- slowing down is not in the Program. Racing effectively and successfully 99 times out of 100 involves strategic cut downs in pace.
Michael Paul had his finest race yet, probably attributed to a new pair of shoes! I knew it was quite an effort on a hot day as he spent the next 2 hours not reading but passed out under the tent.  Ryan Bauer ran in his first race.  If only he were able to escape the nagging ailments, we might see something fine.
Overall, not very many Patriots ran in effective packs throughout the race. We MUST learn to suffer and race hinged at the waist.
Look for Thursday’s Lutheran North meet to be the quintessential test of our ability and learning curve in deciding weather we travel to Kansas to race successfully or be fodder.

Webster Groves Invitational Footspeed Notes

Congratulations to Brett Davis on his third place at the Webster Groves Invitational. Brett ran a very smart race. Last year’s defending champion, Kevin Koester, was impressive again in repeating as champion. Brett kept his wits about him as others near the front chased Koester. He bided his time, and as the race progressed, he gradually moved from sixth position to third. The team worked quite hard in practice earlier in the week and there was fatigue in their legs, so we didn’t get great performances on Thursday. That’s OK. We aren’t trying to win the early part of the season, and not every meet can be a goal race for us. Shawne felt the best of the remainder of the varsity and did nice work late in the race. The pack of five held together pretty well for the better part of two miles. We want to stick a little closer a little longer each meet and it is hoped that will bring us greater success as the season moves on.

The JV ran well enough to finish third as a team and we had four runners win medals in the race. David, on the limited training he has been able to do with his knee problem, was our top JV runner. Brian wasn’t far behind and gave his usual solid effort. The JV is running pretty well together and the training ahead should make their improvement sure. Other notable JV efforts were given by Drew Whiteaker and Cameron Wilkes, who both ran significantly faster than they did at the Quad which was run on Castlewood’s much less challenging course. We hope that trend continues.

After a report that the freshmen finished second, we learned that a mistake was made, and they actually won again. This is very exciting for the freshmen, and I think the entire team is thrilled with the performances we are seeing from them. It’s one thing to beat four teams at the Quad. It is entirely different to run with nearly 100 guys and to beat 7 teams. Still, the freshmen have some learning to do. Daniel went out very fast and paid a bit for it, but still ran faster than his time trial 3k by over a minute. Had he run a bit more cautiously in the first mile his eventual finish would have been higher, but you have to love the guts he showed and the risk he took. ALL of the freshmen ran faster than their time trial 3k. That is certainly because they are getting more fit, but it also indicates a tenacity they are developing and a desire to be successful. These guys are coming along really well, and if we can keep them healthy, they should compete well throughout the season. We haven’t had a freshmen group this competitive in quite a while. They are doing it right and it’s fun to watch.

2017 Patriot Boys CC Schedule

Parkway South Boys Cross Country 2017

M 31 First practice, Queeny Park 8:30 a.m
T 15 Time Trial Castlewood
S 26 Parkway Quad (West hosts) Castlewood
31 Webster Groves (all) Blackburn Park

S   9 Forest Park XC Festival (all) Forest Park
Th 14 Lutheran North (all) Spanish Lake Park
T   19 Northwest JV NW Site
S   23 Rim Rock * Lawrence, KS
S   30 Capital City (V) Jefferson City

S   7 All-Suburban Meet (all) McNair Park
W  11 Patriot Classic (all) Castlewood
S   21 District (V) ** TBA
S   28 Sectional (V) *** TBA

S   4 State (V qualifiers) Jefferson City
*   Top fourteen athletes with possible exceptions
** There is an open race that all others will run
*** The team or individuals must qualify.  Others have the option of running in an open race

Contact Info:

Head Coach- Ted Faulhaber: swimrunfan@gmail.com 314-910-0858
Assistant Coach Bob Klebolt: rklebol@parkwayschools.net
Assistant Coach Skip MacDowell: macruns@gmail.com

Parkway Quad Footspeed Notes

We consider the Parkway Quad a goal meet. It always comes early in the season, and it gives us a real idea of where we are.   I have no question that the varsity runners gave it everything they had Saturday. But they and all the coaches know we have a lot of work to do.   The varsity has a new look this season and there are guys who ran their first varsity races at the Quad. There is a lot of responsibility wearing our colors in a varsity race, and the boys took it seriously. We came up against an impressively good Parkway West team. They may be the best we see this year. We weren’t going to beat them Saturday. Regardless of West, we need to run together better and stay that way longer. In practice, we have looked pretty good working together. It is harder in races when discomfort of a different kind sets in. We will work to be better moving forward.

To the good, Brett’s summer conditioning is serving him well. He ran hard and 17:06 this early in the season is good. His practices have been impressive and he is a man on a mission. I’m excited for his prospects. Luke really came on well for us Saturday. We haven’t seen a race like that from him since he was a sophomore. He has become considerably more vertical. He is a more imposing presence. It’s clear he had a good running summer, and he is running with more confidence and purpose than we have ever seen from him. We are hoping for this to be just the beginning of a good senior season for him. Welcome to the varsity John, Shawne, Justin, and Andrew. It was a nasty first race going against West. It doesn’t get easier. You get better at it, though.

In the JV race our top five were only thirty-two seconds apart, not bad. We’re awfully glad that Bryan’s knee has been cooperating, and now that the pain is leaving him alone, he can focus on the training that he embraces and knows will make him better. Ethan Pestian ran his first cross country race. He ran 19:35, a nice break-in for him. I look forward to seeing what he does with some experience at racing 5,000 meters. It should be fun. David hasn’t had the luck that Bryan has had with his knee issue. But he keeps his attitude in a good place, and he’s appropriately patient. We hope his luck gets better soon.   Scott Abernathy returned to the team after not being with us in 2016, and was our number four JV runner. I’d like to see what could happen if he unlocked the potential we think is there. Andrei King came into the season looking fit and ready to go.   He raced well Saturday. He’s going to figure this out more and more and do a great job for us. Jeffrey Ying quietly goes about his business, but his practices have not been quiet and we are expecting good things from him this season.

And the freshmen…

How refreshing it was to end the morning with a Quad Championship. James Stone has looked impressive since he arrived and thanks to Coach Roach for reaching out to his dad to get him to come out to run. Daniel has just been a step behind, and we got about what we expected from him and James, strong, gutsy, competitive racing. Luke has been doing a great job in practice, but has been hampered with some nagging leg problems that weren’t very evident Saturday. It was great to see him have the race he had. Eric Boles opened our eyes. We had not seen the type of performance he gave Saturday in many of the workouts we had done. I told him he messed up. Now we expect it. This week in practice he has continued to deliver. So that’s four. Many teams have four, but your not finished until your number five man comes in. Noah brought it in well enough for the freshmen to be crowned Quad Champions. Another cool characteristic about these freshmen is that they seem to get the team thing. They work together well. There seems to be some genuine friendships among them. That is all to the good. Caring about your teammates can’t be easily quantified, but it’s fun to see the results.

Finally, the leadership displayed by Luke and Brett was rousing. When they took the freshmen out for a real cool down after the race, they displayed what we really love to see, the upperclassmen showing the way. They were on such a real cool down that the parents wondered if they’d ever come back.

State Meet Footspeed Notes

The State Meet was a success for all of our runners.  The weather was perfect, cool with no wind, and it made for fast times.  Eleven runners in the 4A race ran under 16:00.  A look at recent history of the meet shows that no more than six have run under that barrier in over five years (I didn’t go much farther back), quite a fast race. Only time will tell if the day was fast or if the kids are just getting faster.

For us, Katherine Franz ran within seven seconds of her personal best on a course much more challenging than the one where she ran her PR.  This simply means she ran the best race of her life in the last high school cross country race of her career.  Bravo, Katherine.

On the boys’ side, there were also good races.  Ryan Bode, somewhat hampered with an injury, still ran competitively and with guts in this speedy race.  He wasn’t really able to practice for the past two weeks and we were quite pleased with how he ran under the circumstances.  It’s a bummer that he wasn’t 100% for this since he has waited so long to have an opportunity to run at State.

Brett Davis had a great day.  He was bouncy in practice all week, and we were expecting something special.  We got it.  He ran the fastest time of his life.  He too had a PR from earlier in the season on a flat course.  For him to run his best time at the state meet on that challenging course is a great feat; he dropped from 16:58.8 to 16:57.2.  Afterwards it was clear he was just made hungrier by the performance.  He’s a junior.  “Next year, top ten,” he said.

Sectional Footspeed Notes

Congratulations to Ryan Bode and Brett Davis on qualifying for the State Meet in Jefferson City this Saturday.  This is always exciting for the coaches and athletes.  It is the payoff for having tried to do everything right when myriad obstacles are in the way.

Ryan has been rather snake bit in his career with regard to getting to State.  As a sophomore he was 31st at Sectional by less than a second.  As a junior he was quite ill and wasn’t able to compete at his usual level.  Getting this monkey off his back means a lot.  It was a mixture of relief and joy, at least for the coaches.

In the race both guys got off the line well and avoided getting tangled up in the crowd.  They put themselves in position early and then ran to defend those positions.  They knew where they had to be and fought hard to ensure their qualifying.  In the last 200 meters they were nearly side by side and were in the mid 20’s in places.  Both made strong moves to the finish, and I don’t believe either were passed in the final stretch.  They both certainly made moves and passed others, so there would be no question and a bit of a buffer between them and Spot Number Thirty.  Ryan was 23rd and Brett 26th.

I would be remiss not mention that all week we had nearly 15 kids at every practice, supporting the efforts of our qualifiers.  It makes coaches happy that the team cares about one another, and they are thinking about the future success of the team.  Thanks guys.

I hope some of you (everyone in Patriot Cross Country Nation) can make it to Jeff City to watch the final race of the season and the final cross country race of Ryan’s career.  We appreciate the support you have offered all season.

District Footspeed Notes

Congratulations to Ryan Bode and Brett Davis on advancing to the Sectional Meet in Washington, MO next Saturday.  They put themselves in position early and hung on throughout the race to secure their advancing.  They both are in good standing to make it to the State Meet with good performances at Sectional.  As far the rest of the team goes, ask and you shall receive.  We were looking for the good team race which has been elusive, and we got it.  Hands down this was our best varsity race of the season.  I impressed upon David the importance of his getting out with JD and Jake.  He did, and the three of them held together so well that only fourteen seconds and nine places separated them at the finish.  Watching them appear at various check points and still tightly together is what coaches love to see.  This was the race we knew was in them, and that it became the last race of the season means they ended on a high note.  The team finished 7th with 175 points but was only eight points from 5th.  Fourth place was at a distant 109 points, so the competition was very tough.  Clearly, we can’t do anything about how other teams perform, so although there is disappointment at not advancing as a team, we were happy with the race our guys made.

The unscored open race is one that might be easy to blow off.  And although it’s hard to have the greatest intensity, our guys for the most part raced hard.  And in what I believe to be a unique occurrence, at least at Parkway South, the five varsity runners who did not advance, had a good time running again in the open race.  I have not done an analysis of times in this race yet, but our guys were finding each other and working together.  The rewarding thing here for the coaches is seeing the team aspect of this race.  The varsity joining with the JV to go one more time this year was wonderful.  It was a good bunch of guys working and having fun racing hard together.  Varsity results here: http://www.trxctiming.com/MSHSAA_XC/2016/2016_class_4_district_2_results_xc_boys.htm

Suburban West Conference Meet Footspeed Notes


jv-conf-pack dsc_0373 dsc_0393 dsc_0422

r-bode-confOur varsity has had trouble getting consistent performances.  We have been hampered with some physical ailments and just have had races from some of our guys that have lacked luster.  I think we are all somewhat disappointed in what we have seen in some of our races.  We do get some reasonably good races from individuals, but we are missing the performances that sparkle and surprise us in the positive direction.  At our Suburban West Conference Meet, our varsity guys gave gutsy efforts, but I think they too are disappointed in the overall results, as individuals and as a team.  We were significantly off the times the coaches expected to see on this course. Still, we would have had to run considerably better to move up in the team standings.  Although the team position was probably not going to change, it is concerning that we have had few races in which our varsity has had an impressive overall team performance.  Brett Davis and David Venkatesan did run lifetime bests, and Brett is up for All-Conference honors which will be decided soon.  As we move into the State series we look to get that solid team performance.

Although the varsity performance was less than stellar, the JV boys ran most impressively. While we don’t like conceding a perfect score to Lafayette, they are pretty much a juggernaut.  Marquette finished second and they are sneaky.  They finished ten points in front of, us and it was really hard to see that during the race.  Still, we finished 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th.  Connor Pautz took control of our pack, and those guys raced beautifully.  Among our top five in this race there were two personal records by Connor and Bryan Van Genderen.  The difference between this and the varsity is the fact that all of these guys raced the previous week at the fast McNair course in considerably cooler temperatures.  The times at McNair were nearly all faster than times at Northwest as determined by looking at the times side by side for runners from many teams.  A personal record from the Suburban West meet for those who raced at McNair was a markedly superior performance.  The pack held together very well, and the impetus to stay in that pack brought those times.  Other kids on our team who ran both places and PR’d were Jeffrey Ying, Drew Whiteaker, Colby Ritchie, Devin Malone, and Shawne Auer.  Other JV and freshmen runners were very close to best times.  It was a great day for those groups.