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!