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
Our 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.