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.