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.