MS XCRace Recap St Pauls Sept 9, 2014
|Vincent, Francesca||dnr||top 5|
|Sittnick, Mary||dnr||top 10|
|Benjestorf, Naomi||dnr||top 15|
|Benjestorf, Izzy||dnr||top 20|
|course short||1 1/2m adj.||dif|
Reading Coaches Results: EAGLES are ranked above in finish order for our team. ½ mile splits look like this (splits). Ideally you want to go faster the second half, and for shorter races like these you want your splits 5-10 seconds or so of each other. This is called splits deviation; it’s the last number in the column after your name, like this… (12s) s=seconds. Pretty much everyone did just that, only 4 exceptions and three of them Maria, Kat and Jordan, probably need to race this way until they get under 8 min pace, otherwise the race is too far away. Mikayla, the other exception, just worked herself up too much with anxiety. Fear is a very real thing with real effects, but I know she can race a mile under 8 minute pace, so not worried at all! Elijah was the only other racer over 9 min pace but he managed to negative split! Actually he had very close to even splits!
A race at pace should feel almost too slow in the beginning and then get comfortably hard, like you might want to stop but you don’t have to. To hold pace you actually feel like you’re picking it up slightly. When a runner races smarter not harder they will usually get a faster finish time than when they start out too hard. Race pace is not a perfect science, because there are many variables, but is something to work and build upon. Super smart racers with minimal deviations, HannahK, Emma, Love, Camryn, Kaitlyn, HannahK, David, Steven, Sam, Elijah, and Hayden, are indicated in the last column and it looks like this after your name 5s. Those with over 10 went out a little too easy:)
Pacing takes mental control because the legs or lungs don’t feel tired (yet) and it’s fun to feel the speed of a race at the beginning! Young exuberant gutsy runners think they can keep it up! If we can teach a runner to think pace, they learn to feel confident starting out at their right speed knowing that they will finish with a good time and feeling that racing is fun whether they finish in the front or back of the race. Racing, while holding pace and usually passing people in second half (‘going fishing’), is much more fun and satisfying than the opposite! And it takes just as much guts to pace, it’s just a different ‘smarter’ way of racing that we teach because we believe It works! Occasionally we see inspiring runners who almost always lead races and win, but if you checked pace you would see that they still run pretty even splits, they just make it look effortless. Never will all guts, commendable and necessary as they are, win a race or steadily improve performance. It takes experience/time to learn race pacing. This is where the focus should be. To learn to race correctly we train at practice at race pace each week, this conditions the mind and legs. Now that we know your race pace we can begin to try to do this. (It’s a big group)
Individual Results: The dominating green Eagles made a great showing as usual! Place groupings are color coded above, I may have missed some who ranked in top 20 at this meet, I didn’t get all the finish places yet. When I have the official stuff (wed?) I will send the link out. We had more than half of our team in the top 20! Havilah’s win was a beautiful sight, especially since she took the lead at around the ½ mile mark and just accelerated away from the lead pack …a first for her…she hates (I think I should say hated) taking the lead (too scarey!) She formerly waited for the 100 meter sit and kick option to the win. Not always possible to win that way. If she is ever head to head with HannahK in that position, Hannah would probably out kick her since she is faster in the sprints and just as competitive. Havi and HannahK BOTH broke the previous 7th grade course record! Way to go you two!! Glorias race was a repeat of last years, she knows her competition and races smart accordingly. She started out a little slower than usual, but she knew she had to open a good sized lead over that third place runner who is very fast in sprints, and she did just that…nailing a solid second place! Glo, Hannah, Emma, Camryn, Joel, and Chase, all older veteran team members, showed forth stellar races as well….demonstrating how it gets done with style! Emma Rose worked so hard last spring to just break a 7 minute mile and in this one race she slammed the 7 minute mark by 20seconds, finishing a strong fast second place. Joel ran a gutsy race, altering his race plan for a solid second, once he realized his hopeful first was out of reach, it was a beautiful sight! Amazing efforts for SamK and Larry, who never gave up on the fight, but both took 6th just within tasting that last 5th place medal. Sometimes I think 10th is easier than 6th when the final prize is at stake. Our newbies boys, Kyler, David, Steven, SamK, Hayden and Larry, were outstanding in guts and glory…they still give me goose bumps thinking about their races, especially their finishes…so competitive and tough! And all seven of these newbies in the top 10!! Steven and Kyler both fought off the lead packs to personal medals. These along with the veteran runners are domination in the making for our first ever chance at FIRST at the championship meet! I have to give a way to go award to Camryn and Love who demonstrated at this meet that our MS girls 5th spot will be strong enough to be able to contend for the fourth straight championship win! TOP 5 racers score at the championship meet, for the two mile race…we need all of top 7 to be strong and well under 7:30 pace for that two mile race. The 5-7 spots are still up for grabs though, because anything can happen, but I do suspect Cam and Love will not make it easy to take, but go for it anyway girls. There are about 7 of you that could do it! By the way Love is only a 5th grader! WOW! A finally note…out entire team (including HS) team showed such spirit! You guys were all over that course cheering for your team mates. I cannot say it often enough, it is such a privilege to coach such wonderful kids!
Everyone gets a PR (personal record or season personal record) since it is the first meet! A note about XC PR’s: Courses vary greatly, some can be shorter or longer than a mile, there can be excessive flags(turns and possible mistakes), terrains varies…like hard hilly windy woody courses which will slow a runner down, weather variables, training and racing a lot in one week (next week) will affect a runner, and on and on. So in XC the variables are never equal from race to race within a season. From year to year with same courses we can see improvements and usually do. Track is really the only running sport that you can truly measure PR’s from week to week. Cross Country offers variety of variables and therefore a greater challenge to a runner to adjust their body accordingly. A runner can’t ever leave their brain on the starting line! Thinking is always necessary. This is what makes it so fun! We walk the course so runners get a chance to listen to coach for race tips and also think about how they want to run the course. Some of the kids take course walk time quite seriously visualizing and planning their race and some talk and hardly pay attention. I hope for something leaning towards the first end of the above scenarios, but either is fine with me at this level of running. Really!! Exercise, especially with friends, is good anyway anyhow!! Parents, as usual, talk to a coach if you have questions or concerns!
Scoring: This meet and all Catholic school league meets are scored weird, I can explain it to anyone who really want to know….safe to say we are usually last because we do not have enough runners to make up a team.
Regular XC meets are scored by rank/place. Each place of the TOP 5 team members gets scored. The 6 &7 runners are called pushers, if they come in ahead of any other teams’ top 5 runners they push them back in place, which adds to the other teams score. The team with the lowest score points/places added up wins. Runners 8 and on do not count at all for scoring unless there is a JV race then it would score the same as varsity.