Monthly Archives: April 2011

Regional Meet tomorrow!


Heading back to Tupelo tomorrow for the regional track meet (6A). Our distance runners all qualified at the district meet. Now, it starts getting much more difficult to advance. Joseph has had a somewhat hard time the last week because he was sick with an upper respiratory infection (which I also got, from him). He is not 100% right now, but hopefully he can get through tomorrow. He will be running in the 3200m and 1600m races. Damian Grady will also be running the 3200m for us. Kamau Bostic will run the 1600m, 800m, and the 4 X 400m relay. On the girls side, Walker Mattox will run in the 3200m, 1600m, and 800m races, all of which she won at the district meet. Abigail Arinder will run in the 3200m race, and Mary Elizabeth Stringer will run the 1600m and 800m races. Good luck guys!!!!

We did not get to run together as much as possible this last week because of the bad weather, but hopefully things will get back on track this week.  Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Monday and Tuesday has rain in the forecast.  AHHHHHH!  However, Sunday afternoon is looking good, and we will be running at the MSU North Farm at 5 PM. The rest of the week is up in the air right now!

Happy running….


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District Meet and Cotton District Arts Festival 5k


Last Tuesday we were at the first part of the District Track Meet in Tupelo.  Events at the meet included the 3200m race and all the field events. All four of our entries in the 3200m race qualified for the regional meet, which will be held next Saturday in Tupelo.  Joseph MacGown was 2nd and Damian Grady was 4th in the boys race, and Walker Mattox was 1st and Abigail Arinder was 3rd in the girls race.  Altogether with our field event entries, I believe we had people qualify in 12 events.

All of the remaining running events were scheduled to be held on Thursday, but were post phoned to Monday because of bad weather. This was good and bad. Bad, because it messed up our workout schedule for the weekend and for next week. However, if possible, you never want to have kids running on a wet track. Also, Joseph had been somewhat sick all week with a sore throat, stomach ache, slight fever, etc., so hopefully the break will do him some good. He for sure did not need to run in the run sick!  As it was, he did not look good on Tuesday when he ran the 3200m race, which he ran 25 seconds slower than the week before.  Unfortunately, I was looking forward to having Joseph run a fast 5k on Saturday at the Cotton District Arts Festival. That would have been a great workout. He was wanting to break 17 minutes. Due to our district meet being rescheduled to Monday, that meant he could not run hard in the 5k, because we did not want him to have his legs too tired. So, he ran the race, but only at a moderate pace, 18:20 or so. That was good for 2nd place even so,  and first in his age group, as his easy runs are faster than the fast pace for lots of people.  I apparently contracted whatever Joseph had sometime around Thursday. Stomach pain, weakness, slight fever. Took too much medicine Friday night, which put me to sleep. I ran the 5k on Saturday anyway, but it was at a much reduced pace. I think I was in the 19:25 ish range, which was 1:30 slower than I had done the same distance two days before! Even running that slow, I ended up 5th overall and 1st in my age group. I ended up running with Aaron Remotigue and Ethan Musser for most of the race, but they slowed down with about 3/4 miles to go and I finished a little bit ahead of them.  Ethan was third in his age group. Kate Mattox ran very well once again, and easily won the woman’s division for the 2nd straight year. Pretty good considering she is only 12!  Steve Shaffer also did a good job and won his age group! Winning awards in this race are cool, because the awards are handcrafted pottery created by Robert Long, an art professor at MSU.

I ran a few miles Sunday morning by myself. We aren’t doing a group run today, because most of our guys will be running in the District meet tomorrow, and we don’t need them running 10 miles the day before! I felt better than the previous 3 days, but still a bit sluggish and weak. I don’t like it!!

Hopefully, our distance kids will do well tomorrow as they compete in the mile and the half mile at the district meet!

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Sweet Sunday Afternoon Run


MSU North Farm

We went over to the MSU North Farm again this afternoon for a nice run. We did our MSU campus, University Estates, and Bardwell Road Route.  Today’s group included Joseph (MacGown), Steve Shaffer, Arash Taheri, Ethan Musser, Kamau Bostic, and me. It was good to see that crazy Ethan out there, he had not joined us in a while. And, it was good to see Kamau back. He had a sore achilles the previous week or so, but after resting it, he appeared to be back in top form. It was awesome having those guys out there running with us, it really made it easier to run! We cruised along pretty smoothly for just over 50 minutes. It was a great day for the run, with the temps in mid 70’s and some nice wind to challenge us a bit.

Kamau and I finishing up the run

Arash finishing up just behind us.

Ethan and Joseph finished up a bit behind Kamau and I,
so I went back and joined them as they finished up.

Steve Shaffer cruising along!

Julie jogged along the North Farm while we were running. The gravel roads on the farm there are ideal for running on. The only problem lately has been the dog owners that refuse to follow the MSU and North Farm regulations for having dogs always on leashes. She did not have any problematic encounters this week, although last week several growling dogs ran after her. Those same dogs were there today (see photo below), but fortunately, they did not run toward her growling this week. Not only did these owners completely ignore the leash rule, which is clearly posted, they even threw tennis balls into the research plots for their dogs to retrieve. I understand that people want to walk their dogs, but they should respect the rules and laws, other people walking or running, and the research conducted by the MSU Agricultural Division.

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Pearl Track Meet


We went to a track meet at Pearl today. Pretty day, great temps, but very windy! Actually, the meet was supposed to be held yesterday, but due to crazy storms and tornadoes yesterday, they post phoned the meet until today.  Of the 12 teams that were supposed to be there, only about 5 or made it. But, they included the top 4 teams in the state, so we had great competition. Not everybody on our team made it today, because of the change in date of the meet, but most of those who did come did well. Walker Mattox continued her winning ways and was first in the 1600m race and 2nd in the 800m race (2:31). Mary Elizabeth also did well in the 3200m race placing 3rd and 4th in the 800m race with a 2:36. Abigail was 4th in the 3200m race and also did pretty well in the 800m race. As far as the boys went, all 3 of our entries in the 3200m had PR’s. Stuart Woomer ran a 11:25, Damian Grady ran 10:58, and Joseph ran 10:20! Good for them.  So, for the district meet, where we can only run our top two runners per event, it looks like Joseph and Damian will be running the 3200m race.  Joseph ran the 1600m race later, and did ok, but not great. He looked good the first couple of laps, but then looked tired, his 3200m race obviously having worn him out. He ended up in 5th with a 4:57. However, he is easily our 2nd best miler behind Kamau Bostic (who did not run today) and those two guys will be our entries in the district meet next week. In the 800m race Jalen Catledge ran a 2:07, beating Damian and solidifying his spot to run at the district meet next week, along with Kamau, who is by far our best half miler.

Anyway, the meets from now on are qualifiers and if don’t finish in the top 4, you are done.  The 2 milers will run next Tuesday in Tupelo along with field event participants. Then on Thursday, all of the other races will be held. For Joseph that means he will race on both Tuesday and Thursday. Of course, with the meet today, and two meets next week, we will not be having any track workouts next week. We will still be running tomorrow afternoon though, and will meet at the MSU North Farm at 3 PM. We will probably only run about 45 minutes tomorrow, as we get closer to the district meet, nobody needs to be overly tired!

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great running this week!


Joseph and I got a quick 3.2 mile run in Monday afternoon just before some crazy wind and rain hit us. We barely made it to the truck before it came down! We were lucky to get a run in at all. Not too fast, about 6:15 a mile or so.

The next day, we made up the track practice that was scheduled for Monday, but canceled due to the impending storm that day. Distance kids did a ladder workout that consisted of  1200m/800m/600m/400m/200m/100m with the same distance jog between each and a warm up mile or so before and cool down after.  The number of kids practicing lately has diminished somewhat as we approach the division meet in which we can only run the best two individuals per event. Also, the junior high season is over, and only a couple of the younger girls are running varsity. Walker Mattox and Abigail Arinder are too of those girls, both in the eighth grade and both very good distance runners. In fact, I believe Walker is ranked 1st in the state in the 6A division.  Kamau is taking it easy this week resting his achilles tendon injury, which appears to be mild. I think he is going to be ready to go next week for the district (division) meet. Joseph got to run some today with Arash, who was at the track doing his own workout. That was cool for Joseph to run with somebody so fast. And, he did a good job with the workout, as did everyone!  To give you an idea of how fast Joseph was running, his 600m was 1:31, 400m was 1:02, and 200m was :28. Not bad for a 14 year old distance runner. Heck, Walker’s 400m was 1:14! Not bad for a 14 year old female distance runner. And remember, these were not full, all-out fast paced runs, but rather, they were interval type runs with jogs in between each one. Its difficult to maintain the pace they were going,  jog between each interval, and finish the entire workout without stopping. Those jokers are getting better and better every day! Steve even showed up and did some of the workout. I think he really liked it! In fact, he is fast becoming a believer in intervals now. I imagine we will be seeing more and more of him on the track. I jumped in and ran with different people trying to push them and remind them about their running form along the way.

Wednesday afternoon was warm, but not bad. We ran the 5.2 mile loop I measured around the North Farm and back up to the Enology Building. Arash again joined us, and he, Joseph, and I ran together running about 6:15 per mile. Aaron also run pretty well today. Damian ran around the Research Park loop 5 times instead of running on the gravel road, and finished about the same time as Aaron, but obviously with a much easier degree of difficulty because of the easier course. Steve Shaffer ran steady as always, finishing up behind Aaron. Our three distance girls, Mary Elizabeth, Walker, and Abigail all ran together and did about 4 miles. All of the kids did 6 X 100m strides when they finished. Pretty good running all in all!  The only negative thing was all the people walking their dogs without leashes. The dogs sometimes run after or toward us. This is a constant problem, and it is amazing that apparently none of the dog owners can read the signs at the entrances of the North Farm that clearly state all dogs must be on leashes. I have called campus security before, and I guess I need to start doing that again. Not only have we had problems with the dogs, even to the point of them jumping on a runner and growling and snapping at him one morning, but the agricultural researchers also have a serious problem with the dogs running through the research plots in the fields. It truly amazes me that people can be so self centered that they don’t actually care if their dogs attack people or disturb scientific research. It is so bad, that there has actually been talk of closing the farm off to all non-researchers. Hopefully, it will not come to that!

Tomorrow will be a fairly easy little track workout as we have a meet scheduled for Friday at Pearl High School. Unfortunately, the weather for Friday is looking pretty bad, so they may post phone the meet until the day after. We will not know for sure until tomorrow afternoon or evening. This will be our last meet before the qualifying meets leading up to the State Meet on May 14. Its very difficult to qualify for the state meet, especially in the 6A division, which includes the largest schools in the state. We can only run 2 runners per event. Only the top 4 at the district meet qualify for the regional meet, only the top 4 there qualify for the North Half Meet, and only the top 4 at that meet qualify for  the State Meet. One bad race and that’s it! No pressure guys! Just run like crazy and you keep going! We are actually looking pretty darn good in most of the boys races and if everyone runs like they have been, we could have runners qualify for the state meet in most of the events. That has not happened in quite some time at SHS! The girls are not looking so good, except for our awesome distance runners, who should easily qualify.

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