It hardly seems right, but yet another week has somehow flown by! How, where? And with these quickly passing weeks, the weather seems to have changed on us. Last Sunday morning we ran 10 miles at 7 AM without shirts; today, we all had long sleeves on!
This past week was another good week of practice. Most of the SHS XC kids are getting better week by week. Started out with a decent run Monday afternoon, with everybody running 6-10.5 miles. I think Joseph may have been the only one to run 10.5. He and Kamau looked great for the first few miles, then Kamau picked it up and Joseph slowed down a bit. He actually seemed a bit out of it, like maybe he was sick or something. I asked him and he couldn’t pinpoint it, just felt a little weak. But, he stretched and ended up running a good ten miles plus, which was more than the rest of us. Kamau continued to run well, and finished strong, probably having run 8 to 8.5 miles or so, and all at a decent pace (6:25ish?). All of the varsity boys did quite well.
We again headed to the MSU XC course on Tuesday afternoon, and again, following a morning rain, the course was almost too wet to run on. Instead, we utilized a somewhat mowed grassy area in between parts of the course to do 6 X 1000’s on. The route included a CRAZY hard hill at one end, and another decent hill at the other end. However, it was the downhill and flat sections that were the most dangerous because of the irregular footing, clumps of grass, and various unexpected obstacles. True cross country I suppose, but maybe a little too difficult for 1000’s. I know I twisted my knee awkwardly, as did both Joseph and Alex Ross. Both Joseph’s and my knees are still sore 5 days later! But, that’s part of it. Kamau again looked like a beast today, Joseph did pretty well, but still looked like he was struggling compared to previous weeks. He did not feel like he ran as well as he should have, so he did two extras! I also did two more, but not at his pace!
Wednesday was another easy day, more or less a repeat of Monday, but for most folks a little slower following the Tuesday workout. Kamau was sore from pounding it on Monday and Tuesday, so only ran about 30 minutes. The rest of the varsity boys that I run with went 45 to 55 minutes, except Joseph, who ran about an hour and ten minutes. He looked a lot better today, maybe starting to feel better, although his left knee area was sore from the day before.
We got in a decent workout on the gravel roads at the MSU south farm on Thursday. Following a mile warm up, we all did 8 X 400’s then 8 X 200’s. That was not easy on the gravel!! While we were there, Randy Follet (Ethan Follet’s father), who is an engineering professor at MSU, and one of his students tested a timing system that he and his students developed for our upcoming Starkville Invitational. How cool is that! Anyway, it appeared to work fine, so thanks to them!
On Friday, Julie and I grabbed Joseph out of school early, and we headed over to Moulton, AL for the Jesse Owens meet that was coming up the next day. We decided to go over early to walk/jog the course and avoid having to get up at 4 AM to drive over. The course is located at the Oakville Indian Mounds where it loops around a lake and through a nice forested area.
The next morning, we headed over from our motel in Decatur, and grabbed a spot for the team tent. The bus eventually pulled in, and everyone got down to business. Most of our varsity girls ran in the silver division, which was at 9 AM. They basically had to jump off the bus and start warming up! Their race went well, with most of the girls having PRs. We were lead in the race by 11 year old Shanika Musser who ran 21:05 (PR) and came in 36th out of 267 runners! Good enough for one of the elite runner tshirts that were given out to the top 50. She was closely followed by Abigail Arinder who ran 21:12 (PR) and finished 40th! Our next girls were Mary Elizabeth Stringer at 22:30 (86th), Ashley Albritton at 23:26 (135th), Anna Jackson at 23:29 (139th), Meghan Wolf at 24:11 (169th), and Sabrina Moore at 25:30 (206th). The girls team placed 13th out of 36 teams with an average time of 22:30. This was pretty good considering that our two fastest girls did not run with them as a team, but instead ran in the gold division.
We had our two fastest girls in the gold division, which is considered to be the elite race of the day. Seventh grade sensation Kate Mattox did not disappoint and ran the 5k in 18:42 coming in 15th overall out of 420 girls! She was awarded a medal in the awards ceremony for her top 15 place! Her sister Walker, who had twisted her ankle two days earlier, also did well coming in at 20:29 in 94th place.
Not to be outdone by our silver girls, our silver boys team placed 3rd out of 45 teams and received a substantial trophy for their efforts! The average time of our top 5 boys was 17:20, which is 2 minutes and 47 seconds better than the average time of the SHS boys at the state meet just two years ago! Talk about improvement-phenomenal! Joseph and Kamau worked together as a team better today than any other time I have seen, except for a race in Lauderdale County last year where they were 1st and 2nd. They basically ran together for the entire race, with Kamau able to get a few second lead on him in the last 400m. Kamau had his best race ever and ran 16:28 (PR) coming in 4th place out of 338 runners. This was good enough for him to make the Milesplit US Elite second team, whose cutoff is 16:30. Joseph narrowly missed US Elite Status with his 6th place finish at 16:36 (PR)! Our next runners were Damian Grady who ran 17:35 (47th), Stuart Woomer at 17:59 (PR-73rd), Ethan Musser at 18:04 (PR-81st), Aaron Remotigue at 18:27 (PR-117st), and Jack Bryan who was 19:34 (199th). The most significant aspect of the race for us was the fact that our team finished ahead of Oxford and Pearl, both of which should prove to be our biggest competition at the state meet! They both did well though, and will keep improving, so we can’t let up now!
Our JV runners also did quite well in their races with most of them PR’ing (that is only a word in the runner’s dictionary). In the boys red division race, we were lead by sophomore Alex Ross who ran 18:46 (PR) and came in 56th place out of 429 runners!! Looks like Alex wants to run on the varsity team! He beat our 7th runner by about 50 seconds and was only 20 seconds behind Aaron. He was followed by Nathan Gaudin at 19:31 (PR, 125th), who also beat our 7th varsity runner. Next up was Duncan Watson at 19:49 (PR, 154th place), Tyler Hutchinson at 19:52 (161st), Daniel Ruff at 20:04 (PR, 176th), Christian Kingery at 20:15 (190th), Armon Borzjani at 21:34 (PR, 305th), Marshall Adair at 21:35 (PR, 306th), Issac Jackson at 21:49 (PR, 323rd), Terrance Bond at 22:12 (PR, 344th), Nathanial Houston at 22:14 (PR, 346th), Clidell Sabree at 22:20 (PR, 353rd), Bryan Roberts at 22:30 (PR, 359th), Keshawn Pope at 22:34 (PR, 367th), Peyton Wolf at 22:56 (PR, 378th), Alec Cartwright at 23:07 (PR, 384th), Jacob Wood at 23:12 (PR, 388th), Patrick Bell at 23:33 (397th), and Garrison Arinder at 23:56 (PR, 407th). The JV boys team was 21st out of 33 teams.
In the girls JV race, we were lead by Carys Snyder who ran 24:03 (PR, 58th). She was followed by Haley Jenkins at 25:21 (89th), Nicole Johnson at 27:33 (143rd), and Kennis Kingery at 28:15 (151st).
Full results for the meet can be viewed at:
We had another great 10 mile run this morning! With cool temps, we all wore long sleeves, and a couple of the guys even wore long pants! This morning it was only Steve Shaffer, Stuart Woomer, Ethan Musser, Joseph MacGown, and myself running the 10 mile loop. Coach Woomer and her husband Mark also came along, but she ran on her own and Mark rode his cool daddy bike on the South Farm. The rest of us ran the 10 mile route we had been running the previous few weeks. Today was a bit slower, since the guys had run a fast race yesterday. Even so, at the end of the run, I looked at my Garmin watch, which indicated that I had run at a 6:55 average. Joseph ran with us off and on, but picked it up pretty good at about 7 miles, as did I. My last 3 miles were a 6:13 minute per mile pace, and his were faster than mine. He probably average around 6:40 per mile today, and the other guys probably ended up at about 7:10. I think everyone felt pretty good after, although Joseph said his knee/leg still felt weird. He did think that it felt better after picking the pace up though. Need to keep an eye on it. He also stopped at about the 3 mile mark for a couple of minutes to stretch his calves, which he said were really tight from the race. I did not run a race, so I felt great!
Ready for another week of practice. Next Saturday we will run at the Watson Invitational at Choctaw Trails in Clinton, MS. This will be another great race with lots of team from MS and some from LA, and possibly other areas.