There were many highlights yesterday as the Bees placed second at conference. I think if we look at our performances, though, we could have been closer to Grant if we performed near our potential. Our Conference champions were the 4x100 relay, 4x200 relay and Keontay Williams in the 100m. Kendall Williams took second in the long jump Matt Dunan was second in the triple jump. Our third place finishes included Philip Meyer in the 1600, Kealin McLean in the high jump and Keontay Williams in the 200m.
A lot has transpired over the past three weeks!! In the full tilt of a track season, I sometimes struggle to maintain the site! Here's an overview of the progress we have made...
Philip Meyer is improving with each race: 9:48 @ Prospect 3200 and 4:30 @ Conant ABC 1600
Andrew Ntim has claimed some of our all time top PRs: 9:59 @ Prospect 3200 and 4:35.0 @ Conant ABC 1600
Isaac Murray dropped his PRs to 4:53 and 10 :06!
Dakota Burroughs has been continuing his consistent improvement with a 4:48 and 10:21.
Desmond Washington ran 4:52!
Lucas Unze has had a breakthrough week with a 5:02 and 2:08!
F/S Crew had some sweet breakthroughs at Antioch with Kenneth Caples running 5:17, Delown Hall - 2:22, and Warren Strickland dropping to 2:29!
April 12th, 2013 Bees victorious over Lake Zurich and a recap of this weekend's Deerfield Invite!
And....as per usual when we have 3 meets in 5 days, I fell behind on website updates! :) Apologies! I've condensed the highlights from the Deerfield Invite into one paragraph, but there is a full recap of our NSC Divisional victory over LZ below!
Saturday 4/6/13 - Deerfield Invite It was pretty cold and windy on Saturday and we ran OK considering. Our Varsity 4x800 pulled a solid 3rd place after Isaac Murray moved past a Carmel runner in the final 100 meters of the race. The time was not where we'd hope, but the competitive nature was present, and that was very nice to see. The 3200 meter was the highlight of the meet for me! Freshman Alex Rodriguez competed in the F/S section and showed he is a true gamer. He moved up throughout the race, moved when he needed to, held back when he should, and closed in a solid 4th place and 10:52. That time marks our #2 all time Freshman 3200m! In the Varsity race, Philip Meyer and Dakota Burroughs represented. Philip ran with some competitive fire in the race! After coming through the mile in a decent 4:54, Philip made a move past Seniors Martin Martinez from Warren and Alex Gold from Deerfield. Although he wasn't able to hold it for much more than a lap, it was great to see him stick his neck in the race. With 600m to go, Gold and Martinez made a huge move and Philip wasn't able to respond. He closed in a nice time of 9:59 considering how windy it was. Dakota Burroughs hung with Philip for the first three laps, but fell off pretty hard. Even still, his time of 10:42 was over a 60 second PR!!! Mileage, consistent training, and toughness pay off! Way to go Dakota! One of the other highlights of the meet for me was Delown Hall's 5:35 in the F/S 1600. He looked great and fought hard throughout the race for a 25 second PR! Monday 4/8/13 - Lake Zurich Dual After a morning of rain on Monday, the clouds parted and we were greeted with warmth, sunshine, and absolutely no wind when we got to Lake Zurich! Top to bottom, our track teem looked strong and we came away with our first Divisional victory of the season! 4x800 LZ opened with Alex Milner and we opened with Philip Meyer. From the start, we were back and it grew from there......UNTIL.....on the anchor, LZ had one of their underclassmen closing and we had Junior Lucas Unze trying to chase him down. Lucas started the final leg about 100 meters back and was able to finish a half step behind the LZ runner. He gave it a go, but came up short. 3200 Meters John Ultreras and Desmond Washington were our Varsity entrants and John Cruz and Warren Strickland ran the F/S section. John ran a comfortable 10:26 for the victory and looked good doing it. He will need to push himself harder to be able to race the top competitors though. Desmond Washington was bothered by his achilles during the second half of the race and was rolled in by three Lake Zurich runners. John Cruz continues to impress and he closed in 12:59 while freshman Warren Strickland had a tough day in the 8 lap race and ran 13:47. 800 Meters Eric Miller and Daniel Olvera came back from the 4x800 for us. Daniel ran a nice PR of 2:18! 1600 Meters We loaded up the race with everybody and LZ had Milner coming back. There were many highlights! Philip and Andrew Ntim came through together in 4:42 and looked good. Dakota Burroughs finished one second off his PR with a 4:53. John Ultreras came through in 4:59. A big highlight for me was seeing Angel Arroyo running a 5:02 after the MINIMAL amount of training he has done lately after his second stress reaction this year. He has been a champion in rehabbing and getting himself back in shape though. I am so proud of the work he has done. The PRs continued in from there - Lucas Unze ran a season best 5:21, John Cruz ran an 8 second PR for 5:44, Angel Abarca a 1 second PR for 5:46, Zack Weber season best of 6:00, Kenneth Tolliver and Bradley Omorogieva ran lifetime bests with 6:14s and David Duarte ran a PR of 6:26. Let's continue the improvements and get more guys under 5 and everybody under 6!
April 4th, 2013 McHenry/Waukegan Triangular
I have never coached a meet that had as many ZBDC PR's as this one! The weather was quite nice on Thursday evening and there was only slight wind. It was a perfect way to open our outdoor season and give some of our younger athletes the opportunity to excel!
4x800 Our F/S crew led the way in this one. Alex Rodgriguez opened the relay up for us with a 2:25 in his first ever 800m. Seeing as his first lap was close to a 62, I think his time will come down significantly as he gains race savvy. On the second leg, Kenneth Caples closed a season best 2:27 and our third leg was Delown Hall in a BIG PR of 2:30. On the anchor, Warren Strickland dropped his PR 8 seconds to get to 2:38. These guys keep getting better and it's fun to watch as a coach! The Varsity team was comprised of Dakota Burroughs, Isaac Murray, Eric Miller, and Ismael Gomez. We battled back and forth with McHenry for much of the first two legs, but were overwhelmed near the third leg. Dakota Burroughs got us out to a solid lead with a 2:10 (.1 second PR!) and Isaac Murray kept it rolling through the second leg with a 2:12. Eric Miller continued his ascent through the season with a season best 2:21 and on the anchor, Ismael was hindered by some calf tightness and was mostly running by himself for a 2:32. 800 4 guys entered this race for us, 4 guys came away with lifetime bests! Led by Bradley Omogieva's 2:35, this team of Kenneth Tolliver (2:39), Raijin Albino (2:44), and David Duarte (2:44) all improved significantly! SO proud of these guys! 1600 To be continued...
Lineups for the Next Two Meets!
McHenry/Waukegan Meet 4/4/13
4x800 Dakota Burroughs, Eric Miller, Isaac Murray, Ismael Gomez Kenneth Caples, Warren Strickland, Alex Rodriguez, Delown Hall 3200 NONE 800 Duarte, Bradley, Raijin, Kenny Tolliver 400 Philip Meyer, John Ultreras 1600 Andrew Ntim?, Eric Miller, Ismael Gomez, John Cruz, Angel Abarca, Warren Strickland, Raijin 4x400 Tolliver, Caples, Strickland, Delown Sitting out – Desmond, Daniel, Angel, Jon Renden
Deerfield Invite 4/6/13
4x800 FS – JC, A2, Warren, Caples V – John Ultreras, Andrew. Isaac, Desmond 3200 FS – Alex Rodriguez V – Philip, Dakota 800 FS – Tolliver, Warren V – Andrew, Isaac 1600 FS – Delown, Kenneth Caples V – John Ultreras, Philip Meyer
We continued our steady improvement throughout the indoor season in a nice culminating meet at the Proviso Classic. This meet is stacked top to bottom. There are several MSL powerhouses in the distance events such as Prospect, Conant, and Buffalo Grove and sprint greats such as East Saint Louis and Plainfield North. 4x800 Philip Meyer opened up for us and came through the 400 nicely in a 58-59. The second half of the race, other teams began pulling away and Philip did his best to shift with the pack. He closed in a 2:06 near mid pack, good for a two second PR! From there, Dakota Burroughs improved on his streak of impressive PRs and came through in 2:11. In the last two weeks, Dakota has dropped 8 seconds off his 800m time! On the third leg, Isaac Murray was never in the race. Although we were battling with other teams at the end of Dakota's leg, by the end of Isaac's....we were half a lap back. For the final leg, sprinter Elijah Abdullah, who agreed to run the 4x800 at the last minute, ran a very solid 2:15. I couldn't have been prouder of Elijah for stepping up and filling the need for the team. I look forward to some of his future 800s! Our team closed in 8:56. 3200 In the first heat, Daniel Olvera got out well. Through the opening laps, Daniel was near the front of the lead pack and competed well. He came through the mile in 5:24 looking good. At this point, though, the pack started to move and Daniel was not ready to shift with them. He ended up finishing with an 11:22. That was a one second PR, however, after seeing Daniel do well in workouts with guys who have run at least a minute faster in the 3200, we know he is ready to go a lot faster. In the second heat, Junior Andrew Ntim got his second chance at the 3200m after being slightly under the weather last week. Our plan for Andrew was to let Salvano from BG go and ride second place for as long as he could. Well, Andrew did this to perfection as he paired up with a runner from Prospect and went back and forth for much of the race. He came through the mile in 4:54 and looked great. His form maintained strength and his pace was solid. In the last few laps of the race, a runner from Conant and the Prospect runner were able to move by Andrew and he closed in 4th place with a 10:02. After two 3200m's, I'm excited to see Andrew improve throughout this season as he learns to run this race and we develop his closing strength. 800m Philip Meyer doubled back in the fast heat of this race. Even though his two races were only about an hour apart, he approached this race confidently and optimistically. This positive attitude paid off and he came through in another 2:06. It was a very solid day for Philip, who was running back to back events in a race that is probably a bit faster than he is most comfortable with. 1600m Isaac Murray and Dakota Burroughs were doubling back from the 4x800 and they got ample time to recover in between. Dakota, who is becoming the immaculate gamer, ran a big 15 second PR for a 4:52 and his first time under 5 minutes. Isaac finished in 4:57, which was good for a two second PR, however, we know that is far from his best effort. When we head outdoors, Isaac is looking to make big improvements on this mark.
March 16th, 2013 Lake Michigan Invitational @ Carthage College
In a nice step forward, our Varsity competed well at the Lake Michigan Invite at Carthage College. This is one of the nicest indoor facilities I have ever been to and this meet always produces fast results. This meet was no different! 4x800 In the second heat of the 4x800, Eric Miller, Daniel Olvera, Ismael Gomez, and Lucas Unze competed. I don't think any of the guys walked away from the race feeling like it was their best effort, but I do know that they learned about competition in a varsity level 4x800. Daniel Olvera on the opening leg, ran 2:24.8. Eric Miller, improved from his time at Thornwood to run a 2:26.3, Lucas Unze came through in less than his best with 2:28.9 and Ismael Gomez closed in 2:30.6. The middle of the race must improve for our guys to run their best races and run to the level of excellence expected for ZBDC. 1600 John Ultreras was our lone entrant, since we were sitting out Angel Arroyo for precaution. John was in "The Big Boy" heat of the 1600 and showed that he is moving towards being ready to compete on the next level. After speedy opening splits of 30 and 63 for the 200 and 400, John settled in to the pack and went through the next 400s in 72, 72. With 400 to go, the race pulled away and John started to go backwards. A number of runners were able to move by John as he ran a 77 closing 400 and finished with 4:45. Once we put it all together and John runs with the confidence over the final 400m that we all know he has, there will be a major breakthrough! 800m Lucas Unze came back in the 4th of 6 heats to run 2:25.0. The pace of the race outmatched him a bit and he was forced to run by himself for most of the four laps. In the fifth heat, Dakota Burroughs stole the show! From the gun, Dakota was a man on a mission and it certainly paid off!!! After some OK 800s at Thornwood and Evanston, Dakota ran with the confidence that he has been demonstrating in practice over the last year. Anybody on our team that sees Dakota practice every day knew that this race was in him. His staggering improvement is a testament to consistent long term training. Dakota gives 100% in practice day in and day out. There has never been a second that anyone has ever questioned his work ethic. That hard work started to pay off in Cross Country as Dakota solidly made it on to our top 7. Yesterday, it showed in a shorter event. Dakota ran a 2:13 for a 6 second lifetime PR! 3200m We stacked this race with three of our top two milers. Philip Meyer led our group with a 10:01 (4 seconds off his lifetime best). This was the best race I have seen from Philip in a while. It was so great to see Philip in his element! He ran with confidence and closed his second mile faster than he has in any two mile ever, (5:08). Isaac Murray was near the back of the pack early on but was able to move nicely through the pack and closed with a 7 second PR at 10:21! Although Isaac wasn't thrilled with the time, I think the next time he runs the race he could be pressing the 10 minute barrier. Andrew Ntim ran in his first 3200m ever and looked great through the mile (in 4:56). After the 1600, though, the sickness that had held him out of school on Thursday reared its ugly head. Andrew held on tough for a 10:23. When he's healthy, though, I see Philip, Andrew, and Isaac rolling together in some fast 3200's!
In a fun opening season meet down at Thornwood in South Holland, IL we got the chance to compete on their old 160y indoor track. It was great seeing some competition that we may not see until the State meet such as Joliet West, Thornwood, Plainfield Central, and Lincoln Way East. I think the guys learned a lot from the experience and are excited to improve on their performances going forward! I'm certainly encouraged! 2 Mile Relay We ended up getting placed in the first (and slower) heat of the 4x800 and that was probably an OK thing. John Ultreras opened up for us and looked smooth in a 2:09 leg. John was uncontested from the start and I think when he gets some competition, that time will come way down. From there, Angel Arroyo, Lucas Unze, and Dakota Burroughs came through in legs of 2:22 - 2:24. Our lack of race sharpness showed as the teams in our heat moved past us and we were unable to change gears. It's a starting point though and we'll improve from there! In the Frosh/Soph race, David Paige, David Duarte, John Cruz, and Gio Vasquez toed the line for us. It was a lot of fun seeing our F/S crew tearing it up around the track, even though it was a learning experience for this crew as they came in last place. One of the highlights for me was seeing John Cruz emerge as a true "RACER!". He battled hard and ran a 2:42 (even though our laps were miscounted and he ran another lap for good measure after that!) These guys will continue to improve and it will be a blast coaching them to more PRs and higher placings. David Duarte ran 2:53, Gio ran a 2:54 and David Paige's time will forever be a mystery because his laps were miscounted and he ran one short.
2 Mile Isaac Murray and Daniel Olvera ran for us in the Varsity race while Desmond Washington raced the F/S level. Isaac stayed alert for most of the race as he jockeyed back and forth with a runner from Thornwood. Ultimately, he closed in second place, and his time of 10:33 was only 4 seconds off of his lifetime best! To put this race in perspective, Isaac was 18 seconds faster than last year in the same race. Encouraging improvement! Daniel Olvera showed the effects of his lingering sickness from the previous week and closed in a tough 11:52. In the F/S race, Desmond Washington (who really loves the 2 mile and isn't ready to admit it :) ) looked solid as he battled to an 11:13, third place finish! I think I see a few more 3200's in his future!
Half Mile We were able to get some of our veterans and new-bees a chance in this race and it was fun to watch! In the varsity race, Eric Miller, still improving from his serious injury he sustained in cross country, and Raijin Albino, in his first ever track race, got the chance to tackle the half mile. Eric got out tough and faded slightly at the end and closed with a 2:29. Although he had to take the entire winter off to recover from his injury, he is stil ahead of where he was last year at this point! Raijin closed with a 2:51 and ran aggressively at the start of the race but hit a wall towards the end. He'll improve from here! In the Frosh/Soph race, Angel Abarca (A2) and Kenneth (KMan) Tolliver competed. Angel ran tough for a 2:36 finish and 3rd place in his heat. Kenny ran a nice 2:50 to open his high school career!
Mile I think anyone who saw this race remembers the name Andrew Ntim. After two laps into the 11 lap race, Andrew had a half lap lead on the entire field. Although he's a junior and has competed in Cross for three years, this was his first ever track race. The excitement of racing indoors exceeded his race savviness a bit as he went through the 400 in 63. As the race proceeded, the pack (of which Senior Philip Meyer was a part) caught Andrew. He was able to fight to a 4:48 for fourth place, and I think the lesson he learned (and the team learned) will carry beyond this race. He showed our guys what racing with toughness is all about. Although it didn't work out on Saturday, as his fitness increases and track racing experience, I have no doubt he will be running with many of the NSC studs at the end of the season. Philip closed in a 4:58 and lacked his usual speed today, but I know he will bounce back nicely from this race. I can't wait to see Andrew and Philip rolling together outdoors in many races.
Overall, it was a great start to our season and nice to see our boys out there RACING! Our veterans learned about what they still need to work on and our newcomers learned what track is all about! Only one direction to go from here!!!!
ZBDC 2013 Under Way!
1/27/13 Well, practice has begun as we make our way into the 2013 installment of the Zion Benton Distance Crew! We currently have 25 boys in our group and are working our way towards increased mileage, faster speed, and stronger athletes. We've got three great captains in Philip Meyer, Eric Miller, and John Ultreras and I'm excited to see what this season brings! For those of you who have not yet come out for the team, I will take you in over the next week or so, but after that....you're going to be out of luck! This is a special team and if we can all focus on achieving greater training levels and team camaraderie, this will be a team to remember!
I have archived the 2012 Cross Country season under the Archives page, so if you're looking for any older posts/results, check there.
Also - I have posted the training log under the Documents tab, so if you ever need more (or feel the need to double side them correctly :) ) check there!
We're looking forward to a fantastic season! The Bees open their indoor season at the Thornwood Invite on March 2nd!
For all older posts, please check the Archive page.
Site last updated 15 Sept. 2020
Zion Benton Cross Country & Distance Crew 'Commitment to Excellence'