The Distance Crew ended their season tonight at the Sectional competition at Lake Zurich. With no less than seventeen weeks of training and competitions behind them, the runners of Zion went out in style, achieving what could only be described as their best racing night of the year! The afternoon sun and evening sunset set a pleasant environmental tone, while the focus and determination of our racers did the rest. It was a great meet.
After a 2.5 hour wait, the 4x8 relay took to the track in the first of the two heats. Though he has been fighting bad shin spints, Joshua led off; Kenneth made his second race comeback of the season as our anchor, and Tyler and Nate balanced in the middle legs of the relay. Joshua showed no signs of pain as he pushed off the line, and in the first 400m it became quite apparent that it was going to be a race between our team and Lake Zurich. Josh trailed the LZ runner for 600m, then with 200m to go blasted past in a furious sprint that delivered the baton to Nate for a PR 2:01 split! Nate showed no signs of allowing anyone to retake the lead, and he has never raced as hard as he did tonight. He sprinted in the lead position for a huge PR 2:07 split! Tyler matched him with a big PR 2:07 split too, and handed off to Kenneth for the anchor leg. Kenneth has been out the entire season with a foot injury, yet his race showed no impediment whatsoever from it--he ran strong for 2:14, a monster lifetime PR of over 7 seconds from last year. The relay charted a PR 8:31.35 and handily won the heat!
Sergio ran next in the first heat of the 3200m. While this wasn't his first choice of races, he went out in great form and truly took advantage of this opportunity to race this competitive heat. He passed the mile at 5:20 in good shape, and finished at 11:20, charting an 18-second time drop and huge PR! Collin ran next in the hot heat. He planned on staying with the pack and letting them carry him, and this strategy was very effective for the first mile. He came across the mile mark at 4:44 and right on the pack. At this point, however, the leaders found another gear and the race separated into two packs. Collin found himself competing with the second one and unable to both run in lane 1 and break out to bridge toward the forward pack. It was a nicely run race and he finished with a very respectable 9:53.
After a substantial wait, our milers were ready to run. John ran in the first of the three heats, and Michael in the second. John started out very strong but racing toward the back of his pack, but he kicked into a high gear in his final stretch and surged ahead to a PR 4:51, a three second drop from his last race. Michael planned to work with the pack around him, and displayed nothing but resolve and confidence as the pack went off with the gun. He worked right with them, and this strategy paid off handsomely as he dropped four seconds to a lifetime best 4:33!
While we did not qualify any Distance Crew to State, there were a good many others from ZB Track to qualify. We qualified a long jumper, runners in the 400m, 200m, and 800m, and the 4x100m relay. In the final race, our 4x400 relay ran a great qualifying race with a second place finish, only to be disqualified immediately afterwards for an alleged lane violation in the second lap. This was devastating, but there was nothing that we could do....
Thank you to the alumni who came out to support us: Maira, Ana, Desmond, and Lucas. Thank you, also, to the parents and friends who have come to each meet and cheered us on. Our success is yours!
We were strong this year, and had a great season. Next year, however, with we will come back even stronger. Keep up the good work, Bees!
F-S Conference 5.14.16
It was a cold, blustery day for the Prairie-Lake Invitational and the last meet of the Frosh-Soph season. We traveled to Vernon Hills High School for this F-S event, and ended up starting the meet early in order to keep our runners in the cold for as little time as possible.
Our relay ran first. This relay team has worked cohesively together all season, and I have had no reason to change their quickening lineup. Alex led off with a strong 2:25, finding out very quickly that the wind blasted across the track at the 200m mark; still, he finished just two seconds off of his PR. Kevin took the baton and had a great start, finishing just one second off of his best at 2:29. Lance followed at 2:42 and Jason gave a strong anchor performance at 2:39 for a total of 10:17.
Avedis and T-Bone ran well in the 3200m. The pack was consolidated from two heats to one and this increased competition was great for both runners. Avedis crossed the mile mark at an assertive 6:14 with T-Bone not far behind at 6:30. The second half was tougher for both, especially the wind, but their final kicks were nice to see. Avedis finished at 12:44 and T-Bone at 13:15. Alex followed in the 800m a few minutes later, running 2:26 against his 2:23 PR and looking great in the pack.
Kevin and Lance came back for mile races. Both ran well in their heat, with Kevin finishing at 5:36 and Lance at 5:45, both just seconds off their lifetime bests. Overall, it was a challenging meet and not the ideal finish to the F-S season that we had hoped for, but with the conditions it was the best race day we would hope for. I am very proud of this young pack and all of the PR time they have dropped this season; they are a small group but one on which the future of this team will be built! Their commitment is inspiring and I can't wait to see what they will achieve over the summer months.
Stevenson hosted us today for the Conference Championships. The promise of great competition was exciting, and the Bees came out looking sharp after a substantial length of downtime. Joseph led off first in the two-mile race, looking much more comfortable than at Conant and setting a season PR 11:27!
Joshua led off the 4x800 with a great 2:03 PR split, defending his title as the fastest 800m distance runner this season. He handed off to Michael, who tied his PR with 2:05 and keep set the team up for a nice PR. Tyler ran third, tying his 2:10 PR again, and Nate anchored with a great 2:13 finish. The relay set a PR at 8:33, dropping three seconds!
Collin ran next in the hot heat of the 3200m. He held nicely with the pack for the first mile and maintained great form, but the second half proved to wear him down and he rolled through at 10:01. John took to the track next in the first of the 1600m heats. He competed very well for a 4:54 PR, dropping a second from his previous PR at Prospect! Michael ran next in the hot 1600 heat, competing well for a respectable 4:41.
Overall we did not score in the top of the Conference, and while we had some nice PR times, we did not see the large breakthroughs it appeared we were poised to deliver. I hope the lessons of this evening will translate through this next week of hard work to our final qualifying meet at Sectionals next week. It is time to taper, sharpen, and prepare, for greatness can certainly be achieved this season, with this pack.
We traveled to Conant for our final invitational of the season tonight, on a hot night with temperatures in excess of 80 degrees! This was quite a change from the near-freezing temps just two days ago, but it was a great evening to race in a meet with many competitive levels and fast heats. The Bees seized the opportunity in style and ran well tonight.
The 4x8 was led off by Joshua, who worked right in with the pack for a 2:06 despite his sore shins. Tyler ran as our second man with a respectable and very consistent 2:10, and Sergio ran third for 2:16. Nate ran anchor as usual, fighting hard by himself to the finish to tie his PR 2:12. The Bees earned 5th place medals for an 8:47.30 time.
We had three heats of the 3200m. Joseph actually ran before the 4x800m relay, with an assertive first half. The heat visibly took its toll in the second half of his race, and he finished spent at 11:38. John ran in the B level heat, with the goal of breaking 11 for the first time. His pre-race mentality served him well and he went out with great speed. He finished through the dance heat waves the sizzled off the track for a great 10:57 PR! Collin followed in the A level race, pacing well and leading the pack for the first mile. He held on well for the next 800m but was overtaken by two more runners to finish at 3rd with 10:02. While he wasn't happy with the result, all runners today ran about 20 seconds off their PRs, and he still earned a 3rd place medal!
The 1600m races were run much later in the evening, when the temperatures settled down comfortably in the mid 70s. Sergio came back for his second race of the day and looked great throughout. He ran a nice season PR 5:03, just seconds off of his lifetime best. Joshua returned for his second race as well, and opened up the throttle in each of his laps. His final 200m saw an epic stride that carried him to 4:47 for a huge lifetime PR! Michael appeared nervous as he took the line in the A heat, but this evaporated quickly as he went out and found his stride. He ran one of the best mile races I have seen this season for a huge 4:37 lifetime PR, and he established himself as the fastest miler on our team.
It was a gutsy start for the meet and a great conclusion for the Distance Crew. Great work, runners!
We traveled just a few short miles to Antioch for the annual Harland invitational. It did not get very warm, with temperatures in the low 40s and high winds driving on the back stretch of the track. Our 4x800m relay comprised to Lance, Kevin, Alex, and T-Bone, and they led off the meet after a long warm-up. Alex led with a 2:30 split, with Kevin running a 2:28 PR tie in the next leg! Lance took delivery of the baton as our third man, also tying his PR of 2:32. T-Bone anchored the relay, running 2:52 and tying his PR time from Lake Zurich a month ago!
Jason and Avedis ran the 3200m. This race took lots of guts to face the driving winds, but they looked good from the start. Avedis continued his great streak of assertive, strong racing and passed through the mile at 5:57, with Jason just three seconds behind him at 6:00. They had a string of three Antioch runners ahead, and both steadily gained ground on them in the second half. With 200m left, both surged into a higher gear, with Jason passing Avedis and all three Antioch runners in the final 100m for a 12:04 finish. Avedis charged closely behind for a huge 12:09 PR finish, dropping over a minute from his PR at Lake Zurich!
Lance and Jason jumped into the 800, running in separate heats. Lance logged 2:36, only four seconds off his PR. Jason ran 2:37. It was but a short time since their relay race, and while it was tough, they both stayed warm and eager to compete.
The mile was our concluding distance race, with Collin, Kevin, and Alex competing in it. Collin set out to lead the race and never looked back, taking a commanding lead in the first 400m and then finding himself racing solo, far out in the lead with nobody to compete with. Alex and Kevin worked hard in the pack. Collin finished over 250m ahead of the next competitor, crossing at 4:45 in a gutsy race. Alex ran a solid PR 5:36, followed by Kevin at 5:40.
It was a tough racing day, but our F/S pack took first place tonight and I am very proud of the great progress they have made this season. I hope they keep their edge as we look ahead to F/S Conference next week!
In our final home meet of the season we welcomed Warren and Stevenson to Horizon Stadium and squared off in our final dual of the year. As I was timing, I did not have time to get splits, but we were able to get most of our times (and no photos unfortunately). Thank you, runners, for all your help in making the meet run smoothly!
We had two 4x8's squaring off tonight. Michael, Collin, Joshua, and Nate ran a stellar PR 8:36, dropping two seconds from the time at Prospect! Frederick, Kenneth, Kevin, and John ran the second in 9:32. This marks Kenneth's season racing debut after a long recovery from a foot injury.
Joseph and Jason represented us in the 3200m. Joseph ran 11:36 and Jason 12:50. Nate ran a second race in the 800m, a nice 2:14 that matches his PR from Springfield! Our 1600m pack worked well together and had great competition to work with. Collin led our pack and finished with strength for a 4:40 PR, narrowly a second ahead of Michael who ran 4:41 and tied his PR from Friday night! John logged a gutsy 5:00, Kevin a PR 5:33, and Avedis a stunning drop to a PR 5:39.
Overall, we did not quite perform as we had hoped as a team. We lost in points to Warren, who showed great tenacity and depth in the events tonight. We set some nice times, but will need to get even tougher as we draw close to the end of the season. I am confident we can sharped up and continue this progress as we edge toward Conference!
It was a chilly but exciting night to travel to Mt. Prospect for the fast invitational, one that always promises fast competition and usually propels our runners to some great achievements. The sun shown briefly in the downtime before the meet, but the temperatures dropped and a cold fog came in that quickly chilled the night. Still, we ran some nice times with the competition.
Frederick opened the night for us in the first heat of the 3200m. He was feeling some pain recently in his ankle, but still ran hard despite it shortening his stride and throwing off his form. He held well for the first 800, but found the last half difficult. He ended with 11:15.52 and a good finish. Collin was our second 3200m runner, and he approached it with great focus. We planned for holding with the top pack as long as possible, and he did just that as he went out. The pack launched into a second gear with 800m left, and Collin gave a great effort to compete. He finished in wonderful form for 9:48.86, a huge PR!
Our 4x8 ran next, composed of Joshua, Michael, Tyler, and Sergio. Joshua led off with a strong 2:05 split that ties his PR. Michael then ran a strong PR 2:05 as well, finishing with strength. Sergio logged 2:15 in the third leg, and Tyler finished with 2:13. Overall the Varsity 4x8 ran a solid PR 8:38.24 FAT!
It was quite a long and cold wait until the mile provided the next and final running opportunity of the night. John was the first of our 1600m runners. He ran very well after a lengthy warm-up, holding center of the pack for kicking for a strong finish and PR 4:55.15. Michael ran next for his second race of the night, dropping six seconds for a great 4:41.23 finish.
While it was a cold and late night, our runners did a great job seizing the opportunities and racing well against the competition. We have a busy schedule ahead, and this progress is on top of a long week. Keep up the good work!
aThe weather cooled down substantially this week, and we took our frosh-soph and JV runners out to Grant for the Bulldog Invite. The temperature was near 40 degrees, with strong winds lowering the wind chill into the mid 30s. Our small crew made the most of this racing day, and set some nice records.
The 4x800 switched up the usual freshmen lineup, adding Nate and Joseph to the mix. Joseph led off and worked very well on the track. He had a good finish for a 2:21 split, tying his lifetime PR from Urbana last year! Alex did a good job on the second leg for 2:24, with Jason next, running 2:29. Nate ran anchor, and he kept the Zee Bees in the race. Though narrowly being beat in the home stretch, he ran 2:14--a nice lifetime PR! The total time was 9:27.
Kevin and Lance represented ZBDC in the 3200m. Kevin went out really well, challenging himself in the first 1200m before tiring and slipping back for a still aggressive 5:53 mile. Lance ran just the opposite, finding a relaxed pace in the first half (crossing the mile at 6:03) then turning up the pace. Lance crossed the line at 12:00, with Kevin at 12:25 for a lifetime PR!
Nate and Joseph came back to run in the 800. With the meet moving so efficiently, there was little time for recovery and a warm-up, but they still ran decent 2:23 and 2:26 respectively.
The mile was an excellent race! Avedis and Tristan ran in this one. Avedis had set the goal of running sub-6, and, just like T-Bone did at Lake Forest, he went out with great focus and an appetite for reaching his goal. He stayed far outside of his comfort zone, running ahead of Tristan in a reversal of the normal order; he crossed the line at 5:45 for a huge lifetime PR, a 5th place medal, and his first sub-6 achievement! Tristan rolled in good form as well, running 5:58 and his second sub-6 time in a week!
The Zee Bees took 3rd overall in the meet, a varsity meet, with only our F-S and JV competitors! The four PRs were really nice breakthroughs, and overall our runners did a good job competing without the upperclassmen and varsity there to push them. This pack will continue to make nice strides this season, and Grant was a night of accomplishment.
Today we traveled to Mundelein for dual meet, with the temperature pushing over 80 degrees and a massive storm front approaching. After a substantial delay due to lightning, we came back to the track. The 4x8 teams ran, followed by the 4x1, and we were 800m into the two mile race when the sky finally opened up on us. Dime-sized hail pierced downward, and in the ensuing chaos rain dumped through the barrage of hailstones as all athletes, officials, and fans made hasty retreats from the field. Mundelein athletes ran across the track and right into Collin, and with the official's whistle the race--and the meet--was over.
What a crazy--yet memorable--evening.
Lake Forest Invite 4.23.16
Today could have gone either way. The runners were tired, groggy, and seemed exhausted when they boarded the bus to Lake Forest. But when they warmed up, they proved ready to compete--and compete they did today! The F/S 4x800 ran first in this small invitational, with Jason leading off. He made a great gain in his second lap and kicked hard past a white jersey in the final part for a PR 2:24 split, handing off to Alex. Alex sprung into action ready to compete, and ran a 2:23 PR, dropping a second off of his time from Springfield! Kevin went out for 2:30, dropping four seconds from last night, and Lance ran anchor without his glasses. While I questioned his ability to see the track, he clearly saw success ahead and ran a PR 2:32, putting the relay at a PR 9:51.57 FAT. Great change from last night!
The Varsity had great competition in their heat. Sergio kept us in the mix in the first leg, running a PR 2:11 time, and handing off to Tyler. Tyler had to make up some ground against the pack, and he ran an all-out first 200m then settled in for the rest of his leg, running 2:13 and handing off to Joshua. Josh sprinted well for 2:09, and Michael matched it with a 2:09 split as well. The relay earned a PR 8:43.82 FAT time, dropping two seconds from Springfield and taking third place!
Avedis and T-Bone represented us in the 3200m F/S race. Avedis was just coming off a day of bad sickness, but he showed up intent on racing and ran a very respectable 13:19. T-Bone, though, was intent on a second big PR breakthrough this weekend, and he did just that. He ran his first sub-13, blowing past it by a long shot for 12:38 and a huge PR! He had a truly amazing racing weekend.
Collin and Joseph ran in the 3200m varsity race. Both were looking for PR times, and beforehand Collin and I calculated who he would need to stay with the break 10 today. He went out with the lead pack and showed no intention of letting go, even as it began to separate at the mile where he came through at 4:51 and Joseph at 5:35. Collin found himself running right behind the lead runner from Lake Forest, and he stayed right on him until the final 800m, where Myers began to pick it up and Collin held on his consistent pacing. Joseph worked hard in the race as well, and he competed in good form in the challenging second half. Collin had a great stride to the finish, earning his first sub-10 lifetime achievement with a time of 9:55! Joseph ran a season best 11:30 as well!
Our milers were just as eager to carry the momentum! Jason and Kevin went out hard in their heat of the F/S mile, with both working very hard in the rising heat. Jason finished with a great 5:31 PR, and Kevin just seconds off of his with 5:42. John and Frederick were quick to follow in their heat. John displayed a sharp focus as he took an extended warm-up, and from the way he prepared I knew success would soon follow. He and Frederick worked well together in the first 800, but John took a more aggressive approach to the latter half, finishing for his lifetime best and first sub-5 mile at 4:58.57! Frederick was just seconds behind at 5:09, and they represented us well.
Congratulations, men, on all the great races today. There were many individual successes, and as a team we pulled together and raced well despite the factors that could have pulled us down. Our F/S team placed first in the meet, and Varsity narrowly missed first and took second place. We have our busiest and toughest week of the season ahead this next week, with four meets to go. It's time to repeat this success and bring the competitive edge as we go to Mundelein for the dual on Monday, followed by Grant, Prospect, and Rockford!
Lyons Relays 4.22.16
The first meet of our first back-to-back weekend schedule brought us to Lyons Township on a cool, crisp Friday night. The sunny sky was encouraging but the omnipresent winds chilled the air and later became an unwelcomed element for our races. But this was a new style of racing this season and we saw some nice successes.
They began with Open Mile races before the meet, and Tristan jumped at the opportunity against a field of nearly thirty other freshmen. His goal was to break 6 minutes for the first time in his life, and when he went out and started logging 90s splits, I knew that it was possible. He had a wonderful kick at the 150 that put him in a position to reach this goal--and he did, with a great 5:54 accomplishment!
Joseph ran second in the Varsity heat of the mile. He was looking for a season best to break his 5:21 at home, and he went out hard. He led the entire first lap with a 60s split, but the speed caught up with him and he finished at 5:22, just one second off. Still, it was nice to see the guts it takes to challenge oneself against the fast field!
The meet opened with the 4xmile race, one that I greatly enjoy--but one that takes grit if a leg of the relay finds himself alone. It can be a long 4 laps, but our runners went out willing to work hard. Collin led off and stayed right in the mix with the other teams, and he tied his PR set on Monday with a 4:41 split! John took the baton and worked hard to attain a solid 5:07, and he handed off to Frederick who added a nice 5:04 split. Michael was the anchor and, while he was racing alone at this point, he still had the guts to earn a 4:47 lifetime PR time! The relay earned a 19:41, the fastest in the last three years I have coached this team.
Our Frosh-Soph 4x800 ran next. Kevin led with 2:34, followed by Alex at 2:33, Lance at 2:38, and Jason at 2:40. It was a tough race, and we logged 10:28. The Varsity 4x800 ran next and had a challenging time too. Joshua led off for a 2:07 split that is very consistent with his recent times; Sergio was our second man and he ran a consistent 2:16. Nate ran 2:20 and Tyler anchored with 2:15 for a final time of 9:01. These relays weren't the fastest we've run and didn't see any PR splits. We will need to keep pushing ourselves to keep improving.
The final distance event was the Distance Medley Relay, a crowd favorite! Frederick came back to run the opening 1200m, a tricky distance. He logged 3:42, a 74s average for three laps. Michael ran the 800 leg in a respectable 2:14 time, and Joshua came out with a vengeance on the 400m. He sped around the track in great form, running a fantastic 54s split! Collin ran the anchor leg (again this year), and displayed a solid form and great toughness to run yet another sub-4:50 mile this week, with a time of 4:49. We charted 11:41, also our best time in the last three years! The ended in sixth place, but with two disqualifications they would earn fourth place medals for their run.
While the evening got cold, it showed us that we still need to adapt and work with the conditions to be successful. We run again in the morning and it will take a great deal of toughness to come back fresh and ready to compete at Lake Forest.
Home 4.18.16 v. LF/Libertyville
Our first home meet of the season could not have gone any better. With a wonderful three-day weekend and already a grueling trip to Springfield and back under their belts, our men showed up at Horizon Stadium ready to take on more local adversaries. Lake Forest and Libertyville soon filled the bleachers and field with their multitudes, and on a moderately warm afternoon we were ready to race!
Two 4x800 teams raced tonight. Avedis charted a nice PR 2:36, working well with Jason (2:34), Joseph (2:23), and John (2:16 Season PR), for an overall time of 9:50. Our second team had a full set of Personal Records too. Sergio tied his lifetime PR from Urbana last year with a great 2:12 split, with Frederick matching it with a PR 2:12, Collin rolling for a 2:09 lifetime PR, and Michael taking his 2:09 from Springfield down to a 2:06! They ran 8:45, setting a PR of 2s over Springfield's relay time on Saturday, and matching the season best 4x800 from last year, set at Prospect! It was a great start to the meet.
The two-mile pack ran a decent race, with Nate making his 3200m debut. The pack seemed to run a little tired today, with arms/form not quite as square as they normally were. Joshua led the Zee Bees with a 11:07 finishing time, with Nate not far behind with 11:25 to set his PR. Michael was next at 11:34, with Lance (12:09), Alex (12:15 PR), Kevin (13:03), and T-Bone (14:13) rounding off the race. These same runners squared up not long after the race for an open 800 too, and in this one they generally looked much more competitive! Joshua led with 2:10 for a nice race, with Nate (2:29), Alex (2:33), Kevin (2:40), Lance (2:43), and T-Bone (2:52 PR) racing well.
Our final big distance event was, of course, the mile, and by this time the light was starting to wane and the temperature settling to a delightful, cool level. Our milers went out chasing Libertyville's Tam, and Collin opted not to let him dictate the race. Collin rolled in wonderful form, kicking very hard to the finish for a huge PR 4:41! Michael went sub-5 with 4:59, followed by John's PR 5:00, Frederick's PR 5:02, Sergio's PR 5:06, and Joseph's season best 5:21. Jason charted his lifetime best 5:36 in this race, and Avedis a great season PR 6:07. It was a great race to watch, and the runners packed together in such great form that their solidarity drove them to success. This is the essence of pack running, and the Bees effectively competed tonight.
It was a long, hot, but rewarding day at Lanphier High School this weekend as we journeyed from Zion to Springfield, a grueling 4-hour bus ride each way. Departing at 5am was tough, but our runners stepped off the bus ready to compete, and had a wonderful day of racing. Though we canceled last Saturday due to snow and ice, we suddenly found ourselves in temperatures over 80 degrees--the complete antithesis of what we have been training in back home!
Our Frosh-Soph 4x800 relay led off and quickly found themselves running against a very fast field. "It's like running against varsity," our runners later said, and this is very true, for these were some fast teams we ran against. Jason led off in great form, passing the baton to Alex and earning a huge 7s PR (2:26)! Alex ran with speed as well, earning a 4s PR (2:24) and handing off flawlessly to Kevin. Kevin worked hard and dropped 7s for a PR 2:28, and Lance anchored in great form, earning a 4s PR for 2:33. This perfect relay ran all PRs and ended at 9:52, breaking 10 for the first time and dropping 26 seconds from their Proviso time!
The Varsity 4x800 performed wonderfully right after the conclusion of the F-S race. Joshua led off and ran well with the competition! When he handed off to Michael in the traffic jam that was the exchange zone, he had earned a PR 2:05 split, the fastest on our team this season! Michael then proceeded to break his 2:11 best for a 2:09 PR, handing off to Nate. Nate opened up in a great show of strength for a 2:14 PR split, and Sergio anchored with a respectable 2:18. This relay also set a PR, breaking 9 for the first time for a final 8:47 PR! Well done, relays!
The temperature was climbing by the time our two 3200m runners took the line. Frederick ran in the first heat, taking an early lead but being passed in the second half by runners who ran a little more conservatively in the beginning. He tied his season PR with 11:07 in a great race, working well in the heat and with the competition. Collin ran next, displaying an incredible focus in a fast field. Like Frederick, he stayed well outside of his comfort zone and challenged himself, especially in the first half. With a gutsy finish he found himself staring at my stopwatch for 10:06 finishing time, a huge 8s lifetime PR! He also earned a medal for his fifth place finish!
After a substantial gap, our milers were ready to run. By this time there were several delays and the temperature was over 80. Joseph ran first, his goal being to get below 5:30. He did just that, logging a season PR 5:23. John was in the second heat, working hard in the fast pack and getting spiked in his shin. Unfazed by the dripping blood, he powered hard to the finish for a lifetime PR 5:03! I am proud of both these runners!
It was truly an epic racing day, and a great experience. Despite the distance and the long bus trip, our runners went out set on competing. We charted 9 lifetime PRs and 2 season bests. And to top it off, the Zee Bees took 3rd overall in the meet, behind Bloomington and Evanston, from a field of 19 teams. WOW! Our runners also had the chance to go see Lincoln's tomb and monument. What a great day, and one from which we can continue to build on the season's great progress! Keep the momentum rolling!
Lake Zurich 4.11.16
We had a great dual meet at Lake Zurich, in which our runners came through with many individual and team successes! It was nice that the weather warmed up to the low 40s, and the sun came out for a great racing day.
The 4x800s ran first, and we put both a Varsity and F-S team on the line. Alex led the F-S in great form, running a 2:28 PR split, handing off to Lance, who ran 2:37 and tied his previous PR! Kevin (2:37) and T-Bone (2:56) rounded off the relay, running a decent 10:40. The Varsity was led by Joshua, who went out ready to compete as well. He logged a fantastic PR 2:07 split, handing off to Rod who ran 2:21. Tyler ran a great PR 2:16, and Nate anchored for 2:21. Overall, they ran 9:07, just two seconds off their best from Wauconda!
We had a large pack in the 3200. Collin led the field by a large margin for the entire race, with Michael, Frederick, and John fighting just behind him. I was impressed how the pack worked together around their eight laps, supporting and pushing each other in great form. Collin ran a season PR 10:28 with no competition anywhere near him. Michael and Frederick ran season PRs as well (10:37 & 11:07), with John not far behind at 11:22. Sergio ran as our fifth man at 11:46, with Joseph not far behind for a season PR 12:15, followed by Jason's LIFETIME PR 12:40, which beat his previous best by 1:06! Avedis ran in great form today too, dropping nearly two whole minutes to run his lifetime best 13:14!
Our two-milers also competed in the open 800m. Collin ran a lifetime PR 2:13, just behind Michael's excellent 2:12 finish! Sergio (2:23), Freddy (2:27), Jason (2:36), Joseph (2:48), and Avedis (2:53) all ran nice races together.
In the following mile, we also shared a great many successes. Michael and John both ran 3200 and 1600 events today, and while they were tired they both showed remarkable endurance. Michael ran 4:57 here, with Joshua close behind at 5:06. John hit his season best 5:13 in this race, with Nate just behind him for his lifetime PR 5:22! The successes continued from there. Lance and Kevin tied for time and both ran lifetime bests at 5:40, with Kevin breaking 6 for the first time in his life! Alex ran a lifetime best 5:56, and T-Bone a lifetime best 6:13. What a great race!
In the following 4x400 Coach's Cup Challenge, Kevin, Alex, Frederick, and Michael won with a time (and new team record) of 4:21. Well done!
We opened our outdoor season yesterday at Wauconda for our first season dual meet. We went in with a solid list of team and personal goals, and had our first opportunity to race as a full team, in multiple events. The young men who took to the track in the cold weather were ready to compete from the opening gun, and truly had a great meet!
The 3200m relay did not have much time to warm up from getting off the bus, as inclement weather was moving in and we hoped to get moving as soon as possible. Frederick led off, quickly passing the competing Wauconda runner and establishing a great lead. He rolled against a bad headwind for a 2:16, tying his PR from Carthage! Collin took the baton next and earned a PR 2:15, passing off the Michael. Michael matched Collin's time for a solid 2:15 as well, with Nate making his season racing debut with a respectable 2:17, just two seconds off of his lifetime best. The team earned a PR 9:05 time, dropping five seconds from Carthage!
We put a nice pack in the 3200m next. Nate Mosely jumped in on this one, with Josh taking the lead of the ZB pack just ahead of him. Alex, Lance, Kevin, and T-Bone competed well in the event. Josh led at the half with a 5:24 split, with Nate just behind at 5:30 and Lance our third man at 5:49. Kevin ran his lifetime mile PR for his first split (!) at 6:05, with T-Bone just behind at 6:17 and Alex leading them at 6:01. The second half was challenging and it was great to watch how they worked through the event and the strong headwind on the finishing stretch of each lap. Lance was pushed around and as far as into lane five when he tried without success to pass a competitor. Nate took the lead and finished at 10:50, with Joshua running his lifetime PR and first sub-11, finishing at 10:55! Lance broke 12 for a strong 11:58 finish, with Alex (12:25), Kevin (12:35), and T-Bone (13:08) finishing well. This pack performed very well, especially compared to Saturday's time trial, and I am very proud of their progress.
We also had a large pack in the 800, which we divided into two heats. I could tell the tiredness was creeping in and the cold winds picking up, but they still ran well despite the conditions. Sergio (2:18), Joshua (2:26), Nate (2:28), John (2:32), and Joseph (2:45) ran in the first heat, with Alex (2:35), Kevin (2:39), Jason (2:39), Lance (2:43), Avedis (2:44 PR) T-Bone (2:55) racing very well.
Our 1600m team ran last, just as the cold rain commenced. Collin went out to lead the pack and kept a substantial lead on the entire field for the entire race! Frederick and Michael raced close together as well, working well against the winds, with Sergio, John, and Joseph racing in close proximity. Jason and Avedis rounded off the pack and both extended with nice strides. Collin won with a nice 4:53 time, with Michael and Freddy rolling through at 5:08 and 5:09 respectively. Sergio (5:25) and John (5:26) were next, followed closely by Joseph (5:31). Jason kicked hard for his 5:45 PR, and Avedis ran a solid 6:18 PR as well!
The spitting rain turned to an icy downpour in as we commenced the 4x400m relay. The first Coach's Cup award goes to a 4:25 finish by Kevin, T-Bone, Michael, and Sergio. Congratulations!
Huge thanks to Kenneth for his work in taking down times and braving the cold to support his teammates!
It was wonderful to take a frosh-soph relay and the entire distance team to the Proviso meet, and today proved a great day for both team and individual successes. With it being out final indoor meet of the season, it was our last time racing on a short track with some fast competition.
Our frosh-soph 4x800m relay opened the meet at 10am. Though we only raced against two other teams in our heat, Alex went out in strength and looked great. He charted a season PR 2:33, handing off to Kevin who ran a lifetime best split 2:35. Lance worked hard in the middle stretch for 2:37, also a lifetime PR, and Jason anchored with 2:33--he also charted a lifetime best! The team ran 10:18.55 FAT. Great first showing, Frosh-Soph pack!
The Varsity ran next, also in the slower heat and against two other teams. Michael went out with a vengeance, putting our team in great position and earning himself a 2:11 split! This matches his lifetime PR from Lake Zurich last year. Tyler joined the Distance Crew for this one, running a decent 2:20, handing off to Rod. Rod logged 2:26, and handed off to Joseph for the anchor leg. Joseph ran a 4-second season PR 2:24, bringing the total relay time to 9:23.2 FAT.
Our two-milers went next. We have not had any 3200m racers yet this season, and I put both John and Sergio into this one both for a nice racing opportunity and to show the team how these races should be run. John ran it last year, sick and hacking, and this year he looked exponentially stronger. He went out hard with Sergio not far behind him, and ended up taking charge of the heat and leading for most of the race. His assertive racing drew cheers from the crowd; he crossed at the mile at 5:20 with Sergio at 5:27. His second half was just as consistent and well-run, with a strong fight for the lead. He crossed at 11:00.47 FAT for a full 20s PR! Sergio ran 11:41.79 FAT for a season best as well.
Our milers were toward the end of the meet, having to stay warm and loose at a time when energy and the afternoon were dwindling. Frederick and Joshua represented the ZeeBees in this race, and they truly raced well! Joshua went out and never let up, with Frederick working strong in the pack behind him. The pack was fast but both worked well around the eight laps. Josh kicked hard as he always does, and ran the first sub-5 in his life: 4:55.29 FAT! This is a 15s PR for him, and Frederick ran a wonderful 10s PR to cross at 5:02.31 FAT! Congratulations to both racers on these major accomplishments!
It was truly a great race day. I am especially glad that those not running still came to support their fellow racers, and our Distance Crew displayed great camaraderie and cohesion. The many PRs and progress contribute to the team development in a huge way, and I can't wait to see what we can accomplish next week when we start our outdoor season at Wauconda!
We had a really nice day the the Lake Michigan Invite up at Carthage this weekend. With over thirty schools in attendance, the competition was solid and it was nice to see our runners work on the 200m track as opposed to last week's 160m tight turns. We only had five runners competing, but the progressive traction they made on this season made a big impact on our team.
Our 4x800m relay lineup stayed intact from last week, but I swapped the order. Joshua led off in the third heat, working well for his first three laps right with the leaders. On his fourth, he really picked up the pace and led the field to the exchange zone for a huge PR 2:09 split! Frederick was off with the baton next and has truly showed strength in his run. He held right with the leaders and handed off for a 2:16 PR, beating his best by 4 seconds and his last week's time by 4 seconds! John logged 2:23 and Sergio anchored for 2:20 with the ZB team placing third in the heat for a final time of 9:10. This is a full thirteen seconds better than Evanston!
Michael was our last runner to compete, and he entered the fifth heat of the mile. I encouraged him to suspend all expectations and run his own race, and this is exactly what he did! He went out like last week set on taking charge of his heat, and he modeled consistency throughout his race. Despite getting viciously cut off after the halfway point, he ran 36-36-36-36-37-39-38-32 for his laps, finishing with a great kick to win his heat and log a nice 4:53 season PR! This was one of his best miles I have ever seen.
Congratulations to the ZeeBees on their great progress this weekend. The marked improvement from Evanston shows their adaptability on the indoor track, and I am very pleased with the competitive edge they are honing. With this progress and spirit, I expect to see many great achievements this season. Our next chance will be at Proviso this coming Saturday, where we will also have a Frosh-Soph 4x800 relay!
After nearly nine weeks of training, the time finally came to put our spikes to the track in a competition! We traveled to Evanston for our season opener once more this year with six runners to compete in two events. While our numbers are lower this year, our competitive spirit is at a high point and this created a nice opening meet for the 2016 ZBDC season.
This year the FAT system and all elements were running smoothly, and the field house was characteristically dry for our long wait until the running events started at 7:15 pm. Our 4x800m relay was the first to run against a heat of five other teams. I had asked the team to focus on lap counting, a hard kick in the final lap, and to maintain a competitive edge. Sergio led off but was quickly outdistanced by the other runners within three of his five laps. He ran a very respectable 2:16 split and handed off to John. John maintained a solid pace but, like all our runners later would, he had difficulty getting accustomed to the sharp curves and in finding his stride from them; he logged 2:27 and handed off to Frederick. Freddy's stride carried him strong as he, like John, ran a solo race for a 2:22 split that is 2 seconds off his PR. Joshua went out madly from the start, and quickly made progress against the competition that was a full lap ahead of us. He finished with 2:18 and a great kick, bringing our total to 9:23 for our first race. Not too shabby. The official promptly DQ'd our team, assuming that we had finished one lap early like we did in 2014, but Joshua's progress and correct counting had indeed made no error. It got sorted out!
Our milers stayed warmed up for a longer period than I had anticipated, but Michael and Collin are two runners who can stay race-focused and prepared no matter what. They ran in the same heat of the 1600m. I asked them to run their own races, throwing any expectations away and focusing instead on pushing themselves physically and mentally in the same ways these two qualified for and ran Sectionals in the 2015 Cross Country season. They went out in great form and quickly wrested control of the race from a golden-clad competitor who dueled them for six out of their ten laps. Collin led with 2:20 at the halfway point, with Michael but a step behind him at 2:21. They both had nobody to pace off for the second half and grew visibly accustomed to the turns, accelerating out of them nicely. Collin won the heat with a 4:52 time, with Michael finishing second for 5:00 on my watch. It was a nicely run race for both men!
This was a decent opening meet for our season. I feel we have more speed to unleash, but the short track, dry atmosphere, repetition, and fast competition made it tough to truly compete. On the other hand, these teams have been racing in their indoor seasons for a number of weeks so far, and have grown accustomed to the very factors that made this challenging. We had excellent handoffs in the relay, and our runners proved adaptable as they ran the track, learning each lap how to master the curves and when to kick. These are great qualities to show, especially this early on. We have two more indoor meets left--we travel to Carthage this coming Saturday!
4x800m Relay (V)
8:31 @ Sectionals
Joshua, Nate, Tyler, Kenneth
4x800m Relay (F-S)
9:51.57 FAT @Lake Forest
-Alex, Kevin, Lance, Jason
800m Split (V)
1. 2.:01 Joshua @Sectionals
2. 2:05 Michael @Prospect
3. 2:07 Nate @Sectionals
800m Split (F-S)
1. 2:23 Alex @Lake Forest
1. 2:24 Jason @Lake Forest
2. 2:28 Kevin @Springfield & Antioch
1. 9:48.86 FAT Collin @Prospect
2. 10:37 Michael @Lake Zurich
3. 10:55 Joshua @Wauconda
1. 11:58 Lance @Wauconda
2. 12:04 Jason @Antioch
3. 12:09 Avedis @Antioch
800m Run (V)
1. 2:09 Collin @Antioch
2. 2:10 Joshua @Home 4/18
3. 2:12 Michael @Lake Zurich
800m Run (F-S)
1. 2:26 Alex @F/S Conference
2. 2:34 Jason @Wauconda
2. 2:34 Kevin @Wauconda
3. 2:43 Lance @Wauconda
1. 4:33:95 FAT Michael @Sectionals
2. 4:40 Collin @Home 5/2
3. 4:47.19 FAT Joshua @Conant
1. 5:31 Jason @Lake Forest
2. 5:33 Kevin @Home 5/2
3. 5:36 Alex @Antioch