SPC Recap

Saturday, October 14 2017 - SPC Conference Meet

Going into the weekend the weather was the main conversation in the cross country world. Lots of conferences were putting together updated schedules, and rescheduled dates for their conference championships. Our schedule was pushed forward to try to find a window of clear weather to race…and we did. What was a fear early in the week never really impacted the day. The morning was all about cross country racing.

We talked all week as a team about racing not for yourself, but for you teammates. These races are not about time, they are about competing.

The morning started with the varsity boys. Jon Goetsch got to a good position early in the race at the back of the lead group. He hung tough there through about 1.5 miles. Riley and Javy found each other early and worked together throughout the race. They were shoulder through 2 miles. Riley then charged hard to move up about 8 spots in the last mile. Jon finished 15th earning his first all-conference honors! He was followed 17 seconds later by Riley, who given the conditions ran his best of the year so far. Javy was next in. Ryan Kodura was next man in, Ryan was in no man’s land early in the race but battled tough to close and pass a few people in the last half of the race. Jake, Sebastian, and Steve all fought hard today but coming off injuries and sickness a PR wasn’t in the cards. Overall the varsity team competed well, they finished 8th as a team and did have 3 guys run faster than the fastest guy last year at SPC meet.

The frosh/soph race followed the varsity. We thought going in that it would probably be OE and Minooka 1st and 2nd but should be a fun battle after that. The guys were ready to compete. This group has done a great job all year of getting out and finding each other right away and then using the power of the pack. Today they struggled to do that initially but then started to get into small groups of 2 and 3 to work together. Tommy and Austin lead the way today with Austin being the one to put his foot on the gas in the middle part of the race. Tommy has had a few down races in a row, but bounced back big time today, he looked the runner we all see on the regular at practice. He was a competitor. The best part of Tommy’s race was that he fell back with about 800 to go but turned it back on to catch all of the guys who passed him in the last 350. Dean was a few seconds back at the halfway point but pass a lot of guys in the second half to move into the top 20, he faded late but really ran a tough race. He told me afterwards he paid for such a hard move to get back in the mix. But it is a great sign that he is willing to go to that place in the middle of the race to battle. Dustyn and Bonomo both had to fight today but they knew what it meant so they did just that. They rounded out the scoring for us. Aiden was just behind Bonomo running under 18 for the second time. Colin Graefen ran a big time PR to finish off the race for the Wildcats, Colin is just starting to come into his own. This frosh/soph group is really fun because it is really 6 guys who are almost interchangeable, on any given day I don’t know who will be the top and who will be 6. This race was great as it resulted in 3 PRs. Austin Emrath continues his “Kaizen” improvement, from 19:13 at SPC last year to 17:18 this year. Tommy tied his PR. As a team we finished 6th but only 16 points from 4th. The top 5 averaged 17:27 compared to last year’s group that averaged 18:00.

The open race finished the day with 2 more PRs, Alix and Nathan. My favorite thing about Nathan’s PR is that he ran his 3rd mile as the fastest in the race! Alix really stayed committed the entire race to run his PR. Noah was just off his PR. Jaden and EJ both ran good races in the sloppy muddy conditions. Vince and Tony worked side by side the whole way to lead our open group, they can be proud of the way they ended their season. And last but by no means least, was what I saw as the most inspiring race of the day, Chris Cockrell who has missed the last month and a half due to injury decided he was going to gut out a race despite his shin injury. Chris ran the entire race never quitting despite some serious pain and no real ability to push off of one leg. Noah helped to push Chris throughout the race. Way to go Chris!

Overall today was a good day for the Wildcats. Some great races, some races that guys can learn and grow from. The key is that we take those opportunities to learn and grow.

Next up is Regional week, and the Wildcats are ready to mix it up at the best regional in the state.