Steelman Invites Produces Loads of PRs

Sunday, September 11 2022 - Steelman Invitational

Every race is an opportunity to learn something. On Wednesday we host a triangular meet on our home course. We talked as a team before with the goal of as many athletes as possible run even splits. We ended up having some great performances and some season best PRs with that plan. The goal was to walk away from Wednesday feeling like we could trust our strength in the second half of the race. To build on that plan for Saturday, we wanted to be aggressive at the start and then know we can still maintain a pace when we are tired.  That newfound confidence paid off in some big ways with 16 athletes running season best times.

The frosh/soph girls kicked things off with 4 of the 5 girls who raced running season best times! Sylvia Magemeneas led the way as she has done all year with this group. She got after it from the gun and maintained that pace, with a strong last mile she was able to break 23 minutes for the first time. Alyssa Link and Lydia Velazquez have run every race shoulder to shoulder for the first two miles, this week they stayed together the whole way and the power of having a teammate pushing you led them both to nearly 1 minute PRs.

The frosh/soph boys were next, and they were led by some fireworks up front. Ubaldo Rodriguez continued his great running this year, with another PR but the way he moved up in the top ten the last mile was epic to finish 4th overall. Next in, also running a PR was Luke Adair who closed very fast as well to move into 10th place overall. The firepower upfront helped the guys to finish 5th overall and just 9 points out of 3rd.

The varsity girls were able to run as team for the first time this season, injuries and illness have been a lingering issue so far this year, and being able to finally feed off the whole group energy paid off with 4 girls running season best times. Hannah Kilday continued her string of great races, breaking 21 for the first time and just finishing outside of the medals. Next in were the two sophomores who ran stride for stride the entire way which just like their frosh/soph teammates it led to season bests as well for both Bridget Kemp and Selah Fornelli, both girls were able to crack into the 21s as well. Cassie Salkas was next in, bouncing back after being out for a week with an illness, she put together her best race of the season and hopefully a big confidence boost moving forward.  Strong pack running led the girls to a 7th place finish.

The varsity boys race saw medals won from the top three finishers on the team, as they all cracked the top 20. Tyler Schick, Arnold Arce and Tanner Torri all ran strong races up front. The scoring was rounded out from two PRs with Raymond Churchill running nearly a 20 second lifetime best and then Michael Kawa improving on his PR from Wednesday with another on Saturday. Missing one of our top runners with Harlan Matson out, the boys still fought to a 4th place finish with a strong team effort.

The open races saw some great performances. Both First Penguin winners came from the open with Danielle Dybas running a lights out race to break 23 for the first time this season and just finish outside of the top 10. On the boys side Thomas Coleman aka T-Bone ran a 3 minute PR to earn the Penguin. Colin Elder also ran a season best time of 19:40 in the open race. Adan Velajcic finished up the day for the Wildcats with a PR as well.

It was a great step in the right direction for the Wildcats and the next few week should be great training with some wonderful opportunities for great racing. The team is back in action in Peoria next Saturday.