Team Results

Challis, "Mile High Classic", results

Well, we tried to time things better this week, but having never been to Challis....and relying on mapquest...we did not do much better than we have the last two weeks.  We talked about a pre-race plan in which we extended the race course walk-through and warmup, and making sure there were no unexpecteds before a race.  But, we arrived at the course 30 minutes before the girls start and it seemed to throw some of the runners off. 

The course itself looked a bit faster than the Tiger-Griz, though it laid-out fairly similarly.  It had a few creek crossings and a couple of hills.  The rest was flat, the surface was harder (which is faster), although a few single-track sections that didn't allow passing slowed people.

Girls Race:
The team was again led my Mariah.  Her 21:16 was a 9 seconds slower than last week, but still good enough for 3rd place.  Because this was a smaller race, she ran much of the 2nd half by herself.  Emma ran tough through 2 miles, but again was forced out due to injury.  She will get some time off before coming back, but her conditioning is solid so should be fine for the end of the season.  Brazee jumped up to the 2nd postion on the team with a great race!  Her 22:17 was 29 seconds better than Soda Springs and was probably the highlight for the day for the girls team!  Her spot is a key one on the team as we now have 5 girls who have either run a 21 or are knocking on the door....and it is only mid-season!  Another bright spot in this meet was having Tait Hanson get in a healthy race.  With a conservative race strategy, she still finished in 23:21 (5 position on the team).  Maggie, Tashi and Luna struggled a bit on this course, but they will have better days ahead.  Mary also continues to improve with a 23:36 today (16 seconds better than last week). 

JV Girls were a different story on this course.  Maybe because they were in the same race as the varsity, they all really improved!  Janet finished in 25:00 (46 seconds better than her season best), Anna Tara's 25:36 was a season best by over a minute!  Bethanie continues to take off big chuncks of time with her 25:47 (1:03 better than Soda) and Addie's 26:04 was 1:28 better than last week!!!!!  Cassidy struggled with some breathing issues with all the dust, but finished the course in 37:10.

Girls team finished 2nd in the 5-team race even without Emma.  The emergence of Brazee and Tait from this race could signal really good things for this team

Boys Race:
The boys team jumped off the line a little more prepared.  The top end boys of Kinsly, Grant, and Winston let the Idaho rabbits win the first 100 meters, but quickly established their positions.  The rest of the team found their packs and ran together as we hoped they would.

Kinsly had a 40 meter lead by the first mile and never looked back.  In notching his first victory of the season in 17:08 he improved his season best by 5 seconds.  It looked to be even better, but without any competition for the last half of the race, it was tough to keep the intensity.  Even with the laps in intensity, Kinsly set the new course record for this course!  Grant also took it up a notch, though battling some upper-respiratory issues.  His 3rd place finish in 17:46 was 16 seconds better than last week.  Winston looked to be getting more comfortable with the season with his 4th place finish in 18:01 (32 seconds better than last week). 

The next section of the team broke into two packs by the mile mark, clearly feeding off eachother.  This is the way we hope they race the rest of the season.  Sawyer was the first to break off the front.  He worked through a side-ache to a time of 18:52.  His a key spot for the team and he is making nice progress!  Next was a healthy Kameron.  His 19:11 was good for 5th on the team.  Good to see him racing again!  Matt also is clearly digging in for a shot at varsity this year with his strong 19:16.  Riis (19:23--same as Soda Springs), Scott (19:29--33 seconds better than Idaho Falls), Sam (19:34--19 seconds better than las week), and Caden (19:39--25 seconds better than last week) all stayed generally together to make their cases for varsity spots. 

Myles (19:54) is hitting a flat spot in his season, but this often leads to huge jumps when we start to taper, Walter (19:54), and Zeke (19:59) all got under 20 minutes.  Skyler (20:19--31 seconds better) and Bjorn (20:11--36 second improvement) are knocking on the door of getting under the magical 20 min. barrier.  Cormac looked to be right with this group but had a tough 3rd mile to finish is 20:54.  Jake had a great race, working on his focus, finishing in 22:04 (35 seconds better than a week ago).  Hunter continues to get his legs under him with a 22:44 (23 second improvement).  Tyson had a tough one with some knee issues, finishing in 23:16.  Yair, starting to get XC, finished in 24:01 (48 second improvement).  Phillip completed the course in 25:15.

Boys team took home its first victory of the season.  In the 8 team race, the boys beat a couple of 4A Idaho schools with its 22 point margin over Jerome and 34 points over Columbia. 

As the kids will tell you, this was a heavy training week in the middle of the season....definately a lot of wear and tear on bodies and minds.  So these results are really encouraging!  The other teams we are watching, Cody, Lander, and Star Valley also had good weeks, so I think we are "holding serve" at this point.  As has been our habit over the last 4 years though, look out for us in the next few weeks!  We will be cutting mileage and working on more pace and speed work.....good things usually happen!

Tiger-Griz 2012


First of all, thank you to everyone for the positive attitude in dealing with the bus issues this week.  I know it was not ideal, but I appreciate the fact that no one made it a big deal!

Overall, great races by almost everyone!  We continue to get better and that is the goal.  A few individuals stood out to coach Hamilton and I including Kinsly, Maggie, Addie, and Alli, but the most improved runner of the week had to go to Caden Colson who made a one week improvement of 2:07 from 22:11 to 20:04.  He is now relevant to the Varsity discussion, and in only his second XC race!

We have found over the last couple of years that once they put the stream-crossing into this race that it is basically equivilant difficulty to the Cardinal Classic.  This was probably true this year as they kept the grass a little longer making the running surface soft, but slower.

Girls Races
JV:  Because of the bus transfers, the girls JV again got shorted on warm-up time....we looked to finally correct this next week!  I guess they are getting used to this because they all were at or below goal mile splits and looked agressive through the hills at the second mile.  The final flat section seemed to sap them a bit, but as is their habit, their times improved dramatically.  Mary Galbraith again led this group throughout the race. She finished just outside of the medals in 21st place with a time of 23:53 (improving by 1:22 from Douglas--her last race).  Alli Wolf was next in with a time of 26:02 (huge PR of 1:58 faster than Douglas).  She was followed by Janet Garcia who was slowed by asthma symptoms, but she still faught to basically the same time as the Cardinal Classic.  Maddie Peck made her first race of the season a good one with a 26:10 and looked really smooth doing so.  Bethanie Hartdid not improve her time, but learned a valuable lesson in the process.  We have always said that often these are the best races because they are the ones we usually see the greatest growth from!  Addie Hart had a monster race finishing in 27:32, right behind Bethanie.  This was a 1:44 improvement from the Cardinal Classic.  Somebody better take this girls out for ice cream soon to celbrate her improvements so far this season!  Cassidy Weaver had a much improved race where she really focused on consistantly competing throughout the race and improved by 1:47.

Varsity:  The girls team also had positive results although it was a little more mixed.  Mariah Bredal continued to pace the girls with a strong 21:03 (8 seconds better than last week).  The great thing about this was the Mariah did not get rattled even through the pre-race plan never really came together.  Emma was running right with Mariah (as we hope will continue into the future) when she was struck with sharp pains in her lower leg due to a bad bout of tendonitis.  I forced her out of the race to prevent further injury.  Lets hope we get this fixed soon....  Maggie had a solid full 5k.  We had talked about a more agressive stride and she worked on that really well.  Her time of 21:43 (21 seconds faster than last week) will be huge for the team as it looks to close the gap with teams like Star Valley and Cody.  Luna struggled a bit in this one going from 21:56 at Soda to 22:50, but it was still a 51 second improvement from this course last year.  Like Bethanie we will review this one and find how we can use it for future races.  The best thing to look at is that Luna is still almost ahead of last year and last year she finished the season in 8th.....not too much to worry about there!  Sara McCandless had a great race, working with Luna for much of the race.  Her time of 22:50 was her first under 23 minutes and an improvement of 16 seconds from last week (and even better, she made it look so much easier this week!).  Brazee rounded out the varsity team with a 23:20.  This was a bit slower that Soday, but a 28 second improvement from this course last year, so another positive development!

As a team, the injuries definately took their toll.  In the small school's division, the girls finished 3rd place.

Boys Races
JV:  Last week it was this team that struggled the most and this week probably had the best rebound.  Sam French led the group and continued his case for a varsity spot.  His 19:53 was 3 seconds better than Douglas.  Scott McLennan coninued to climb as well.  His 20:02 was 35 seconds better than Soda and a whopping 1:39 better than here last year.  Zeke Nelson showed why we like the depth of this sophomore class he also had a 20:02 (1:14 better than last week and 48 seconds better than here last year).  He was followed by the suprise of the day, Caden (another soph)  His 20:04 was 2:07 better than last week....he is figuring this game out fast!  Bjorn Schou battled through heel pain but still posted a 20:47 in his first race.  As we talked, he was in perfect position through 2 miles, but had to jog the last mile to get through the pain.  Look for better things to come from this freshman!  Skyler Everitts rejoined us from a long break and posted a respecable 20:50 in his first race this season.  With less training, he posted almost the exact same time as last season.  Tyson Danby is another part of our impressive freshman class.  He continues to improve with his first race under 22 (21:52), a 38 second improvement from last week.  Jake Miller showed a 9 second improvement with his 22:48.  Hunter Hardwich improved by 37 seconds even though he probably hit the night run a little too hard on Thursday (I liked the enthusiasm though!).  Yair Sanchez rounded out the boys team iwth a solid 24:49 in his first race.  I am glad he is ready to commit now!

Varsity:  The top half of this team is starting to establish itself, while we struggled a bit with our 4-7 runner.  The good thing again is that when we struggle, we learn and I think we have come up with some good plans that are going to pay of in the coming weeks.  Kinsly led this group with the best race I have seen him run in a while.  He time was pretty good, but his solid agression from the starting ling to the finish tape was the best part.  He was in total control of HIS race--Awesome!  I wish I had a tape of him for the whole 5k to show everyone!  His 17:13 was 52 seconds better than last week and a huge 1:36 better than last year's Tiger-Griz.  There still is a long season ahead, but if he continues running like this, he is definately among the elite in Wyoming 3A!  Grant made a huge adjustment to his racing strategy that will pay off as we move forward.  His 18:02 was a 12 second improvement from last week, though a little slower from last season.  But he now has a solid plan that he can get more agressive with.  It is going to be exciting to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.  Again, the great thing was that Grant was in total control of HIS race throughout!  Winston also had a good race.  He has high expectations this year (and I agree with them), so he wasn't thrilled with his 18:33, but a 29 second improvement from last week and 1:24 better than last year show that he is moving in the right direction.  Myles continues to hang on to his varsity spot, though his 19:41 was a bit of a struggle.  This was 6 seconds slower than Douglas, which was a much harder course.  He did struggle with some flu-like symptoms this week so looks to improve as he gets healthy.  Walther Thulin, another part of our strong freshman crew finished in 20:09.  We are continuing to work on Walter's form and look for big things in future races.  Riis was struck again by side-aches.  This course seems to have it out for Riis.  But as was the theme for the day for many runners, we have a plan!  As we try to preach over and over again, there aren't "failures" in XC or life.  There are learning lessons to build upon for success.  I was impressed with each runner that struggled this week.  They all came out of the finishing chute upset with their race, but quickly began to evaluate and make plans to deal with their challenges in the next race!!!  That is awesome!!!

As a team, the boys finished 4th in the small schools division.  Our top 3 really ran even with the competition at all levels, but as is the case in XC the most important runners on the team are 4-5 and we did falter there a bit.

Next week is the "Mile High Classic" in Challis, ID.  This course is two loops with a few creek crossings and a moderate hill 2x.  We have never tried this one before so don't know a lot about it.  I will send a second e-mail with links to videos of the course.

Again a great week of XC.  Huge efforts from everyone and wonderful improvements--that is what XC is all about!

Cardinal Classic 2012

After our first "difficult cycle" week, I would say the Cardinal Classic was a big success.  The results are now on www.athletic.net if you want to see them all.  Once getting final numbers down (their timing system broke, so we had to wait for them to record from hand-timing), it is cool to see the progress almost everyone is making!!!

Girls Team:  Last year we thought if everything fell our way, we would have a shot at state, this year we are in the "thick of it".  A number of coaches came up to me recognizing the strength of this team (I would prefer to stay anonymous, but also nice to hear the recognition).  This team had a GREAT week of practice and I can see the focus and competativeness starting to come out!

Varsity:  Mariah, Emma, and Maggie ran together to the base of heart-break hill (this is what we hoped for...it is great to have these girls running together in practices so that in races there is a comfort level achieved by the visual ques of having them around eachother in races).  Maggie fell off a bit at the hill while Mariah and Emma continued together.  As we talked afterwords, we will have tons of time to work on hills as we move through the season...so this should be a strength of the team by October.  Luna wasn't far behind, and hills are definately her strength, so it was awesome to see her so far up the pack here.  Brazee and Sara followed with Tashi right behind them. 

To not get too wordy (my contuning nemisis).  All girls competed really well and showed great improvement.  They worked the middle mile downhill, and for the first time in years, all had great last-mile splits on the flats.

By the numbers:  Mariah: 21:11 (7 seconds better than last week, and a better race plan), Emma 21:44 ( 38 seconds better than last week and 2 minutes better than last year on this course!!!  Lets get those shins healthy!), Luna: 21:56 (1:35 better than last week and 1:40 better than last year!!!  Probably the most important improvement as she is moving up with our first pack!!!), Maggie: 22:04 (1:00 better than last week!  Much better focus throughout the race!!), Brazee: 22:46 (1:17  better than last week and :39 better than last year!  In the all-important 5-spot on the team her improvement is great to see!), Sara: 23:06 (:47 better than last year!  Giving great depth to the team!), Tashi: 23:56 (1:25 better than last week!  Awesome improvement as well...great last mile!)

The team finished just behind Star Valley 178-165.  There was a big gap between top runners as Hailey Ricks looks strong, but after that it was tie-score.  It looks like we have moved up to Star Valley and Cody to make it a 3-way race at state!!!!  (Cody results this week--without Anne Briniger (top runner) 21:40-22:50 at Sheidan--an easier course.  Exciting results! 

JV:  Starting us off again this week.  Coaches got really excited after this one because of the huge improvements both in agressiveness and focus as well as final results.

By the numbers:  Janet: 25:46 (1:07 improvement from last week!  Great progress after a week of illness!), Bethanie: 26:50 (1:18 improvement!  Form looked so much better!), Elsa: 26:51 (:45 better than last year!  A bit of an injury slowing her down, but still looked strong!), Anna Tara: 27:52 in her first race looked really smooth!!!, Addie: 29:16 (2:53 better than last week!!!  She is starting to get XC and takes the prize for the best week's improvement!!!), Cassidy 36:55 rounded out the girls team.

Boys Team:  This year's team is starting to develop its own character and it looks good!  We got a little spoiled the last couple of years as Wyoming running was weak...and we were not.  We are better 1-7, but Wyoming schools have moved up to our level.  This year is going to be a battle all year that is going to require us to be a much tighter team, supporting eachother all along the way and it is going to mean that we are going to need everyone to step up to their abilities.  This meet was a good step in that direction!!

Varsity:  The heavy training week seemed to hit these guys a little harder.  Most of them commented about dead legs and it showed as we could see the competativeness in their faces and the determination working through the different phases of the course (hit the first hill solid, strode out the 2nd mile down agressively, and competed in the flat section), but as the race progressed most of the guys lost ground on those around them...especially Star Valley (or at least that is what I was paying attention to).  As we hit some easier training weeks ahead, the legs will rebound and I am confident that this trend will reverse itself....it really has been our pattern for the last 4-5 years)

By the numbers:  Kinsly 18:05 (:28 better than last week and 1:07 better than last year!  Most importantly, his middle split was much improved as he gets better at a full 5K focus), Grant 18:14 (definately dead-leg syndrom as he stayed basically flat with times from last week and last year.  Look out next week with the less-difficult training week), Sawyer: 18:52 (hit by an I-T band issue, but looks to be a huge contributer for the team this year!), Winston: 19:02 (2:08 better than last year!  A totally different runner after his huge track season last Spring), Riis: 19:23 (2:40 better than last year!  This is a great starting point as Riis looks to take on the all-important leadership role in the middle of the varsity team!).  Myles: 19:32 (3 seconds better than last week...looked pretty comfortable in the race), Matt: 19:33 (good first race...all these guys will be fighting for varsity spots!)

The team finish just ahead of Star Valley 212-213.  We were without some key runners in Brendon, Walter, Sam, and Bjorn, but Star Valley was without their top runner (Livingston).  As we found out with Lander last week, we are going to have to work hard to earn it this year.  With Star Valley, it was amazing how we basically alternated with them through the whole race, each position seperated by a couple of seconds.....it will come down to beating the guy by you (of course they know that too!)

JV:  Much like last year's Tiger-Griz race, where results were not available because of computer problems...JV results are unavailable so far.  We will hope that they will get these out at some point, but right now I really don't know.  As an overview, it looked like the JV team was hit with the same dead-legs from training as the varsity boys.  If I can find these results, I will send them out later.

Next week: Tiger-Griz, Friday in Idaho Falls.  This is another large race.  The course is a little-bit easier than these two weeks, but there is another series of hills that will make it a challenge (which is good since the state course is similar).  The good thing is that we will have a more relaxed training week, so look forward to feeling fresher at this one!  We are attempting to organize transportation for Science School kids who will be on their "Journey".  An itinerary will follow.

2012 Jackalope Invitational
 

The Course: Douglas is the site of this years state meet, so this was a good opportunity to get a feel for the course. When I got back from Bear Lake, I got all these e-mails about new location, so we went into this one a bit blind. The course itself looked worse than it really was, but definately harder than in past years.....not sure if there is really a flat section on the whole course. In addition, it includes a monster hill...gradual switch-backs to a steep climb from about 1.5-2 miles.

All this will play well for us if it is the state course as it is a lot like the training we will do this year. In addition, we were one of four 3A teams there, so we will know the course better than the competition. Definately a good thing we went to this meet.

Girls JV: As often happens, the girls JV get to be our guinnea pig to get an idea "how the course runs". At the first mile mark, it looked like it was a pretty typical course as all girls were hitting target splits. Mary Galbraith (11) was running 2nd with a 7:15 mile. Alli Wolf (9), Janet Garcia (11), and Elsa Binger (11) looked comfortable running mid-pack...right where we hoped, Bethanie Hart (9) was putting together a good race (well under target), and Cassidy Weaver (9) and Addie Hart (9) were getting in a good first mile in their first high school XC experience.

The hill in the 2nd mile definately took a toll as we didn't get to mentally prepare for it. Bethanie and Janet jumped about a minute in time while others struggled even more. It was a great learning experience for all as we move forward. One of the hardest things in XC is to focus an entire 5k, especially when you get hit with an unexpected challenge. This hit this group expecially hard, but really was a consistant up and down the team.

The group, as a whole maintained their 2nd mile pace into the third mile, fighting the heat and fatigue. Mary held on to a top-10 finish. She will be fighting for a varsity spot as we move forward. The best thing about this whole group is their mature perspective on the race. It was a tough 1st course on a 90 degree day and they came away with a feeling of satisfaction from trying their hardest and understanding that this was a starting point to grow from. Very impressive for a group mostly of 1st year runners!

Boys JV: The boys followed suit of the girls. Thie first mile times were either at pace or well under. Paul Gudemann (10) led the group with a 6:27 mile. He was near the front of the pack. Tyson Danby (9), Hunter Hardwick (10), Jake Miller (10), and Cormac Mullin (11) were mid-pack running 6:45-7:00. As the girls did, they all looked comfortable.

The second mile was again the game-changer, all runners added 1-2 minutes to their mile-times. This will definately be a focus as we move forward with the season....not only hills, but mental focus. Most of these guys looked a little shocked by the impact of the hill.

Cormac and Paull did a great job with their last mile by returning to their 1st mile pace, but all runners were able to force their pace faster on the last mile. This is a good sign. They all showed great potential for the future. Paul maybe had the race-of-the-day for the team as he pushed his body to the absolute limit. Cormac's experience was at play in that he immediately evaluated his race and understood mistakes. Hunter learned some valuable lessons about how to push his body and Jake improved dramatically from last season on a much easier course!

Girls Varsity: Same story, different race. All the girls were right at split at the first mile. Mariah Bredal (9), in her 1st Wy high school race, jumped to an early lead and was running about 4 seconds ahead of the pack. She was followed by Emma MacEachern (10) and Maggie Carruth (11) running side-by-side (a sight we hope will turn into at least 4). Tashi Wangchuck (11) and Luna Wasson (12) were just 10 seconds back (a good sight to see as this was closer than we had seen in practices). Brazee Smith (10) was a little more cautious with her start, just back of Luna and Tashi.

The second mile held the same experience for this group. Each runner gained 1-1:15 in the second mile. Both varsity groups were counseled caution on the hill as we were mostly here to gain experience on the course, so this wasn't really a concern. A pair of Rock Springs girls passed Mariah, but she was sitting strong in 3rd. Emma seperated from Maggie, but Luna was now next to Maggie and both were working together. Brazee, who looked like she was in a deep hole going up the hill was gaining momentum....this is a great experience for all runners. Learning that your body recovers during races allows you to be agressive later in races. I saw this in Brazee's race.

Mariah finished strong in 5th, and actually ran the most even splits of the day (6:38, 7:30, 6:45). This was a really impressive race for a freshman and a great development for a team that has possible state title aspirations.... Emma faught a side-ache to finish 10th. Maggie showed her leg-speed, just as Luna had showed her hill-climbing tenacity, with a great finish. Brazee, as said before, had a great last mile.....and more importantly learned about staying agressive and pushing into that "second wind". Tashi, in her first 5k race, faught through her side-ache as well to a quality 1st race.

Boys Varsity: O.K. same story. Everyone was ball-park at pace at the 1st mile. Kinsly Smith (12) was sitting 4-5 and was followed by Grant Cameron (12) about 1 second back. Kameron (Frank) Moreneso (10) looked good towards the front of the main pack as did Myles Finlay (12) and Sam French (12) who were mid-pack. Scott McLennan (10) was a bit off pace towards the back of the pack at this point.

At the 2 mile mark, the story was the same...:40-1:15 added to times. Grant passed Kinsly for the team lead, but both looked strong coming off the hill. Myles probably had the best 2nd mile of the day, moving away from Sam and past Kameron.

Grant came home with a 5:46 mile and a strong kick to medal with a top-ten finish (though suprisingly sandwiched between two 3A rivals from Torrington and Lander) Kinsly was next in behind the top Lander runner. As both of these guys pursue a 5th straight indivual state title for JHHS, things just got a little more interesting..... Myles, as always, was a great suprise in his first race of the year. He could be really valuable as we look to a 3rd team title this year. Sam was greatly improved in comparison to past years, his summer mileage definately was paying dividents as was Kameron's. Scott will have better days ahead.....he has laid a strong base and built good leg-speed in track. If I was racing in WY, I would be looking out for him as the season progresses.

Team Results:

The girl's team depth really showed as they finished 3rd, only 3 points back of 4A powerhouse Rock Springs and 12 back of 4A Natrona County. As this team learns how to keep their pack together longer to push eachother, they will be really competative. Cody and Star Valley remain the teams to beat in 3A, but I sure like what I see coming together. This team also raced without two strong runners in Tait Hanson (11) and Sara McCandless (11).

The boy's team definately struggled in this one, but it is kind of our yearly early-season trend (for better or worse). Finishing 40 points behing rival 3A Lander should light a fire under everyone. We were racing without much of our varsity team (Brendan Weber (11), Riis Wilbrecht (12), Sawyer Thomas (11) were all parts of our last two state championship teams, Winston Scofield (10) showed in track that he will contribute, Zeke Nelson (10) could become a factor, and Walter Thulin (9) and Bjorn Schou (9) look to be key additions based on practices), but this should be an eye-opener for everyone. Lander had a real tight pack just behind Kinsly....and Star Valley had great results in Pocatello. Time to go to work :)

2011 State Results

 Boys State Champions--Top Individual: Oliver Scofield 1st Place-- 16:51

Girls 3rd Place--Top Individual:  Catherine Cloetta 4th Place--20:54

A fitting end to an awesome season!  For me it started with the course run-through on Friday night.  Seeing the teams run in their groups, relaxed and confident, was great to see.  As we made our way around, I could tell that everyone was putting together race-plans that they felt confident in.  Exactly the way top-notch teams work.  Dinner was a bit long….and goofy….this team definitely enjoys hanging out with each other!  Sometimes a little too much, but it is neat to see a team where everyone is having good time!  The team meeting was a bit brief, but it was cool.  We had the team, coaches, two alum from last year (Siena and Annie), and an alum from 8 years ago (Sully).  If that doesn’t speak to the program (not just team) that we are building, I don’t know what does.


 

Coaches stayed up late reliving the season as Coach Hamilton created her “race-day Tutu” and Sully, her “race-day head-dress”…..coach Lunde a little sentimental as this would be his last race with a team he has been committed to for the last 6 years.  We rehashed the good and bad from these years and how proud we both are of how the teams have progressed from his first year of 2005 where we had no all state individuals or no top-three team to where we are now.  It has been a lot of work, a little frustration, and a ton of fun.  It is really going to be a loss next year as Coach Lunde moves on to Laramie…….


 

Anyway:  Race Day!

Varsity Boys

The 3A boys were in the first race of the day.  As soon as the guys got off the bus, they were all business.  As I talked to parents, I could see the separate groups of guys making their way around the course warming-up, reviewing the race plans, and getting psyched-up.  By this time of the season, they knew exactly what to do and there was none of the pre-race goofies that sometimes plagues this team.  They were all business!  At the starting line, they were definitely on edge as they got their heart-rates up with numerous pick-ups.  Any doubts I had about the race melted away for me….this definitely was going to be our day.

The boys exhibited their race strategy learned from the battles waged in Idaho and Utah.  They surged into the lead and by the 800 meter mark had established their positions.  At the mile, Oliver was in the lead with Kinsly, Lars, and Grant in hot pursuit.  All were in the top-10 and had left many of those who challenged them at regionals behind.  Sawyer had a great spot in 14th place and Riis and Hunter looked poised to attack the middle of the race.  By the second mile, most of the race seemed pretty well sorted out.  Oliver was lengthening his lead over Raider Nelson, Kinsly and Oliver were solid in 3rd and 4th.  Grant was in 9th, but looked strong as did Sawyer who was sitting around 15th.  Riis and Hunter were having solid races, but had yet to link-up with Sawyer.  As the lead cart crested the rise at the 400 meter mark, Oliver was all alone.  He never was really challenged in the race and looked to be cruising…enjoying his repeat state championship in his last high school XC race.  Raider Nelson was clearly in second, but Lars—tough as always at state—had cleared himself of everyone else and was cruising to his second 3rd place finish in two years.  What an awesome competitor.  Both of these guys will be assets to the colleges they attend next year!  Kinsly was still tangling with a runner from Lander (?)  It wasn’t too much of a concern, knowing the natural leg-speed Kinsly possesses.  Kinsly would finish 4th—the top underclassman finishing….Look out next season!!!!  Grant had made an awesome move with about 800 meters to go to get with the group trying to catch Kinsly.  I think I may have seen a smile on Grant’s face (maybe I just imagined it) as we both knew what was coming next.  He has way too much leg speed for anyone except maybe his own teammates.  He would finish 6th as a desperate lunge from the Douglas runner just out-leaned him.  This will be an awesome 1-2 punch for next season!  Sawyer was having some difficulty with the last part of the course, but his aggressive race strategy still ended up placing him 20th over-all.  Riis was closing on Sawyer, but had maybe waited a little too long…he finished 27th (a 20 second improvement from last year).  Hunter also had a solid race, closing out his high school XC season with a 36th place finish.

The boys team dominated the final results with its 1, 3, 4, 6, 20 finish.  That was 50 points ahead of 2nd place Star Valley.  Even more incredible, when scored in the 4A race, they finished 1st, 29 points ahead of Rock Springs.  Coach Lunde and I had talked about this over the summer….we toyed with the idea of inviting a runner from Pinedale to run for us so we could move up to 4A for the challenge….we were pretty confident in our team back then, and this was proven-out this weekend!


 

By numbers:   Oliver Scofield:  1st 16:51 (only two runners in all classes under 17

 on this day)  **Repeat State Champion**

      Lars Schou:  3rd Place (17:19) **Repeat All State**

      Kinsly Smith:  4th (17:36) **All State**

      Grant Cameron:  6th (17:37) **All State**

      Sawyer Thomas:  20th (18:16)

      Riis Wilbrecht:  27th (18:47)

      Hunter Matthies:  36th (19:09)

  Boys Team Results:   Jackson 34 **Repeat State Champion**

 Star Valley 85

 Newcastle 94

   --13 Total Teams Competing--

Varsity Girls

The girls’ team also looked great warming up and on the line, I could tell it was going to be a great day!  Everyone was pretty amped-up after watching the boys dominate the early race and it seemed to be kind of contagious.  We knew we were a long-shot, but we also knew we had the ability to win this race.  We had lost to both Star Valley and Cody by 50 points both at regionals and the last time we were on this course.  But we had been working all week on keeping our varsity pack together.  If this happened as it did in Orem, there would be a lot of shocked people today!


 

At the gun, our placement in the middle of the starting line caused us a little problem.  Catherine got out quick with the front pack and Emma and Luna got out in the top 10-15, but Brazee and Marianne got caught up in the mass of runners and lost contact with Emma and Luna.  Hannah and Ellie positioned themselves well and with an aggressive second mile, would be important in the case of a close race.  At the mile, Catherine was between the Nethercott twins, with a bit of a gap to make-up.  She looked strong though and with the flat open section ahead she had positioned herself in a great spot!  Emma and Luna were still together and had moved up to 11th and 12th.  It was early in the race, but if Brazee and Marianne didn’t make a hard move soon, the pack idea was going to have to go by the way-side.  They both looked strong and Brazee was climbing on the down-hill just after the mile mark.  At the two-mile, Catherine jumped on the hill.  She looked better than I had seen all year on the hills.  We both knew that Star Valley is strong on the hills and it was really important that Catherine be strong on this hill to both hold her position as well as have a shot at 3rd.  I was amazed to see both Luna and Emma cruising up behind Catherine.  They were running AWESOME races (to this day, I am wondering what their limits really are…..they looked so calm…..)  They had moved up into the top-10.  There was no doubt that they would be all state runners.  They looked so strong!  Brazee and Marianne also looked strong at the two mile mark, but they had not made up much ground on Luna and Emma.  They were having strong races, but it was pretty clear that the hopes of the pack of 4 wasn’t going to materialize.  In addition, Cody was having an amazing race.  In any event, Brazee took the initiative as they hit the hill.  She looked determined.  Marianne also looked determined to get rid of the memories from last year’s state race (she was well on the way!).  Hannah and Ellie looked good at the 2 mile mark as well.  The two seniors were putting in solid races.  As they came to the final 400 meters, Catherine was firmly in control of 4th place.  She had too much ground to make up for 3rd, but with her strong finish it was clear that no one was going to pass her at this juncture of the race.  For me, the most amazing sight of the day was Emma and Luna cresting the rise at the 400 meter mark.  They had made-up a bunch of ground on Catherine (and everyone else).  I was as surprised as everyone around me as they cruised past in 6th and 8th places….and both still looked calm, strong, and fast!  Brazee was next in, 24th as a freshman bodes well for the next 3 years of JHHS XC!  She had broken away from Marianne in the last mile, but Marianne still looked strong, finishing 29th (2:24 ahead of last year’s time—yes, that is 2 minutes and 24 seconds faster!).  Hannah was right behind Marianne in 32nd to finish her senior season in awesome fashion.  Ellie finished 47th—a noble fight through the season rehabbing her knee and still making the state team (this was not a gift, it was something she earned)!


 

By numbers: Catherine Cloetta:  4th Place (20:54) **Repeat All State**

  Emma MacEachern:  6th Place (21:13) **All State**

      Luna Wasson:  8th Place (21:31) **All State**

      Brazee Smith:  24th Place (22:55)

      Marianne Galbraith:  29th Place (23:11)

      Hannah Wells:  32nd Place (23:26)

      Ellie Finnegan:  47th Place (24:28)

  Girls Team Results:  

  Cody 47

 Star Valley 64

Jackson 71 (Made up 26 points from Regionals race!)

    --13 Total Teams Competing--

**Also by numbers:  the 2nd best team (average time of 7 runners at state) JHHS had ever fielded—this was just an exceptionally strong year for 3A Wyoming XC!

 

 

10/14--3A West Regional at Powell

 Boys Regional Champions--Top Individual: Oliver Scofield 1st Place--NEW SCHOOL RECORD 16:01

Girls 3rd Place--Top Individual:  Catherine Cloetta 3rd Place--NEW ELEVATION RECORD 19:32

After almost two weeks off of racing due to bad weather, I wasn’t sure how the teams would perform at regionals.  They had proven that they could run fast down at Orem, but I was concerned that they didn’t get the chance to prove it was just one race.  Those doubts were erased quickly.

I don’t think we could have had a better day to run.  The winds were calm (yes this does happen from time to time in Wyoming) and the temperature was a pleasant 65.  On the course run-through we learned that the route had changed and there was little in the way of hills.  The course had some tight turns, but the footing was hard.  It had all the makings of a really fast day!  With that in mind, we put together aggressive race-plans.

The girls race went off first and the whole pack went out fast.  Catherine placed herself perfectly with the lead runners, but the rest of the varsity group was well back in the pack.  They would have some work ahead….but I think they went out smart.  They were running their race.

At the mile mark, Catherine was holding her own with the best high school runners in the state in Anne Brininger from Cody and Hailey Ricks from Star Valley and the three had opened a gap from the rest of the runners.  The next good sign was that Luna and Emma were getting aggressive and making their way up the pack.  The concern was that Marianne and Brazee were not going with them (both had a tough week health-wise).  With that said, everyone was running really fast times!  They were definitely proving that the race in Orem was no fluke.  In time comparisons, their times are as fast as any team JHHS has ever put together. 

At the two mile mark, Catherine began to falter and two Star Valley runners were closing in on her.  They had beaten her most of the season, so their confidence was high.  But also continuing to reel in the competition was Emma and Luna. They looked really strong.  Marianne and Brazee continued with strong races, but were starting to run out of time to make up ground on the competition.  Closing in on Marianne and Brazee were Hannah, Ellie, and Sally.  All were having great races!

With one turn to go, Catherine put in a surge to separate from the Star Valley runners who had caught her, but then missed the turn.  She ran almost 100 yard off course before realizing what had happened.  Once corrected, she hit a dead sprint for the final 200 meters.  Unbelievably she held on to her 3rd place finish even with the detour.  In addition, Catherine set the Jackson High School Record for High Altitude races with her time of 19:32 (Ellie Rice 2009)!  Emma and Luna had huge races themselves finishing 11th and 12th in 20:44 and 20:47; both PR’s and among only a hand full of JHHS runners ever to finish under 21 minutes!  Brazee and Marianne both did great though their breathing difficulties with PR’s of their own:  21:24 (19th) and 21:47 (24th) respectively.  Hannah Wells was the 6th runner besting her freshman personal record with her 22:22 (29th).  Ellie Finnegan continued her amazing return from knee surgery as our 7th runner in 23:01.  Sally Watters PR’ed with her 23:14.  1st year runners Morgan Comey, Elsa Binger, Vivian Eden, and Brooke Blann all completed the year with more PR’s finishing in 23:15, 24:26, 25:06, and 25:45 respectively.  They all had amazing seasons with PR after PR all year long!!!!!

The girls team finished 3rd place behind champion Star Valley and runner-up Cody.  Our State team for next week will consist of Catherine, Emma, Luna, Brazee, Marianne, Hannah, and Ellie.  The alternates are Sally, Morgan, Elsa, Vivian, and Brooke.

When the boys learned of the girls success, you could see that this would be a special day for them as well.  The only question was if their new sense of determination that had replaced their “happy-go-lucky” attitude would pay off. 

Off the starting line, most of the team got out to fast starts.  The season groupings seemed to be failing to form, but everyone was running with intensity.  In the lead pack were Oliver, Kinsly, Lars, and Grant.  Not far behind them were Sawyer, Brendan, Riis, Hunter, and Matt.  Following closely behind was the rest of the team.

At the mile mark, Oliver had taken control of the race (5:01).  Looking at those in pursuit, the clearest threat he had was his teammate, Kinsly.  Behind Kinsly was Lars and Grant (all three looked comfortable).  The rest of the team came fast and furious….too much for me to actually take splits.  All I know is that everyone was FAST through one mile.  Sawyer and Brendan had broken clear of their group and were not far behind Lars and Grant.  Riis, Hunter, and Matt were not far back and surprisingly Winston, Myles, and Sam were pretty close to this group. 

At the two mile mark, Oliver had increased his lead over everyone.  Kinsly was the next runner and had started to clear himself from any competition.  Lars and Grant were still together and were running 6th and 7th, but they looked strong.  Sawyer and Brendan were also running great races at this point, but were farther back in the pack than we had anticipated.  The hope was that they could both get into the top 10.  Next were Riis and Hunter, they continued with good races, but looked to be slowing as they tried to make contact with Sawyer (their habit in the past few races).  The next group was still an awesome surprise.  Winston had moved up to the 9th spot on the team and was running around a good group of Jackson runners that included Myles, Sam, and Matt.

At the last turn, Oliver continued to look strong.  He was all alone, but was going to a place that very few runners can get to.  All by himself he was able to maximize every ounce of determination in pursuit of a school record on this perfect day.  And he CRUSHED it!  His time of 16:01 set the all-time JHHS record set in 1999 by Arte Huhn at a low elevation race in Orem.  Really an awesome display!  Some college coach is going to have a pleasant surprise on his team this time next year!

Kinsly was next.  He had a Powell runner trying to make a run at him, but he had no match for Kinsly’s speed.  Kinsly’s time of 16:31 would have been a JHHS high elevation record (Beau Baldock 2000) had Oliver not beaten him to the punch.  An awesome race by Kinsly and a 1-2 finish by JHHS!

Lars made an early move to move up to 4th place, but Grant waited to use his track speed down the finishing 200 meters.  Both used perfectly timed moves based on their ability to secure 4th (16:48) and 5th (16:53) places.  So a JHHS 1, 2, 4, 5 pretty much secured a team title.  But the rest of the team was not to be left out of the celebration this week with EVERYONE hitting PR’s!

Sawyer held his position at 14th place with a PR of 17:20.  He was followed by Brendan’s PR at 17:26 (15th).  Riis was the 7th JHHS runner in 17:31 (18th) and Hunter was right behind with a 17:39 (19th).  The biggest surprise of the day was from Winston Scofield, who hammered the last mile and finished right behind Hunter in 20th place with a PR of 17:41.  And right behind him were Sam and Myles  in 22nd and 23rd (17:51 and 17:55).  If you are counting, that is an amazing 11 guys under 18 minutes (yes this was a fast day, but in 2004 when we won the state title, we had a grand total on one guy under 18 minutes on a basically flat course)…..this is a GOOD team!!!!

OK, so that is good, but we also had another 5 guys under 19 minutes:  Matt (18:02—25th), Kyle (18:31—34th), Zeke (18:45—37th), Leif (18:46—38th), and Scott (18:52—39th).  Ask guys from last year’s team how hard it was to break 19 minutes!  This year it seems like everyone is getting this milestone!!!!!  This is an EXCELLENT team!!!!

OK, so that is excellent, but we also an another 2 guys under 20 minutes (this used to be the “gold standard” for the team to “make you a man”):  Chris Watters--fresh off the injury list (19:05—43rd) and Cormac Mullin (19:21—45th).  Awesome Team!!!

OK, so that is awesome…we then had Tomi under 21 minutes for the first time (20:23).  He is a freshman!  We never used to have freshman even near breaking 20 minutes!  Jake under 22 minutes with his PR of 21:10, and Martin with a 2 minute PR with his 21:33.

What is there left to say?  It was a great day for running on a fast course and we ALL took advantage of it!!!!  What Fun!

The boys team finished as repeat champions with Star Valley the runner-up team.  Our State team for next week will consist of Oliver, Kinsly, Lars, Grant, Sawyer, Brendan, and Riis.  The alternates are Hunter, Matt, Winston, Sam, and Myles.

9/31--Orem Kiwanis

   Boys 1st 3A (13 teams), 2nd Overall--Top Finisher:  Oliver Scofield 1st (4th overall) 16:15

 Girls 1st 3A (13 teams)--Top Finisher:  Catherine Cloetta 1st (4th overall) 19:31

To say last weekend’s race was a success would be an understatement.  We gambled by traveling to Orem and backing off of training.  We did this so that everyone could get a feel for what racing FAST and rested feels like so that we will be confident when state comes around in three weeks.  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

 

The Boys Varsity again started the day off.  It was another hot day (high 80’s), but that did not seem to bother anyone as PR’s were the rule of the day.  Oliver let us know the first mile would be fast by coming through in 4:48.  Close behind was “the pack” of Kinsly, Grant, and Lars at 5:05.  In fact, all 13 varsity (we ran two varsity teams this week) were under 5:45 at the first mile.  This was a flat course throughout, so we knew times would be fast and they were!  The only bummer is that the course measured at 3 miles instead of the official 5K.  This, unfortunately would cost Oliver a new school record.  We adjusted all the following times to 5K distances.  Oliver—1st place-- (should be school record)—16:15.  If Arte Huhn is reading these articles, he should thank the Kiwanis for screwing up because it allows his 16:18 in 1999 to stand as the school record.  Kinsly looked awesome in second.  There is no doubt that he is back in form with his PR of 16:31.  Lars broke 17 for the first time with his 16:52 and 4th on the podium.  Grant struggled a bit in the middle of the race, but still PR’ed with a 17:17 and 7th place.  He was followed by Sawyer and a hard-charging Riis who both posted 17:33s (9th and 10th).  This is a significant move that closes the gap between our 4th and 5th runners.  Hunter had a great race and a big PR with his 17:42 to stay in the hunt for a Varsity spot on the team.  Matt Boney looked much smoother and jumped up to an 18:08, also looking for that last varsity spot.  Winston and Sam were next with PR’s at 18:32 and 18:35.  Kyle seems to have solved his shin issues with his 19:06.  Myles keeps improving with his 19:11, while Zeke struggled with a side-ache, but PR’ed with his 19:21.

 

The boys again won the 3A division, and finished second to 5A Utah Powerhouse Bingham.

 

Girls Varsity followed with an equally impressive race.  Catherine went out fast with a first mile in 6:00.  This was awesome as she didn’t really even look stressed by it.  As exciting, was the girls pack that came through next.  We have been talking about it all year, but here it was in front of our eyes.  For the first time this year, Marianne, Brazee, and Emma were in a tight pack with Luna just 3 seconds back.  Hannah and Ellie were also working together and looking strong at this point.  Without any major terrain changes over the course, the girls pack was able to hold together and Catherine continued to charge.  With about 800 meters to go, Catherine had fallen off a bit and the girls pack was starting to string-out.  But they were so far ahead of pace at this point, it was clearly going to be a great race.  Catherine charged the last 200 meters like a sprinter, finishing 1st in 19:31 (13 seconds off Ellie Rice’s school record).  Emma was second in 21:23.  Marianne (5th) and Brazee (6th) followed in 21:38 and 21:40.  Luna (8th) and Hannah were the next two in in 22:06 and 22:56.  Ellie finished her first race in her rehab. Progression finishing in 24 minutes.

 

The girls won the 3A title (their first team win of the season)!

 

JV races were also exciting. 

 

For the girls, Morgan Comey placed 8th overall and PR’ed with her 24:04.  Elsa and Vivian had strong races and big PRs with their 25:47s.  This was Morgan’s first complete race.  With her position in the race, she competed the whole 3 miles…this is a big step forward for a new runner.  Elsa keeps getting more aggressive with each race and this was a nice rebound for Vivian after her heat-stroke last weekend!

 

For the boys, Leif had a huge race by breaking into the 18’s with his 4th place 18:50.  He looked smooth and aggressive throughout the race!  Cormac might have had the best-paced run of the day, starting slower, but continually moving up the pack to a 19:09.  He was followed by Scott and Tyler who both broke 20 for the first time with their 19:21’s.  Martin completed by boy’s JV team by pacing himself to a mid-23.

 

So, this race was a huge success and a lot of fun.  We all now know what running fast and running rested is like.  The danger is to be overly-satisfied with this week’s results.  We still have BIG goals ahead of us that we have to work hard to attain.  We will return to heavier training for the next two weeks before we have a similar week of prep for the state meet!

 

 

9/24--Bob Firman

  Boys 9th (43 Teams)--Top Finisher:  Oliver Scofield 7th 16:47

  Girls Incomplete Team--Top Finisher:  Catherine Cloetta 39th 21:05 

After the toughest week of practice of the season:  trail run, 20 pace/high school butte/400s, 16X400s, we knew that the race in Boise was going to be a challenge for everyone.  But with our transition from distance and hills to pace and flats (minus high school butte of course), we felt good heading into the race.  The one added bonus we did not account for was weather:  95 degree heat made things just a little bit tougher.

 

We hoped that the glitz of this event would carry people and I think it may have helped through the heat.  Approximately 5,000 runners and over 150 teams were in attendance.  Somewhere around 5 top 20 nationally ranked teams were there:  this was big-time cross country!

 

For the first time this season, boys Varsity got the privilege of leading off the day.  We talked about getting out fast on this course because of the narrow trail and the large numbers of runners made it difficult if you start slow.  The boys did exactly that!  My favorite sound all year:  The thundering feet of over 300 tightly packed runners hammering along the hardened ground stated what would become a 7 hour day at the park. 

 

Oliver (perking up after hearing his name announced as one of the pre-race favorites), jumped out with the lead pack.  Close behind him was the pack of Lars, Kinsly, and Grant.  A little more spread, but not far behind was Hunter, Sawyer, and Matt Boney (in his first varsity action of the season).  They all were in the front third of the pack, so did exactly what they had to do.  At the mile mark everyone was under pace and looked to pushing through the sand and hills that made up the first part of the second mile.   The course was tough to follow from there until the runners re-emerged with 800 to go.  Oliver was only 7 second off the lead and in 7th place.  He was having an awesome race, but his legs were wobbly (yes wobbly…I thought he was injured, but it was just the weeks workout intensity getting to him).  Next was Kinsly with a slight lead over Lars and Grant.  These three looked to be gliding through the flat part of the course.  They looked great working together!  Sawyer, Matt, and Hunter were all having solid races as well although Hunter looked to be struggling a bit with the sand and hills on his tall frame.  In the end, great races by everyone!!!!  Oliver had a PR of 16:47 and finished 7th.  Kinsly established himself with two races at 17:30’s with his 17:33.  This is a huge sign for him that he now has a base to start launching attacks at the 16’s.  Lars showed his week off paid off and improved from his 18:11 to a near-pr with his 17:36.  Grant had a pr at 17:37 and has now held fairly steady for three weeks now.  With all three of these guys working together, I am confident of having 4 guys in the 16s fairly soon!  We are not 100% sure on the rest of the times as the race director has had problems with results, but we are fairly sure that Sawyer was in the 18:30’s and Matt was in the 18:50’s.  Neither of these guys have ever been in the 18’s before, so this is a huge pr for both of them.  Hunter had a stable race in the low 19’s, but was disappointed after his race in the 18s last week.

 

The team placement was 7th (unofficial), which is great for two reasons:  #1 this was a huge race!!!!  #2….and this is crazy to say since we are 2/3 of the way through the season….probably something to address as a team….but we still have not fielded a full varsity team yet as both Brendan and Riis were unable to attend the meet.

 

The Girls varsity followed.  Catherine, Luna, and Hannah got out well as planned, but Marianne got out tentatively.  This race was a bit flatter than the boys, but all ran solid races considering the work-out level of the week.  Catherine held her position for most of the race and ran a 21:05 for the 3rd week in a row.  Like the boys group of three, I would not be surprised to see a jump from this point soon as our workouts decrease in intensity and re-focus on pace work.  Marianne was next in 22:30.  Again, this was consistent with her recent race results.  I think she hoped for a jump after an amazing week of practice, but this will come as she increases in confidence with our change in workouts.  Luna and Hannah both had great races and improved by their times by a minute from the past few weeks.  Luna posted a 23:05 and Hannah finished in 24:06.  We put Brazee in the freshman race and Emma was ill, so we did not have a complete team in this race.

 

The boys JV also had a great race.  Everyone started the race by getting out aggressively and pushed through the second mile.  Unfortunately all these results were lost.  We are guessing that Miles was around a 19:25, Kyle and Cormac were in the high 19s.  This would be the first time for both Kyle and Cormac with a sub 20, but without a working timer, I guess they will just have to “prove it” again.

 

The girls JV was next with equally great races.  Morgan Comey was the first girl in 24:30 a pr of 30 seconds.  She was followed by Sally in 25:00….great progress for her.  Brooke and Elsa worked well together, finishing in 26:30…a pr for both!  Vivian struggled with the 95 degree heat, but toughed it out and finished….an accomplishment in itself.

 

In the Freshmen races, all did well!!!!  Zeke Nelson “became a man” with his 19:30…leaving no doubt about his ability to break the 20 minute mark.  Scott had a great pr with a 20:30.  Kameron had a great two miles, but struggled with his ankle from there.  Martin, Tomi, and Jake all continued to post great times.

 

In the final race of the day:  4:00….”heat of the day”, Brazee pushed through the heat with a strong effort.  She got out with the leaders early and fought back and forth from top 10 to 13th.  In the end she finished in 23:30.  This was again  a consistent time from the past weeks.  As we transition, and Brazee gains experience in racing, look out!!!!

 

So that was our 7 hour day!  I would call it a success and exactly what we needed in the middle of the season.

 

This week we head to Orem.  This will be a much smaller race, but I understand flatter and faster, so it should be fun!!!!

9/16--Jackalope

Boys 1st 47 points (15 Teams)

Girls 4th 127 points (14 Teams)

I don’t know if it is the impact of the first over-night trip, or the fact that we are racing on the eventual State course, but once again the JHHS boys and girls had a great showing at the Jackalope Invitational in Douglas.  In almost a mirror of last year’s race, the boys came away with the team title and the girls moved into contention with the top of the 3A field.  Even better, though was the top-down success of almost everyone on the team.  With three races under our belts, we were able to make more accurate goals that most of our runners achieved or passed! 

#1:  WELCOME BACK KINSLY SMITH!!!!!  No one will know the battle, relish the victory!  As far as I am concerned, this type of victory is to be the most cherished in our sport!

#2:  WHO IS MYLES FINLAY????  I don’t think anyone saw this one coming!  19:43 in his first race and really challenging for a JV race victory with 800 meters to go!

#3:  A STATEMENT BY OLIVER SCOFIELD!  He will have a target on his back, but no one had an answer for him at this race.

Girls JV

As always, the girls JV get to test the course out for everyone.  From them, we learned that the first mile was going to be fast and the last was going to be difficult (big double-hill at mile 2).  All five girls went through the mile mark well under goal pace, but they looked fresh.  They held this through the second mile and were climbing through the pack of runners around them.  The hill placement is really tough for new runners in that this is the place that runners begin to question their pace and lose focus as their body starts to waver on pace.  Without the experience, Morgan, Vivian, and Elsa did waver a bit here, but now have earned the experience for the future.  Ellie followed a pre-race plan to drop out at the two mile mark as she continues to rehab her knee.  She looked good up to that point in her first racing action of the season.  Brooke Blann had a great race, attacking the hill.  She ran a personal best by 47 seconds!!!!  Awesome on a tough course!  Morgan also had a great race by hanging on for a 25:58 and a PR by 32 seconds!  Vivian and Elsa are in a “plateau” of times right now that often happens in running.  As they are learning to work together, their times will fall.  With 75 runners in this race, Morgan was 17th, Vivian 34th, Elsa 38th, Brooke 41st.

Boys JV

I don’t think JHHS has ever had a JV showing like this!  As we are trying to build a program, and not just a season, this might have been the best scene of the day.  It showed the depth of our team and how strong we will be for the foreseeable future!  As I was warming up with girls Varsity, I couldn’t believe my eyes as Jackson runner after Jackson runner came by in the front of the pack!  6 in the top 10; 11 in the top 25!  Matt Boney had a strong last 800 to lead the boys with his 3rd place finish.  His 19:42 was not what he was hoping for, but was a strong race that he can build from.  He was followed by Myles, Sam French and Winston Scofield.  All 4 runners were under 20 minutes!  Zeke Nelson continued his progression to a 20:04.  Skyler Everitts (still can’t believe this is the same runner from last year) was next in 20:05.  Leif Huot (12th) and Cormac Mullin also had strong races at 20:19 and 20:20.  Kyle Brimeyer was 19th (20:40) as he battles shin splints and Kameron Moroneso was 21st (20:43).  The goal for all of these guys (except Matt) was 20:30, not bad results!  These were season-bests by everyone and PR’s for Winston, Skyler, Cormac, Zeke, Kameron, Leif, and Myles.  Tyler Nalley (21:13), Scott McLennan (21:53), Jake Miller (23:21), and Martin Eby (24:11) all struggled with the hill placement as the JV girls did, but fought through their races and learned a great lesson for future races.  Tyler and Martin both had PR’s in this race as new runners, Martin’s by almost 2 MINUTES!  There were 131 runners runners in this race.

Varsity Girls

The girls team continues to look for the formation of the pack that will make them competitive in the state race, but as we start to work more intensely on establishing race-pace and splits in workouts, I think this will come.  Where the boys team has a ton of experience, the girls team has Catherine out front unable to help her teammates in the race, and Ellie is out with her knee injury….chomping at the bit to get back with her team.  BUT, here is the beauty of this scenario:  As this team gains experience and starts to work together, we have a ton of ground that we will be able to make-up.  The girls finished behind both Cody and Star Valley, but are now within striking distance of both….not the case just two weeks ago!  Catherine had a strong race, finishing 4th.  She should be looking at the results and seeing that the 3 girls in front of her are all within striking distance….it was good that they were all in the same race, because before this race it was not clear how she stood.  One clear sign is how she is closing in on the two Star Valley girls from the race in Soda Springs!  Marianne and Emma may have had the best races of the day for the girls.  Though they did not exactly run together, supporting each other, they did finish 24th and 26th (22:40 and 22:44)  This was near their goal of 22:30.  These were very solid races that will help their progression into the 21’s.  Luna and Brazee were 44th and 45th (23:46 and 23:52).  Both were near pace at the 2 mile mark, but with inexperience had difficulty with the placement of the hill on the course.  Sally Watters saw her first Varsity action and also struggled with the hill finishing 83rd.  There were 90 runners in this race.

Varsity Boys

The varsity boys had great races as everyone else.  Their projected splits were right on, the groups worked great, everyone responded to the competition well, and all cranked the second-half of the race in a show of our training strength!  We will continue to set more aggressive goals and strategies as the season progresses, but this was a great step in our final season goals.  We showed we are a good team, but of course there is still work to do to be the great team we hope for.

Oliver (or at least I) was surprised by an aggressive start by other runners….I think he was 5th or 6th at the mile mark.  He quickly turned that around though and really buried people in the last mile.  His final margin of victory was 20 seconds.  That does put a target on him for those like “The Nation” to aim their training at.  His time of 17:02 was also strong on this difficult course, but as we focus training more on pace and speed that should come down.  Kinsly Smith was 4th, in a MONSTER RACE for him.  This was back to his form of last season and puts him on a platform to get back to the 16’s this season.  Grant Cameron also had a solid race, finishing 8th in 17:48. Brendan Weber showed his value to this team in his first race of the season.  He was 17th in 18:21.  This wasn’t his 18:01 from state last year, but for his first race of the season…not bad!  The best pack of the day, goes to Riis Wilbrecht, Hunter Matthies, and Sawyer Thomas!  They were right on their splits for the whole race and followed strategy of taking turns leading the pack….then racing after the hill.  With that strategy, they consistently increased their placings through the race.  The big message before the race is the impact of confidence in your race and how your team can help put this together for you.  These guys exemplified this.  They train together, they believed in a plan, and they implemented their plan to perfection!  In the end, Riis showed off his speed (31st, 18:50—race goal 18:50), Hunter was solid as always (33rd, 18:55—WELCOME TO THE 18’s Hunter!!!!), and Sawyer brought them up the hill, but got a side ache on the downhill (37th, 19:12).  Awesome Race to everyone!!!!  There were 105 boys in this race.

9/9--Tiger-Griz

 Boys  1st in the small schools division (12 Teams)--Top Finisher Oliver Scofield 2nd Small Schools

  (8th overall of 26 Teams, Oliver 5th Overall)

 Girls 4th in the small schools division--Top Finisher Catherine Cloetta 7th Small Schools

 

This weekend found abbreviated JHHS teams (both teams were without their Journeys teammates who were camping on their yearly “journey” this week) at Idaho Falls for the Tiger-Griz Invitational.  This is one of the largest races each year in Eastern Idaho.  There were 32 teams in attendance as was evidenced by the difficult time finding room on the starting line for each race. 


 

This year the course was a little different in that there was an added stream-crossing and an additional leg in the final mile that extended the course a bit.  The nice thing was that we did lighten up a bit in our week’s distance runs (we did move the snow king intervals workout to Wednesday since we were missing so many runners on Monday….the fear that leg fatigue might show on Friday because of this)


 

In girls JV, Morgan Comey led the way as she made her way back from some nasty falls on the Jenny Lake run.  She was followed by Mallory Wilson, battling a continued struggle with knee issues, Vivian Eden and Elsa Binger.  The girls followed the race strategy well as they went out faster and worked in pairs.  The times weren’t what we had hoped for, but the effort and the race strategy was.  It was clear that the times would be a little bit slower all day based on the JV results and the extension of the course, the water-crossing, and the longer grass all showed up in the times (possibly a theme for the day)


 

JV boys saw Kinsly Smith aggressively take an early lead.  Once out alone, though, it became difficult to maintain tempo.  His pursuers worked together to make-up the gap.  At the two mile mark, one runner surprised Kinsly and created a gap that Kinsly was not able to recover from.  A second place finish (18:49) and an improvement from the prior week on a tough course spells success.  Second for JHHS in JV was the “star of the day” as Winston Scofield wasted little time in proving his “manhood”.  He posted a 19th place 19:57 (improving by 1:35 from the week before…).  Zeke Nelson, a rising freshman finished in 20:50 (42 second improvement).  Skyler Everitts was right next to him at 20:50….AMAZING improvement from last year.  Kameron Moroneso, another super freshman, bounced back from injury with a 21:00.  Jake Miller had a respectable start to his racing season with a 22:30.  The rest of JV struggled a bit with the course but should be proud of their efforts…remember good races are fun to celebrate, tough races are where we learn about ourselves and how to become better racers!


 

Varsity girls also attacked the course as we planned.  They all came out aggressive and were positioned well.  In addition, they grouped themselves as we have been talking all week.  Catherine led the team with a 7th place finish and looked really good in the last mile, attacking the flats and showing off the base she has established over the last 4 years of training.  Her time of 21:04 was 20 seconds better than Soda and was also a good gage of how much tougher the course was this year than last.  The group of Emma MacEachern, Marianne Galbraith, Luna Wasson, and Brazee Smith struggled to work together, but were generally running around eachother throughout the race.  Emma was patient early, but when she decided to “let it rip” and race she looked awesome.  She finished 25th in 23:00.  Marianne Galbraith also had a strong second half, finishing in 23:19.  Luna got out quicker this race, which enabled her to use her strong base in the second half to fit right in with this group.  Her 23:31 made her 4th on the team.  Brazee Smith rounded out the girls team by toughing out a race that just didn’t want to come together for her.  She went out strong, faltered in the middle, but then really looked good in the last stages of the race…..again, the tough races are where we learn about ourselves and I would say Brazee proved her toughness on this day.  Her 23:48 isn’t the time she was looking for, but the toughness in the race is more important than the number.


 

Varsity boys finished the day.  Once again, following race plans, the boys got out to a fast start….but the groupings seemed to get lost in the mass of humanity moving forward.  Oliver was 3rd off the line (behind two amazing runners from Idaho).  Oliver went through the mile at a scary pace and fell off in the second mile.  As I prepared my “condolences and keep your chin-up” speech, Oliver learned something super important….when you have put in enough miles of training, and when you’re willing to push the limits of your “known-ability”, your body can do amazing things.  He looked like he was going to give up as the front end of the pack passed him by…he gave very little response….but, then his body recovered from the early pace and he took off making up much of the ground he lost.  He finished 5th over-all in 17:12 (29 seconds better than Soda).  I HOPE YOU ALL HAVE THIS EXPERIENCE SOMEWHERE IN YOUR RUNNING CAREER!  This is a golden lesson that Oliver EARNED, now his job is to get rid of the sag in the second mile….stay tuned!  Grant also put together another awesome race!  His time of 17:44 (18 second improvement) keep amazing me from the times he turned last year.  I hate to admit it, but they must be doing something right down in Star Valley that we have been able to help build on.  Lars had a tough race and looks to regain the focus and intensity that make him a great runner.  Look for a rebound at Douglas from him.  Sawyer hung on to be our 4th runner.  His time of 19:15 was exactly the same as last year….which based on the slow times by others = an improvement.  Sawyer will be working on race strategy for next week that will enable him to better take advantage of his physical abilities.  Hunter Matthies and Riis Wilbrecht rounded out our varsity team (Riis 19:16, Hunter 19:20).  Both ran good races and were fighting for the all-important points of the teams 5th place runner.  Notable in this was a great finishing mile from Riis who looks ready to explode on the racecourse as soon as his mind lets his body do what it is capable of.

9/3--Cardinal Classic

  Boys Team Tied 6th of 12 Teams--Top Individual: Oliver Scofied 12th

  Girls Team 7th of 12 Teams--Top Individual:  Catherine Cloetta 18th

After a tremendous week of workouts, where both boys and girls teams started to show how much promise there is for the season ahead, the JHHS teams brought tired legs to a difficult course in Soda Springs.  The results, from top to bottom, were still impressive!

Girls

The girls finished 6th, as a team.  This was just behind the Star Valley team that is considered one of the favorites to win state.  This should be a big boost in confidence to the girls…..we are in the hunt!

Going in, the girls were told to be cautious as we didn’t want to have any major set-backs as a result of the hard week.  That is exactly the approach most of the girls made.  The second half of the race belonged to most Bronc runners as a they improved their placing in the second half.  This means that we didn’t have any major break-throughs, but some really solid results.

Catherine led the girls as always with her 17th place finish.  Her time of 21:24 was an improvement of 20 seconds from last year.  Marianne had a GREAT race with a really strong second half (a weakness in the past is turning into a strength!)  She finished in 23:04, 59 seconds faster than last year.  Brazee, in her first real high school race continues to run hard and finished in 23:25.  She was followed closely by Luna Wasson.  Another awesome race by Luna as she just continues to improve with every race.  Her time of 23:36 brought her up to our pack of Marianne, Brazee, and Sara.  This is a HUGE development for our team!  Emma battled stomach cramps, learning how to run downhill and finished in 23:44 and right on her heals was Sara in 23:53.  Sara’s race also gives us much needed depth on the Varsity team.  Hannah also continued her impressive run of improving races and finished in 25:03, 14 seconds ahead of her race here last year.

JV Girls finished 7th in the meet and also posted great performances.  Sally was the first girl finisher with a time of 26:05.  GET THIS, a whopping 3:51 faster than her time last year.  We are really looking for great things from Sally as we move forward with the season!  New comer Francesca Weikert was not far behind Sally in 26:21, Mallory finished with her in 26:22.  Vivan ran a strong 27:23 and Elsa Binger surprised us with her 27:36 to round out the scorers for the JV race.  Brook Blann also had a great race posting a 29:12.  This should be an encouraging start for all these new runners who did well on a very difficult course.

Boys

Boys were instructed with a similar approach after the long week of training.  Everyone battled through the tough course and most worked the second half of the race with similar success.

The boys team finished tied for 6th overall.

The boys were again led by Oliver.  His 17:41 was good for 14th place and was a 38 second improvement from last year.  Grant, much to the chagrin of Star Valley folks present, continues to post really good times with his 18:02 and 19th place.  Lars faltered a bit in the last mile but still was able to improve from last year by 11 seconds with this 18:11.  Kinsly and Hunter rounded out the scoring 5 with times of 19:12 and 19:31.  Hunter improved by 2:30 from last season!  Sam and Riis rounded out the varsity team.  Both struggled with ailments that slowed them a bit.  But to show Sam’s improvement, he still finished 17 seconds ahead of last year’s race.

Boys JV team finished 9th and also had some great performances!  Matt showed that he is ready to challenge for a varsity spot on this super-talented team.  He finished in 19:50.  This was 2:59 better than last year’s race!  Chris Watters looks like he is going to be a great addition to the team with his 20:36.  I am really psyched he decided to come out!  Cormac Mullin continues to improve and will soon be earning his varsity stripes.  His time of 21:06 wins the award for the greatest improvement from last season.  HOLY COW 4:50 improvement!!!!!!!!  Freshmen Zeke and Scott both had great first races and show the depth that we will be counting on in the future as both finished under 22 minutes on this course.  Zeke finished in 21:32 and Scott in 21:59.  This is GREAT starting point for freshmen (remember Matt Boney finished in 22:49 here last season and see where he is now!).  Mike Redzich finished in 22:59 in a solid race after learning the damaging effects of starting too fast, Tomi Hagen had a great second half as his confidence grows with a 24:18, and Martin Eby got his first race experience and finished in 25:51.

Again, all in all a solid race as we point to the State race in October. 

8/26--Pocatello Challenge

Boys Team: 5th of 12 Teams--Top Individual: Oliver Scofield 8th

Girls Team: 5th of 12 Teams--Top Individual: Catherine Cloetta 9th

Both teams traveled to Pocatello on Friday for the first time to explore a new course and face some of Idaho's finest.  As is often the case of early season meets, we define success in very specific segments.  This race was in the middle of a very difficult training cycle (ie: Snow King Intervals the day before!), so we definately were not looking for peak performances.  what we were looking for was the ability to push through a difficult, hilly course with agressiveness...especially the second half of the race.  Analysis:  Resounding Success!!!!

 For the girls, nearly every JHHS runner improved their placing on the second lap of the race.  I know after the week that we had, this was not an easy thing to do.  Also, almost every girl was able to shut off the brain and finish with a solid kick (this will be important to engrain in a season that looks to highlight 4 teams with very similar talant--Powell, Star Valley, Jackson, and now Cody).  The team was led by Catherine Cloetta (12) with a 9th place finish at 22:43.  She was followed by the new freshman tandem of Brazee Smith (25th--24:44) and Emma MacEchrin (30th--24:58).  Marianne Galbraith (10) (41st) and Hannah Wells(12) (51st) rounded out the scoring 5.  Again, all the girls really ran their hearts out.  Probably the biggest suprises in this meet were the solid runs by Hannah and new-comer Moragan Comey.

 The girls team finished 5th out of 12 teams.  This is without co-captain Ellie Finnegan who looks to be about 3 weeks out from competition as she continues to rehab a knee injury sustained last ski season.

 The boys team had an almost identical performance.  Again, couldn't be more pleased with their efforts.  Captain Oliver Scofield (12) led the team with his 8th place finish at 17:59.  The big suprise for the boys came next as Star Valley transfer Grant Cameron (11) was nipping at Oliver's heels with a strong finishing charge.  He was 9th in 18:02 (last year on this course he finished in over 20 minutes!).  Kinsly Smith (11) put in a solid race for early season finishing 21st in 18:56.  Hunter Matthies (12) showed the solid summer he put in by finishing 36th in 20:01.  Sam French (11) staked claim to the final scoring position on the team for the first time in his career.  He was 67th in 21:27.  Again, as times don't do justice to effort in this race, suffice to say that the rest of the boys all had impressive races.  I can't wait to see the progression over the next few weeks as we back off of the training a bit and get on courses that will allow everyone to see what this team is capable of.

 The boys team also finished 5th out of 12 teams.  But it was running with out 3 of last year's top 7.  Captain, Lars Schou (12) was on a recruiting trip to the Air Force Academy, Riis Wilbrecht (11) was out with a nasty pinky injury sustained at the XC preseason camp  (Riis was able to warm-up with the team, but the swelling on the finger made competition clearly out of the question), and Brenden Weber (10) was completing summer work obligations.

 Next Saturday:  The Cardinal Classic in Soda Springs.  This is also a difficult course, but will look like a "cake-walk" in comparison to this week's course!