It was a fantastic couple of days in Polson for the Divisional meet this past weekend. First, the current Whitefish Runners did a great job of competing. Second, it was great to see Jacob, Janna and Cassie all there on Saturday.
That brought up memories from the last time we had the meet in Polson (2006). Clare and Janna had placed 5th and 6th in the 3200 meters, and Jacob finished 6th following Drew in, as he was 5th. Back then in the 1600, Beth and Anne placed 3rd, and 6th, respectively. While Drew and Ian were 4th and 5th in the 1600. Beth and Lauren went 4-5 in the 800 meters that weekend.
That year 3 girls and 2 boys were rewarded for their top five finishes with a three day trip to Butte, America for a track meet. Welcome to mile high altitude and distance running. Actually, Beth fared well in the 1600 placing 6th in a final lap rush. Clare wasn't feeling well and didn't look forward to the 3200. As I remember her saying, "I really don't want to be last!" She wasn't as the Columbia Falls runner didn't start the race, and Clare outran another on the track to finish 18th.
The message to Drew and Ian that year was, "I know you want to score points for the team, but we're not ready to race in this level of field. You need to learn from this experience and prepare for the future." Neither came close to placing that year, but as time came and went, Ian ended up placing 3rd in the 1600 at state as a senior, while Drew was second in both the 1600 and 3200 last year, with a chance at winning all three this year. I'd say they learned well.
Lauren or Beth didn't place at state in the 800 that year. Both went out a bit to conservative to be in the money. Of course Lauren went from a sprinter that year, to a distance runner that placed 3rd in both the 800 and 1600 at state last year.
Janna and Jacob both placed 6th that year in the 3200 meters. Both did a great job of training in the off seasons and both improved a ton for their senior track seasons the next year. Janna was rewarded with huge pr's in all events, including a 12:17 in the 3200 and a 7th place at the state meet that year in the heat cooker that was Missoula. Jacob was rewarded with IT band syndrome, and a season of track spent mostly on the sideline. PR's that spring in both the 1600 and 3200 were not what they should have been, but he has certainly earned his way in the WHS distance lore with his overall improvement and performances.
This years group had a bunch of distractions. Really only Loni and Jackie were out all season. Loni struggled at the meet, and Jackie had a hip pointer and didn't compete. Both ran 12:12 mid way through the season and are ranked in the top five of Class A this season. If they were AA runners both would have already qualifed for state with their times. This year they will both pass on the state meet and set their sights on next year.
Both are the best that have run XC as they were 1st (07) and 2nd (08), respectively. Those that arrived late because of other activities managed to come on strong at the end. It was an amazing season for Carly Schwickert as she went from a stress fracture last track season, through a long recovery - all year - to a gradual build-up this season to placing in both the 800 and 1600. It will be great having her back in XC this fall.
Bailey missed a lot early, both with dance, and shin splints encountered from plyo's in PE. That led to over two weeks of inactivity in the first half of the season, and no track work at all. It's amazing that she has done so well over the past couple of weeks. She seems to be racing herself into shape. It seems to be working.
Stella took the long road to the track with her being out of the season for the first half. We didn't see her until after spring break which was about week five of the season. Sickness knocked her out for two more weeks later in the season. But, here she is placing 2nd in the 800. A few more weeks, and she would have been up front in the 1600, I'm sure.
Breanna, the freshman, ran in the 6:20's for her first 1600, in the low 2:40's for her first 800 showing lot's of promise. By the end of the season it looked like she could sneak into the 800 at divisionals. Of course she did, by outsprinting two CF runners to the line in the final 100 meters of the race to just crack 2:30 and earn 4th place. Wow!
Jessica, what can one say about Jess? She went out with Kayla of Bigfork in both races. End up second in both with PR's in both. Pretty scary stuff. Off season training? Not really. Missed some early from music commitments, but seemed to be at more meets than she should have been, when compared to others. This one really seemed to want to be there, and was rewarded with a fantastic season.
Although there is still one important meet left, I think the season may have been a bit tougher than the rest. Things didn't go to plan. Injury, Illness, and weather all played a part in making it anything but smooth. I've thought about revamping my whole plan for next track seasons workouts due to the course of this season. It's not cross country, not even close.
I think that there is still a place for track with the distance runner. The chance to develop more speed and more confidence is still there. Team is not the same. The enjoyment is not the same. The opportunity (yes, there's that word) is still there. When the season is over and a runner looks at their times and perfromances, I think they can say that they are a better runner than before.
Next year's cross country season has the promise of being a crazy year. The boys will be super young with little experience, and even less expectations. The girls, on the other hand, could be one of the best in the history of Montana cross country.
Yeah, I'm ready for track to end this coming weekend because it's time to start looking ahead to the great running on the trails for the summer and to have fun running just because it's fun rather than to qualify for the state meet. Congratulations on a great season Whitefish High School runners! And for those going to state in Butte..... Let's do it right one more time!!!!
Jess, Bailey, Carly, Breanna, Stella and Drew - Good Luck!!!!
"out all season" really means that you were actually there all season. Until Jackie hurt her hip, you and her were both there every single day. It means that you were always there. It's not fair that you were there every day, and then ran into trouble the qualifying weekend.
You did all that you were supposed to do during the season, and I'm super impressed with your 12:12 regardless of the divisional.
Let's think about summer. It begins June 10th.
Heloo, I have been reading all the results and track materil in the paper the past few days. Congradulations to those who ran this season and made it to those last two meets! Bill and Sara, I bought some tackle line and lures at the Kalispell Sportsman yesterday, my 2nd of 7 days I will be in the Flathead for 2009 . I past you at the Home Depot intersection where I was going towards the soccer tournament and you were turning right (coming back from a trail run?!?!). I was yelling and banging on my window waving my arms madly to get your attention......although I also happened to be the driver of the vehicle so that wasn't so great of a plan. I did a 12 mile hike up by Bowman and Quartz Lakes in the Park ysterday. It would make a great trail run, though it is a bit of a trek to drive up there. I think I might run the borderline trail today though.
It's fun to be back here, and maybe we'll cross paths on the trail someday lol. I leave this Friday for military field training but will make the most of my "chillin" time here. Let me know if there are some runners who need a running partner.
Also, I ran a half marathon in Bermuda a week ago. My hotel hostess kept calling it a marathon, so I thought the whole time I was in a marathon till I got to the finish line, in which case I repeatedly kept asking the officials where the marathon route continues, and someone got the message....and told me there was no marathon after all, I had been told wrong. I was slightly embarrased, but also would not have made it the true distance.
My half-marathon pace was around 10:00 and my last marathon had been 8:30 pace.....ugh not pretty. I will keep running though, I have been reading lots of good inspiration in the sports section
Note to anyone who likes to run: DO NOT COME TO THE MIDDLE EAST!
Maybe it is the complete and total lack of opportunity is making me say this but, I would give just about anything to go on a run. No one here runs. I have not seen one single runner outside since I arrived here nearly a month ago. I assume some people who have gym memberships might run on treadmills but as I do not have a gym membership... I think we might be spending a couple nights in a hotel next week, which perhaps will have a fitness room... agh I just need excercise. I liked Anne's idea about adventure runs... the problem is that it might be a bit TOO adventurous. Shorts do not exist in this country. I am required to keep my shoulders and below my knees covered at all times which means even if I were to run I would have to wear pants. Even men can't wear shorts. Its 95 degrees and everyone is walking around like its January.
I just walked up a big hill which made me think about all of this.
I hope everyone back in Whitefish is enjoying those trails and I should be back soon to enjoy them as well (maybe this is exactly what I needed to finally be ready to be motivated again!). Keep in touch. I love to hear any news from home...
Miss you all!