Tuesday, November 20, 2012

DXC Update - Nike Southwest Regional

Darts - 
It is hard to capture everything that this season has meant for our TEAM. I don't think that words can explain all the work we have done and all that we have been through as a group. Our TEAM performance last Saturday at the Nike Southwest Regional Championships was a great symbol and a great reward for all that we have done. I hope you felt the same pride and excitement as I did as we finished those races giving all we could give, waited in anticipation, and then learned that both our boys and girls had automatically qualified for the Nike Nationals. We definitely did it in dramatic fashion - Our boys qualified despite not having our normal 5-6-7, and our girls upset the Fort Collins team who has won the Southwest Regional for the past 5 years in a row. It was the first time a Utah team has won the Southwest girls race. It was only the 2nd time since the regionals began, that a team qualified both its boys and girls in the same year in the Southwest region. It was a great moment for our program, and it was so well deserved for both of our TEAMs. 
We had some very gutsy performances and a lot of huge PRs in the morning open races. Nearly every boy and every girl set a pr or a season best. I do feel like the course was a very fast 5k course, and it was even faster because it was run at sea-level.

Boys Open Race 
Taylor Goldsberry - 16:13 
Josh Ward - 16:16
Matt Hawkins - 16:29
Colton Rimann - 16:32
Ryan Lee - 16:40
Isaac Clouse - 16:44
Kimball Potter - 16:48
Ethan Stuart - 16:52
Alex White - 16:54
Kent Thompson - 16:55
Andrew Tyndall - 17:00
Colter Blanchard - 17:04
Brandon Peters - 17:07
Seth Thompson - 17:10
Logan Haviland - 17:16
Ryan Tanner - 17:27
Devin Farnworth - 17:52
Trevor Fry - 17:53
Jackson Rayl - 17:54
JR Oldham - 18:00
Mitch Perry - 18:20
Nate Butterfield - 18:31
*One of the main things that I took away from the open boys is that we are going to be a very solid TEAM again in a year. If you take our top 7 returning boys (including what Stokton would run on a normal day), we are looking at a returning team with 15:31, 15:50, 16:16, 16:29, 16:32, 16:48, 16:52, and then our next 5 guys within :15. It really is a very deep, strong team coming back. It is going to take some definite hard work through the winter, the track season, the summer, and next year's cross country season, but having the goal of returning to the Southwest region with a shot at finishing in the top 2 as a team, is not a ridiculous thought. Even though we are losing 7 of our top 9 guys, we could still come back as contenders. Every team in the top 8 teams in the race is losing a considerable group of seniors. The team with the most desire, the most unity, and the most purpose in their training and their racing will give themselves a shot at being Nike qualifiers again in a year. I would say we are in as good of a position as we were in 2009 (the year before we first made it and finished 11th at the nationals). The biggest season bests in the race came from Colton Rimann, Ryan Lee, Kent Thompson, and Brandon Peters.

Girls Open Race
Sierra Graham - 18:59
Hannah Albrechtsen - 19:11
Aimee Vance - 19:17
Katie Frandsen - 19:57
Sadie Hutchinson - 19:58
Josey Hedquist - 20:00
Madi Bledsoe - 20:04
Sam Hedquist - 20:08
Elise Anderson - 20:14
Michaela Uresk - 20:33
Shaylee Argyle - 21:31 
*The girls also showed a lot of promise for the future. With 7 of our top 12 girls coming back, and a very strong group right behind those 7, we could also be in a position to have another killer girls team in a year. Our top 7 returning girls times were 18:21, 18:26, 18:27, 18:59, 19:11, 19:17, 19:28. Those returning times would have placed us about 7th in this year's championship race. A year ago, we finished as the 6th place team. It is amazing how much improvement we have seen in the past 365 days. If our girls will continue with that same passion, and that same teamwork, and that same faith in one another and the program, we can put ourselves right back to where we are right now. For both the boys and the girls, we are going to need runners to step up as leaders and provide the desire and the inspiration that will be necessary, but I hope that many of you returning runners will have the goals and the dreams to come back in a year with two teams that are in contention again. The biggest season bests in the race came from Sierra Graham, Hannah Albrechtsen, Katie Frandsen, Sadie Hutchinson, Sam Hedquist, and Shaylee Argyle.

Championship Boys Race 
14. Alex Hedquist - 15:17
24. Brayden Cromar - 15:27
29. Skylar Williams - 15:31
48. Preston Johnson - 15:41
120. Sam Haws - 16:10
137. Jackson Sagers - 16:16
DNF Stokton Smith
Team Scores
1. American Fork 36
2. Davis 163
3. Los Alamos, NM 215
4. Herriman 215
5. The Storm (Sue Cleveland, NM) 224
*The boys had a stressful 10 days going into this race. Andrew Aposhian was out with a strained hamstring, then Stokton Smith had to take a week off with a strained back, then Hayden fell and had a concussion and was not quite ready to race. On Friday night, we put Sam Haws in for Hayden. On Saturday morning, we pulled Jackson Sagers off of the open race starting line to run for Andrew Aposhian. Stokton's back was still an issue, but he was going to do his best to get through the race. I was so proud of the effort that these three put into this race. Without any one of them, I don't think we would have qualified. Stokton has been solid for us all year long. He has really pushed our seniors to stay on their toes and to work hard. He has been one of our best sophomores in DXC history. He gave his very all in the race, but was also facing some serious asthma issues. He went out in a position to help us out, but started struggling with his breathing pretty early. With about 400m left to go, Stokton collapsed and was taken to the medical tent. He was in and out of awareness, as they tried to help him to breath. Stokton is truly an example of someone who will run as hard as he can run. The world better watch out for when he gets some more experience and for when he gets his breathing figured out. Sam Haws and Jackson Sagers were in about 170th place going through the dip before the 2 mile mark. It was definitely too far back for our #5 runner. At the time, we were sitting in 3rd place. At that point, Jackson decided to move - and he really took off. In the next mile, Jackson went from 175th to about 125th, passing group after group. As he went by Sam, Sam immediately responded to his teammate (just like he should). He trailed Jackson as they passed so many other runners until about 600m to go, and then Sam took off and finished 120th with a 16:10. Jackson went on to finish in 16:16 - which was our TEAM's biggest improvement of the day (considering season bests). It was enough to secure our 2nd place position and send us to Portland. It was such a great example of guts, determination, and teamwork. Both of them were given the opportunity to prove themselves and to be heroes for our TEAM who needed them more than ever, and both of them were ready. They ran inspired races, and we couldn't have done it without them. The top 4 boys on our TEAM all finished under 15:41 - and were all in the top 32 for team scoring. These boys have worked so hard for this, and it was great to see them have such strong races at the end of a very challenging season. It has been nice to have both Hayden and Andrew running with us again this week, and we should see a very strong performance from our boys next week in Portland - we are ready for our best performance of the year. We will most likely go into the race ranked anywhere from 7-10, but we will be ready to place a lot higher. Our experience and our toughness are going to get us there. Each runner on that boys TEAM has proven they can dig deep and pull through adversity. It should be an epic end to their great run at NXN these past 3 years. 

Girls Championship Race
6. Shea Martinez - 17:34
7. Ellie Child - 17:36
46. Taylor Cox - 18:21
49. Ashley Tyndall - 18:26
52. Kenzie Weir - 18:27
53. Kami Dixon - 18:28
67. Joanna Boyd - 18:38
106. Mikell Wood - 19:04
144. Chelsey Johnson - 19:28
Team Scores
1. Davis 94
2. Fort Collins, CO 104
3. Pine Creek, CO 107
4. Xavier, AZ 131
5. Park City 146
6. Ogden 220
*Going into the race, our girls were ranked 5th in the region in 3 different polls (milesplit, watchout or the old ESPN Rise poll, and the southwest coaches poll). But we knew we were better than that. Our girls have been undefeated all season long - and have been underranked all season long. It was definitely time to prove ourselves, and we had to do it coming from behind. At the first mile, Shea and Ellie had positioned themselves well - 14th and 15th - just at the back of the 2nd pack. But our next 5 girls were between 75th and 83rd - we were running as a pack, but we were too far back. At the one mile mark we were in 3rd place and we were 72 points behind Fort Collins. Our big move came in the 2nd mile. Shea and Ellie stayed patient with the pack, but as girls fell off, they moved up to 11th and 12th. Our group followed Joanna through the pack to move up to between 47th and 65th. We had put ourselves in position for a strong finish and we had moved up to 2nd place - just 11 points behind Fort Collins. In the final mile, we made up another 10 places to pull off the upset. Shea and Ellie moved into 6th and 7th, and the rest of the girls packed together to finish between 46th and 53rd. Looking at the way the race unfolded, we were very brave during the 2nd mile, and we trusted that we would finish strong as a TEAM. Our tight group of our 3rd through 7th runners really came through for us - and we fought all the way to the finish. It was kind of fun waiting for the announcement because we knew it was going to be close, and it was such a great feeling when we found out we had beat Fort Collins. We also ended up setting the team time record for the course with a combined top 5 of 1:30.24. It is the fastest team time the Davis girls have ever run for either a 3 mile or a 5k course. To put that into perspective, at the Dart Challenge 5k this past summer, our team time was 1:36.39. We have definitely come a long way in a short amount of time by working together.
Next week we will be ready to prove ourselves again. The Watchout poll sees our potential, and he will have us ranked around 6th or 7th, but milesplit's new poll came out today and still has us in 18th (http://usa.milesplit.com/articles/96513-usa-xc-rankings-2012-girls-teams-as-of-11-20) That's completely okay - because we have seen that rankings don't mean much. We are going for it next week, and we are going to continue to surprise some people with our TEAM strength and with our determination. 

I just wanted to thank all those on the TEAM who were on the trip. Thanks for being well-behaved. Thanks for taking the racing seriously and for doing your best. Thanks for all the hard work all season long to get us here. Thanks to our wonderful parents who traveled down to Arizona to support us and for all those who sent their support as well. Thanks to my great coaching staff (Brad, Coach T, Kat, and Brian) for all of their help and support and encouragement this season. Thanks to some very great senior leaders who have put so much into the success of this TEAM. 

What's Next???
A break for the most part. Those of you who are not racing at Nike are on your own for the Thanksgiving Break and for all of next week. My recommendation is to take a bit of a break during these 2 weeks. Your body needs it and your mind needs it. And it is okay to go into December a little out of shape. With all the ups and downs that running has to offer, it is good to have rest. I hope you come back with a renewed passion for what you are doing and with a lot of excitement to put in some work for the track season and for next year's cross country season. I hope that you come back with some dreams and some goals to shoot for. If you would like to do some distance running next week (November 26-December 1), that is okay, but don't overdo it. Listen to your body - run anywhere from 3 to 8 miles if you go out, but have it be very informal. The week of December 3-8 you are encouraged to run some base mileage (anywhere from 30-40 miles), but still light on the intensity. We will begin our indoor track training on December 10th. 

If you have a uniform that you borrowed for the Regional or if you still have a uniform from the season, will you please bring that back as soon as possible. I would like to get them all put away until March. 

Coach Talley

ps. In alumni news, congrats to Jared Ward for his 14th place finish at the NCAA cross country championships - leading the BYU men to a 6th place finish.

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