It was a great week for the Darts. We looked strong as a TEAM at both of our meets this week, and we are moving in the right direction - getting stronger and faster. I was very pleased with the way we packed together in the races as a TEAM, and with the way we closed out the races. We are fighting to the finish line. I thought that a few of you looked tired at the Murray Invite (but that might have just been because I was exhausted). If you felt tired at Murray, I would tell you to look at your preparation - sleep, eating, nerves, hydration. It was definitely a hot, dry afternoon and I think that dehydration impacted a few of you. If you felt like you drank a lot of water, but still felt dehydrated, you may have been low on electrolytes (which you can get from Gatorade or other sports drinks). You want to make sure that your hydration includes drinks with electrolytes and not just straight water all day long.
Pre-Region: We swept the races at the Pre-Region 2 mile on Tuesday at Layton Park. The girls were led by a strong 1-2-3 finish by Taylor Cox (11:47), Aubrey Argyle (11:53), and Kenzie Weir (12:01). We had 10 girls run under 13:00 and we set a new team time record for the course (adding up the top 5 times) with 59:59 (breaking last year's record of 60:39). The varsity boys also finished 1-2-3 with Skylar Williams (10:10), Stokton Smith (10:16), and Josh Ward (10:23) looking strong up front. We had a record number of boys under 11:20 with 17. Our JV boys finished 1-11 and were led by a great first race back from injury by Colter Blanchard (11:04). Our seniors are running strong, and our young runners are definitely improving with each race. The full results are posted at http://www.davisxc.blogspot.com/2013/09/pre-region-results.html
Murray Invite: It is always a little tough to have back to back races in a week - but we showed up on Friday at the Murray Invite ready to compete. The Murray course ended up being about 3.0 miles. It was probably about 30-35 seconds slower than Highland, and about 15 seconds faster than the Murray course from last year (because of some adjustments by the baseball field). I was pleased to see that many of our boys and girls ran faster than we did at Highland (relative to the courses) and I was also very excited about some of the improvements over one year ago. In 2012 we won both the boys and girls varsity races at Murray - this year we ran 6 different varsity girls and won again, and we ran 6 new varsity boys and nearly pulled off the victory.
The girls finished 2nd in the Rookie Race, 1st in the JV Race, and 1st in the Varsity Race - but we had to fight hard in each of the races. In the rookie race we had 3 girls in the top 15: Sara Williams (6th), Sydney Zaugg (7th), and Sariah Dixon (12th). We also saw some strong improvements from Rachel Clouse and Amber Berry. Our JV girls had 8 of the top 16 places including the victory by Grace Neuenschwander with a time of 19:51. We had big improvements over Highland from Madi Bledsoe and Kaitlyn Datwyler who both finished in our top 5. In the Varsity Girls race, Park City gave us a run for our money. At the 2.5 mile mark, their top 4 were beating our top 4 by quite a bit. I was very impressed with the way our girls dug deep over that final 800m and secured the victory. We have a TEAM that is willing to sacrifice and hurt for each other - and it paid off for the victory. We were led this time by our super freshman, Aubrey Argyle. She finished 6th with 18:05 and was very tough over the final mile of the race. Our pack stayed close together with our next 4 girls finishing within 5 seconds of each other - Kenzie Weir (18:30), Taylor Cox (18:30), Ashley Tyndall (18:31), and Hannah Albrechtsen (18:35). We had our third different #1 runner - which can really be a strength for us as we continue our season. Our pack will also be our strength - and I love seeing each of you doing everything you can to stay with the pack when it gets tough. It was another girls team time record for the course (taking into account the adjustments to the Murray course over the past few years). We got the victory 65-90 over Park City.
The Rookie Boys showed our greatest improvement over the Highland Invite. We improved by an average of :10 per runner on a course that was .10 miles longer. It was an awesome victory for Camren Todd - who is continually showing that he has a great future as a cross country runner. His time of 17:29 was the 9th fastest freshman time including all 3 races (in a very strong field of freshman runners). Camren would be running varsity on 40 of the 44 schools in the varsity race. We also had very strong races/improvements from Matt Ward (5th), Dallin Kitchen, Jason Lang, Trevor Zimmerman, Jace Callor, Zach Moncur, Brandon Christensen, Cole Stephenson, and Seth Valentine. Our Rookie boys' team time would have beat 16 of the teams in the Varsity Race. In the JV Race, we had a breakthrough effort from Alex White who came away with the individual victory in 16:57. Our top 5 all finished in the top 9 of the race - Daniel Tumblin (3rd), Kent Thompson (5th), Colter Blanchard (8th), and Britton Porter (9th). And we had 10 of the top 20 runners. It is exactly what we need - both to keep our future strong and to keep our varsity runners working hard for their spots. I encourage you JV runners to train like and with the varsity runners - keep them working hard - keep challenging and pushing one another in a positive way. In the Varsity Race we needed someone to step up big for us because we were missing Stokton. I love the way that each of the 7 boys in the race did what they could to make up the difference. We ended up 2nd by only 2 points against a very strong Ogden team. Skylar led the way for us with his 7th place finish (#2 from 5A). Josh Ward finished like a beast in 13th. Colton Rimann was the #3 sophomore of the day in 23rd. Kimball Potter fought hard to finish 30th. Ethan Stuart came through huge for us in 40th. And Logan MacKay and Matt Hawkins finished as the top #6 and #7 runners in the race - which would have been huge for us in the case of a tie (which nearly happened). Each of the boys dug deep and showed a lot of HEART. That is one thing that I know this TEAM has - HEART! I love seeing it - and I want to continue to see more of it. Race with purpose and race through the line for your TEAM.
I don't have time to type up all of the Davis results - but you can see them at www.runnercard.com
Top 3 improvements over Highland Invite:
1. Seth Valentine (-1:31)
2. Brandon Christensen (-1:30)
3. Zach Moncur (-1:00)
1. Rachel Clouse (-:59)
2. Sariah Dixon (-:40)
3. Madi Bledsoe (-:40)
Top 3 improvements over Murray Invite 2012:
1. Adam Aposhian (-3:52)
2. Colton Rimann (-2:54)
3. Kyle Beech (-2:48)
1. Alex Tanner (-6:31) - WOW!!
2. Hannah Albrechtsen (-4:28)
3. Sydney Zaugg (-2:54)
Athletes of the Week:
Aubrey Argyle - 2 great races (her first xc races ever)
Madi Bledsoe - for her great improvement over the Highland Invite
Sydney Zaugg - for her great improvement over the past 365 days
Ethan Stuart - for stepping up big as our 5th man
Colter Blanchard - for a strong start to his comeback and the JV victory at Pre-Region
Alex White - for a killer victory at Murray in the JV Race
District Championships: Is on WEDNESDAY, September 11th. It is at Layton Park and is 2.75 miles. Here is the schedule:
1:30 - Excused from School
1:45 - Bus Leaves
3:30 - Girls JV
3:55 - Boys JV
4:20 - Girls Varsity (Aubrey, Kenzie, Taylor, Ashley, Hannah, Aimee, Miah, Grace, Josey, Ally)
4:45 - Boys Varsity (Skylar, Stokton, Josh, Colton, Kimball, Ethan, Logan, Matt, Alex, Danny)
5:10 - Alumni/Parents/Siblings Race - I hope that some of you parents will consider running this - and athletes, you should get your younger siblings to run it (you can run with them as a cool down). It is free of charge!!
5:30 - Awards
6:00 - Back to the School
Parents Night: Thursday, September 12th at 7:00pm in the Auditorium at Davis High. Athletes and parents are invited, there will be some refreshments. We will have a guest speaker (a Davis High Legend), and I will be going over a few things about the rest of the season and answering any questions.
BYU Invite: Saturday, September 14th @ the BYU Track. We will be leaving at 6:30am and get back to the school around 2:00pm (more details to come). The race should be a 5k.
Bob Firman (September 20-21) - Please turn in your surveys tomorrow if you have not yet turned them in (that will be the last day to get them in). I sent out the information this past week - let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
T-Shirts: You can pay for your t-shirts in the office ($10 each). They should be here this week.
Wasatch 100 Report - I just want to thank each of you for your support and encouragement I felt with the Wasatch 100 (or I guess in my case, the 'Wasatch 39.4). The last month has been very challenging for me. Over the past 9 months, I put a lot of work and preparation into running the race, and I was very discouraged with my hip injury over the past 5 weeks. After running 3 miles last Monday and still feeling a lot of pain, I had decided to drop out of the race. I hadn't felt that sad in a long time. I went down to Salt Lake for the Pre-Race meeting on Thursday to pick up my race shirts (the only thing I thought I would get for the $200 entry). I let them know I wouldn't be running, and then for the next 30 minutes I made the mistake talking to a few crazy ultra-marathoners who kept telling me to just give it a try. So I walked back over to the table before they were gone and I checked back into the race. Despite the lady at the table telling me it was a bad idea and that I would probably cause lasting damage.
I felt a lot of adrenaline and excitement the rest of the night. It was really hard for me not to say anything at the varsity dinner at the Cox's (thanks Shawna and Roger for the perfect carbo-load). I got everything ready and tried to get a little sleep before getting up at 3:45 Friday morning and heading to the starting line (Vita Course). Starting the race, I knew that I didn't have much of a chance to finish having not really run for 4+ weeks, but I at least felt good about trying. I love the atmosphere and excitement at the starting line of an ultra marathon. I had decided that no matter how far I got, I was just going to think very positively and be happy I had the opportunity.
I was so relieved as I attempted running and my hip felt pretty good. There was dull pain on the downhill, but for the most part it felt fine. I passed the first drop-out opportunity (Fernwood) without hesitation and headed up the mountain. At the top of the first big climb (10 miles in), my hip still felt fine - but my quads were burning and I could tell that is where my trouble would be, but again I was thrilled to be in the race at the top of the mountain.
I went through the first big aid station at mile 18 and passed another opportunity to drop out - even though my legs were hurting quite a bit. I just kept moving. I passed through the aid stations at 23 and 28 and was struggling more and more. At about that point, I decided to go for Big Mountain (mile 39.4). It was not easy to get there, the downhills actually hurt more than anything, but I just kept being thankful that I was able to run some of it. I thought about going for Lamb's Canyon (mile 53), but it would mean I would miss the Murray races and I knew I wouldn't be able to move any more than 53. My heart was with the TEAM at Murray and I decided to go and watch you race.
Although I wish the last month would have gone differently and I wish I could have gone for a finish at the race, I am still grateful for what I learned through the experience. I should have stayed a little more positive with myself throughout the challenge with the injury. It also taught me a new appreciation and a new love for running.
I need to thank my wife for being so supportive and for never doubting me or my decision to run. She is always my rock when it comes to these insane races. Having her (and my girls) there at mile 39 meant a lot to me. And I want to thank you (the runners on the TEAM) for inspiring me to be my best through your examples of toughness and your passion for running. I am lucky to be associated with such great people.