Tuesday, September 20, 2011

MXC 2011 Weekly Update - Sept. 20

Special Thanks to the Kramers and Poaletti's for forwarding pictures!  They are linked from www.moorestownxc.org.  You can also see the latest results spreadsheet with VDOT's and PR's there as well.

This Past Week

New Egypt Dual Meet - The team followed the plan.  The guys were grouped based upon VDOTs from Saturday's race, gave them approximate pacing, and urged initial restraint due to the warm, muggy weather.  Regardless, most guys were still out comfortably and looking good.  Horten and Inglis worked together and ran with Andrew Stewart and Kevin Wright from Cinnaminson, quickly separating from the rest of the field.  We had a whole pack next -- the potential strength of the team -- led by Howard, Little Inglis, Spirgel, and Nece.  Mitch Cain, Connelly, Lavery were clinging on.  They came out of the woods the final time looking steady and strong.  The rest of the team -- in spite of encouragement to run together, got pretty strung out.  Guys were working hard but not tightly packed.  Still, effort was there and the results, again by appearance only, looked good.

Some guys jumped up the ladder compared to their Cherokee Challenge times.  Evan pushed out a strong final 300 on the track to come in 4th on the team behind Inglis, Horten and Howard, beating Joe by 4 seconds.  Reed Kramer, who didn't race on Saturday, bounced back from his illness to clearly inject himself into the varsity conversation with a 7th place finish,  30 seconds behind Spirgel but right ahead of Lavery.   And Greg Rothman looks to be gaining back more of his form, finishing as the #1 JVer (and 12th overall, up from 16th best time at CC).  Of course, there was a lot more shuffling as the rest of the field came through, but kudos should also go to Connor Ems and Nick Novak, who passed lots of guys who beat them on Saturday. 

South Jersey Shootout - 
Frosh Races:  Welcome to the true world of XC for the young ones - hills!  Barsoum learned from last week's quick start and ran much more conservatively, leading the frosh in 15:03 and medaling in 22nd place.  He now has to figure out the smart start and the strong 2nd half push to the top.  Mike Macaluso, Mike Ing, Sam Bauscher, and Sam Spirgel followed, not really packed up but not too far apart either.  Macaluso led most of the way before feeling the full impact of the hills.  The others, again out a little more conservatively, looked solid.   Graham and Maier ran much of the way together before Ryan separated to outdistance Nolan, who again displayed a good final surge.

JV:  We have a BIG team.  And, for the most part, they ran with great effort, raced with each other - lots of black and gold packs out there - and found good results.   Lavery led the squad, running a consistent and solid race, passing guys throughout to finish in 7th.   Right on his heals were Sheehan (who was as high as fourth early on, probably getting out too fast in 5:30) and a solid pack of Cain, Caffrey, Rothman, and Martinou.  Klawunn and Orzechowicz ran with them for much of the race, too.   Caffrey and Martinou posted some big life PRs. 
Other noteworthy performances:
·         Dan Poaletti running a strong race, picking up runners the whole time, to PR in 20:16.
·         Vincent Lee quantifies his improvement, knocking 33 seconds off his life PR
·         Greg Munilla starting very slowly, but picking up steam the entire race and looking as fresh as anyone crossing the line.
·         Stephen Burke showing off the speed on the final stretch, finishing in 22:02, a PR by 17 seconds.
·         Andrew Moorer running 45 seconds faster yesterday on 5k of GCC's hills than he did on 4700m of flat New Egypt course.  A little experience goes a long way.
·         Jon Pollock finished a 5k without his knee killing him!
·         David LaGatta led another pack to some strong finishes as well.  He, Dugan, Reubel (who will love the 800 after this XC season!), Kohart, and Gross all ran the entire race together.  Great push to the finish line, too.  Big PRs for LaGatta and Gross.  Gross knocked almost two minutes off! 

5,6,7 Race:   Joe Inglis ran a fist-pump worthy race - looking cool, calm, and collected as he cruised to a big PR (18:07 from last year's 18:40) and a 9th place finish.   Jack Spirgel ran well, too, although he let Joe go early and never was able to make up the difference.  He finished in a respectable 18:17.  Reed Kramer proved he belonged in the Top 7, running a smart and consistent race to finish in 18:43.   All three ran strong tactical races - no one got caught up in the fast start, all ran with strength through the hills, and finished well.  Great building block for the rest of the year.

3,4 Race:  As often happens, after watching the 5,6,7 guys run well, the 3,4 guys rose to the raised expectations.  Luke Howard ran a wonderful race, starting comfortably (he was in the 30s at the 800) but slowly and strongly moving up the fast field the entire race.  He closed to 14th with a powerful kick, finishing in 17:45, nearly 45s faster than last year's PR and 1:30 faster than last year's time at the Shoot-out.  Who says summer mileage doesn't pay off?  Evan ran with Luke until the hills, where he slowly let him go.  To his credit, he rallied over the last mile and closed confidently with a strong kick, picking four or five runners in the final 400.  His 18:16 is a life PR (imagine that) and, more importantly, a strong step forward.  He faced down a crisis on those hills and came out strong.  Bodes well for the future!

1,2 Race:  Jack Inglis was on his way to a big break out race - rising up as high as #9  (he was 25th at the 800) and running with confident comfort - until he ran out of gas after the hills.  He dropped a couple of places but rallied to hold onto 14th by the finish.   Right behind him?   Kevin Horten, who looked great, again out conservatively and picking up guys the entire time.  A 17:17 is a big step up from him and his 16th place finish definitely earns the stud label.

Overall, a good day.  Lots of kids took steps forward.  Many had their first XC experience on the hills of GCC, gaining some valuable experience.  And the entire Top 7 had positive races to build on as we go forward.  What to complain about?   Well, Ringo talked way too long at the awards ceremony.  But it was Ok because not only did we get two kids on the podium, but the GIRLS TEAM WON!   Denning got to give a speech.  I wanted to cry....

This Coming Week - 
Tuesday - Our HOME Batch Meet!  Come out and cheer the team on.  Starts at 3:45.

Saturday - No meet.  We may take the Varsity level guys to Holmdel - details at practice.

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