Widefield High School Cross Country

Blog Archives for 2011

Winter Running and Weight Lifting

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

When school starts after break we will also begin preparing in earnest for the upcoming Spring sports seasons.

We will run every day after school. We will also lift weights Tuesdays and Thursdays after our runs.

All runs will be based on current fitness level, but plan on incorporating some hills, core work, and speed and strength training.

These 6 weeks will lay a great foundation as we head into track season!

Track and Field

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

Track season is in full swing in Colorado!

Come support the track teams in their Varsity and JV meets.

Full Schedule

XC Meeting

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

We will meet to discuss summer running, weight lifting, and the upcoming fall season on Wednesday, May 18th in Mrs. Dematto's classroom.

See you there!

Summer Running Info

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

We will start summer runs together on May 31st at 7am. We will then run every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday throughout the summer at the same time. On Fridays we will play Ultimate Frisbee after running if enough people stick around to play.

If you are planning on participating in one of our summer running clubs you can print your summer running calendar for logging your mileage.

Other important upcoming dates and events to note:
June 4: Hershey Track and Field; put on by the Community Center; can use volunteers
June 6-10: WHS track camp; we are looking for volunteers to help make our camp a success
June 12: Garden of the Gods 10 Mile team fundraiser

Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Aid Station Challenge

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

This Sunday, June 12th, we will be working an aid station for the GOG 10 Mile as a team fundraiser. Over the past 3 summers we have worked an aid station for one race, and every time it has been a lot of fun as well as a great team-bonding experience.

If you are interested in helping with the aid station this year, we need to know ASAP! Contact Coach Nelson or one of the Seniors for more information.

July Is Upon Us

Friday, July 1st, 2011

The turning of the calendar from June to July means a couple of things for high school runners.

First it means the period for summer training is half over. The good news is if you had a bad first half there is plenty of time to start running and have a good second half. The bad news is if you had a bad first half you are running out of time to get going.

Second it means it is time to start adding some things to our training. We will start weightlifting on Tuesdays and Thursdays after we run beginning July 7th. We will also start doing some fartlek and time trials from time to time.

Without a doubt, the second half of the summer will go a long way toward determining what our fall season is like!

Pre-Season Camp Information

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

We will do our annual pre-season "camp" August 8th-11th at 3:00pm daily. We will meet at various locations around town to run and do a workout.

For details and directions visit the Pre-Season Camp page.

Upcoming Parent Meeting

Saturday, August 6th, 2011

All parents of cross country athletes are encouraged to attend the upcoming parent's meeting on Tuesday, August 9th at 6:30 pm in the WHS Auditorium. After a general meeting there will be a meeting specifically for parents of cross country runners.

If you are able to make this meeting please do so. We will share important information and make important announcements about the upcoming season.

First Day of Practice!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

The start of the 2011 cross country season is here!

Our first practice will be Monday, August 15th. We will meet at 2:55 at the WHS track. This is the same time and place that we will meet daily when school starts.

Please be prepared to run on Monday. Have your yellow card, proper clothes and shoes, a water bottle, and a watch.

See you on Monday!

Running Watches

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Girls on the softball team have to provide their own glove, batting gloves, cleats, and visors. Football players need cleats, a cup and a jock strap, and gloves depending on their position. Volleyball players have to provide their own knee pads in addition to their workout clothes.

Running requires very little other than shoes and clothes to run in.

This year, we will be requiring all runners to have watches. Running watches can be fancy and expensive. We do not need watches that are either. We need watches that have a chronometer. Memory for up to 30 laps would be a nice bonus, but is not necessary.

Appropriate watches can be found for $12 (the basics) to $35 (30 lap memory).

More information as well as links to appropriate watches can be found here.

Post-Practice BBQ

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

This Friday, August 19th, after practice we will gather to grill and eat hotdogs, hang out, and enjoy each other's company. All team members are encouraged to stick around after practice for this event. If all goes according to plan, we will eat around 4:45-5:00.

Time Trial

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

With Varsity spots on the line for the Top 7 finishers, WHSXC headed to Widefield Park on Friday for a 2 mile time trial. This was our first chance to see our team in a race-type environment this year, and it proved to be illuminating. When all was said and done, the Varsity rosters for our first meet had been set. Congratulations to the 14 runners who will compete in the big races to open the season.

Girls Top 7: Alysia McCullough, Audra Bergman, Taylor Anderson, Danielle Pacheco, Kat Bergman, LaFaith Gordon, and Lorren Wall

Boys Top 7: Robby Giese, Andy Kiarie, Caleb Chee, Jun Liu, Mike Silvis, Shane Castillo, and Donivyn Taijeron

Labor Day Weekend

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

The racing season for WHSXC, as well as most of high school cross country in Colorado, opens this upcoming weekend.

Our first race is the Lori Fitzgerald Pre-State Meet on Saturday. Our second meet is the Canon City Invitational held on Tuesday, September 5th.

Because of the holiday weekend, and since there is no school on Monday but we race on Tuesday, all team members will need to attend either the meet on Saturday or a practice on Monday in order to race Tuesday. The time for practice on Labor Day can be flexible if need be for travel schedules, so please let Coach Nelson know if you plan on being out of town for the holiday!

Lori Fitzgerald Pre-State Invitational

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

WHSXC opens our racing season with the Lori Fitzgerald Pre-State Invitational on Saturday, September 3rd. This is the same course that will host the State Championships on October 29th.

Race times for the meet are:
9:00am--JV Boys
9:30--JV Girls
10:30--Varsity Girls
12:00--Varsity Boys

We will leave from Widefield High School at 6:45am and will return late afternoon, depending on traffic and how smoothly the meet runs. We will stop for lunch on the way home, so bring some money.

If you have any questions about this meet please contact Coach Nelson!

And They're Off!

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

WHSXC got their season started on the right foot at the Lori Fitzgerald Pre State Invitational. Going into the meet, 2 things went a long way towards setting our expectations. First, of our 21 runners it would be the first cross country race ever for 10, and the first on this course for another 2. 200+ runners, 30+ teams, and a very challenging course provided conditions that could have phased the most seasoned cross country veterans, let alone cross country rookies. Second, we ran horribly at this meet last year and needed to get this season off to a better start.

Merely looking for improvement over what we experienced at this meet last year, the entire team met or exceeded expectations. Every one of the 9 runners who ran on the course last year ran a Personal Course Record. Alysia McCullough's improvement of 3:45 led a group of runners who ran over 90 seconds faster than last year. Robby Giese led the boys team for the first time in his career. Running in their first Varsity races, Shane Castillo and Andy Kiarie both ran Personal Records. Shane improved his best 5k time by a whopping 3:22, throwing his hat in the ring for Most Improved Runner right off the bat.

Not to be outdone were our rookies. In the first high school cross country race any of them had ever run in, the JV boys all ran strong, worked hard, and showed some great promise. Anthony Trulson led the team, running a veteran-style race as he recorded negative splits throughout the race. And, making their debuts in the Varsity races, Donivyn Taijeron, Lafaith Gordon, and Jun Liu all were impressive. In particular, Jun's effort stood out. He finished 2nd on the team in his first cross country race, ran faster than all but one of our runners last year, and made it look easy.

This upcoming week the team travels to Canon City on Tuesday and hosts the Widefield High School Cross Country Invitational on Friday. Varsity races start at 4:00 with boys first, followed by girls and JV at both meets.

Making The Leap

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The strongest cross country teams have healthy competition amongst the members of their team. A number one runner who is always way ahead of his or her teammates grows complacent and reaches a plateau. However, healthy, friendly competition in the spirit of improvement and common purpose brings out the best in everyone.

The Canon City Invitational featured lots of great competition amongst team members. However, two of the most important competitions came from JV runners chasing the "ghosts" of their Varsity counterparts.

In the boys JV race, a Varsity spot for the home meet was on the line. Po, Kyle, and Bracken all went out like they intended to claim it. With less than a mile to go Kyle was up front but Bracken was closing and looked determined. In the end a strong 3rd mile from Bracken prevailed over Kyle's hard start. Congratulation to Bracken on making his first Varsity team!

In the girls JV race Abbie Hart was making her 5k debut for WHSXC. She had shown glimmers of greatness in practice, but had not unleashed the beast in a meet. From the gun she went out like she meant business. Over the last mile she fought tooth and nail with a pack of girls from Canon City. In the end she broke up Canon's pack, thwarted their near perfect score, and ran the 4th fastest time of any WHSXC girl on the day. Congratulation to Abbie for making her first Varsity team!

Our next meet is the home meet on Friday, September 9th. 15 teams will converge on the Community Center grounds to compete on one of the most deceptively difficult courses in Colorado Springs. Boys Varsity starts at 4:00 followed by Girls Varsity, Boys Open, and Girls Open in 30 minute increments.

Representing At Home

Monday, September 12th, 2011

"Home Field Advantage" is not a term commonly associated with cross country. However, when your home course is on the terrain you train on twice a week, is deceptively challenging, and is literally right out the back door of your school, home course advantage takes on a very real meaning.

At the 4th annual Widefield High School Cross Country Invitational, the Gladiator Harriers did their home course, the home crowd, and their home meet proud.

With 30 runners competing the Gladiators' presence was dwarfed by no one. Add to their sheer numbers the fact they combined for 8 Personal Course Records, 2 Personal Records, 5 individual awards, and 3rd and 4th place team finishes, and it was a successful home meet no matter how you slice it.

The Boy's Varsity kicked the meet off. Robby Giese led the team for the 3rd straight race, finishing in 13th overall. Six places behind Robby was Jun Liu, recording yet another impressive performance in just his 3rd cross country race. Caleb Chee and Mike Silvis both took over 2:15 off their previous course records and came up big for the team. Rounding out the scoring was Freshman Phenom Donivyn Teijeron with the highest team finish of his young cross country career. The boys finished 4th out of 15 team in attendance.

In the Girl's Varsity race Alysia McCullough, Audra Bergman, and Taylor Anderson all got after it from the start. All 3 competed hard, fighting for every place they could get throughout the race. At the end Alysia was rewarded with her highest individual finish ever (5th) and a PCR by 3:20. Audra also brought home a ribbon, finishing in 13th place. If not for a furious kick by one of her competitors Taylor would have been our 3rd girl to bring home a ribbon. As it was, her 21st place finish was accompanied by a PCR by 1:14. It is good to have the real Taylor back! Danielle Pacheco and Lorren Wall rounded out the top 5. For Lorren it was her highest team finish and she improved her PCR by a whopping 2:11. The girls team one-upped the boys for the third meet in a row with their 3rd place team finish.

The boy's JV runners took to the course with something to prove and accomplish. With 3 runners having missed their chance at Varsity at the last meet, at least a few of them had redemption on their mind as well. Andy Kiarie took it out hard and held on for 5th place in the JV race with the 4th fastest time of all boys and a PCR by a whopping 4:42. Anthony Trulson finished with the 7th fastest boys time, followed by Lane Walker (8th fastest), and Donnie Byers who ran a PR and was 1 second behind the 6th runner from the varsity race. Adam Cano set a new PR, Carl Lee shattered his old PCR, and Chris Lane and Gavin Beaver both successfully made their high school cross country debuts.

Like her male counterparts, Lafaith Gordon took the girl's JV race out like she had something to prove. Showing guts, fearlessness, and pure determination she led the entire race through the first 800 meters. Unfortunately she was not able to sustain the pace, but it is easier to gain fitness and learn how to pace one's self than it is to learn how to run with the characteristics Lafaith demonstrated. She may be weeks, if not days away from moving well up on the girls' team. Alandra Lawrence made her cross country debut as well.

Things don't slow down this upcoming week as WHSXC races again on Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday's meet in Florence features a 3:30 start time for the girl's Varsity. Friday's meet at Air Academy starts with the Varsity boys at 3:00 with races starting in 35 minute increments thereafter.

Monday Pasta Party

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Anthony Trulson's family will be hosting a pasta party on Monday, September 12th after practice. For details on the time and place, see Anthony!

New Look At Meet Info

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Check out this brand new feature on WHSXC.com: the course info page. From this page viewers can select a course they want to view, see the course map (if available), a course description, directions and a map to the course, an elevation profile (if available), and a Top 10 list for that meet!

To see the most complete version of this amazing new feature, check out the course page for the home meet. For info on the upcoming meets this week look at the Pathfinder Park and Air Academy course pages.

A Perfect Storm

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Every once in a while a cross country meet goes about as well as could be imagined.

Going into the Florence Husky Invitational the members of WHSXC had high hopes of continued improvement, racing instead of running or (Heaven forbid) jogging, and general progress.

What happened was a fair sight beyond what we hoped for.

Upon arrival at Pathfinder Park the conditions were good for a cross country meet, but far from ideal. Temperatures were in the high 70s to low 80s, there were a few clouds, but the sun was a force. To the west some grey clouds were building, but they appeared to be well in the distance. Such were the conditions at the start of the Girl's Varsity race.

From the gun the girls got out to compete. Kat Bergman found herself leading the team 600 meters in. While she did not hold the lead, she ultimately discovered she could go out hard and not die. Shortly after the first half mile the pack started to string out, with Audra Bergman and Alysia McCullough toward the front and Taylor Anderson nipping on their heels. At mile one those three were leading the way with their 4 Varsity teammates now well back.

Over the next mile things changed a bit. Alysia opened a 10 second lead on Audra, Taylor had continued to fight for her spot, and Danielle Pacheco had started to move up. Additionally, Lorren Wall had made a move on a pack of girls in front of her. At this point it appeared the team was in a race for second place.

In the third mile amazing things happened. First, Audra rediscovered the fire that had seemed to be dormant since her sophomore year. Not only did she make up the 10 seconds Alysia had on her, she opened up a lead of her own. At the line Audra and Alysia crossed in 7th and 8th places respectively. For Alysia she lowered her PR by a second. Taylor raced her way to her second consecutive 21st place finish. However, most importantly were the things happening just behind Taylor. Danielle closed what had been a 20 second gap a mile earlier and was now one place behind Taylor. Behind Danielle Lorren had caught one member of the team we needed to beat for 2nd place and was closing on another. At the finish line Lorren finished with a PR. More importantly the team standings were official: 2nd place and a trophy for the Gladiators!

In Colorado there is a saying that if you don't like the weather wait 15 minutes. Well, the girls had decent cross country weather. But what happened in the minutes between the end of the girls race and the beginning of the boys changed everything. The recently distant clouds moved in, eliminating the sun's direct rays and cooling off the temperature nicely. Additionally, although there is no hard proof, at least one coach suspects the incoming storm raised the barometric pressure, effectively decreasing the affect of the altitude on the runners.

Whatever happened exactly with the weather, the number of blue and grey boxes in the far right column of the results tell the story of what happened in the race rather succinctly.

The Boy's Varsity runners finished with 5 PRs and 2 PCRs. Robby Giese ran a brilliant race, giving a glimpse of what he is capable of for the first time this season, and finishing 2nd overall along the way. His second place finish is the highest by a Varsity runner for WHS since 2007. Other big highlights were Jun Liu going well into the 18s, Andy Kiarie on the verge of joining him, Caleb Chee improving his Season Best by 26 seconds, Mike Silvis and Anthony Trulson dipping into the 19s for the first time ever, and Donivyn Taijeron improving his PR by 59 seconds. Once again the boys finished one place behind the girls, this time placing 3rd as a team.

The JV races were no less impressive. In fact, all JV runners set PRs with the exception of one running through significant leg pain so as not to have to watch his teammates race, and one setting a PCR. The major highlights included: Shane Castillo running with serious heart over the last mile to overtake a hard working Donnie Byers; Kyle Haden continuing to go out strong and starting to hang on deeper into the race; Lafaith Gordon running a time that would have put her 5th on the Varsity team and reclaiming her Varsity spot; Alandra Lawrence taking 4 minutes and 18 seconds off her PR and finishing one second off a Varsity time; and many more.

Whether it was the weather, a focus on racing, sheer determination, or a perfect storm of all of the above, the end result was the type of cross country meet coaches dream of often and rarely get to experience.

Well done Gladiators!

Air Academy Info

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

There are a few things everyone needs to know about Friday's meet at Air Academy.

First, the race times are different than what we are used to. Boys Varsity will run at 3:00. Girls Varsity will run at 3:35. Our boys JV will run in the Division II boys race at 4:10. Our girls JV will run at 4:45.

Second, anyone planning on going needs to be aware of the security standards the US Air Force Academy has in place for all visitors. These include:
-All vehicles need to enter at the south entrance to the Academy and take the most direct route to the high school
-Drivers need to be prepared to show identification, state what contest they are going to, and be willing to be subject to search

Air Academy High Lights

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The course for the Air Academy Invitational is challenging to say the least. While far from our greatest effort of the season, our performance was admirable and provided several concrete examples of how far we have come in the last 2 weeks.

Robby and Alysia both beat runners from other teams who had beaten them at the Pre-State meet, Canon City, and at the home meet. This trend trickled down throughout the team, as we started closing the gap on teams in front of us across the board.

Alysia ran the fastest girls time on this course for a member of WHSXC since 2004. Audra ran the 3rd fastest, and Robby ran the 5th fastest boys time over the same time span.

The highlight of the meet was Shane Castillo's race. Running JV for the second consecutive meet, Shane knew he had a great chance of getting his spot back after the Varsity race. However, before the race Shane said he did not want to make Varsity by default, just because one of the Varsity boys had not run well. He ran like he intended to show everyone on the team he belonged on Varsity, running the 4th fastest time of all WHSXC boys for the day. In the process Shane came within 17 seconds of his PR set at Florence. No one else was closer to their Florence time than 37 seconds and most everyone was at least 60 seconds slower.

At the Half-Way Point

Monday, September 19th, 2011

The Air Academy Kadet Invitational was the 5th race of the season for the team. Most of our runners who are eligible all season will run 10-11 races. Thus, we are half way through our race schedule.

The first 5 races have seen lots of good things happen. We have had 9 boys and 8 girls qualify for Varsity so far, with several more nipping at their heels. We have run many PRs and lots of PCRs. We have had a number of our runners catch up to and start to beat runners from other teams who were ahead of them in our first few races. We have gone from a wet-behind-the-ears, inexperienced team to a team that is starting to figure this cross country business out.

Over the next 5 weeks we have to continue to improve, but we must accelerate the growth curve dramatically.

We have the raw materials. The potential is there.

But potential is among the most overrated of all commodities. It matters little what we are theoretically capable of doing. What matters is what we do.

The next 5 weeks determine everything for the 2011 edition of WHSXC.

Some Good, Some Not So Much

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Sometimes judging a team's performance requires more than merely looking at a stat sheet that includes times and PRs. Sometimes even places don't tell the entire story.

Such was the case at the TCA Titan Thunder Invitational. In only its 4th year this meet has become incredibly popular and has drawn a loyal following that includes some of the top teams in all classifications in Colorado. Since many of the top individuals in the state reside on the top teams, this was a hotly contested race on both the individual and team side of things.

A glance at the WHS results suggests improvement. As a team we ran 11 PRs and 1 PCR. Anytime you do something better than you ever have before, there is reason for at least a degree of pleasure.

However, delving deeper into the results reveals a stark reality that the coaches and member of the team who were not running observed during the race. Specifically, for many of our runners the course and competition pulled them to improved times, but their overall places and improvement relative to other runners lagged.

One of our team focuses going into the race was to pass runners after mile 1. Out of the 27 runners we had compete, only 6 improved their place after the first mile. Caleb Chee improved his place by 15 spots. Po Liu improved by 10, Alysia McCullough by 7, Carl Lee by 6, Bracken Anderson by 5, and Donivyn Taijeron by 2.

What's more, most of our team members moved in the wrong direction as the race progressed. The girls team lost 4 team places between mile 1 and the finish. The boys lost 1.

Clearly we still have work to do.

The good news is we have time. As a team, our workouts have been very solid and would predict that we are capable of much improvement over the next 3 weeks. What's more, cross country is a sport where there is no win/loss record. Run well at Regionals and you are in, no matter what you did in the other meets. Run poorly at Regionals and you are out no matter how spectacular your season was to that point.

We have reason to feel good about ourselves. We have reason to be optimistic about the next 3 weeks. But we also have every reason to be justified in at least developing a sense of urgency about having a sense of urgency about the upcoming meets.

Rampart Invitational

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

This Tuesday the majority of our team will compete at the Rampart Invitational. This race is an opportunity for those members of the team who have often been chasing the "ghost" of their teammates from another race to run against those individuals head to head. The eight most consistent members of our team will not race, but will practice as normal. The lineup and race times for Rampart are as follow:

4:00 Boys Varsity: Anthony, Shane, Andy, Wes, Donivyn, Donnie, Po
4:30 Girls Varsity: Alandra, Abbie, Lorren, Lafaith, Kat, Dannie
5:00 Boys JV: Bracken, Adam, Kyle, Carl, Micah, Chris, Michael, Gavin
5:03 Girls JV: Cassie, Gaby

Getting Ready For Windjammer

Friday, October 7th, 2011

The Windjammer Invitational, hosted by Englewood High School, is scheduled to take place this Saturday starting at 9am. The forecast for Englewood is for rain with highs in the mid to upper 40s. Wind is supposed to pick up in the afternoon.

Athletes need to be prepared for these conditions. This means having warm layers to wear when you are not running. Mid 40s with rain can be perfect cross country weather. In fact, the conditions could make for fast times if we are mentally prepared, warm up properly, and have everything we need. However, mid 40s and wet is not perfect standing around weather. Warm clothes will be essential for when you are not running. Also, it would be wise to bring extra warm clothes in a water proof bag that you can change into when you are done being in the rain. This should keep everyone as dry and healthy as possible.

A glance at last year's results gives an idea of what is possible on this course. Being prepared for whatever conditions we may face will increase our chances of seeing some good results.

Englewood Weather

Saturday, October 8th, 2011

An email from Englewood High School this morning indicated the race will happen unless conditions become unsafe for runners. If there are any changes they will be posted here as they are received. Please bring extra clothing and layers for racing, regardless of their color.

Jammin' at Windjammer

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Waking up to a heavy rain, temperatures in the low 30's, and pitch dark does not foreshadow a great cross country meet is ahead. When the bus has to slow to under 40 miles per hour on the Interstate due to ice, snow, and poor visibility, one's expectations for running well can further be hindered.

However, when you make a trip through snow, fog, ice, and cold to find the conditions at your destination are better, but still not great, there is really only one way to make it all worth your while: By running fast.

Under any conditions 15 PRs, 4 PCRs, and 2 Season Bests qualifies as a good day. After the trip and conditions we experienced at the Windjammer invitational it qualifies as nothing short of a breakthrough.

Cross country is a sport where runners can feed off one another during a race, but also from seeing their teammates in previous races perform well. With only 20 minutes to warm up upon arrival, our JV girls started things off by competing hard and running well. The JV boys followed by taking things up a notch. Wes Simmons took off at a breakout pace. Only an errant elbow to his stomach kept him from running one of the top 4 or 5 times of all our runners on the day. Even with a poor last mile he improved his 5k best by 43 seconds and nearly broke 20:00. Behind him the JV boys piled up the impressive performances. Gavin Beaver took 2:21 off his 5k time, Michael Montgomery shaved 1:52 from his PR, and Adam Cano took 34 seconds off his. The other PRs were more modest--in the 1-20 seconds range.

Hungry to duplicate the boys' results, the girls Varsity runners took off on a mission from the very start. Audra Bergman led the team the entire race, ending up posting her second fastest time ever. Not far behind, Alysia McCullough kept her perfect season alive with 8 PCRs in 8 races. Taylor Anderson and Danielle Pacheco broke through in a big way, as Taylor took 1:07 off her season best and Danielle took :56 off hers. Lafaith Gordon and Alandra Lawrence kept the trend alive, cutting the PRs by :53 and :39 respectively. Kat Bergman rounded out the girls best performance of the season with a nice Season Best.

With the trend set, the boys Varsity toed the line knowing good things had been happening all day. Robby Giese led the way with his fastest time on the course and tied the 3rd fastest time a member of WHSXC has ever run on the course. Caleb Chee finished 2nd on the team and lowered his PR by :12. Jun Liu kept his strong season alive and showed he can run mid 18s any day. Mike Silvis and Shane Castillo were close together all race, with Mike prevailing at the end but Shane making the bigger time jump of 34 seconds. Not far back, Donivyn Taijeron took 43 seconds off his PR and became the 8th runner to go under 20 this year. Rounding out the boys team was Anthony Trulson who showed lots of guts and heart to not give up on himself or his team after a rough first mile and keep his spot on Varsity.

With less than 2 weeks left before Regionals it would appear our team is on the right trajectory. The league meet course has run everything from very fast to disappointingly slow over the years. So, a focus on taking our efforts up a notch, racing at yet another level, and continuing to increase our competitiveness should set us up nicely for the Regional meet and Colorado Springs Open Championships the following week.

Columbus Day Practice

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

With no school on October 10th we will practice at 9am. Be sure to be at this practice! With only 8 practices left before Regionals no one can afford to miss any workouts!

Upcoming Times

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

With a meet on Thursday, no school Friday, and practice Saturday there are plenty of events and times to keep track of this week. To help here's the run down.

Thursday: CSML Meet at Fountain-Fort Carson High School
2:30 Boys Varsity
3:00 Girls Varsity
3:30 Boys JV
4:00 Girls JV
Friday: Practice at 2:55
Saturday: Practice at 10:00am

The Final Week

Monday, October 17th, 2011

With the League Meet behind us, this week marks the last week of the cross country season for all but those who qualify for State. State qualifying will be determined at this week's Regional meet in Pueblo. For those not competing at Regionals, we will travel to the Colorado Springs Open Championships the next day for one last race.

The Top 9 boys and girls will run Regionals in Pueblo on Thursday. Race times are 4:00 for girls and 4:30 for boys. Congratulations to the following runners for making Top 9 and earning a spot at Regionals:
Boys: Robby Giese, Anthony Trulson, Caleb Chee, Jun Liu, Mike Silvis, Shane Castillo, Donivyn Taijeron, Wes Simmons, Donnie Byers
Girls: Alysia McCullough, Audra Bergman, Danielle Pacheco, Taylor Anderson, Lafaith Gordon, Alandra Lawrence, Kat Bergman, Lorren Wall, Abbie Hart.

All other members of the team will run at Monument Valley Park this Friday. Boys run at 4:30 and girls run at 5:00.

We have had an exciting season that has seen lots of great team and individual performances. Come support the team as we finish the season with a bang in these last 2 meets before State!

Good Luck

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Good luck to all members of Widefield High School Cross Country as we wrap up the regular season this week!

Just remember the words of the late, great Steve Prefontaine:

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

Post Season Awards Banquet

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Come help us celebrate a great season at our post season awards banquet! The event is scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd from 6-8pm at the WHS cafeteria. We will hand out participation awards, letter awards, team awards, and some special awards.

This event is a pot luck, so please bring a dish to share. Families are welcome and encouraged to attend.

In order to make sure we have a good balance of food, please bring the following:
Freshman- Salads/Side Dishes
Sophomores- Main Dish
Juniors-Main Dish
Seniors- Dessert/Fruit

See you there!

Rock Canyon Half Marathon

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The half marathon distance (13.1 miles) is a long way to race. Normally such a long race would not be ideal preparation for high school runners.

However, the Rock Canyon Half Marathon in Pueblo is at the perfect time for high school runners. December 3rd is long enough after the cross country season has ended that runners can get back in shape and should be working on their base mileage. It is also far enough from the start of track that any ill-effects experienced from the race can be overcome well before racing starts again.

For high schoolers, the race is only $20. Many half marathons cost $60-$80. It is a great course with good competition. Last year many members of the Pueblo West High School cross country team ran it. And this year Coach Nelson will be running it for the second time, along with several friends and parents of WHSXC.

If you are interested you can register at the link above. But don't wait. The cost goes up after November 19th. And last year the race sold out.

If you are interested in reading about Coach Nelson's experience running the race last year or his preparation for this year's race, check out what he has written about both.

Turkey Trot

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Several members of the team (including Coach Nelson) are planning on running the YMCA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. What better way to feel okay about engorging yourself with great food later in the day than by racing a 5k that morning?

Come join us! And check back here after the race to see how everyone did.

Rock Canyon Half Marathon

Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Braving cold temperatures, strong winds, snow, a slippery course, and wind-chills in the teens, Robby Giese and Audra Bergman made their half-marathon debut this past weekend.

With 750 runners entered in the race, the conditions and size of the field alone could have been intimidating. However, Audra and Robby performed impressively.

Robby finished 37th overall with a time of 1:32:57. Audra finished 126th overall and 28th out of all female finishers with a time of 1:49:09.

Congratulations to both Audra and Robby!