Blog Archives for 2012
The 2012 Summer Important Dates and Information sheet that has been distributed has a date that needs corrected. Our pre-season camp will take place the week of August 6-10, not June 6-10. I apologize for any confusion this mistake may have caused!
Summer Is Here!
The grass is green, the days are long, the weather is warm, and kids are out of school. That can only mean one thing:
Time for summer running!
Every cross country team that has success in the fall lays the foundation for that success in the summer. Talk to cross country coaches around the state and across the country and they will all agree on one thing: a great summer of running can transform a team.
This summer we will do lots of things to transform our team.
We will officially meet 3 times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7am at the Widefield High School track to run. Members of the team will meet at least 2 other days per week to run together. See our Summer Running Clubs info page for information about our summer running and for reminders about important dates. Those of you in need of a summer running calendar can print one for keeping track of your summer runs.
On Fridays after our run we will meet for 30 minutes for a brief leadership seminar. These sessions are meant for anyone who sees themselves as a leader or who would like to be a leader at some point in the future. They will build on each other from week to week, so, while not mandatory, attendance at each session is encouraged for anyone who wants to attend any session. If a runner cannot commit to 3 days a week of showing up to run week after week, this seminar is probably not for them.
There will be 2 opportunities to give back to our community, get young kids involved in track and field, and do some community service right away this summer. On June 2nd the Community Center hosts a Hershey's Track and Field Day. Volunteers are needed to help make this happen. Then, from June 4th-8th we will be hosting our second Widefield High School track camp for elementary and junior high schoolers. Our camp last year was a rousing success, but we need volunteers to ensure this year is the same.
There are several road races throughout the summer that members of the team as well as coaches will participate in. Road races serve as a great barometer to gauge your summer fitness as well as a great way to remember what it is like to race for longer distances.
We will also have a fun opportunity to do some team building and give back to the local running community while raising money for our team. The Barr Trail Mountain Race takes place Sunday, July 15th. This race starts in Manitou Springs, goes up Barr Trail to Barr Camp, and back. Five local high school teams are selected to work aid stations as a fund raiser at the race. This year we received the Barr Camp Aid Station. This means we will be hiking to Barr Camp the day before the race, camping out, and running an aid station the following morning. We will only be allowed to take 12-15 runners on this trip, so priority will be given to those who show up consistently to our summer runs.
As you can tell, there are plenty of things happening for WHSXC this summer!
Let's start the summer off right with a great turnout at our summer runs and keep the momentum going as the summer rolls on. By doing the right things for the next 3 months we can transform our team for the fall!
Upcoming Road Races
There are 2 great road races that would be great for high school runners to participate in. Below is a link to information and registration for each race.
The Sailin' Shoes 5k and 10k road race will take place in downtown Colorado Springs on Saturday, June 16th. This is a great race that many members of WHSXC have run in the past and several have expressed interest in running this year. Coach Nelson is hoping to go sub 19:00 at this race. Come see what you can do!
You can register online, at Runner's Roost in Colorado Springs, or on race day.
Each Friday over the summer, after we run, we will spend 30 minutes covering a leadership topics. The notes from these sessions will appear on the Leadership Seminar page. If you are out of town or have unavoidable obligations, check out these notes to see what we covered. Otherwise, make sure you are at each leadership session!
Running and The Smoke
Between the heat and smoke this has been a rough week for running. Looking forward, please be smart about when you run and for how long. For our morning runs, if it is obvious that the smoke would make running uncomfortable and/or dangerous, stay home. If you are unsure, Coach Nelson will go to the track on the usual days for morning runs and will send people home if that is the wisest course of action. If the smoke is not bad, plan on running as normal!
Five Weeks To Go
This Monday marks five weeks until the first day of cross country practice.
This is a critical point in the summer. Summer is over halfway over. For those who have been running then next five weeks will be an opportunity to start transitioning into strength and tempo workouts. For those who have not been running like they had planned, five weeks is still plenty of time to get in great shape and wrack up some miles.
However, time is ticking.
Now is the time to re-evaluate your mileage goals and see what you need to do to hit your target.
Now is the time to get rededicated to your summer training.
Now is also the time to change gears somewhat. As a team we will make the following changes: After we run on Tuesdays and Thursdays we will go into the weight room for 30-45 minutes. It is time to get strong. We will also start incorporating tempo runs, time trials, fartlek, and occasional interval workouts into the mix.
Even though the summer is over half over there is still plenty of time to get yourself prepared for a great cross country season. There is not, however, time to wait!
Final Week of Morning Runs
This is the last week we will be running together in the morning as we have all summer. Next week we will have our pre-season "camp." We will meet 4 times at different places around town in the afternoon. We will continue to meet in the morning on Tuesday and Thursday to lift weights.
Stay tuned over the next couple of days for details on our camp.
Also, please keep in mind these important dates as our season rapidly approaches:
Week of August 6-10: Pre-Season Camp
Tuesday, August 7th 6:30 pm, Auditorium: Parent’s Meeting
Thursday, August 9th 5:00 pm, Bowers: Girl’s Physicals
Saturday, August 11th 1:00 pm, Bowers: Boy’s Physicals
Monday, August 13th: First day of practice and team time trial!
Let's Get It Started!
The 2012 cross country season is days from starting! As we rapidly approach the first day of practice there are some important dates you need to know.
First, next week we will have our pre-season camp on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We will meet at 3pm at various places around town. See the above link for details. Please note: if you need a ride or can provide one, please communicate this with your teammates! Also, please note that there is a $7 per car admission fee into Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Please bring a couple of dollars to help cover the cost of whichever vehicle you are in!
We will continue to lift next week, but will do so Tuesday and Thursday at 8am. This will be separate from our camp.
Other important events next week include:
Tuesday, August 7th 6:30pm Parent's meeting with coaches in the WHS auditorium
Thursday, August 9th 5:00pm Girls' physicals in Bowers Gym (we will be done running in time to make it to physicals)
Saturday, August 11th 1:00pm Boys' physicals in Bowers Gym
Our first day of practice is Monday, August 13th. Practice will start promptly at 2:55pm. It is imperative that all members of our team who are serious about having a great season show up on time and with yellow cards this first day. We will go over expectations and goals for the season as well as have our time trial that will determine who runs Varsity in our first race. Boys, expect to run your 2 mile time trial in under 12:30 to make Varsity. Ladies, expect to be under 15:30.
We have the potential to make this a great season. The way we start it over the next week will go a long way towards determining the direction our team takes the next two and a half months!
First Day of Practice and Yellow Cards
The first official day of cross country practice is Monday, August 13th. We will meet at the Widefield track at 2:55 pm that day and every day throughout the season.
While cross country does not make cuts like other sports may, we are having our version of "tryouts" on the first day of practice. Specifically, we will do a 2 mile time trial to determine who will run Varsity in our first meet. In order to run Varsity a runner will have to meet a time cut off (12:30 for boys, 15:30 for girls) as well as be among the top 7 finishers in the time trial.
Just like missing a day of practice would greatly inhibit an athlete's chances of making the team or making Varsity on softball, soccer, volleyball, or most other sports, not participating in our time trial on the first day will mean you will not be able to compete on Varsity for our first meet.
This means that not only do you need to be at practice next Monday, you need to have your yellow card so you will be allowed to practice. In order to get your yellow card you need to have your athletic paperwork filled out and signed by your parents, as well as you physical form filled out by your doctor. All of this paperwork then needs to be turned in to the main office in order to receive your yellow card. There will be a line of people waiting to get yellow cards on Monday, so please do not wait until 2:30 to try and get yours. If you do, you will be late to the first day of practice.
We have the potential to have a great season this year. Please help us get it off to a great start by being at practice and prepared on the first day!
As we start week 2 of the 2012 cross country season, please keep in mind a few things.
First, continue to talk to potential runners. We have a good core for our team, but need to keep growing. In particular we need girls and underclassmen.
Second, our first "race" experience is quickly approaching as we will compete at the Lewis Palmer scrimmage this Saturday at 8am. The bus will leave Widefield at 6:30am, so be at the school by 6:15. The bus will not wait for runners who are late!
Finally, start thinking seriously about your goals for this season. Your goals will help you stay aware, engaged, and intentional every day at practice and meets.
WHSXC ran in a "practice" meet this past Saturday at Palmer Lake in northern El Paso County.
Greeted by cooler than expected temperatures, wind, and altitude the team had lots of things to deal with and learn. And, hopefully we learned.
All in all, we had some good performances, some solid performances, and a couple of disappointing performances. Some of our runners, compared to who they were last year, ran decent times. Some of these same runners need to remember they are not who they were last year. Some of our new runners just got one in and now have a base line point to work from going forward. A few of our runners made it obvious they had worked hard over the summer. And, a few of our runners let their teammates down by not participating in the scrimmage at all.
In the final analysis, we appear to have some good raw material to work with. But we have lots of work to do and questions to answer.
This week the meets start for real with the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede. This meet takes place at Bear Creek Park. Girls and JV boys run at 2:30. Varsity boys run at 3:00.
Cheyenne Mountain Stampede
A review of the CM Stampede will be coming shortly. At this time asking for help at our upcoming home meet is more important. Please see the above post!
On Friday, September 7th we will host our 5th annual home meet.
As with any large scale endeavor, our meet's success is dependent on the efforts of many people. Lots of work will be done behind the scenes in the next few days. However, on race day there is a need for extra volunteers to make sure things go smoothly.
In the morning we will set up the course. In the afternoon volunteers are needed to help direct traffic, work the finish chute, do crowd control, and serve as course marshals.
If you are able to help anytime from 9am to noon or from 2 to 6 pm on race day, please let Coach Nelson know!
At the Half Way Point
At this point in the season we have 4 meets behind us. We have 4 meets left before Regionals.
Over the first 4 meets we have seen some very good things. We have had individuals and groups race hard. We have seen some big PRs and some major improvements. We have seen a runner or 2 step up to a new level.
But the improvement needs to pick up steam over the next 4 weeks. We are at the point in the season where we race less frequently and each race takes on added importance.
There is no more time for figuring things out or putting things together slowly. It is time to figure it out and put it together.
The strides we have made have to be made more quickly over the next 4 weeks. We need to be operating at warp speed. We need to break down barriers, make rapid improvements, and go to new levels.
The first step is desire. After desire is a decision. Then honesty--we have not done all we can, yet.
Then comes doing it.
It is time.
To All Spectators Attending TCA
This is what the meet director sent out for our meet on Saturday. Please plan ahead so we can continue to have this meet in the future!
As those of you who've attended this meet in the past know, parking is difficult at this facility. We are urging all people attending this meet to carpool. And, we're adding a motivation for you to carpool. Our parking staff will direct those vehicles with four or more people to close-in parking, as long as those spots last. All other vehicles will be directed to park in more remote spots. Uniformed law enforcement personnel will be on hand to assist us with parking.
We request your cheerful compliance with this procedure. The alternatives are to discontinue the meet or reduce meet size to 12 - 15 teams in future years. It requires everyone's cooperation to run this meet with 20 teams. This is a golden opportunity to demonstrate that cross country fans, when presented with a problem in need of a solution, can work together to make that solution happen in a way that would rarely happen with other groups of people.
Races start at 9:30 AM and will follow this schedule:
Varsity Girls - 9:30
Varsity Boys - 10:00
JV Boys - 10:30
JV Girls - 10:44
Awards - as soon as possible following the JV races.
Thunder at Fountain Creek
The Titan Thunder Invitational lived up to it's name.
On a beautiful day, a course that has historically run somewhere between blazing and lightning ran more like lightning this past weekend.
Of our 19 competitors in the race, 12 ran PRs and 4 ran PCRs. Many broke through to new levels. Alandra Lawrence went under 24:00 for the first time, and did so in a big way, running 23:42 and finishing in 2nd on the team, her highest place ever. Jun Liu ran 17:04, moving into the #2 spot on the All Time Top 10 List and #1 on the Junior List. Wes Simmons PR'd by 1:12, breaking well into the 18's. Others making big leaps included Kieran Kalter, Donnie Byers, Lafaith Gordon, Po Liu, and Zack Morse.
All in all it was a day of big steps. With a mere 2 meets before Regionals, they were needed steps. All teams will be gearing up for Championship season. If last weekend was any indication, the best is yet to come for our Gladiator harriers.
Englewood Food--Parent's Help Needed
Free food is the best food.
Due to the amazing performances by the team this past weekend, Coach Kasyon will be buying pizza for the entire team after our meet in Englewood next Saturday. This will allow us to get on the road in a timely manner, ensuring we make it home for more of the Widefield-Mesa Ridge football game.
However, parent's help will be needed. First, when we locate a pizza place it would be a huge help if a parent could pick up the pizzas. Second, if any parents could provide drinks and anything to go with the pizza, that would certainly complete the deal.
If you are making the trip to Englewood and can help with this please let Coach Nelson know ASAP!!
On Monday, October 8th there is no school. We will practice at 8am so the coaches and athletes can have the rest of their day free. Please be on time and dressed appropriately for the morning's weather!
League Start Times
Our League Meet takes place on Thursday, October 11th. We have many runners who will have a chance to compete for medals, ribbons, and All-League honors. Please come support our team as they race for Colorado Springs Metro League honors.
Race times are:
2:00 Varsity Boys
2:30 Varsity Girls
3:00 Open Boys
3:10 Open Girls
Aiming For a Celebration
Complete with a great picture of Jun, this article, written by a big fan of WHSXC, attempts to capture what it is like to be in our position as a team at this point of the season.
Then There Were Two
This week closes the 2012 cross country campaign for many of our runners.
On Wednesday our Open runners will compete at the Pikes Peak Open Championships at Monument Valley Park. Race times for this meet are boys at 4:30 and girls at 5. Please come out and support these runners as they finish their seasons.
On Thursday the remainder of our team will compete at our Regional meet with a trip to the follow week's State Championships on the line. The top 15 individuals and top 5 teams will all qualify to compete at State. Our girls race at 2:30 and our boys race at 4:00. This meet is in Pueblo at the Elmwood Golf Course. Please come cheer for the Gladiators as they run for State!
On Tuesday, October 23rd we will meet in room 118 after school for our post-season meeting. At this meeting we will debrief from the season, vote for team awards, do program evaluations, and talk about our team's plans going forward. Additionally we will discuss plans for our Post Season Awards Banquet.
Please be sure to attend this short meeting!
Our Post-Season Awards Banquet will take place this Thursday, November 1st from 6-8pm at the Widefield High School Auditorium.
As in years past, we will be doing a pot-luck dinner. Seniors and Juniors are asked to bring main dishes while Sophomores and Freshmen are asked to bring desserts and salads. Please be aware all we will have will be what you bring! So, bring good food and enough to feed several people.
Families are welcome to attend as are any WHSXC alumni (alumni, contact Coach Nelson if interested).
Please come celebrate our many accomplishments from this past season!
Rock Canyon Half Marathon
Are you up for it? If so, once you have run the Rock Canyon Half Marathon everything else you will do in high school athletics will seem easy in comparison. For information on the race as well as how to enter visit the Rock Canyon Half Marathon web site.
As training for the race we will do long runs on Saturdays at 9am as well as run after school on Tuesday and Thursday. All are welcome to join for these runs. Please come to the first Saturday run before registering for the race so we can be sauté everyone is on the same page!
Race day is December 1st, so there is plenty of time to get ready, but no time to wait!