Blog Archives for 2014
The first leg of the Winter Series is this Saturday, January 11. For info check out the Winter Series web page.
Game Day 5k
Before the Broncos win on Super Bowl Sunday, the Game Day 5k will happen in downtown Colorado Springs at 10:15 am. This race is a great pre-track tune up race on a good course with solid competition. Coach Nelson is running the race, so this is your chance to go toe to toe with your Good Ol' Coach. Information can be found at the Super Half site.
Summer Miles Bring Fall Smiles
The 2014 version of WHSXC promises to be among the best in recent memory if not one of the best in school history. In order to ensure your best performance over next fall, you must run this summer.
But fear not! You don't have to do this summer running thing by yourself! In fact, there will be lots of us to run together all summer long. We will meet every weekday starting Tuesday, May 27th at 7am to run and build the strength and fitness that will determine what kind of a season we actually have. Runners of all experience and fitness levels are welcome.
To our beginning runners, we have some plans and ideas specifically for you. But, the sooner you get started the easier the season will be!
See you Tuesday!
We will kick off our fun summer activities with a team dinner at Coach Nelson's house on Thursday, May 29th from 6-8pm. Parents are invited and encouraged to attend! We will discuss plans for the upcoming season as well as lay the foundation for our strategic partnership between athletes, coaches, and parents as we prepare for our best season ever! Please be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend!
A great way to ensure a good fall cross country season is to run in a few low-key races over the summer. The first such race our team participated in was the Sailin' Shoes Run for Fun in downtown Colorado Springs.
Representing WHSXC at this race were 6 current runners, 2 alumni, 2 coaches, and 2 parents. All-in-all the members and friends of WHSXC acquitted themselves very well on a fast course.
Highlights included Mason Durfey running his 5th fastest 5k ever, Bethany Rodrigues coming within 11 seconds of her PR, and Cole Munoz making his 5k debut in fine fashion with a 19:40 clocking and winning his age group (not to mention out-kicking Coach Nelson at the finish). Check out how we all did on the results page.
Congratulations to all who ran this race!
4th of July
While the 4th of July may not be widely known as a running holiday, in a community as fitness centric as Colorado Springs, there is almost sure to be a race or 2 on most major holidays. This year is no exception.
On July 4th Coach Nelson will be running the Half on the 4th half marathon. This race starts and finishes downtown in South Monument Valley Park. While a half marathon is not necessarily ideal training for cross country season and the race is a bit expensive, those of you who have been doing 10+ mile long runs are certainly welcome to talk to Coach if you are interested in joining him in this race.
For most members of WHSXC, however, there is another race that is a great opportunity to get after it again this summer. The July 4th Fun Run in Palmer Lake is a 4 mile run that starts at the lake in Palmer Lake and finishes in Monument. It is a good, cheap option for a race that usually draws some high school competition. All members of WHSXC who want to run a race to continue getting ready for the upcoming cross country season should strongly consider this race!
4th of July 4 Mile
Max Martinez and Cole Muñoz ran the 4th of July 4 Mile in Palmer Lake. Both represented WHSXC very well. Max finished 10th overall and 2nd out of high school runners. The only high schooler to beat Max finished 6th at last years State cross country meet. Cole finished 47th out of 524 runners with a very solid effort in his first race over 5k.
The next race we will run as a team is the Classic 10k on Saturday, July 19. Although this is longer than what we are training for, the summer is an ideal time to run different distances, work on strength and endurance, and push ones limits. A 10k will do all those things. Plus, the Classic is an all downhill race that starts at Woodmen and I-25 and finishes at Monument Valley Park, so it is fast and fun! Register online, by mail, or in person before race day for the best prices.
High school runners in Colorado are very fortunate to have one of the greatest resources in the country available to them when it come to coverage on and information about track and cross country. Milesplit is a national series of web sites dedicated to track and cross country. However, in Colorado we have one of the finest web masters managing our site, making Colorado Milesplit among the best resources for high school athletes in any sport in any state.
Milesplit features many free content areas, including results and calendars. However, to access articles featuring analysis as well as the great tools the site provides (rankings, virtual meets, simulators etc.) a subscription is required. However, the fee is nominal for the value the site provides.
As our team moves into the elite class of cross country in Colorado we need to start using Colorado Milesplit to become better students of our sport and our competition, not to mention to ensure access to all the great things that will undoubtedly be written about the rise of our team over the next few years. All families are strongly encouraged to explore the Milesplit websites and consider taking out a subscription.
Boys Regional Preview
Today, Milesplit published their preview of our Region on the boys side. Widefield was spoken about very positively. One might say that if the cat isn't quite out of the bag, it is certainly working at escaping.
The article about our region has this to say about our team:
"Surging upward to join the ranks of the region's elite is Widefield. Last year's superfrosh Maximilliano Martinez figures to be among the region's best runners this fall. Nothing about his track season indicated anything but continued upward trajectory. Matthew Arbegast is another sophomore-to-be who has shown considerable promise. As the depth of the roster continues to build, this team very quickly becomes a team that nobody takes lightly any longer."
People around Colorado are taking notice of what is happening on our team! Next up: living up to the billing when the season starts. The question at this point is, have you done enough to get ready to do your part?
On Saturday July 19th Mason Durfey received some nice reinforcement that his summer training has been paying off by way of a very nice result at the Classic 10k. This downhill course draws some of the best runners from around town for its fast times and good competition. In his first 10k Mason ran smart, only letting 1 runner pass him who he didn't pass again. His time of 27:43 placed him 8th in the 15-19 age group (an age group largely populated by current and soon to be college runners), and equates to back-to-back sub 18:52 5ks. What's more, after a hard 10k effort, the regular high school cross country distance of 5k will seem easy. Mason is well on his way to the low 17's or better this season.
So far this season, the following members of WHSXC have run at least one road race: Mason Durfey, Matthew Arbegast, Cole Munoz, Bethany Rodrigues, Kayleen Chee, Whitney Durfey, Donnie Byers, and Max Martinez.
However, there are 2 opportunities to add your name to the list and get your fall racing kick-started. First is the State Games 5k this Friday at 6pm. A rare evening race, this is a good opportunity for those of you who are not morning people or who have morning commitments or ride issues to get out and race!
Then, next Saturday August 2nd at 8am is the Run for Rwanda. The Run for Rwanda draws many high school runners and high school teams. It has divisions specifically for high schools and awards for both high school boys and girls teams. If you do one race with the team this summer, do the Run for Rwanda!
What Does Summer Look Like For The Best Teams?
Have you ever wondered what summer training looks like at other schools? Maybe you have heard Coach go on about consistency and mileage and summer running and have thought, "Yeah right, who does that?" Or maybe you just aren't convinced that the road to success goes through a bunch of summer and winter miles.
Well, if you are curious, here is a brief article about what one of the best boy's teams in the country does for their off-season program. Does any of it look familiar to you?
Perhaps the real secret to big time success isn't such a secret after all. Maybe it's just having huge numbers of runners doing the right things for long enough. Have you been doing the right things? Have you been doing them for long enough?
With the start of what promises to be one of if not the best season in the history of WHSXC just over a week away, there are lots of important dates coming up.
First, this Saturday, August 2nd at 8am is the Run for Rwanda. The Run for Rwanda draws many high school runners and high school teams. It has divisions specifically for high schools and awards for both high school boys and girls teams. If you do one race with the team this summer, do the Run for Rwanda!
Next week we have our Pre-Season Camp on Monday and Wednesday thru Friday. If you or your parents can help with rides please communicate that with Coach. Details can be found at the link above.
There is no Pre-Season Camp on Tuesday because that is the night of the parent's meeting at 6:30 in the WHS auditorium. We would like to encourage all parents who are able to attend so we can ensure we get the season off to a great start with everyone on the same page!
When the season starts there are 5 days of practice before our scrimmage and 9 days before our first meet. Because of the rules about practices anyone who is unable to practice for even 1 day the first week will not get to participate in the scrimmage. Anyone missing more than 2 days will not be able to run in the first meet. In order to practice on the first day all athletes must have their yellow card. Details and paperwork will be given at the parent's meeting but can also be obtained through the main office.
In order to get a yellow card you must have a physical before the season starts! Physicals will be offered at the WHS gym on Thursday, August 7th at 5:00pm for girls and Saturday, August 9th at 1:00pm for boys. Physicals cost $15 cash. Please be sure to have your physical done and yellow card in hand on the first day of practice.
Practice will start on Monday, August 11 at 2:55pm. We will meet at the track at WHS. Have your yellow card, a water bottle, and running clothes and shoes.
It is going to be a great year! Please pay close attention to these dates to ensure we get it off to a great start!
Run for Rwanda
This morning 7 current members of WHSXC and 2 alumni met at Cottonwood Creek Park to race in the Run for Rwanda. Over the last several years this race has grown in popularity among high school teams. Today it is something of a final pre-season tune up for many teams around town, as was evident by the fact that runners from Rampart, Vanguard, ECA, Air Academy, TCA, Pine Creek, Doherty, and Widefield were all in attendance.
Of the teams that showed up, Widefield made the biggest splash. In fact, here is what MileSplit had to say about it:
"And, it was arguably Widefield who made the biggest statement at this meet. Max Martinez paced the Widefield undergrads (a couple of Widefield alumni were present in the field as well) with a 17:54. Matthew Arbegast rolled through in 18:20, and Mason Durfey in 18:29. Widefield coach Erik Nelson was smiling, and rightly he should have been. Widefield has the look of a much-improved team over 2013, and that should help to tighten up a regional contest about mid October."
In addition to our boys up front, Cole Munoz ran 19:46 for 16th place overall and won his age group, Stephen Agenbroad ran 20:06 in his first ever competitive 5k, Bethany Rodrigues ran 23:40 and finished 15th among females, and Tabitha Frandsen ran her first competitive 5k in 26:25.
Great job to everyone who ran today! It is fair to say we are well ahead of where we were as a team at this point last year!
WHSXC 2014 Is Upon Us!
On Monday, August 11th the 2014 season will get under way! Practice will start at 2:55 pm. We will meet at the WHS track. Be prepared to run. Have your yellow card, but don't wait until 2:30 to get it as there will be a line and you will be late! Please be prompt (early) and ready to get the season off to a great start!
See you Monday!
Off With A Bang!
In cross country a scrimmage is a practice meet of sorts. As such, it is more about experience than results. That being said, results can be telling.
Today our team opened our season by participating in the Lewis Palmer scrimmage. Although times nor places are official, both can tell a lot about where we are at this early stage of the season.
The bottom line is, we are well ahead of where we were at this point last year.
With only 5 practices possible, the only eligible runners were those with perfect attendance. Yet we had 10 boys and 4 girls run. As a whole, the times were very solid, debuts were made, plans were executed, and we have a starting point to go forward from!
Cheyenne Mountain Stampede Times
On Thursday, August 21 we open our regular season at the Cheyenne Mountain Stampede/Pre-State Meet.
As this is the only chance for any team to run the State course before State, it is the largest meet of the season. With 4+ races per classification, it is truly an event.
Race times for our runners are below. However, there are a few things spectators need to know. All of this information can be found on the meet link above. First, be prepared to pay for parking, and to pay more to park closer. Second, the race is the same day as the US Pro Cycling Challenge, which takes place in the same part of town as the cross country meet. Because of the bike race some roads will be closed. It is suggested that spectators take Motor City Way to 8th street and enter the park via Moreno or El Paso off 8th street. Highway 24 will be closed periodically during the day, so please avoid it!
Our races will be as follows:
2:30 JV Boys
3:20 JV Girls
4:30 Varsity Girls
7:00 Varsity Boys
Domination at Home
If home is where the heart is then the trails and grounds around the Widefield Community Center will forever be home to our team as they ran their hearts out at the 2014 home meet.
The Varsity boys started the day by running a brilliant race and executing their game plan to perfection. Starting towards the front and moving up all race, the boys swept the top 4 individual places and took 5 of the top 6. One lone runner broke up the party. All six varsity boys finished in the top 18 and got individual awards. Needless to say, a team title accompanied the collection of individual awards.
The girls Varsity race unfolded in a similar fashion, with the Glads moving up continuously until there were very few runners left to pass. The top 4 girls all finished in the top 9, leading to a second place team finish.
In the boys JV race 6 of the top 18 finishers were Gladiators.
All told the teams combined to bring home 13 individual awards and 2 team trophies. Every member of the team who had run on the home course before ran a personal course record except for one, for a total of 13 PCR's. Four runners set personal records.
This upcoming week we race at Florence on Tuesday and Pueblo Central on Saturday. Both races will feature good competition and some of the best teams in the state. It promises to be a great week for more statements made by WHSXC.
Taking Notice, Making a Statement
Although we have a long way to go, people are taking notice of where we are currently. Case in point, the article on Milesplit written about our home meet:
"Canon City takes a dominating girls team title even without Till 1 and Till 2. Ellie Enderle (get to know that name) takes up a lot of the slack with a 20:58 winning time on a roller of a course.
Continuing a weekend theme of 16-point winning scores, Widefield misses a perfect score by a single point. In this case, it was a single point and two seconds. Maximilliano Martinez wins in 17:52. I'm pretty sure that was a subdued effort, even on this course. We'll see more of Widefield later when stakes are higher than they were here. Erik Nelson has engineered something of a machine on the side end of Colorado Springs."
Pueblo Central Race and Departure Times
The Pueblo Central Invitational will be run on Saturday, September 13th at Elmwood Golf Course at Pueblo City Park. The bus will leave at 7am. Race times will be:
With cooler temperatures everyone needs to be aware of uniform rules. Anything shirt, short or long sleeve worn under a uniform must be navy blue and can have no more than one logo showing. Likewise, anything worn over the legs that extends below the knees must be navy blue without any designs and may only have one logo showing. If you have questions ask Coach!
Thrice as Nice
Three meets in 8 days is a tall order. Four days after a dominating performance at our home meet we loaded up and headed to Florence for the Florence Husky invite. Four days later we drove south again, this time to Pueblo for the Pueblo Central Invitational. When all was said and done our team brought home a combined total of 2 team titles, 2 individual titles, 12 Personal Course Records, and 17 Personal Records.
In Florence the boys ran first. Our top 5 had instructions to start slowly and move up. There was a stiff wind and the competition was on the light side, so times were not blazing. None of that kept the boys from running a near perfect race. At mile 2 we possessed 5 of the top 6 places and were closing hard on a perfect score. At the finish spots 1-3 were claimed by Max Martinez, Matthew Arbegast, and Cole Munoz. Mason Durfey and Stephen Agenbroad finished in 5th and 6th respectively. After the lead group the rest of our runners came through the finish continuously, establishing Widefield's presence in the race.
The girl's race unfolded differently but with similar results. Running a less controlled race, the girls moved throughout the pack all race. Bethany Rodrigues led the team for the first time this year as our girls crossed the line in 6th, 7th, 9th, and 10th for the team title. The rest of the team saw 4 personal records and lots of Columbia and Navy blue throughout the pack.
On Saturday in Pueblo conditions were near perfect. A cool morning that saw fog hanging on the course as teams arrived promised good things to come. The boys moved into solid position early and moved up throughout the race. Max Martinez ran a textbook perfect race to win his 3rd straight race and his first major invitational title. Matthew Arbegast came through in 18th place. The boys finished 6th as a team, just behind some very elite Colorado teams. At this point we are a very good team. The next step is into the category of elite.
Only 3 girls ran in the Varsity race, but all did very well. Tabitha Frandsen reclaimed her spot as the team's top runner and finished in 39th place. Samantha Howell and Kayleen Chee finished with a pack time of 68 seconds. If we can add 2 more girls to that pack and move it up 60-90 seconds, we will have a very competitive team.
In the JV races we made very nice incremental progress. Isaac Benale broke through to run 20:23 and Lucas Lacy made an impressive debut a week into his cross country career with a time of 22:09. Caitlin Peters ran a nice controlled race as she continues to get comfortable running at a high level again. Peyton Tubbs and Amber Taylor moved up among their teammates as each ran their best races of the season.
Due to a teacher work day on Monday, September 15 there is no school for students. However, there will be practice at the normal time of 2:55. This is a mandatory practice so please make arrangements to be there!
Columbine Dave Sanders Invite
This Friday, September 26, we race at the Columbine Dave Sander Invitational at Clement Park, just north of Columbine High School in Littleton, CO. We run in the Division 2 races. Many races start 10 minutes after the previous race, so we will need to be ready at the specified times. Our race schedule is as follows:
Girls Varsity 3:10
Girls JV 3:50
Boys Varsity 4:20
Boys JV 5:00
Englewood Windjammer Invite
Over the years that our team has traveled to Englewood High School for the Windjammer Invitational we have had many great performances. Lots of PRs have been set at this meet and many of the names and times that currently populate the Top 10 lists are from the Windjammer. For this reason plus the expectation of favorable weather conditions, we went into this year's running of the Windjammer with high expectations.
The day's results exceeded the expectations.
The racing got underway with the JV girls. Right from the start Peyton Tubbs had a different fire in her eyes and energy in her step. She got the parade started as all of our JV girls but one ran a PR. The JV boys were similarly successful--all but 2 runners ran a PR. However, for Zack Goodman it was his first ever high school 5k, so a PR was impossible. In all, the JV boys and girls combined for 10 Personal Records.
The Varsity Girls race started with temperatures creeping upward but good conditions persisting. Tabi Frandsen ran like she was anxious to get back to it after missing most of last week. Behind her, Sam Howell, Bethany Rodrigues, and Kayleen Chee all ran with a new focus. Times were not super fast for the entire field, but our girls made good improvement in their pack time, focus, energy, and how they raced.
Finally, the Varsity boys toed the line. The previous week the boys had missed out on a meet title due to a bit of over-ambition resulting in a too fast first mile. This time the boys executed the game plan to perfection. After a less than perfect start the boys moved into good position a half mile in. And they kept moving. When the dust settled there were very few runners left for the Gladiators to pass. Max Martinez finished 3rd, Matthew Arbegast came through in 8th, Cole Munoz crossed the line in 12th, and Mason Durfey finished in 20th place. With our 5th runner a little farther back than normal, we were not certain of the team outcome. When we were not announced in second place some people assumed we must have finished 3rd. However, when the team champions were announced, Widefield was victorious in possibly the biggest team victory in the past 30 years.
This week Widefield looks to add to their total of team and individual awards at the Colorado Springs Metro League Championships. Go get 'em Glads!
Metro League Meet
Our League Meet has been canceled. It will not be made up. It is a bummer, but merely means we will have to put all the energy we would have put into that race into racing even better at the JV meet and Regionals next week!
JV and Regional Race Times
The upcoming week marks the last week of racing for non-State Qualifiers. On Wednesday we will run at the Widefield Community Center in the Mesa Ridge JV Championships. Race times are boys at 3:00 and girls at 3:35.
On Thursday we travel to Pueblo to race in our Regional Meet and qualify for State. Race times at Regionals are 2:30 for girls and 4:00 for boys.
Please come out and support our teams in these last meets of the year!
State Send-Off Dinner
On Thursday, October 23rd we will send our boys team to State with a Send-Off Dinner.
The dinner will take place in the WHS cafeteria at 6pm. All State Qualifiers and their families are invited along with all other members of the team.
Mr. Arbegast is going to prepare spaghetti for a crowd, however, we will still need a few more pasta dishes, bread, and salads. If you are willing to bring any of the above please let Coach Nelson know.
Stay tuned for more details about the State Meet!
Cheyenne Mountain Tomahawk 2 Mile
We have been invited to be among an elite and select group of teams running in a 2 mile even hosted by Cheyenne Mountain High School this Friday, November 7th. All members of our team are invited and there will be Varsity and JV races for boys and girls. Entries are due on Wednesday, November 5th, so if you are planning on running please notify Coach Nelson ASAP.
All reviews of this race have been positive and it sounds like a fun event with a fun atmosphere. Races will be held on the track at Cheyenne Mountain High School under the lights. Please bring $6 for pizza. Transportation will not be provided by Widefield, so please coordinate rides among yourselves. Race times are as follows:
JV Girls: 6:30
JV Boys: 6:55
Varsity Girls: 7:20
Varsity Boys: 7:45
Team Banquet and Awards Dinner
Our team banquet and awards dinner will be Thursday, November 13th from 6-8pm in the WHS Cafeteria. As is our tradition this will be a pot-luck dinner, so please bring something to share.
See you there!