June 4th, 2018 saw the majority of these runners starting the long, arduous journey into a new season of cross country. Day by day and week by week, through sweat and tears, each one of them overcame obstacles from injuries to mental strain in order to stand in the photo above; masters of their own destinies.
The Sunflower League is one of those meets that you aren't sure how to approach. Do we start to taper? Do we train through? Regardless, Mother Nature kind of helped us make the decision when she decided to have a torrential down downpour for the majority of the week. This caused us to miss our last meet and miss a crucial speed day, but what it gave us was a fun-filled week of games and rest. And we're glad that the runners enjoyed their last week as a whole team.
Altogether, we arrived at Rim Rock Farm bundled and decked out in winter attire. The grass was dampened with the decaying frost and runners faded into the cloudy distances as they did their team jogs. Harriers far and wide were outlined by their plumes of breath that grew from their silhouettes. Some of our runners huddled together in the tent to stay warm while other set off in their warm-up routines as the races drew near.
Our varsity ladies were the first to brave the treacherous temperatures and brisk winds as they set out among their League brethren over the rolling hills. The leaders came through the mile in a blistering 5:40 and our ladies weren't too far behind in 6:30. The "off week" took it's toll, though. Our ladies seemed to fade -- in all three races -- once that third mile crept up (the hilliest portion of the course). But they did push through the pain and fatigue and finished strong; they competed until they crossed that finish line. Competing will be important next weekend at Regionals! In the end, our ladies finished better than they did a year ago and with a better team average as well.
With the steadily rising temperatures, the varsity boys started their race in fine fashion gaining good position early. But the mud and fatigue struck the boys as well -- an unforeseen miscalculation, yet again. But they held strong and competed a lot better than they did a year ago. Our boys grew a lot running against the State's best competition and will use their experience going into Regionals next weekend.
It will be tough racing next weekend but if all of the pieces fall into place we could be extending our season into the next week. It will be the details that count and going out and racing like we have no next week. Overall, our program has taken a great leap on the path towards success. It has taken time and energy, but as Coach John Wooden said, "It takes time to create excellence. If it could be done quickly, more people would do it." We are excited for the future of this season and seasons to come! Great work to all of you runners this year and we cannot wait to see you again next year!