Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Final XC workout of the season, part 3

In the afternoon, it was off to Bowdoin Park for a progressively fast interval workout in the "horseshoe" section of the course down by the start/finish area. As we arrived, the Two Old Men of the Course -- Terry Horton and Ken Kraft -- were setting up the finish line chute area for Saturday's New York State Federation XC Championships. As we experienced with the men, the women had plenty of pep in their step as well -- a very spirited and FAST workout from a spirited and FAST group of women, in the midst of an epic, historic season, one we hope to end in fine fashion at Van Cortlandt Park.

Final XC workout of the season, part 2

As with the 8 a.m. group, the 11 a.m. group did 2 sets of 5 "Great Lawn" hills at the Mills Mansion. This is a tradition we have tried to keep with -- finishing our season at the same venue and same workout as we started. Way back in August, nearly three months and about 45 degrees warmer ago, we did 3 sets of 5 at Mills. It was much colder today, obviously, but the pep in their step was still there, all these weeks and all these workouts and races later.

Final XC workout of the season, part 1

Today was our final quality day (hard workout) of the cross country season for men and women. As is the custom for Tuesdays, there are three distinct practices: 8 a.m. for a select group of men who cannot make the usual 11 a.m., due to class conflicts; 11 a.m., for the majority of the men; and 2 p.m., for the majority of the women. Above is a photo from Mills Mansion (with the mansion in the background) of the 8 a.m. group.

IC4A/ECAC tailgate

Thanks in advance to Palmer Weimann's parents for offering to organize a tailgate (may be a soggy one) on Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park. We will bring two (2) athletic department tables. Anyone interested in contributing and/or coordinating food, please contact Martha and Ted at 860 803 8918 or whctgirl@gmail.com. And for the sake of Rivas (and the rest of us), let's hope the forecast for rain changes between now and then. OK!

Monday, November 13, 2017

What's next: ECAC and IC4A Championships

Our final meet of the cross country season is Saturday at Van Cortlandt Park. Right now, the forecast is looking wet -- a rainy day. We are working on getting two 10x10 tents from Marist Athletics in an attempt for our athletes to stay dry. Here is the race schedule, hope to see some of you there:

ECAC/IC4A Cross Country Championships
Saturday, November 18, 2017
Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Race schedule
10 a.m.: ECAC Coaches’ Race, 5km
10:30 a.m.: IC4A Coaches’ Race, 5 miles
11:15 a.m.: ECAC Championship Race, 5km
11:45 a.m.: IC4A Championship Race, 5 miles

A Foxy workplace

Thanks to Marist Track Alum Molly Weeks for sharing this picture via text of her desk area at her new job as advertising coordinator at RED MUSIC, which is a label under Sony Music, in NYC. We’re thrilled for Molly on this first job, which she seems to really like so far: “The people and the work environment are great and it’s awesome to be able to work with music all day! Still getting used to the commute but very grateful for everything to say the least!” And, she added: “Good thing I was a sprinter because I just booked it through Grand Central at 400m pace to make my train and I got I just before it pulled away.” I guess you could say this is “music to my ears.” 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Foxes, on the recruiting trail

What better way to follow up a freezing cold day at a cross country meet ... with another freezing cold day at a cross country meet! That's what Coach Chuck Williams did today at the New York State XC Championships in upstate Wayne, NY. He was hanging out with his good friend and former teammate Mike Melfi, now the coach at SUNY ESF. "Standing outside in the cold recruiting is a lot easier when you spend the day with a great friend and fellow Red Fox,'' Chuck texted me. Indeed!

NCAA Regionals: Final thoughts and numbers

As I mentioned on Facebook, the outpouring of alumni interest and support in this meet was tremendous. Making it more exciting was that the alumni tracking the live results knew more about how our teams were doing than we did on the frozen ground in Buffalo. I mean, the “eye test” was pretty accurate – I could tell our women’s team was having a special day early, and I could tell our men’s team was grinding its way through the field methodically after a slow start in the slop. But through the leonetiming.com results, we can see tangible data of the progress at varying checkpoints along the course (more in the men’s race, because it was longer and with more electronic splits). What you can see with the numbers below is what we saw with our own two eyes, as I just said: The women got out, stayed out and closed like champs. The men got bogged down early, drove me batty with nerves, but ran with grit and toughness and progressed a whopping 11 places from start to finish.

Women’s progression:
1-mile: 14th place
3km: 14th place
6km (finish): 11th place

Men’s progression:
1-mile: 29th place
3km: 26th place
5.8km: 21st place
7.2km: 20th place
10km (finish): 18th place

And one last mind-blowing fact, courtesy of a late-night text from Coach Chuck: At the MAAC Championships, we had three All-MAAC (top-15) runners. Of those three runners, one did not compete due to injury and the other two competed hard but did not factor into our team scoring at the regional meet. And yet, the top-5 scorers on Friday got the job done to the tune of a historic, 11th-place finish. Strange things happen at the regional meet – and sometimes they are strangely wonderful.

NCAA Regionals: More photos

NCAA Regionals: 20 years ago

Yesterday's conditions in Buffalo were about as challenging as we can remember. Fortunately, we have alumni with long memories, and one of them posted this photo of Joe Majkowski and Chris Smith battling through the muck from 1997 at Franklin Park in Boston -- the first year of the current NCAA Regional format. That was a tough day, too!

Friday, November 10, 2017

NCAA Regionals: Women's results

There are not enough superlatives to describe this performance, something that Chuck and I will remember for the rest of our lives. In horrendous conditions, the women did the following: 

--Improved 14 places from last year. Fourteen places!
--Powered to the best finish in school history -- by far -- eclipsing the 15th place finishes from a generation ago. And, just so those teams are not lost to memory ... those were damn good teams that placed 15th back in the day. Right, Phil?
--Had five runners in the top-100, an incredibly difficult feat in any conditions.
--Overcame the loss to injury of Ali Bartolotta, who was only our LEAD RUNNER at MAACs two weeks ago. Let that one sink in. How many teams can overcome THAT. Here's the answer: THIS TEAM CAN, because it might be the most mentally tough group of young ladies I have ever been around. Their pretty damn fast, too. 

I say tend to text in ALL CAPS a lot (because I tend to be an idiot) and I tend to say "nicely done" a lot, but gosh darn it, today it needs to be in caps: NICELY DONE!

NCAA Northeast Regionals
Friday, November 10, 2017
University at Buffalo host
Audubon Golf Course, Amherst, NY
Women’s team standings
1-Providence 82, 2-Dartmouth 115, 3-Syracuse 117, 4-Columbia 120, 5-Yale 131, 6-Iona 167, 7-Brown 194, 8-Cornell 221, 9-New Hampshire 251, 10-Buffalo 346, 11-Marist 354, 12-Harvard 401, 13-UMass Lowell 402, 14-Boston College 413, 15-UMass Amherst 438, 16-UConn 448, 17-Sacred Heart 475, 18-Stony Brook 504, 19-Army West Point 530, 20-Vermont 541, 21-Holy Cross 558, 22-Fordham 576, 23-Quinnipiac 617, 24-Albany 620, 25-Northeastern 636, 26-Binghamton 646, 27-Central Connecticut 692, 28-Boston University 694, 29-Canisius 718, 30-Manhattan 725, 31-Siena 853, 32-Bryant 976, 33-Hofstra 991, 34-Fairfield 1022, 35-Colgate 1058, 36-St. Bonaventure 1064, 37-St. John’s INC, 38-Hartford INC, 39-Wagner INC
Women’s individual results, 6km course
50. Gianna Tedeschi 22:50.0
52. Shea Bohan 22:51.9
73. Emily Burns 23:07.8
83. Mara Schiffhauer 23:18.8
96. Jordan Casey 23:26.4
132. Maria Smith 23:42.2
172. Hayley Collins 24:22.1
251 finishers 

NCAA Regionals: Men's results

The men left it all out there today, and I'm extremely proud of them. They beat teams that had beaten them at early championships and senior captain Dietrich Mosel had the best finish since Quimes DelaCruz's 26th in 2012. A top-50 finish in this slop is remarkable, as is three top-100 finishes. We were right in the mix with several teams vying for the top-15. Although we fell short of that goal, it wasn't from a lack of effort. Nicely done, men. 

NCAA Northeast Regionals
Friday, November 10, 2017
University at Buffalo host
Audubon Golf Course, Amherst, NY
Men’s team standings
1-Syracuse 28, 2-Iona 48, 3-Army West Point 218, 4-Stony Brook 222, 5-Columbia 223, 6-Boston University 228, 7-Brown 245, 8-UMass Lowell 254, 9-Cornell 272, 10-Harvard 285, 11-UConn 285, 12-Providence 295, 13-Dartmouth 390, 14-Buffalo 426, 15-Albany 440, 16-Canisius 441, 17-Yale 471, 18-Marist 478, 19-Manhattan 483, 20-UMass Amherst 511, 21-Binghamton 513, 22-Vermont 573, 23-Siena 590, 24-Sacred Heart 641, 25-Central Connecticut 661, 26-Northeastern 716, 27-New Hampshire 760, 28-Fordham 778, 29-Boston College 780, 30-Quinnipiac 782, 31-Holy Cross 1001, 32-Hofstra 1012, 33-Bryant 1023, 34-Colgate 1037, 35-Fairfield 1042, 36-Hartford 1049, 37-St. Bonaventure 1171, 38-Wagner INC
Men’s individual results, 10km course
45-Dietrich Mosel 33:12.2
81. Mike Kennedy 33:49.3
93. Alexander Hogue 33:57.2
111. Chris Rivas 34:19.0
149. Steven Rizzo 34:48.4
158. Palmer Weimann 34:57.6
189. Riley Hughes 35:43.6
254 finishers 

NCAA Regionals: 11th heaven

The screen shot from the phone tells it all. An epic, historic day for our women's program. 11th place! Our previous best was 15th place, a generation ago. So very proud of this group of very special young women. Allow me a few minutes to thaw out and results and photos will be posted, provided the wifi on the bus works. 11th heaven. Nicely done! Wow! Neat! All of it! Yaaaaaaaay!

NCAA Regionals: It's warm. In Room 616

As I type this, from the warmth of our hotel in suburban Buffalo, it's 22 degrees outside with a "real feel" (wind chill) of 5 degrees. As the day progresses, this does not look to change -- unless you inject snow flurries into the forecast. The real feel will hover in the single digits all day. It's cold. It's windy. At our pre-meet run yesterday on the course, the Audubon Golf Course was a swampy, muddy mess. I walked the first 1km of the course, and my boots and flannel-lined khakis were covered in mud and muck. The key words in the previous sentence: "walk" and "1km" ... now, imagine our intrepid runners traversing this slop for 6km (women, at 11 a.m.) and 10km (men, at 12 noon). Add in brutal wind and cold temperatures and, well, you have a cross country meet, in November, in Buffalo.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

NCAA Regionals: Snow is now in the forecast

As I have been doing for the past week or so, I am obsessively checking Accuweather for the forecast in the Buffalo area. For the first time in my constant refreshes, measurable snowfall is now in the forecast. The probability for 1-2 inches of snow is more likely now, for late on Thursday. This harkens us back to the first regional meet we attended, way back in 1997 in Boston, when the course was covered in snow. It was not pretty. Again: Conditions will be the same for all racers.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

What's next: NCAA Regionals. In Buffalo.

Our next meet is the NCAA Northeast Regionals at Audubon Golf Course in Buffalo. Hmmm. Buffalo. In November. This could get interesting. Each day, we check the long-range forecast. Each day, it gets colder and colder. The most recent prediction? Snow showers, high of 26, real feel in the low teens. Now that's a cold shot. But, as wise coaches have always said? The conditions are the same for everybody. Here are the race times:

Women's 6km = 11 a.m.
Men's 10km = 12 noon

We leave early Thursday morning for our trip across the great Empire State. Layers will be packed.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

NYC Marathon: Girma’s amazing day!

As stated in the previous post, Marist Running Royalty Girma Segni had what is believed to be the best overall finish by a Marist runner in NYC Marathon history with his 18th-place run on Sunday in 2:23:51. Although it was not a PR for Girma, the time and effort were remarkable nonetheless in light of the fact that just three weeks ago, he ran a 2:28:42 for a third-place finish at the Detroit Marathon. At 32, Girma shows no signs of slowing down. We are very proud of him.

NYC Marathon: Marist Running results

After a day of obsessively refreshing the app on my phone and the results on my laptop – along with spending five hours at a club swim meet – here’s what we could cobble together in terms of Marist Running results at Blog Central for today's New York City Marathon:

Girma Segni: 2:23:51 (18th overall!)
Ryan Fitzsimons: 2:50:52
Kyle Hannafin: 3:09:07
Omar Perez: 3:13:59
Billy Hild: 3:37:04 (post-race photo here)
Tim Keegan: 3:19:39
Todd Bivona: 3:48:52

Here’s Kyle’s race report via email: Hi! Today’s race was an unbelievable experience. My official time was 3:09:07, which was off my goal of 3:05 but I am really happy to debut with a sub-3:10 in rainy, slick conditions. I now realize that my first 7-8 miles was too fast (second mile was 6:12!). I kept telling myself to relax and stay patient, but the crowd on 4th Ave was out of this world and intense. Their energy was toxic and I guess my body just couldn’t hold back! As a result, I began to fall apart a bit around 17-18. I must have heard “Go Marist!” 20 times throughout the race, which was pretty awesome too.

In terms of my local running friends – early-morning jogging partners and others, here’s what we found:

Tony Ferreri: 3:30:56
Ken Schneider: 4:07:53
Nick Lamando: 3:43:36
Jason Bellamy: 4:55:58
Krys Wasielewski: 5:01:07

If I missed anyone – which seems likely to me – please let me know and I’ll update with further posts. Proud of everyone’s efforts on a warm-ish/wet-ish day in the five boroughs. 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Early morning postcard: Get Well, Suma

The pre-dawn darkness in the McCann Center has been a bit gloomier this week for our sprint team’s 6 a.m. lift on Tuesday and Thursday, as strength and conditioning coach Aaron Suma has been out due to illness. We all missed Suma, but we are heartened to hear that he will be back on campus and with our team (and every other team he works with) very soon. 

What’s next: NCAA Northeast Regional XC meet

Our top-7 runners (with a few alternates) will be heading to western New York next week for the NCAA Northeast Regional meet, which will be held on Friday, November 10 at the Audubon Golf Course in Amherst (University at Buffalo is the host school). Race times are 11 a.m. for the women’s 6km race and 12 noon for the men’s 10km race. After that, we conclude the season at the IC4A/ECAC Championships on Saturday, November 18, at Van Cortlandt Park. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Running in the rain: Be Wetter

Sophomore distance runner Chris Rivas is the highest of the high mileage animals on our team. His days off from running come less frequently than federal holidays. He runs the longest long runs. He doubles more than anyone on the team. Rivas is from suburban Connecticut and goes to college here in Poughkeepsie. Keep that in mind. With all that running, presumably outside in the Northeast, it stands to reason there would be some rain in his running world. And yet … and yet … and yet … Chris Rivas refuses to run in the rain. Upwards of 80, 90 miles a week, in all conditions – heat, wind, cold, snow … he ran through a bout of bronchitis earlier this season – no day off, no abating on the doubles, virtually nothing stops him. Except rain. He won’t do it! This, of course, makes no sense. Ours is primarily an outdoor sport. Rivas does a lot of running. Just not in the rain.

Back during spring break, Rivas was visiting his brother in northern New England. The day’s training plan called for a segment run workout. The beauty of the segment run is it is very transferrable – a time-based workout that can be done anywhere. But, it’s long and hard. This was March. In northern New England. Yep, a cold, rainy day. Rivas reported in the post-run text that he did the entire workout – almost 12 miles -- on an indoor 200-meter track. No rain, no pain. Fast-forward to Sunday, the day after the MAAC meet; it was time for a long run, as is our custom. But it was raining. While his teammates slogged through the rather warm and rainy fall morning, onto the treadmill Rivas went, for 14 miles of belt-driven torture. I walked past him in the fitness center, caught his glance, and he gave me a vintage, New York Yankee-style thumbs down. Like most of us, he hates the treadmill; but he hates running in the rain even more.

This is why this morning’s text was so startlingly refreshing. The big rainstorm we got yesterday spilled over into this morning. Rivas got out early for his first run of the day, before morning classes. It was raining. In an amazing, breakthrough performance, Chris Rivas ran in the rain. Here’s the post-run photo to prove it. This is a skill set he does need to work on. Last time we checked, cross country and outdoor track races are run, well, OUTSIDE. Where sometimes, it actually RAINS. Treadmills don’t work on race day. Indoor tracks are fine – during the indoor track season. For today, Rivas’ Be Better shirt should more accurately read Be Wetter.

MAAC Championships: First place in something – again!

Yes, yes. Once again, our men’s and women’s cross country teams led the MAAC in the number of All-Academic Team selections – the women with 18 athletes qualifying and the men with 22 athletes qualifying. In order to be on the team, runners need to have been enrolled at their school at least two semesters and have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.200 or better. We are proud of this accomplishment once again.

MAAC gift: Wireless speakers

After each MAAC Championship, the conference gives gifts to all participating athletes. For the XC meet, this year’s gift was a portable/wireless speaker for each runner. The men put the speaker to good use after their run on Monday while doing a core routine, syncing to Rizzo’s phone for some music of questionable taste (from an old coach’s perspective). I guess it was music to THEIR ears, anyway?  

Tino's solid marathon debut

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum Mark Valentino for a solid marathon debut on Sunday in the pouring rain on Long Island. Tino placed 10th overall in the Suffolk County Marathon in 3:07:57.9 – not bad for a training plan that topped out with a 12-mile long run (not recommended!). Nicely done, Mark.

Instant success for Coach Melfi

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum and true icon of the program, Coach Mike Melfi, for leading his Mighty Oaks of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry cross country team to the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (HVIAC) Championships titles (men and women!) at the Hudson Valley Sportsdome in Milton on a soggy Sunday yesterday. Mike won a Coach of the Year award as well. Very impressive in his first year on the job. We are very proud of Mike, a former school record holder, owner of the fastest 8km XC time in school history, and teammate of Coach Chuck back in the late 1990s. 

Sunday, October 29, 2017

MAAC Championships: All-Rookie Team members

This is the second year that the conference has honored the top-5 freshmen in the race with All-Rookie Team honors, and we were honored to have four of our freshmen earn spots on that team. For the women, Hayley Collins (top, right) was the third freshman in the race, Maria Smith (top, center) was the fourth freshman and Gianna Tedeschi was the fifth freshman. For the men, James Draney was the second freshman in the race. We are proud of their present success, and eager for the future contributions.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

MAAC Championships: Women's results (and history)

As has been the case through this fall XC season, our women continued to reach new milestones. The strong second-place finish was our highest placement since 2012 and our 12th top-3 finish in school history. In addition, we had three All-MAAC performers and three (of the five) All-MAAC Rookie runners. It was a tough battle for second and our depth prevailed, as we edged out a Quinnipiac team that placed three runners in front of our first runner. That’s remarkable. Here is a quote from a rightfully proud Coach Chuck: “I am so proud of how well our girls prepared for this meet and then went out and executed the game plan to perfection. This performance was a total team effort and the depth of our team really carried us today. To also have three runners make the All-MAAC and All-Rookie teams is a tremendous honor. Now we will take this momentum into the NCAA Regional Meet and hope for another strong team finish.” 

MAAC Cross Country Championships
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Women’s team standings
1-Iona 33, 2-Marist 71, 3-Quinnipiac 78, 4-Manhattan 112, 5-Canisius 147, 6-Monmouth 156, 7-Siena 172, 8-Rider 214, 9-Fairfield 265, 10-Niagara 326, 11-St. Peter’s 357
Women’s individual results, 6km course
11-Alexandra Bartolotta 22:06.55 *All-MAAC
12-Hayley Collins 22:07.37 *All-MAAC, **All-MAAC Rookie
14-Maria Smith 22:21.93 *All-MAAC, **All-MAAC Rookie
16-Gianna Tedeschi 22:25.56 *All-MAAC Rookie
19-Jordan Casey 22:35.24
20-Mara Schiffhauer 22:38.78
21-Shea Bohan 22:42.94
26-Emily Burns 23:06.07
39-Denise Grohn 23:30.31
42-Jenna Robinson 23:39.00
48-Boushra Belkhir 23:49.59
49-Maddie Tooker 23:50.29
62-Kerry Gaye 24:08.50
66-Christine Gambell 24:17.35
67-Alyssa Lafave 24:18.69
70-Roxy Novo 24:25.21
78-Mariah Christian 24:37.27
102-Jess Howe 25:35.12
111-Hannah Albert 26:08.25
114-Talia Cutrone 26:11.93
115-Ashley Wallace 26:19.87
133-Shannon Gildea 27:47.33
143 finishers
Women’s meet history, year to year
1997: 4th place, 103 points
1998: 1st place, 39 points
1999: 1st place (tie), 41 points
2000: 1st place, 42 points
2001: 3rd place, 93 points
2002: 5th place, 114 points
2003: 4th place (tie), 102 points
2004: 1st place, 40 points
2005: 3rd place, 83 points
2006: 2nd place, 87 points
2007: 4th place, 115 points
2008: 3rd place, 78 points
2009: 2nd place, 56 points
2010: 4th place, 106 points
2011: 2nd place, 60 points
2012: 2nd place, 65 points
2013: 3rd place, 109 points
2014: 3rd place, 93 points
2015: 5th place, 122 points
2016: 6th place, 140 points
2017: 2nd place, 71 points

MAAC Championships: Men's results (and history)

As you can see, the battle for second place in the MAAC was among five schools, tightly packed with not much separation. While we were not pleased with the final result, we know that our men left it all out there on the course. Senior captain Dietrich Mosel proved to be among the league's best, and freshman James Draney was #2 on the All Rookie Team. The end result was not the desired placement, but life doesn't always have happy endings. Thank you to all alumni, family, friends, etc., who supported our men today. 

MAAC Cross Country Championships
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ
Men’s team standings
1-Iona 15, 2-Manhattan 97, 3. Siena 109, 4. Canisius 113, 5. Marist 118, 6-Monmouth 124, 7-Rider 194, 8-Quinnipiac 194, 9-Fairfield 273, 10-Niagara 329, 11-St. Peter’s 355
Men’s individual results, 5-mile course
12. Dietrich Mosel 25:58.87 *All-MAAC
23. Mike Kennedy 26:51.94
26. Palmer Weimann 26:55.46
27. Chris Rivas 26:58.32
34. Alex Hogue 27:09.41
41. James Draney 27:20.66 *All-Rookie
52. Joe Miller 27:45.28
54. Eamonn Beers 27:48.04
56. Elias Platanias 27:50.50
63. Graham Strzelecki 28:09.50
71. Conor Stack 28:24.65
77. Steven Rizzo 28:29.57
80. Connor Fitzpatrick 28:37.27
82. Will Esposito 28:40.21
85. Riley Hughes 28:50.92 (lost shoe)
87. Will Duggan 28:54.23
91. Connor Levins 29:02.49
100. Matt Ronan 29:30.12
103. Dan Hillman 29:31.88
114. Connor St. Germain 30:08.31
121. Sami Ellougani 30:24.79
144 finishers
Men’s meet history, year to year
1997: 6th place, 149 points
1998: 2nd place, 70 points
1999: 3rd place, 102 points
2000: 4th place, 91 points
2001: 3rd place, 69 points
2002: 4th place, 91 points
2003: 2nd place, 60 points
2004: 3rd place, 77 points
2005: 2nd place, 73 points
2006: 2nd place, 52 points
2007: 2nd place, 61 points
2008: 2nd place, 55 points
2009: 2nd place, 57 points
2010: 2nd place, 53 points
2011: 2nd place, 66 points
2012: 2nd place, 80 points
2013: 6th place, 151 points
2014: 4th place, 113 points
2015: 2nd place, 93 points
2016: 3rd place, 104 points

2017: 5th place, 118 points

MAAC Championships: Overview on an emotional day

Our women placed second and our men place fifth today at the MAAC Championships at Holmdel Park. For our women, it was our highest placement since 2012. For our men, it was an emotional dog fight with our rival schools, as the separation from 2nd place Manhattan to 6th place Monmouth was a tiny 27 points. Love this photo of our supporters waving a homemade flag on the course. Results and more photos to follow.

Friday, October 27, 2017

MAAC Championships: Halloween comes early

Spirit Week concluded with a Halloween theme at women's cross country practice. There were some very creative costumes and outfits, as you can see.

MAAC Championships: An inTENTS lapse in memory

We were all set. Two Marist buses (for championship meets, Marist graciously allows us two buses), rolling on down Route 9, crossing the Mid-Hudson Bridge, en route to Jersey. Wait! The old coach thought? Did we pack the two 10x10 tents that Darren so graciously offered us for this trip? Of course not! A quick call to Chuck on the other bus confirmed this. I forgot. So? When we got to our Highland food stop, we dumped off the men and turned around, back to the McCann Center, for the two tents and the humongous tarp. Bad that I forgot, but good that I remembered before we started rolling on down the road. A memory lapse that was not too intense after all. OK!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

MAAC Championships at Holmdel

The MAAC Cross Country Championships are Saturday at Holmdel Park in New Jersey. Race times are as follows:

11 a.m. = women's 6km
12 noon = men's 8km

Hope to see you there.

Team spirit week: Retro baller day

Thursday was "Retro Baller" day at women's XC practice. Here is the pre-run team photo!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Team spirit week continues!

Today's theme was Team Class Day and as you can see, each class had its own theme (senior class photo with a perfectly placed prop outside by the vans, and the full team shot before departing for 2p practice at Vassar Farm). Thursday is Retro Baller Day ... hey, maybe for once my tube socks might be appropriate?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Women's practice: A team to "dye" for

Our women's team is in the midst of a "Theme Week" with today's theme being tie-dyed shirts. Here is a group shot as we were waiting out a rare "rain delay" -- thunder and lightning in the area, which forced us to shut down our planned workout until tomorrow. It was a crazy weather day.

Men's practice: Gimme shelter

If I were to caption this photo, the title would be "Sami should know better." This is a photo of part of our men's cross country team, at Vassar Farm, before a fartlek workout there on a breezy and rainy day. After exiting the vans, these men took shelter at the Farm, as you can see. Of course, I chided them for this absurdity, as they were about to embark on a more than hour-long workout in the pouring rain. Staying dry before it? What's the POINT! Now, every man in this photo is a freshman or a sophomore -- except for Sami (second from right). Sami is a senior captain. Sami should know better, or at least should KNOW that I would "throw shade" on the group or "put them on blast" -- good God, I'm hanging around with these punks too much, I'm starting to TALK like them! The workout went well, and they got plenty soaked and muddy. Hey. It's cross country season.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Spencer Johnson: Mum-A-Thon champion

Graduate student Spencer Johnson continued his excellent road racing as he prepares for indoor and outdoor track season. On Sunday, he won his hometown Mum-A-Thon 8-kilometer race in Bristol, CT, in 25:56, outdistancing the second-place finisher by 1 minute, 28 seconds. This was the 48th annual race. Here is Spencer’s brief race report: The race was called the Mum-A-Thon for two reasons.  1. Bristol used to be one of the highest exporters of the mum flower (chrysanthemum) producing up to 80,000 mums, which is why we are called the Mum City. 2. It’s around Halloween time so they made it Halloween theme where kids could trick or treat, paint pumpkins, and awards went out for the best costume. The course had rolling hills and was an open road race so there were lots of cars so we had to be careful.  Overall, I was happy with the race!

Katie Miale: Link to official race results and splits

Here is a link to official results from Katie's excellent race yesterday ... fifth overall, 1:57:17, 9:26 per mile pace for 20km racewalk. Pretty neat.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Katie Miale: Huge 20km racewalk PR!

Congratulations to junior racewalker Katie Miale for her phenomenal performance this morning at 20 kilometers. Although official results have yet to be posted, I got all of her 2km splits (and some photos) from her mom, as well as her mile splits from Katie’s watch. Her time of 1:57:18 was a more than seven-minute improvement from her time of 2:04:39.91 last year in this race. She went out aggressively. Her 10km split of 56:50 was a personal-best time by more than a minute! She had a predictable and understandable fade in the last 10km, but she hung tough for a great time. When she texted me last night, saying her goal was 1:56, I admitted that I thought that was a too aggressive goal and recommended a slightly more cautious approach. She nearly got that pie in the sky goal, and her goal of making it to the USATF 20km championships is getting closer to reality. Katie deserves a ton of credit for her success. She does most of her training alone. She does not have any team members accompany her on her Tuesday and Friday walk workouts or her Sunday long walk workouts. This race is a validation of the great fitness level she has achieved, and provides great hope for her future at this distance and in this sport. Nicely done, Katie.

USATF 20km race (part of the USATF 30km racewalk championships)
Hauppauge, Long Island, 2km paved loop
20km final time: 1:57:18
2km splits:
22:46 (11:31)
34:12 (11:26)
45:34 (11:22)
56:50 (11:16)
1:08:36 (11:46)
1:20:39 (12:03)
1:32:44 (12:05)
1:45:12 (12:28)
1:57:18 (12:06)
First 10km: 56:50
Second 10km: 1:00:28

Mile splits:

8:52, 9:11, 9:14, 9:09, 9:14, 9:02, 9:17, 9:48, 9:33, 9:45, 10:08, 9:53

Spooktacular community service

Thanks to Kennedy for sharing this photo from last night at the Children's Home of Poughkeepsie Pumpkin Walk, where Joe Miller, Brian Henderson and Mike Kennedy helped run games that were set up in the gym, after walking through the pumpkin trail. You can see a smiling Henderson and Palmer, along with Joe ("Talked Back to the Teacher", which is plausible given his feisty nature) and Kennedy ("Didn't Do Homework", which is less believable given his stellar GPA). Nice for the men to make good use of their free time this weekend.

Brianna's half marathon

Congratulations to Marist Running Alum Brianna Freestone for completing Saturday’s Baltimore Running Festival Half Marathon in 1:40:06, “under my goal time, a few minutes faster than I was hoping for,’’ she reported via text, and with her good friend and former Marist teammate Lizzy Peper cheering her on along the way.

More notes from a swim dad ...

I've mentioned it here before, but I revel in my role as "Swim Dad" -- to my daughter Natalie, a sophomore at FDR High School (results above erroneously refer to her as a freshman) and to my sixth-grade son James, who swims for the Hudson Valley Dolphins (as does Natalie). On Friday afternoon at the OCIAA Championships, Natalie had a breakthrough effort in the 50-yard freestyle and qualified for the Section 9 Championships. She dropped more than a second in the sprint event, and placed 10th out of more than 60 competitors in the race. She was already a member of a relay team that will be competing at the Section 9 meet, but it's neat that she's going as an individual as well. Why do I love being at swim meets? The same reason everyone else hates it: It's inside, and it's insanely hot and humid, and the meets drag on for hours. Basically, indoor track with the chlorine. Neat!

Notes from the Agway parking lot ...

Sorry for the lack of posts, but they will start ramping up as XC Championship Season begins with the MAAC Championships next Saturday at Holmdel Park in New Jersey. The teams are on a brief mid-semester break this weekend, although several team members stayed in town. Workouts for the men and women have been going well. With no classes on Friday, we had our athletes get up early for a workout before several of them scooted home for the weekend. We brought the men to New Paltz for a workout on the rail trail there. With the Park and Ride across from the Stewart's fenced up and closed, we had to park a few paces up Route 32 at the Agway. Don't worry. I was able to make a side trip to Stewart's for my coffee. The women stayed closer to home, with an outstanding workout at the FDR/Cator Loop in Hyde Park. The men had a lot of energy on the brilliant and cool morning as well. Onward we move to the three championships -- MAACs, NCAA Regionals, IC4A/ECAC.