Saturday was the state meet, and although we did not have any distance people there, we upheld a tradition by having three of the four West Region qualifiers in the girls’ pole vault. Savannah and Allison tied for 10th, and will be back next year, and Taylor really had a great day. She PR’d twice, ultimately getting fourth in the state with 11’0″ and having a really close attempt at 11’6″. She also had a season best in the 100 hurdles.
This was the end, at least in official school competition, for a class of runners that have really done great things for Watauga. It was pretty tough for me seeing this season end up in a way that fell way short of where a lot of you wanted to be, and I know it had to be a lot tougher for those people. I’m still trying to figure out the right way to sum up the great things the class of 2013 did here, and maybe at the banquet Wednesday I can try to do it justice.
One of the things about getting old and slow and coaching other people is that you don’t ever really have a last meet, or at least you don’t usually have anything that has to be the last meet. But this weekend was my last meet at Watauga, and that is a really hard thing to get my head around. I’ll be moving to Asheville this summer, and presumably finding somewhere else that will let me coach, but it is hard to imagine it measuring up to the last 8 ½ years. Of course, if there’s anything I’ve tried to communicate during that time it’s that you can always keep building on what you’ve accomplished, so I’ll keep that in mind.
Regionals – The last race of the regular season for all the distance people. Obviously this wasn’t the best day since none of these results gave anyone another week of competing. But we really do need to recognize Luke putting up a PR in the 4×8, and Michael running an incredibly tough race to get 5th in the 3200. Here’s the splits I have
- Girls 4×8 – 6th, 10:16.94 – Doria 2:26.9 (33.0, 69.6, 1:48.0), Madison 2:31.3 (34.5, 72.7, ?), Lily 2:36.9 (73.8), Kathleen 2:41.7 (74.4)
- Boys 4×8 – 5th, 8:12.2 – Ryan 2:03.6 (28.3, 59.2, 1:30.9), Josh 2:04.6 (29.2, 60.2, 1:32.7), Luke 2:06.0 PR!!! (28.7, 59.8, 1:32.2), Bryan 1:57.7 (26.1, 55.1, 1:24.1)
- Girls 1600 – Doria 8th, 5:29.86 (76.1, 2:38.7, 4:01.5)
- Boys 1600 – Josh 10th, 4:46.88
- Girls 3200 – Darby 7th, 12:01.06; Madison 9th, 12:14.62; Kathleen 14th, 13:02.24. Coach Shaw took down the splits for the 3200′s, but I forgot to get them from him.
- Boys 3200 – Michael 5th, 10:19.60 (outdoor PR!!); Drew 6th, 10:39.44
Still to Come – Well, it’s about time for most people to start working on a summer plan. We should at least have something preliminary to tell you at the banquet, and it will be posted here. With school going until the 4th of July (approximately) we should be able to get a good start on things with everyone still here. I’ll still be around for most of what’s happening in June, and weekly plans will start back up next week. Now that school is out for me, and the really serious elite and college track season is getting going, I’ll try to resume providing regular links to the news. And I have a plan for a history of 80′s music that may get off the ground this summer, so you don’t want to miss that.
Note: Saturday practice at 10:00 am. Easy run on your own Friday, or cross-training if that is what you need.
The girls scored more, but the boys had a bigger margin of victory. Both teams ultimately came together to celebrate winning a conference championship in track and field – a really big deal, especially considering how many people who scored on the previous three years’ wins are no longer here to carry us. Great job for everyone in stepping up.
And especially to the distance runners, and not just because I know who you are and what you can do. People, many of whom are less than 100% healthy and/or fit, stepped up and carried a heavy load in some cases – certainly more than the last couple of years when the girls had depth to spare. There was a big collection of PR’s, to go with the four recorded Wednesday night and the 13 in last weekend’s meet. So we must be doing something right.
Splits and highlights: Read more…
I’m not a fan of the two-day conference meet. This is not the ACC or SEC, with 12+ teams and travel by plane and world-class athletes that actually need long recoveries before they do whatever it is they do again.
But … there are some good things. As announcer, the field events actually got the attention they deserved, which would never happen if everything is going on at once. Things will be a lot less hectic during the running events today. And there is absolutely no way that great boys 4 x 800 would have happened if all of other distance events were happening later the same day – we would’ve been resting people for individual events.
Anyway, things are what they are, and seven of 18 events are in the books. Current scores, with our pre-meet projection of where teams would be after the first day in parentheses:
- Girls - Alexander Central 69 (80.5), South Caldwell 56 (48), Watauga 54 (48), Hickory 49 (45), St. Stephen’s 18 (14.5), F.T. Foard 13 (22), Hibriten 11 (7).
- Boys - Watauga 55.5 (52.4), Hibriten 52 (58), Alexander Central 40.5 (48.1), St.Stephen’s 40.5 (39.4), F.T. Foard 30.5 (29.3), Hickory 28 (37.3), South Caldwell 23 (19.4).
These scores are really good news. We expected the girls to be over 30 points behind after the first day and eventually win by 18, so being 17 points ahead of pace after seven events is great. The boys lead, which was not expected this early, and gained significant points compared to Hickory, which should be the biggest competition once the running events are added in.
Individual events and 4 x 800 splits after the break. Read more…
There were something close to a dozen PR’s in the distance events alone at the Tri-Cities Classic in Johnson City this weekend. Bryan had the most impressive result, finishing a close second in the 800 with a 1:56.65! That is the fastest by a Watauga runner since last team state title in 1999-2000. The list of PR’s also includes Michael (800 and 1600), Kathleen (2-mile), Drew (2-mile and 800), Shelby (800), Avery (mile), Luke (mile). Jacob (2-mile), Luke (800), Bill (800), and Lily (800) basically equaled their PR’s. That’s a pretty good tune-up for the conference meet!
Full results and splits after the break.
A very partial lineup, but a lot of great races by those who were competing. Outside the distance races, recognition is due to our erstwhile cross country colleagues Zach S. and Savanna R., both of who recorded a pair of (legit, auto-timed) PR’s in events they were already pretty good in. They had varying degrees of success in trying to follow this up with a 4×4 leg. Also many exciting breakthroughs in the distance races, as detailed below the fold.
For those who are not competing this weekend – we will have a workout Friday afternoon. Everyone can race at the High Country Invite, at home on May 4. Read more…
I’ve never run Boston. I’ve run in Boston lots of times, including the most fun cross country races I’ve ever done (at least in this country), but “run Boston” only means the marathon. My wife has run it; my son even ran it with her, five months before he was born. (They were fast enough to qualify for the following year, but have not gone back yet.) Oddly, I can’t really recall times when other people I knew well were running Boston. They were always too fast to make a big deal about qualifying, and not fast enough to be competitive, and so like me it was something they would get to later, when they weren’t as serious about racing. I know enough people fitting that description that it is almost certain some of them were running yesterday.
There were two things I really thought about while seeing the coverage of the bombs. The immediate reaction was a fear of what this could mean for the future of big marathons. People I know have told me that marathon weekend is the absolute best time of the year to visit New York or Boston. As a runner, there is nothing better than being part of thousands running a race, but only in a marathon do you get ten or a hundred times as many non-runners lining the street, making it feel like the whole world is invested in what you are doing. And there is no way to continue to have that experience in a world where we start treating marathons like airports. There’s not even a way to run the race – Boston is one of probably only three marathons in the country that even has a much as a nylon fence between the course and the sidewalk, houses, stores, offices, and woods it runs past. The rest are – like running itself – completely open. The best political writer in the country today wrote about how important that is, but a the Bostonian who is the best writer straddling the line between sports and politics acknowledges it probably won’t be the same from now on.
The other thought was for the people who were still running toward Copley Square at the 4:10 mark when they were told to stop. It is a trivial thing, compared to the devastation at the finish line. But that’s what made me think of them – the fact that not only were they denied an achievement they worked so long for, but that they aren’t even allowed to feel disappointed about it. Ironically, these are probably the people the race meant the most to. Those who qualified easily, who have run Boston multiple times in the past, who have possibly already qualified for next year – they were already finished. The ones still on the course were overwhelmingly either the runners who barely met the qualifying times, for whom both getting into Boston and preparing to run it was a massive undertaking; or those who entered as charity runners, raising or donating lots of money for their place in the race, and possibly preparing for the first (and perhaps only) marathon of their life. Boston will surely give them a chance to run next year, if they are up for it, but it will never be able to give them the unabashed joy of accomplished they worked for. My brother-in-law’s birthday is September 11. You try to work hard to make sure awful people don’t take away life’s celebrations from completely innocent good people, but you can’t ever really make things the same.
Meanwhile, there was a great race that no one will remember. The first three men were separated by six seconds, and the American who finished fourth doesn’t have a shoe company sponsor and wasn’t even number one on his high school team. The woman who led by over a minute at the 22-mile mark hit the wall hard, and the seven-woman pack chasing her – including two Americans – all caught her before the finish. It was a great day in Boston, like Patriot’s Day always is, until it wasn’t.
It’s still early – nearly four weeks to regionals; or eight weeks until nationals, if you want to count that way.
It very late – the last meet for some people is Wednesday.
That is the mix that is track season. Lots of different seasons in one (thought no one has to have their season end this week – you can run at the home invitational on May 4 regardless of pace.)
But knowing that some people have quite a bit longer than others until their most important races of the season, the workouts do diverge a lot this week. If you have already qualified for regionals, this week is about getting really hard work in (and hopefully a good weekend race), while for most others, it is about getting good races (and hopefully a little bit of workout.)
Home meet Wednesday will have very few of the Friday/Saturday participants in it (and almost none of the Friday people.)
The daily plan: