Humboldt is usually one of our hardest races of the season because it's a trail run, and because the kids have passed down the legend of "Big Bertha" through the years. After running last week at Osage, Humboldt and Bertha don't even measure up on the difficulty scale. After two crazy weeks in a row, Humboldt brought some normalcy back to our schedule and gave me a reliable baseline for our times heading into the rest of the season.
Take a minute and pause: we are officially halfway through the Cross Country season. Time flies when you're having fun, right?
Most of the times from last night show improvement since Webster City (aka, the last time we had a "normal" course). Some were still a little slower, but many runners have a more difficult time on a trail than they do on a golf course. Trails are especially difficult on runners with previous knee or ankle issues since they are a more uneven/unstable running surface. There's also something about trails that just makes some of us want to play it safe because they are a little more unpredictable.
One thing that definitely made me excited was comparing our times from last year on this course to the times from last night. Many of our returning runners are running at 2-3 minutes faster than they were at this point in the season last year. That gives me hope for where our times could be by the end of the season.
Shout-outs to Hayden Klaver (18.59; 15th), Alex Rosenbaum (19.18; 25th), and Luke Rapp (19.40; 34th) for taking home hardware in the Varsity Boys race. Max Powers also placed 6th in the JV race, his first back after injury. His time of 21.10 earned him his Varsity spot for Algona. The boys team placed eighth out of sixteen last night, and that's phenomenal considering the huge competition we were up against.
Our boys are so competitive with times right now, that it really is a race-to-race decision on who runs Varsity or JV. For next Monday at Algona, Kaeden (23.04) will run JV. Kamren will also run his first JV race of the season on Monday, which could add another line-up shake up. I'm sure both will be gunning for Varsity spots. With two meets next week, the Varsity Boys line-up could very well change from Monday to Thursday.
The girls are more stable in their times. The good news: Peanut is perfectly recovered from her dislocated knee cap! Most of our girls in Varsity and JV showed their best times of the season (not including Belmond): Peanut (24.17), Raven (26.19), Maya (26.42), Kylie (27.06), Kayleen (28.31), Quinn (29.51), Jade (29.52), Cupcake (30.28), Katie (35.44), and Nicole(35.43). Shout-out to Nicole for not stopping to walk for the first time ever, and to Shpressa for competing in her first ever high school race!
Next week, we have Algona on Monday and Hampton-Dumont on Thursday. Algona is a trial run for the NCC meet since they are hosting this year, so it will be a nice preview of what to expect later in the season. The Hampton-Dumont race at Maynes Grove is my personal favorite meet of every season, and it's usually one of our best races of the year. Two meets in one week is intense, so plenty of sleep and good nutrition are absolutely essential for next week.
As always, even though it's hard to talk running without talking times, that's not the most important part for me as a coach. I want our athletes to enjoy making healthy decisions and have a positive environment to be a part of outside of the school day. I know I'm biased, but if you talk to our runners, I think you will find quite a few people who are healthier and happier than they were a month ago. That's what makes CGD XC such a great sport to be a part of.