I'm always weary of the Humboldt meet at Sheldon Park because of two words: Big Bertha. Not the hill itself, which is just as awful as the kids describe it, but because of what that hill has come to mean to our kids over the years. Sometime, long before I took over, CGD kids decided that Humboldt and "Big Bertha" are the hardest part of our season. We can get past most things as runners, but mental blocks are the toughest to overcome. Very few of our runners were able to get through the race last night without allowing the idea of Big Bertha to hold them back. Whether it was conserving too much energy in order to "save up" for the big hill, or just simply allowing the steepness of it to overwhelm them and set back the entire race, this course and its infamous hill psyched most of us out. Big Bertha aside, the course at Sheldon Park is easily the most difficult out of any of the locations we run.
People who thrived on the hills last night: Kayleen Johnson with another stellar drop down to a 27:52 (previously 28:38). Brenna Harklau looked good at 28:05 (previously 29:12) after a few weeks of tough races and battling nerves. Katherine Lopez continues to drop her times each week, coming in at 28:15 (previously 29:12). Myriam Carrillo ran a 30:52, which was good enough to bump her into a Varsity spot for next week at Algona. Marlud Landeros took a minute off her previous time with a 36:16.
Our Varsity boys continue to battle each other for placement each week. All five are currently within one minute of each other. This makes it a little chaotic for me to scribble down times at the finish line! Last night, Vegard Lauritsen continued to work his time down with a 20:46 (previously 20:29). Hayden Klaver had a huge night, hitting a 20:30 for his best time of the season.
Next week is a busy one, with Algona on Monday and Hampton on Thursday. Last year, those two meets were where we were able to break some barriers with our times. I'm hoping the same happens this year, especially since our boys are consistently running faster than they were at this time last year. Algona will feel flat after last night, and I look forward to it being a course where everyone can show major improvement.