The third week of practice went really well! Everyone got broken up into training groups, based off of their racing pace from the Hillsboro meet. Some friends had to separate to go on their runs, but it will help everyone improve in the long run! We had our second race of the year on Thursday and everyone did so amazing. Northwood is usually a hard race on everyone with the hills and the smaller races taking a toll on everyone's mentality, but nobody let that get them down! Everyone still went out and raced with their heart.
This weeks recipient of the sword was 8th grader Mikayla Weiss. Mikayla got 19th in the varsity 4k and had a huge PR! She trained so hard all of track season and this summer and it has definitely shown in her performance! I can't wait to see what else she will accomplish this season, and many more seasons to come. In the middle school division, 7th graders Sophia, Silje, and Nora placed 5th, 6th, 7th respectively, showing that our team has lots of strength in all divisions. Next week the team has to split up to go to two different meets, West Fargo and Bismarck, and I can't wait to see what else we will accomplish!
Karly Ackley - Junior Captain
Northwood has always been one of my favorite meets. Maybe it’s the small-meet feeling, or maybe I like it because it was the first cross-country meet I ever saw when I started out as a freshman. Either way, I had a blast on Thursday and, as always, loved watching my team compete. Of course, pulling off a meet like this meant a lot of hard work for everyone on the team. With mostly everyone now having a meet under their belts (or drawstrings?) the real work began and, as David said, we finally got to act like runners.
To kick-off the week, Coach had the great idea of breaking-out the second installment of the “training group.” Being brought back from last season, working in training groups allows everyone to run with the people they should be running with, not just those they want to run with. Not everyone agrees with me, but personally, I like the training groups because they encourage team bonding by bringing together people who otherwise might not even talk to each other--which on a team of 60+ is an unfortunate reality. High schoolers and varsity middle schoolers also began weights on Wednesday with Coach Polries.
Our only speed workout for this week was 400’s practicing 1st mile pace at Riverside on Tuesday. It was a beautiful fall-like day in the mid-sixties with only a light breeze—perfect running weather! Although 400’s are usually one of our lighter workouts, I was still really impressed with how hard everyone worked. It really made for an enjoyable day.
But even more enjoyable than that was Thursday: meet day. For some people, this was their first meet, but for most, this was a chance to rack up some PR’s. Although as a team we weren’t spectacular in the PR department, we still saw some really great races. 7th grader Ryan Meyer follows up his shocking performance in Hillsboro with another great race, taking 4th place overall and helping the JV team secure a 3rd place finish. However, I’d say by far the most exciting race was JV (not just because I was in it). With all of our top 5 JV boys taking top 10, we swept the competition taking 1st place with 27 points and with Lisbon trailing behind in 2nd with 80 points. I was really excited to see two of our veteran runners really come out of their shell in this race and proved themselves to be very real competitors. Taking 2nd and 3rd, respectively, freshman Jacob Newton and junior Evan Welsh really stepped up their game and showed everyone just what a little bit (or a LOT) of training and hard work can do and Jacob rightfully earned the sword and shield for this meet. I’m really excited to see what the rest of the season will bring for Ryan, Jacob, and Evan, and the team for that matter. We’re only three weeks in, but I can already feel that this will be a really successful season!
Darian Colgrove - Senior Captain
The first meet is done and both the boys and girls in jr high and varsity ran great. One of my favorite parts of the first meet is seeing how much people have improved from last year, but I think I like seeing the new runners get ready to race best. When they finally get to run a race, they look so nervous and excited all at the same time. It's fun to see the excitement grow as their race gets closer.
I remember my first race, lining up and getting ready to run I was so nervous. I remember the older girls coming over to all us new runners and wishing us good luck and I remember feeling more excited for the race afterward.
The athletes of the meet for Hillsboro were 8th grader Megan Peck who took 20th in the varsity race and was our 6th runner for the team and Freshman Jacob Newton who put in a lot of work in the off season that is starting to pay off. They both did amazing and I'm excited to see them improve even more as the season goes on.
Meghan Allan - Junior Captain
Following Grace's blog post, I can't believe that so many people's last first meet just happened! In fact, I can't believe that we already have a good portion of the season over with! I mean really! Our new runners now have official meet experience! Nobody (except for a few people that weren't able to run the first meet) can say that they are new to cross country anymore. We now have a team made up of runners. Sure there is plenty to learn, but that goes for everyone.Hillsboro has always been my favorite meet. I said it last year in my blog post, and I'll say it again and again. I'm not sure if its the excitement of first racing again and seeing the improvement made over the summer, or the fun course, or the AWESOME shirts they give away. It's probably a combination of all. I'm not joking about the massive improvement seen. Even Top 5 runners were cutting off entire minutes! (Richie and Emery if you were wondering)
Veteran runner PR's though are never quite the highlight. What every long standing team member really wants to see is some new excitement. Everybody wants to see what new prodigies we have. We certainly have several, and this is just on the boy's side. Middle-school runner Ryan Meyer placed in the top ten in his race. Every single person that beat him was a freshman in high school, so really, Ryan ran the fastest middle-school time at the meet (and now has the fastest boy's 3k time on the team). I think it's safe to say that he is going to be helping us quite a bit throughout his career.
There were so many other fantastic performances... I just can't narrow it down. The boys victor of the Captain's Sword and the Victor's Shield this week was Richie Osborn. Richie cut off almost an entire minute, which is absolutely INCREDIBLE, considering that he was already an All-Conference runner.
I really can't wait to see what happens at the next meet on Thursday!
-David Hettich, Sr. Captain
The first meet of the year went very well for the Central Knights! Seven boys and six girls PR!! Maggie Powell and Megan Peck used their great summer of running to each having over 1 minute PR's and help strengthen the girls team in their win over Fargo Davies and West Fargo Sheyenne. Karly Ackley picked up from where she left off last season to win the opening meet of the season. She held off last years Class B State Champion Cailee Peterson (and GF Girls Friend!!). Rachel Torrey (5th) lead the charge of the rest of the top five GF Girls across the line for the win. Alexis Roehl (9th), Grace Roehl (10th) and Maggie Powell (11th).
Mikayla Weiss (3rd) and Aislinn Hunter (8th) also showed off their summer training using their PR's to lead the middle school girls to a second place finish. We had several new comers to the middle school girls also help in the scoring, Sophia Roehl (13th), Sijlje Kindseth (18th), and Nora Berry (25th).
The varsity boys had a big challenge by racing the #2 team Fargo Davies in the first race. But the boys ran tought to finish in second place behind Davies. Seniors Leif Larsen (1st) and David Hettich (3rd and PR) lead the way. Richie Osborn placing a career high 5th and with a new PR was the boys 3rd runner, followed by new comers Emery Cruz (21st) and Aaron Springer (33) rounding out the boys scoring. Brendon Swanson and Evan Welsh each had almost two minute PR's, again proving how much the mileage they put in over the summer paid off.
The Middle school boys were lead by Ryan Meyer in his first XC race and placed 9th overall, he was followed by Jakob Danula, Collin Allan, Luke Hoffman, and Jake Hansen to help the Middle School boys place 5th!
I can't believe official practice has already begun. It seems like just yesterday that I showed up for my first practice ever, but that was 6 years ago. 6 years ago I really looked up to the older higher schoolers on the team and dreamed of being as fast as one of them one day. "Wow," I thought, "they run 6, 7, and 8 miles a day. I hope one day I can be as fast and cool as them." That first year of running, I didn't really understand how hard some of those people worked to get to where they were. One big thing that sticks out to me from my 7th grade year is that the boys varsity team won the EDC championship, but my 7th grade self didn't realize how big of an accomplishment that was.
That being said, I can only hope that the new younger runners look at us veterans of the team with the same respect and admiration that I felt when I was their age. This year, I have some high goals for the boys team. I think that most teams won't be expecting much out of us and that we're really going to surprise people. We worked really hard this summer and I think we will be one of the best teams in the EDC. I want us to work harder then ever before and really and try to win the EDC championship. I came into this team with a big win and I want to leave this team with that same victory. As a leader of this team I want to be remembered, as I remember those before me and continue the tradition of excellence and success that this team breeds.
Leif Larsen, Senior Captain
I was sad to say this past week was my last, first week a practice, but I'm sure it is one that I will always remember! The summer has gone by so fast and I can't wait to see everyone's hard work pay off. For the experienced runners this week was a hard one with our first two "real" speed workouts and the extreme heat! But we all battled through and came out with some pretty good results. I'm looking forward to see what we can do this upcoming season.
As for the younger/newer runners, I am just as excited to see how they will all do in the future. They have already proven to be a super tough bunch, as they came and pushed through many hard runs in the heat! Many of them also got to experience their first speed workout and I must say, I am very impressed with many of their performances. I am sure that after our first race, we will have many younger runners doing better than they thought they would do!! It will be very fun to get to know these young girls more, as people and as runners, as the season goes on! I also can't wait to watch them race and begin to love running like I already do. This should be a great season, and I can't wait for the racing to begin!
Grace Roehl, Senior, Captain
The first week of the 2015 season was simply HOT. Coaches were out on bikes to watch over the runners, coolers of water were out on the routes, along with ones to dunk shirts into the cool water to help keep the body temp down. We currently have 64 runners on the team with the hope of recuriting a few more middle schoolers when the school year starts.
Everyone is learning the workout routine. It has been fun to see people improving, making new friends, and becoming part of our cross country family. Next week is going to be a very busy week for the team. We have a couple of speed workouts, along with our first meet in Hillsboro on Saturday. Along with the regular training, we have a couple of additional items planned. We have our annual team BBQ on Thursday, which also is our parents meeting. That evening after the BBQ, at 8:30, the team has been invited to the Berry's house to watch a movie on their front lawn!
Various people will write about what is happening with the teams. Coach Allan and captains will be regular contributors. Alumni and parents are also welcome to submit entries.