Saturday, December 26, 2009

It Came, It Went

I am sitting here just after Christmas Day, in the early morning of the 26th of December. Christmas is hyped up by everyone and everything, seems like after Memorial Day, and now it is mostly all over. All over except for all the stores that will be hounded by returns tomorrow and the week to follow! Ha, good luck dad! Even though I did very little shopping, cooking or traveling, I am tired and wore out from the holidays. It has been a good Christmas, I am very blessed by the family I have and all the love they show. I always receive more gifts than I need or ask for and I am very grateful for it all. Thank you.

The past week of running has been very good to me. Today, well technically yesterday now, I did my annual 10 miles on Christmas. Seems like I always run 10 miles on Christmas. The run was sluggish because I had to squeeze it in between a huge breakfast (and 5 too many cookies) and going to family houses. I felt like I was 100 pounds overweight! HAHA. But really, I did weigh 10 pounds more than normal after all the dinners! The run was good all in all. The previous days runs were great. I have been trying to run as much as possible (without being too extreme!). Monday, I ended up running 16 miles, having no clue how many I was planning on running. It was all in the dark, with very little traffic on the county roads here in Meigs. The night was calm and clear. My legs are sore, but it was nice to get a long run in before I do the Frozen Sasquatch 25k on January 2nd.

The next few days were spent mostly on the trails at Strouds Run. I explored some new trails parallel with E. State Street and discovered new views, rock formations, ponds, and adventures. Strouds Run is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to run, I am now familiar with every trail in the forest.

I still have not created my goals for the winter/spring season for myself yet. I have thought about it a little and will soon be posting all my collective thoughts soon. I like writing everything I think, or else I would forget about it within days. My mind will move on to new things!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas, God Bless.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Green Goop Scoop

This weekend, I traveled to Portsmouth to chill with some cool people and eat a lot of good food. Friday, I got to Portsmouth and ran 8 miles with a couple of recruits from Circleville, Brad Liston and Brad Kline. I hope we get both of them, Liston would help our team right off the bat. That evening we all went to the Italian Restaurant on Gallia St. I had Shrimp Alfredo, it was very good!

Then, this morning, we woke up to run again. I stayed at Blakes house, as did Eric Holbrock. We had fresh bread from Kroger with honey drizzled on it, washed down with free Sunny D. That is always a good pre-run meal to get some energy, plus it is delicious! The run went well, it was in the snow mostly; last night it snowed quite a bit. So, we were all cold and wet when we got back to the apartment. Luckily, Blake quickly had Vanilla Lattes ready for us. Nothing like a little get-up after a cold run. After that, all of the guys in town were invited over to Eric and Krista's house for brunch. She had fresh baked Blueberry Muffins for us and they were fantastic. She also made French Toast, one of my favorite breakfast foods ever! Krista is a great cook and I have been blessed to have had so many meals from her. One advantage of being a Bear. After a bit, Blake Wysocki decided to fix up a meal. It was a good one. He boiled Asparagus and Broccoli in chicken broth with garlic cloves and red onions, then poured that over some pasta. This was a good late lunch, especially since the meal totaled no more than $3 and could feed 4 people easily! The meal was dubbed Green Goop by the chef himself, and rightly so. A nice melting taste of vegetables and garlic is matched by no other.

This has been my past two days! Hopefully mom will make a nice home cooked meal tomorrow after church! That would end the weekend perfectly!

Now, I am off to enjoy some fresh baked Cinnamon Rolls!


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Strouds Run Secret View

I took this picture today while running. I didn't originally have my camera with me, but returned to my car to grab it. This view was only a 10 minute run to where I parked my car. This is the result of finding and exploring a new trail today at Strouds run. I saw the trail yesterday and returned today to run it. This was the best thing about it! Right below this, about 50 feet, is where this trail leads to. It connects to another trail, one that I have ran a lot in the past year. From that trail, I could not even notice the view because of all the tree's and the trail that leads to it was unmarked and unnoticeable with all the leaves! The rest of the trails that I explored today were short and just connected to trails that I had already ran in the past. The day was great and I was able to sit and chill with a beautiful view!


Wednesday Trail Tradition

I haven't posted on here since last Wednesday, so it has been a week now. Since then, I have traveled home and began my Christmas break. Not much has went on and I am enjoying the ease of living, without homework to do and work to be at. I have slept a lot, ran a good bit, and visited family and friends. This is my type of living, although I do think a person needs activity and work to consume the day. It is just nice to have a month break. My life has been busy since the start of August and this is the first break I have had!

Running has benefited the most from all of this. I never got the running schedule Eric handed out, but I didn't want it anyway. I like to just be "free" and run whatever I feel like, especially during a break like this. Everyday during this break, I have went out planning on doing a certain amount of miles and have ended up doing more than planned. I guess that is better than doing less, right? I have also limited running on concrete. I do not think I have ran more than 50 steps on a hard surface for two weeks! And my legs are loving it! Without hard surfaces and hard workouts, my legs feel great, even with a large jump in mileage. Plus, I am able to run my training runs a little quicker, and I have enjoyed running faster than normal on trails.

That's what I have been doing. Today and yesterday, I drove to Athens and ran at Strouds Run. This park has the nicest trails close to my home. Yesterday I found a new trail that was all single track. It was very well kept and the footing was great. I also saw a lot of bike tracks on it, it is good t see it getting some use. I hope this trail doesn't get too overgrown over the summer. Since I plan on getting an internship in Athens, most of my running will be here, and I hope the trails are nice with the growth season as it is right now. Today I ran on a familiar trail there. I like this one a lot. It winds in and out of rocks, evergreen tree's, and in and out of little gulley's with a lot of switchback and soft needle packed single track trails! It was great today because I ran hard and felt good. At the end of my run I found a new trail and started up it. I decided to turn around since it was getting dark. I will investigate this trail next time I am at Strouds Run, which will be tomorrow more than likely!

That is about it for now. I have ran 10 miles everyday this week and am feeling great! I didn't feel like going from 30 to 35 and so on like the running books say. The best part about my summer and fall base mileage is that it will be with me for the rest of my life! I learned the ropes of 100 mile weeks and now my legs know the feeling of running that type of mileage and won't be surprised when I jump up in mileage!

I am truly Running Free!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This"

Those are the words of Reece Brown today after we finished up our run. This run was so amazing, I had to write this blog just describing it! Here is was my log on Running2Win reads:

Greatest Run in My Life! Wow, this run was amazing. Reece and I went out and parked past Camp Oyo, where Hobey Hollow Bridle Trail intersected.
The trail led us up a muddy and wet path. We crossed several creeks that were gushing with water. After a ways into the run, we started climbing a monster hill and it took forever to get up it! At the top we came to SF road #6 and we turned left. We passed by the Fire Tower and I wanted to see how far the 40 mile loop trail was. We got to it shortly and turned right on that to see if that was the trail we ran Monday. Sure enough, it was.
So, we turned around and crossed road #6 onto the other side of the trail. This pretty much made a huge shortcut to Hobey Hollow as we were there in no time after a huge downhill. We decided to cross Hobey Hollow and head up the hill on the 40 mile trail a little longer. We ran another monster hill up that trail and come to a crossing with Rock Lick Bridle trail where there was a nice camp site.
We turned around and headed back to the car on Hobey Hollow. Everything we ran today was fresh dirt for us. It was awesome not knowing where we were heading and then popping out on a trail we recognized or could envision from the map. We climbed huge hills and made huge descents. We crossed creeks and got really muddy. In the words of Reece Brown, "We are badasses!"
And this was done all within 20 miles of Shawnee State! To have the resources and abundance of trails and forest is just amazing. We really felt like this is the way to run. To slosh around the creek and muddy trail does something that no other type of running does. I think the combination of finishing up school and being able to go back home made this run good. I am thankful to have a great friend like Reece Brown who will go out and run these trails with me. It is better to share such an amazing experience like today with a great friend. We are brothers. Brother Bears.

Now it is time to enjoy a nice cup of tea!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time to Run Free

Tonight, about 1 hour ago, I finished my last test of the year. I had a take-home final in Civilization and Literature. As soon as I turn the test into my professor tomorrow, my semester is finished. This class was my hardest class of the year in my opinion. After my first few tests and assignments my goal was to just get a C in the class. Usually I would be unsatisfied with a C but in this class that was going to be alright with me. But, as the assignments started being worth more and I started trying harder, my grades quickly improved and now I am thinking a B is a for sure lock in the class. Besides that, I think I will have an A in the rest of my classes! Which is good by me!

My last two days of running have been fantastic. I experience something new in both of the runs. First, Monday: Reece and I drove out to the forest and parked in the parking lot right off of 125. He wanted to the the trail that is off to the left, and I was really excited to get on this thing. This is my favorite trail at the forest and in my opinion, the hardest but most beneficial. I mean, this trail is so tough it put Shane Meyer on the ground and I had never saw him fall! There are uphills, downhills, switchbacks, technical running, creek-bed running, water crossings, and much more. How could any trail be better? As I was saying about the run being a new experience.... as we turned around and headed back, the sun started faded and the trail got dimmer and dimmer every minute. By the time we had ten minutes left, the trail was really dark and we would hardly see our footing. This was great though! I had read about people who turn their headlamps off during a night trail run and let their feet get a feel for the trail. When the light was gone, I felt like that was when my footing was the greatest. I was making a great connection with the trail that would of never happened in the daylight. This run was amazing!

Today was another new experience. I decided to drive out to the forest and run trails again. This time I ran in Vibram Five Finger shoes. I have ran a few runs in these but never on trails. I had a blast doing it! I decided to stay on a nicer trail since I didn't know how these things would feel with rocks, roots, and the works. The only problem I had today was some slick uphills. But, it had been raining like crazy all day and it was really muddy. I don't think trail shoes would of got traction either. Regardless, I like the feeling and will more than likely do more runs with these shoes.

Time to pack up, head home, and get some nice training in over Christmas break. I will be riding my bike and hitting the trails a lot. I can't wait to run a long trail race on January 2nd as I prepare for a new semester. In a week or so, I will know my final grades and I will be posting me new goals for Winter/Spring!

I am truly Running Free!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Back At It......

Whenever I take some time off, I usually get a little antsy to get back at it in a few days. But, this time it was not the case. I think I just needed a little mental break from the tough season. Until two Sundays ago, I had run everyday since May 6th, so almost 8 months. Not only was this the longest stretch without a day off in my life, it was at a much higher level of running, with 21 straight weeks over 70 miles and a couple over 100. I probably averaged 25 miles a week more than last season! Also, competition takes a toll mentally. Every other week I would have to prepare myself for a big race. Sometimes it is hard for me to get into a competitive spirit.

Now there is no competing and just running. I am Running Free once again and this is what I love about running. Workouts and intervals aren't as fun and free as a long trail run in the forest. That is my view at least. That is what running this winter will be all about for me. Relaxing runs, trail runs, barefoot runs, and isolation away from competition!

Today I ran 6 miles in my Vibram Five Finger shoes. My last few runs have been with these or either completely barefoot. It is amazing how much different my form feels when I don't have an inch of foam causing my heel to strike the ground first. My back is straighter, my stride is shorter, and I am working my feet muscles to prevent them from getting weak! This will prevent any injury that even thinks about coming into my legs!

I felt really good on the run. I do not think I lost much fitness. Biking the past week let me still work my lungs. Thursday I had a nice ride with my good friends Ken Shonkwiler and Dirk Kostoff. Dirk did the entire 24 miles on a single speed bike and stayed with Ken and I pretty well. This was my first ride with more than one person. I had never understood the ability to draft in biking until then. It is so much easy to sit behind someone. We all took turns cutting the wind. I am planning on a longer ride tomorrow morning.

I have 4 finals left for next week and then it is time to chill and relax back home! Going to be a great winter.....


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Winding Down

After a very nice and much needed Thanksgiving Break, I am hitting the books real hard this week. Luckily though, school is winding down and there is not much homework to do, just a ton of studying. I have six more tests/final projects still left to do; I will be finished by next Wednesday. Christmas Break could not arrive any sooner! Through it all, I have had a good semester and even though I have been studying a lot lately, I have stayed calm and stress-free, which is great.

As for training right now, I haven't ran a step in 4 days. Saturday, I raced the Brandi Thomas, Keep Your Fork 5k and had a great time. I talked to some people that I only talk to once a year (at this race) and got caught up on all the happenings around Meigs County. It was nice to run a few miles with Fogle on my cool down. He is the man that introduced running to me! Without any time on my feet, I have had a lot of free time during the later part of the day. Monday and Tuesday I rode my bike, 30 miles on Monday and 10 Tuesday. So, I am still keeping active. I plan on going on more rides all winter.

Well, I have to get back to studying!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Shots From Nationals

(Here we go)

(Corey, on this way to becoming an All-American)

(The most mentally tough runner, Galen, Shoeless)

(Awaiting the Results)

(The Seniors and Eric)

SSU Bears. . . 2009 NAIA National Championships

I said I would give a race recap of Nationals. So, here it is........

Saturday morning was just like any other race day. I think everyone had adjusted to the time change fairly well and were getting a full nights rest. Still it was weird to think that it was 10 AM in Ohio while we were waking up at 7 AM. Our race started at 10:30, so we were up early to get a little grub and have time to relax before it was time to get ready. I had my usual toasted bagel with drizzled honey and waited till 9:30 to warm up. Since our hotel was less than 4 minutes from the course, we warmed up from the hotel and someone drove our clothe and spikes to the start line.

The course was a mess. It had rained the night before and a lot of people had been tramping around the course the previous 4 days. This type of condition always plays to our advantage since we are a bunch of "blue collar" runners who aren't afraid to get nasty. To give a little detail on the course, it is very viewer friendly, and in my opinion not very runner friendly. It was a 4 loop of 2k's each, crossing a road 8 times total, with a lot of 90 degree turns. That coupled with mud was going to bring slow times. Plus, the course was very narrow and funneled into a 10 foot path within the first 800 meters. At that 800 meters, there was a 100 degree turn, this made the race a literal fight from the start.

So, that is how the race started. There were a lot of people that fell and many pushing, grabbing, and tripping. I was out pretty fast but was not ready to get pounded around the turn. I got pushed out to the far side and even was brushing against the ropes. I was passed by most of the field and my entire team. To add on that, my legs did not feel good but I was battling physically and mentally to stay in the race.

I had no idea how my teammates were doing and no idea where anybody was in the field. I actually thought I was our 5th man, but by the time I finished, I learned I was our 7th man! "Great" I thought, we did not do as bad as I thought! I learned that Corey ran incredible and finished 24th! All-American! Next that came in was Galen Dills. Galen was the only person that I remember ahead of me at the beginning. Around the same turn I got shoved around, he lost one of his spikes. He decided to keep going and ran the last 4.5 without a shoe. He came in 49th, with a mangled foot, with gashes and a bruised heel. A gutsy performance under the most pressure. Our 3rd man was sophomore Shane Meyer! He also ran incredible! He finished 61st and had the best race of his short career. Josh Linkous and Tyler Hickey came in 4th and 5th, finishing 69th and 82nd respectively. Tyler picked up the slack where I normally would be, and helped our team finish with a strong top 5. Chuck Wentz and I were 131st and 156th. I never got rolling........

So, Shawnee State put out some nice performances Saturday and we anxiously waited on the team results. This was another big complaint everyone had. The results never came while we were at the course. We didn't hear the official results until they announced the top ten nearly 3 hours later at the awards ceremony. As they started naming off the top ten, we listened in silence for Shawnee State to be called. The top 4 teams would be called on the stage for pictures and awards. A big sigh and jubilant celebration happened when we heard "7th, Aquinas, 6th, Simon Fraser, 5th Embry-Riddle....." And the celebration started. We heard next, "In fourth place with 229 points, Shawnee State University!" Even though I did not have a good race and finished farther back than I could of even imagined, all emotion turned into excitement and pure joy. We all ran to the stage, hugging and laughing as we posed for our pictures. This ranks up there with some memorable moments in my life.

(Our 4th place plaque!)

My........ OUR Shawnee State Bears are 4th in the NAIA!


Malone won their third straight team title, Cornerstone was second, and Southern Oregon finished 3rd. Total for the entire year, we were only beat by 5 teams, Ohio State, Malone, Aquinas, Southern Oregon, and Cornerstone! What an incredible year. I am truly happy that I have teammates. I had a very bad race, but Galen, Shane, and Hickey all stepped it up to more than make up for the difference.

We are the Shawnee State Bears, Running Free!

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Beginnings of Washington

Remember November

That phrase has been hanging on my wall and repeated in my head since May 6th, over half a year ago. November finally got here; Saturday was Nationals! And wow, was it a great day! Not only was Saturday a great day, the entire 5 day trip to the Vancouver/Portland area was awesome.

Wednesday morning we flew out of Cincinnati at 12:15 and headed to Salt Lake City, Utah for our connecting flight to Portland. This was the farthest I had been west and I was excited to see some mountains. They were cool to see from the sky, it was different seeing snow on the ground. We boarded the plane to Portland and had a short trip there. As we were flying in, we could see a big mountain poking way above the clouds. I am guessing that was Mt. Rainier, it is the highest point in Washington. We landed safely and ahead of schedule and we were now breathing fresh Oregon air (the air really didn't feel any different but it was fun giving Wysocki a hard time about not being with us). This night we did not do much. We drove to our hotel in Vancouver, Comfort Inn, ran 8 miles, and ate at a local place called Burgerville USA. I had a Cranberry Turkey sandwich with Jalapeno salsa on it (amazing place!). The rest of the night we just chilled and got some sleep.

(Thats not a cloud, it is Mt. Rainier)

Thursday was our free day, we all decided we should go to Eugene to check out Hayward field. It was a 2 hour ride down to Eugene but it was worth it. We were able to walk around the track and step in the same prints as some hollowed names in running history. We also ran the course on Thursday. The course is set up as 4 loops, 2k for each one. The footing was a little wet and I knew the course would be sloppy by the time the race came, which is good for us Bears!

(Hayward field and the legendary stands)

On Friday, we just chilled in Vancouver for the morning. After running a little, we all went to an Italian restaurant. It was very good. Later that night we drove to Nike Headquarters to hear Alberto Salazar speak. There was also a pasta dinner. Nike Headquarters is an amazing place, there were so many pieces of memorabilia, plaques, displays, and so forth of famous athletes. Each building was named after an athlete, such as the Lance Armstrong Center, or Steve Prefontaine Hall, and the list goes on. We also had a chance to see some non released shoes that will be coming out next fall and a look into the insides of shoes. Pretty neat stuff. Salazar was not as bad as I thought he was going to be. Ever since learning about him and Dick Beardsley, I have always been a Beardsley man before a Salazar fan. I think Beardsley resembles a Shawnee State Bear better than any other runner. He was not famous, cocky, or glamorous, but worked hard and beat people that were more famous than him.

Friday night we went to bed awaiting the day to come. Nationals was less than 12 hours away and it was time to be a Bear.

Note: I will write the race recap on another day......

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Hay is in the Barn

That's right. Today we did the last workout of our season! For the seniors, it will be their last cross country workout as a Bear for the rest of their lives. Next year I will be able to feel that bitter sweet, daunting emotion. From now until Saturday, one of the biggest days in my short life, Nationals, we will be running nice easy miles. I say "The Hay is in the Barn" because, there is not much I can do to get any better from now till Saturday. I could only make it worse (by eating a bunch of junk and nasty food or hurting myself in some way). So, it is time to relax and have a great time in Washington and Oregon.

We fly out of Cincinnati tomorrow at 12:15 and will be arriving in Portland, Oregon at around 4 PM (7 PM in Ohio time). That will be a new experience for me. The time is 3 hours back on the West coast. It will be weird to think the Ohio State vs. Michigan game will be starting at 9 AM! I'll be getting ready to warm up at that time. But, I expect to have a great time out there. Our hotel is only a mile from the course, so we get to see it early. On Thursday I think we are driving to Eugene to check out Hayward Field and some other monumental places in Oregon. Friday, Alberto Salazar is talking to us at Nike Headquarters. I think we will all have a blast!

Saturday, race day, I look to be standing on the stage as an All-American and the Bears to finish somewhere really high! That would just put a picture perfect ending to an already amazing year for US. Saturday night we will again be staying in Vancouver and Sunday evening we will be flying back into Cincinnati.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Living in Peace

This week has been awesome. My legs are feeling fresh and ready now that I am peaking and dropping my miles. Tuesday the entire team had a great workout out at the course. We did 3 x 2k's with someone surging in the middle of it. This gave us some response practice in the middle of already running fast. When people go by me at Nationals I need to go with them!

Yesterday was also a good day. Reece, Shane, Corey, and myself drove out to the Forest and ran on some trails that were new to us. Since it was Veterans day, there was no school and Reece for the first time all year, was able to celebrate Wednesday trail tradition with us! We drove out Carey's Run and went to State Forest road #1 and parked by on of the trail heads. I forget the name of the trail but it has black blazes. This trail started out rocky but once we were a mile into it, we climbed a big hill and the footing became smooth and comfortable. After two miles we crossed road #1 and it became the Pigeon Roost Bridle Trail. This trail is marked with "Easter egg" purple, as Shane described it. The Pigeon Roost trail was sweet, wide enough for two people and the footing was great. It was also fairly flat. When we got back, I added on a little on the Connector Trail which is marked with "Easter egg" blue. I liked this trail, that part that I ran, because it was more single track and seemed to be in very good shape.

On the way home we stopped at Buckeye Dairy Bar and Reece invited us out to his house for dinner and to stay the night if we wanted. So, Shane and I accepted. This is the second time we went out there. Sunday, after our run at Hangover Shane and I also went out there for chicken, beans, and hot tea. This time we had hamburgers, brats, beans, and hot tea. I also made pumpkin pie and we enjoyed a piece with silk milk before we headed to bed. It was a very nice meal and Reece got his wood burner up and burning for the first time this year. I slept beside it on the pull out coach and slept like a rock. This morning we woke up at 6:30 to eat breakfast and do some yoga. Yoga is always a nice way to get the day started!

Being out at Reece's is a lot better than being in town. I would rather stay out there every day and night than here in town. It is quieter, cleaner, and a lot more peaceful and efficient. I like to be able to pee off the back porch! Tree's and grass is a lot better than concrete and buildings.

So, I am relaxing and getting a lot of school work done at the same time. There are only 9 days before Nationals now and my legs are feeling awesome. I can't wait for the trip to Washington, it will be amazing!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Parting Shots

2009 Halloween Pasta Dinner!

(The Mens Team)

(Johnny Appleseed and Scoobey Doo)

SSU Bears. . .AMC Conference Championship

I said I was going to come back and post some good news. My news is not the best it could be, but it is still great! We traveled to Cedarville early Saturday morning for a AMC Conference showdown. Just a quick rundown of some AMC history: Malone has won this meet 17 years in a row, and that number is more but they were not in the AMC for two years in the early 90's. They have won a total of like 47 times! Shawnee State only finished 2nd once, in 2005, and has finished 3rd the past 3 years. My freshman year we were upset by Cedarville by one point and was denied a Nationals trip. Last year we lost to Cedarville again but was granted a bid to Nationals.

So, there is a lot riding on this meet. This is also the last year we are in the AMC. Next year, Shawnee is moving to the Mid South Conference, where we could become the next Malone of that conference and win titles every year. Our Ultimate goal was to beat Malone. Some people might say it is foolish to think we could beat the last two defending Nationals Champions and the Number 1 ranked team in the nation, but, what did we have to lose? We were not being cocky about it. There was no other goal to make for this meet. We were the clear cut second best team in the race, and if our goal was to just finish second, our chances of slipping to third would have been greater. So, we aimed high and the worst we could do was finish second.

I'll jump straight to the point and say..... we did finish second and Malone did win Conference again. This is how it all went down:

Our box was right beside Malone's so right away we could get a good feel of how they were going to race us. It ended up being a relaxed start; it was just Malone, Shawnee, a few Cedarville guys, and a few other individuals up front. The first mile was slow. I could tell Malone was trying to slow it down and just make sure we were right there. They were not opening the race up early, that is for sure. I thought it was strange how all the Malone guys were saying stuff to each other and turning around looking for their teammates and tugging on each others jerseys to signal something. I don't know if they were trying to psych us out or if they always do that, but I just kept focused and stayed with the pack. The race was still packed up after 2 miles and no one tried to break open the race (except for a Houghton guy, and it didn't last long).

(Start of the Race)

(Shawnee and Malone up front: a little before the 2 mile)

(Soon after 2 miles: still a battle)

The previous two pictures indicate how the race was for the first two miles. I do have to add another note about this race. Even though the weather was perfect, 60 degrees, clear sky, dry ground, it was very windy. Look closely at our hair, it is swept to the left in the third picture. Forecast said 20 mph wind, so we were all trying to tuck in. Anyways, the race went on and it soon went from a casual pace, to a grueling pace due to one key move. The key move came at about 2.5 miles and it came from T.J. Badertscher of Cedarville. He simply decided to surge past the front group and get the race rolling, and it worked. Zeuch and Melhorn from Malone followed and Corey and I tried to hang on, as did the rest of Malone and our guys. At 3 miles, it was very strung out and Malone had 2 guys in front of me! I was in about 5th place or so, but Malone started pressing. About 3 of their guys passed me and I could not respond. Another Cedarville guy passed me; Galen also moved by me and I was trying really hard to hold on.

(Tj opening up the race)

So, the race became a race and people started getting in their position. At mile 4, this is how it stood. Tj, 5 Malone guys, another Cedarville guy, and Galen were all ahead of me. I was running beside Nick Meeson from Malone, their 6 man. Things did not look good! That is about how the race ended up. The last mile was very fast but there was not a lot of movement in places. Melhorn ended up beating Tj by 15 seconds, Tj still got second. It was a nice showing for him at his home course and he really did make the race. After him, was 4 more Malone guys, so they put 5 in front of our 1. We need to run with them! Evan Thayer was next, followed by Galen, Linkous, Meeson, and then me. I got 11th. After me, was Malones 7th man and then it was our #4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 man, which was: Shane, Corey, Chuck, Tyler, and Hornick.

(Before mile 4, trying to hold on)

So, we had a good race but not a great race. We still finished 2nd, but Cedarville put 2 guys in front of our 1. A great positive is that we had 8 guys in the top 17 of the race. Even Malone can't say they did that! But, I give it to Malone for putting 5 guys in front of our one, and 6 in front of our 3, me. The time were a little slow, I ran 26:08, but like I said, it was windy and a slow start. After looking back, I wish I would have just responded to Tj's surge or else made the move myself. We, as a team could have made a huge surge and then the race could have turned out differently. There are a lot of could of would of's in every race. That is how it happened and no one can change it. We are going to Nationals and we need to do work there. It is not over!



Thursday, November 5, 2009

Onward We Go

We are finishing up our last few days of training before the AMC conference meet. Everyone seems to be in good health and good spirits. I am not sick anymore luckily, my throat doesn't hurt and my nose is running lightly. Tuesday we did 1 x 1 Mile, 4 x 400, and then 1 x 1000. These were the specs:

1 Mile: 4:38, 1:00 jog/2:42 rest
400: 70, 1:00 jog/1:39 rest
400: 67, 1:00 jog/1:42 rest
400: 63, 1:00 jog/1:51 rest
400: 65, 1:00 jog/2:38 rest
1000: 2:54, FINISHED

So, everything is good there. Most of the guys were all right around those times as well. Yesterday, Corey, Shane, and I drove out to the Forest and ran from Pond Lick. I do not know what I would do without a trip or two to the Forest per week. I wouldn't be able to make it if I had to run in Portsmouth everyday. A nice day for fresh air and peaceful running is needed in every persons training!

Ready for a big race. Next time I post, it should be good news.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not Much New

The past few days it seems like I am sick, getting sick, or maybe getting over sickness. My throat has been a little sore and my nose runs a lot. Also, my muscles seem a little week and sluggish. But that could be from running hard workouts. Whatever it is, I want it to go away! Vitamins, fish oil, sleep, water, and eating healthy are all going to be at its max this week (a lot of green tea to be downed as well!). Not that I don't do all of those things, it is just more important right now. I never like getting sick and rarely do. But when I am, it is fun trying to defeat sickness. That is a great way to stay positive. Anyways, I think I will be over it pretty soon because I feel better than I did yesterday.

I finished up a good week of training today. Ran 13 miles back in Meigs County before I drove back to Portsmouth. That gave me 75 miles for the week, plus an awesome workout on Tuesday, and a decent 2 mile time trial on Friday. Ready for Saturday, our conference meet!

Lately I have been planning out some stuff I will be doing after the season is over. The Saturday after Nationals I plan on doing the Brandi Thomas 5k. It is a nice Foundation race in memory of Brandi who ran track and cross country at Meigs; she died in a car accident four or five years ago and now this race raises money for a scholarship in her name. The race is only 5 minutes from my house and it is nice to meet up with some locals. I also plan on running the John Bryan 10 mile trail race on December 5th. Reece just brought this to my attention today actually and it would be nice to go run this. I probably won't race it but use it as a nice training run. A race I have been planning for a year now is the Kent State indoor meet, on December 11th. This is the track my 5k PR is on and I think I can run another nice PR again. The race I am looking forward to the most is on January 2nd, the Tsali Frosty Foot Fest 30k Trail Race. This is down in North Carolina and Reece and Shane plan on coming along. Wysocki might come as well and anyone interested is welcome!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Plethora of New Trails

Last Thursday Shane and I drove out to the Forest to chill out and find new trails. We came across the Shawnee State Forest Horse Camp while out there. It is on Forest Road #4, right by Bear Creek Lake. The name of the pond inspired us to go check out this area and this could have been the biggest find ever for me! We drove around the area and there were many trucks with horse trailers on the back, and many horses with people walking around. We saw a few different bridle trails, ones that were actually single-track (wide enough for a horse).

Today, Corey, Shane, and I headed out there to run. The trails proved to be too muddy to run on due to all the rain and horse usage, the trail was a mess! So, we decided to run up Forest Road #6, and it was hilly! There were three huge hills to climb, so that means six total since we went out and back. Our legs were heavy due to the workout yesterday, which I will address later, but we still ran at a nice pace, even came back a minute and a half quicker. While runner out this gravel road, I was amazed! I saw at least 5 different trail heads off to the side! There could have been more but I can't remember all of them. This was the trail heaven of the Forest! This made me really happy and I can not wait to hit these up. Seems like very well maintained since a lot of horses travel these. Also, some trails looked to be hilly and some flat, so there is some diversity.

This is all on the North side of 125. There is still even more ground to cover on the South side of 125. For now, I am overwhelmed at the amount of trails I need to explore. I need to study the map and see some nice routes to take. I love maps, they are fun to look at and study.

About this workout I said I would get to. Yesterday we did 1 mile hard, 12 x 400 hard, and 1 mile hard out at our course. This is a very tough workout that mixes short with long, getting the turnover to its max and without much rest, pound out a challenging mile. It started to rain on the drive out there and continued to rain during the workout. The rain made the last mile very difficult and the 400's were also very slick. Hickey even fell and others that wore flats were slipping everywhere. I wore spikes and felt great, even though the ground sank with each step. This is how it went:

1 Mile: 4:46, 5 Minute Rest w/ 2.5 min jog
400: 68 1:10 jog/1:41
400: 70 1:10 jog/1:47
400: 68 1:10 jog/1:43
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:41
400: 68 1:10 jog/1:47
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:48
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:44
400: 68 1:10 jog/1:49
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:48
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:45
400: 67 1:10 jog/1:47
400: 67, 5 Minute Rest w/ 2.5 min. jog
1 Mile: 4:56, Finished!

I was very, very pleased with this. Especially on the 400's where I felt like I could pick up the velocity at any moment I decided too. After getting into a few, I wanted to keep lowering my time and I finished really strong. Than the last mile, I ran very strong on the slick mud (first mile of course, the opposite way). My legs felt great yesterday but today they were super heavy on the run. It was a good feeling, I can tell I was doing work. All we have Friday is our 2 mile time trial. I feel a nice PR and would like to run 9:30 or under. I ran 9:35 earlier this season and that was with 3 mile reps to follow.

The best is yet to come this season, I can't wait. The rankings came out today and we stayed the same, ranked #6. Aquinas who beat us by one point moved from 7th to 3rd. Nice to know we only lost to the 3rd ranked team by one point. Also, Malone isn't ranked 1st for the first time in 29 consecutive weeks, Southern Oregon passed them.

Can't wait for whats to come.....


Sunday, October 25, 2009

SSU Bears. . .NAIA Great Lakes Challange

This past weekend we traveled to Grand Rapids for our showdown at the Great Lakes Challenge. This meet showcases a lot of ranked NAIA schools from this area of the States. We were ranked the highest at 6th, Aquinas was 7th, Olivet Nazarene was 9th, and Cornerstone was 13th; plus there were other teams like Cedarville, Indiana Wesleyan, and Indiana Tech that have had good teams in the past, that could mix it up with the top guys.

Last year this was also a big race with a lot of ranked teams running; we finished behind all those teams I just listed except Indiana Wesleyan, and Embry-Riddle, 7th place. This year Embry-Riddle went to a different meet but they are ranked 3rd in the Nation. This year we did not want that to happen again and knew we had a target on our backs since we were the highest ranked team in the race.

It rained a lot in Michigan the days leading up to the race so again, the course was muddy. But, this plays in our favor because we are blue collar racers and are used to running in wet, muddy conditions. Although it did rain a lot, when we ran the course on Friday night, the course was in good shape. It was even in better shape Saturday when we raced, just a few puddles and a few slick spots.

The race got out fast. I got boxed in at the start but somehow spotted a nice gap to my right and shot right up to the front of the race. I went from starting in a box on the left side of the start line to darting all the way to the right of the line. It defiantly was a good move, because from the gun, a few guys went out very hard. This was exactly what I wanted to do, get myself in the front of the race at the beginning and run with the top guys. At the mile I was in 7th place at 4:50. 4:50 is the fastest I have ever gone out in a race and I was amazed at how comfortable and relaxed I still was. There were two Olivet guys ahead of me so I stayed right on their shoulder for as long as I could.

(At the mile mark in 7th place, 4:50)

During the seconds mile I was still within the second pack. Two guys were out front pretty far and seemed to be running away from the rest of the race. One of the guys, who eventually won, was from Cornerstone and the other guy was from Spring Arbor. I was glad that those two teams did not matter as much as Aquinas or Olivet. I kept contact with the Olivet guys as much as possible. At the two mile mark, my time was 10:03.

Soon after the two mile, 3 Aquinas guys came up on me and started to pass me. Luckily Corey was riding along with them. I kept right on them as long as possible but I got a few seconds backs back from them. At the 5k mark, it was 3 AQ guys and me and Corey all within a second from each other. This was becoming a race between two teams, Shawnee State vs. Aquinas; the race began to get very fast. My 5k time was 15:52.

Soon after 5k, Corey about tripped and fell. It was almost disaster but he kept on his feet. His hand even touched the ground. He regrouped and continued with the AQ guys. During mile four I fell about 3 seconds behind Corey and the 3 guys from AQ but I kept telling myself to stay focused and to work myself back up there to give Corey some help. I never fell more than 3 seconds behind them, but I couldn't seem to get up there with them. The race was moving so fast at this point, it was hard to make any move or put in any surge. I began hearing people cheer for Linkous, so the race was still close with Aquinas and us but AQ had the apparent edge with 3 ahead of our 2.

With a mile to go, it was still anyone's race. Linkous came by me with about 800 left and told me to go with him. I stuck with him and we started rolling. The two Olivet guys that were ahead of me earlier were still ahead of us but coming back. There were also other guys dropping off that had passed me earlier in the race. Coming around the last corner with 400 to go, it was Linkous, me, and the 3 AQ guys and Corey within 3 seconds of each other. One of the AQ guys started fading. Linkous and I passed him with no problem and kept our eyes up with the other 2. We passed one of the Olivet guys but the other one finished really well. Linkous finished really well and passed another kid from Sienna Heights, and even edged out Corey by less than .1 seconds. The other AQ guys finished hard and were ahead of us.

(Around a half a mile left, Corey with Linkous and me back there)

(Less then 400 to go, Corey, Linkous, and me)

So, this is how it was, the first two Aquinas guys went 3rd and 5th. Linkous and Corey went 6th and 7th, and I finished 9th. The third AQ guy was 11th. The fourth AQ guy finished 15th, less than a second ahead of Galen at 16th. Our five man was Shane at 20th and AQ's 5 man was 23rd. It was so close and if you add it all up, the point total was Shawnee State 58....... Aquinas 57. One point was all it was, and it was not in our favor. It is a bad feeling to lose by one point but the race was so close and fair that I was happy about it.

Results: (Team)

It was also a nice PR for me. 25:36 was my final time, Corey and Linkous ran 25:33. Out of our 15 guys that ran, 8 of us PR'd, so it was a great day overall. Getting beat by a team that is ranked only one spot lower than us is not too bad. It should be that close anyways, but it would have been nice for us to be one point ahead. Overall, the meet was awesome. The top 15 finishers received bags, so that was nice. They also provided pizza for everyone. This meet is one of the best ran meets around and I can't wait for a nice showdown next year!

Now, we only have 4 more weeks left to the season. A week off, week of Conference, another week off, and the week of Nationals. Now, it is time to being everything together. The meets we have won and lost this whole season can be thrown away, because the two most important meets are coming up, Nationals being the most important.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Back to the Heart of Things

At heart, I am a Trail Runner. I know this is kind of duplicitous, because the majority of my runs are ran in Portsmouth, not on a trail. However, this is only because I am obligated to run in town since I run for Shawnee State and I have run with the team. This is fine, I have accepted it, it is my role on the team, and I have the rest of my life to run where I want to run! First and foremost at this current time, my focus is to improve Shawnee State Cross Country, and I am doing that to my fullest.

Although most of our runs are in town, Eric has allowed whoever wants to run on trails, do it on Wednesdays. This is something Keegan convinced him to do last year and it is awesome that we are able to get out of town. This year Corey, Shane, and I have drove out to the Forest each Wednesday. Other people have joined sporadically such as, Paul and Wysocki. Not only are we able to run on a soft surface, enjoy fresher air, and have fun, I feel running trails once week does many positive things to help us as runners; strengthen ankle dexterity, engages chi, strengthens calves on uphills and quads on downhills, etc....

We are fortunate to have such close access to a State Forest and a magnitude of great trails (note* one of my favorite trails was bulldozed and widened and not is not a top choice now, ADT trail). It is only about a 20 minute drive and there is instant access to many trail heads and over 120 miles of different trails. We can park at the main entrance under the lodge, at Pond Run Pond, at Camp OYO (pronounced O-Yi-O, I found out today), at Hangover, or any other crossing of a road and trail! There are unlimited options. For the most part the trails are cleared well. Last winter knocked a lot of trees over the trails, but the people out there seem to be getting to them now. I need to find out who does this and maybe lend them a hand sometime.

Today Corey, Shane, and I parked at camp OYO and were going to run across the road on the orange blazed trails but as we were running there a few hunters were walking in. We thought best to not run where there were men with guns! So, we ran on the blue blazed trail. This was the first run on this part this year. It has some technical spots in it and it's the first time I have ran on technical trails in a while. I was a little off balance at times but overall felt pretty good. This is one of my favorite runs because it has several nice hills plus the technicality. I'm sure everyone I run with is tired of my talking about this but.... this trail passes through my favorite part of the forest; it winds through a short section of evergreen trees and for some reason I love it!

Tomorrow Shane and I are going to drive out there and look around for some more trails. I have heard there is a nice trail at a place called Blue Ridge, so we are going to find it and check it out. I can't believe I went my entire freshman year without running out there (besides Hangover). One of my favorite places to be, even though these trails don't compare to trails out west.

Running Free! WMO

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Last Two Hours

Hangover Memory Edition

Today, I ran my last 2 hour run of the year (cross country year that is). The majority of my 2 hour runs have been out at Hangover, which is the best place to do it. But, when I was out there, I started to think about how many amazing runs I have had at Hangover. So, I thought I would go back into my log and my memory and write about some experiences I have had out there. These will not even include the time trials and races at Hangover, just long runs.

- I can still remember my first run at Hangover. It was in the summer before my Freshman year here at SSU. It was on August 8th, and it was with Paul Webb, Chris Roush, Blake Jones, Erock, and Chuck Wentz. We did the loop backwards, which is 11.25 miles and boy was this an experience. Chuck had a hard time. Once we got to the gravel road after the 2 mile hill, we waited 15 minutes for Chuck to catch up. So, we started again and BJ, Paul, Roush, and myself ran together. Erock stayed back with Chuck because he was having a hard time. We all finished together but Chuck came in 45 minutes later! I thought he might not of ran for us after that but he did and is doing well now. All my log said was, "WOW! what a course!!!!!" And on that day, I fell in love with Hangover...

- I didn't do any memorable long runs at Hangover until my sophomore year, when we decided to make a team goal to run a Hangover long runs on Sundays. Most of the team did not do these, but Keegan, BJ, Reece, and a few others had some great runs out there that season. Most of these long runs were in the dark and even though the footing was not good, the runs were awesome because night runs make it feel like you are floating. In late September, I wrote in my log about how Keegan fell. I remember this pretty clearly. Reece was down at the cars and Keegan, Shane, and I were finishing up a run down the hill. We were all making monkey calls to Reece. That was something we did last year. It was awesome. And as Keegan was making a call, he bit it and fell face first. Shane fell over him. After he got up and was alright it was a good laugh.

- Another thing I remember was when Corey scared Keegan and me. It was really dark this time and Keegan and I were finishing up a long run, and right near the end, Corey jumped out of the weeds and scared the crap out of us. Embarrassingly I grabbed Keegan like a little kid! haha. I was not expecting that though. Just like Corey to do that.

- Another nice run at Hangover was last winter with Reece. I can't remember when this was but I think it was after we all got back from Christmas break. Reece and I ran into each other at the school and decided to drive out to Hangover and run. This was one of the first snowy days we had. It started snowing as we were driving and by the time we finished our run, the roads were covered! It was awesome, snowy runs at Hangover are amazing.

- This fall, I have ran 11 runs at Hangover on Sundays. 8 of those have been 15 miles or more and 5 have been 2 hours plus. I have started taking PowerGels during the linger ones and that is kind of cool. Before cross, Mike Cauley and Mike Sawicki joined some of us out there on two separate occasions. It is neat to show other people our training grounds and for them to brag about how hard it is. I take pride it it!

So, Hangover is a key part of our training, and even more in my own training. I like to think that I have ran at Hangover more than anyone else, but I am not sure that I have. I probably have logged the most miles out there for sure! Hangover is different with the seasons and I have saw a lot of cool things out there.

I look forward to more memories to come at Hangover. More runs will be ran this year there, just no more 2 hour runs. This winter, I am running a 30k in NC and I plan on getting some nice long runs in at Hangover. There is nothing like it!

Running Free

(you'll have to understand these memories might not sound to interesting, but to me and the people that have experienced them first hand, they are truly awesome.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

40... 39... 38... 37... 36... 35...

Thats right! We only have 35 more days, from today, until Nationals! That is 5 weeks! Wow, it doesn't seem possible for it to only be 5 weeks away but it is. The time has come. The season has flew by like I knew it would, and there are only 3 meets left. Aquinas, Conference, Nationals. . .

This week was a very tough week. Monday we took it easy but Tuesday we did our hardest workout of the year, some say. I am not sure what our hardest workout it. Being fit like I am this year, I am able to recover after these fast intervals better; I have noticed. We did our staple workout, 20 x 400's. We did this out at the soccer fields on the course, with a 400 meter lap marked out. It was bad because we has four 90 degree turns to go around. Here are the splits:


That is correct. Never got slower on any of these and continued to drop some time. Not a bad way to run a workout. It was nice to start out a little slower and ease into it instead of running 65 on the first on and then 75 on the last one. The workout was very effective and will make anyone mentally tougher.

This week was also weirdly cold. Tuesday morning it was in the 60's when we did our morning run. Since that morning, I haven't felt anything above 50 degrees. Wednesday when Corey, Shane, and I went to the forest, it was a rainy 44 degrees!

Yesterday we did another hard workout. A mile hard, then the Villanova. My mile was great! I finally pr'd; went 4:26! Went out at 65, then 66, then 67, then 68. I finished beside Corey with Linkous and Erock in front of us. The Villanova part went great as well! Here are the splits to this workout:

Mile - 4:26 (splits: 65, 66, 67, 68)
400 meter jog
4 minutes of standing rest (heart rate 25 per 15 sec.)

200m - .30 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .34
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .36
300m - .49 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .49 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .34
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .37
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .50 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .49 : 100m jog - .33
300m - .49 : 100m jog - Done

Total time for Villanova (5k)- 17:34
Total time overall- 22:00

So, the workout was a great success. Did it on Spartan Stadium's track as well so not the best conditions. Finished the same on this, beside Corey with Linkous and Erock in front a little. That sent me into a great mood for the weekend.

Saturday has not been as good. I wasted $5.50 on a bad movie: Where The Wild Things Are. I don't know why I let Wysocki convince me into watching this thing. I got home to find out Ohio State lost to Purdue! Could this be serious! The #7 team losing to the 1-5 Purdue! Wow. Pryor through 2 interceptions and fumbled twice as well. I think something needs to change.

Anyways, the week has been great. I will finish up my week tomorrow with a nice 17 mile run out at Hangover. It will give me 92 for the week and then it is time to start dropping some mileage!

This is what I do! wmo

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SSU Bears. . .Gibson Family Invitational

Fourth meet of the year is done and over with. Seems like the season has flew by and it is already over half way over. Now, we only have Aquinas 2 weeks from now, Conference 4 weeks from now, and Nationals 4 weeks from now. How exciting. I need to cherish these last 6 weeks a little, because they are going to be something magical. Hopefully, this blog will serve as a nice reminder of all the great memories I have had this season and the many memories still to come.
This past weekend was our first overnight trip of the year. It was nice to go out to eat at Olive Garden with the team and enjoy some nice food. Corey, Paul, Shane, Blake, and I were the best dressed men in Terre Haute, we looked good, I must say:
(Holding our business meeting after dinner.)
(Here we are, all dressed up.)
So, we had a good time on Friday night before the meet. Corey and I were roommates and we got to bed a little before midnight. I love staying at Hampton Inns; they have the best beds and pillows I have slept on. So, my nights rest was peaceful and full. Woke up, and it was Race Day! I shoved down my normal toasted bagel with honey and we loaded onto the bus for our trip to the course.
The course was awesome. Terre Haute is the site for many Junior Championship, D1 National, and Pre-Nat races for cross country. It is basically a big field with a huge loop, with separate little loops for different distances. It rained the entire week leading up to the race, but the day of the race, it was sunny and dry. The course was still very wet, but there was no mud. The course had a basic drain system, but there were still a lot of standing water.
The gun went off, and it was a fast start with about 30 teams racing for first. I established a decent position from the start. I was not in the top 10 though like I wanted to be. It was also different to have two Cedarville guys on both sides of me, but that soon changed. During the first mile, my guys got with me, about 6 other Bears were right with me. Sometime during the first mile I decided to try and get up with the first pack. I made a long surge and jumped about 20 spots to get on the rear end of the front pack. Even though no one from my team went with me, I think my move got my team moving. I went through the first mile at 5 flat and that was the last split I heard.
After the first mile, the rest of the team was up with me, Linkous went to the front 5 and Corey followed shortly. Shane and I were a few seconds back through 2 miles and we were looking good. Sometime during the 3rd mile, Linkous fell off the front pack and I pushed to help him out. I was leading the chase pack and started surging to get him. I caught him shortly after 5k and we were able to work together the rest of the race. Corey was still among the front 5 pack.
During the race, a guy on the loud speaker gave race updates as the race went on. Shortly after everyone realized Shawnee State was controlling the race, the announcer started saying stuff like, "At 5k, looks like Shawnee State has 5 guys in the top 15 of the race." Then, 10 seconds later he would say, "Make that 8 guys in the top 25 for Shawnee State." It was awesome hearing this and it gave me more motivation. Also, near the end of the race, the announcer was announcing that Corey was challenging for the lead with another kid. That was the first race where I heard these kind of things over the loud speakers. I liked it!
So, the race pretty much finished how it was at 5k. Corey had the lead with about 400 meters left but a kid from Wabash out kicked him. So, he finished 2nd overall. I had a lead on Linkous with a little bit to go but he got me down the last stretched, as did a couple other guys. Linkous finished 5th and I was 8th. The times were all around 26 flat, I was 26:08. So, the course ended up being a little slow with all of the water! Too bad because we were flying! Galen, Chuck, Hickey, Shane, and Joe finished 10, 11, 14, 16, and 22 respectively. As we crossed the finish line, the announcer said, "Looks like Shawnee already has their top 7 in and will be taking home the Gold!" Very uplifting.
We won the meet and beat some nice teams. Purdue was the toughest team there, and we beat them by 32 points. We only scored 31 points! The less the better. We had a great day and still aren't satisfied. Two weeks from now we go to Aquinas where we look to get some fast times and run against a few top 10 ranked NAIA schools. It will be the first test against other NAIA schools. We have two weeks to prepare and get better. We are having a magical season so far, and it is going to end up magical.
We are the Bears! And I am Michael Owen! Running Free!

(Bear Receiving our first place plaque!)