Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Quakers travel to Lima, Ohio for OAC Championships

On Saturday, we traveled to Lost Creek Golf Course in Lima, Ohio for the Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.  The goal for both teams was to score our best finish ever in the OAC-which meant a 3rd place for the girls and a top 5 for the guys.  The start of the girls race was delayed by 30 minutes due to frost on the golf course.  The team relaxed on the bus for another 30 minutes and finished watching Fast 5-so no problem!  The team seemed very relaxed and focused during our preparations on Saturday and I was cautiously optimistic about our chances for success.  The women ran a strong race to finish 3rd.  Annie and  Jenna went to the front and ran very aggressive races.  Annie and I had talked alot in the lead up to the race about her taking the race out fast and making people run with her.  I think she runs her best when she imposes her will on other racers.  I also thought the course set up well for Annie and our team.  The course was soft and muddy and had some challenging sections.  Annie ran to a 3rd place finish(not far out of 2nd), which is a career best.  Jenna finished in 10th to take 2nd team All-OAC honors.  Brittany Gibbons just missed All-OAC by 2 spots and ran a huge 6k PR.  Frehman Tricia Steffen finished in 30th and was the 7th Freshman across the line.  Karlee Michel closed out the scoring for WC in 45th.  We had a 36 second gap between our 4th and 5th runner and that is something we will need to improve at the Regional Meet.  The men followed at 12:30 and Senior Pat Carroll made his presence known at the front of the pack immediately. I was sweating a little around 3 when Pat fell back to 12th but was still in the front pack.  Pat worked hard for the next 1.5 and found himself in 3rd with 800 meters left and held that spot until the finish-moving up from an 11th place finish in 2010.  We looked flat on the men's side of things and ended up in 7th place.  I felt like we should have been no worse than 5th.  Marietta ran a great race to get 5th and BW was only 7 points ahead of us in the final standing.  We were hoping to show that we belong in the top half of the Conference and I think we had proved that all season until Saturday.  Now we have to refocus and bounce back for the Regional Meet and show the Conference that we are capable of better than we showed at OAC.  We had two notable races on the men's side-I though Freshman Jacob Boehm ran a strong race to finish as our 6th man in a personal best time of 27:56.  Freshman Joey Schoettelkotte also ran a PR of 29:20.        

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall Classic #19 Goes Down Without A Hitch!

This post is very late and I am sorry for that.  Last Friday we hosted the 19th version of the WC Fall Classic with 36 teams competing on our course at Wilmington College.  The weather was up and down during the days leading up to the race, but mother nature backed off just in time to give us good racing conditions on October 14th.  The course was wet and a little torn up due to the SCOL High School League meet being held on our course Thursday night, but still ran very fast.  The WC girls got things started  with a 3rd place finish out of 36 teams, behind Ohio State and Findlay.  The Quaker women scored 115 points-only 10 points out of second(Findlay).  Once again the Quakers were led by Jenna Parlette and Annie Cekada who finished 4th and 6th and were the 1st two Division 3 runners across the line.  Brittany Gibbons ran a very strong race finishing 25th in 19:32.  Freshman Tricia Steffen and Senior Colleen Romeo closed out the Quaker scoring in 42 and 43.  I thought it was the best run of the year for the women, but I think we all know we still have a better performance in our team and we will show everyone at the OAC Meet!  The men had to go without our number 2 man-Myles Corcoran who was fighting bronchitis.  I challenged our men's team to see who would step and help out in Myles absence, and the men met the challenge finishing in 7th place-the 3rd Division 3 team.  The highlight of the evening was a school record 8k run by Senior Pat Carroll who finished in 25:25.  He broke Derrick Jackson's record and Derrick was at the meet to see the race-he is the Head Coach at Thomas More College!  Pats time from the Classic is his first time in the 25's and I think he can run faster at OAC's or Regionals with good weather.  Brad Kline finished 33rd with a big PR of 26:20.  The Quaker Men had Personal Record runs from 15 out of 19 athletes on the team!  I was initially worried that the Fall Classic would be smaller this year due to Oberlin hosting the pre-regional on the same weekend.  We did lose some teams that had come in the past, but we had eight new teams this year that replaced the old teams.  It wasn't our biggest field, but it was very close.  I do think it was our most competitive field.  When I think about what the Fall Classic has become it makes me very proud.  I honestly think it is one of the best one day events held on our campus.  Next year I think we can push for 40 teams at the Fall Classic!       

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fall Classic Week is Here!

Before I go into detail about the Fall Classic I wanted to let everyone know that I went on a golf outing with four members of my team last Friday.  WC had its Fall Break last weekend and we didn't have a meet, so going golfing sounded like a good idea.  I knew I was in trouble when Alek Erwin showed up without clubs and said he would share with Brad Kline.  The four of us(Pat Carroll being the 4th) terrorized Majestic Springs front 9.  I believe that 9 holes might be the longest it has ever taken me in a foursome to complete 9 holes-that will happen when people in your foursome shoot in the 70's for 9 holes.  I had actually never seen anyone hit a ball sideways but Alek pulled that feat off on hole number 7.    Fall Classic is a great week-I always look forward to this meet.  In its 19 years, it has grown from a handful of teams up to 36 competing teams this year.  The men and the women should be able to finish high with solid runs.  On the women's side watch for Ohio State(B team), Cumberland University(ranked top 25 in NAIA), MaComb Community College(Ranked #2 in National Junior College Rankings), Wittenberg(opened the year at #5 in the Great Lakes Region Poll, Wright State(D1), Findlay(D2 and won the Classic in 2010), Huntington(strong NAIA).  On the men's side watch for Ohio State(B Team), Wright State, Cumberland University, Berea(Strong NAIA), Findlay. The women's race starts at 4:30 and the men's race starts at 5:15.  We will also debut an Elementary Race this year at 6:00pm which will include 32 kids from our Junior Program that includes kindergarten through sixth grade.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quakers Battle The Weather/State of Ohio

On September 30th we took a short trip over to Cedarville University for the annual All-Ohio Championship.  The All-Ohio is always a great test(made even tougher by temps in the low 50's with rain and wind) and a chance to see where your team fits in Division III in the state of Ohio, and in the Ohio Athletic Conference.  The All-Ohio weekend always seems to be a weekend filled with craziness and the 2011 version was no different.  The men got things rolling with an 8th place finish(1 point out of 7th).  I was hoping for a top 10 and the good news is that we finished 8th with one  of our top 5 having an off day due to illness.  Pat Carroll and Myles Corcoran both finished in the top 20 to garner All-Ohio status.  Pat finished in 26:25 and was the 3rd OAC runner across the line and Myles ran 26:43 and was 8th in the OAC.  The Quaker Men were 5th out of the OAC schools.  The women followed with a 6th place finish(our best ever) in the D3 race(4th in the OAC).  Freshman Jenna Parlette finished 7th in the D3 race(2nd in the OAC) and was Awarded All-Ohio status.  The Quakers had 3 runners under 20:00 and got a great run from freshman Tricia Steffen at the number 4 spot with a P.R. of 20:14.      Highlights in the Open Race included 2 Freshman men pushing towards Varsity top 7 with Jacob Boehm running 28:53 and Jacob Simpkins ran 28:56.  Next up is the Fall Classic at Wilmington on October 14th!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

WC Cross Country travels to Pennsylvania

The Quakers traveled to Pennsylvania on Thursday, September 24th.  The trip to Gettysburg was interesting to say the least-highlighted by the Pennsylvania Turnpike being closed when we got to it and a charter bus that had a faulty oil pressure gauge which made some alarm on the bus go off every time we went up a hill.  There are alot of hills in Pennsylvania!  After touring the countryside of Pennsylvania on Thursday evening we finally arrived at the hotel about 1:30am and the team tried to get some rest.  Friday morning the plan was to have practice(run) in the Gettysburg National Military Park at 10am.  We moved practice back to 11am to get some more sleep, the problem with this plan was that it was not raining at 10am, but it was pouring at 11am.  This run is one of my favorites-we start near the sight of Pickett's Charge and run down by the Pennsylvania monument and head up to Little Round Top-then we head to the Wheatfield-the Peach Orchard and loop back around for about 5 miles.  I decided to run with assistant coach Kyle Wolf back to the hotel from the park.  I had never seen that much water in a downtown area in my life-at times we were running through water that was more than a foot deep!  Sirens began to blare as we returned to the hotel, which I initially thought were Tornado Sirens, but they were for flash floods. The rain eventually subsided with no further problems for the team. The team cleaned up and grabbed a quick lunch before heading over to the Visitors Center at the National Military Park where we got to see the film "Birth of Freedom", the Cyclorama(the biggest painting in the U.S. that depicts Pickett's Charge-its the size of  football field), and toured the museum.  I think the team leaned alot about the Battle of Gettysburg and enjoyed the day!  On Saturday, we made the short drive to Dickinson College for the Long Course/Short Course Invitational which was being held on a new course this year at Big Spring High School in Newville, PA.  I was under the impression that the new course would be easier than the old course, but I was wrong!  The course turned out to be very challenging with a nasty combination of hills and lots of mud, due to the amount of rain that the area had received in previous days.  Both teams stepped up to the challenge in all four of the races that we ran in.  In the combined Men's score we finished 7th and the Women finished 5th against some of the best teams in the Mideast Region.  On the day we had two top 10 finishes with Annie Cekada finishing 9th in the 6k race and  Pat Carroll breaking the 4k school record for cross country with a 10th place finish.  We also receice top 20 finishes from Jenna Parlette(6k), Myles Corcoran(6k), and Tricia Steffan(4k).  On Monday, Pat Carroll was recognized by the Ohio Athletic Conference as the Cross Country Athlete of the week for his performance at Dickinson.  Now the team turns its attention to the All-Ohio Championship this Friday at Cedarville University.  I am very excited to see where both teams fit in the state and the OAC!  Stay tuned!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quakers Throw Down at Friendship Invitational!

Last Saturday we had a short trip over to Cedarville University.  I was excited that we could put this meet back on our schedule because they have a great course.  Dickinson moved their meet back a week this year which allowed us to put Cedarville back on the schedule.  Cedarville is a fair test-you know when you leave there if you have run a good time-it is legitimate.  The men showed huge improvement from the Franklin Invitational 2 weeks ago.  Obviously some of the improvement was due to the fact that it was 95 degrees at Franklin 2 weeks ago and Cedarville had near perfect conditions-either way I was real happy with the improvement we made.  The men ran to a fourth place finish.  Our goal going in was a top 3-so we fell a little short. We have a lot of young guys on the team that had never raced five miles until 2 weeks ago-so their second go-around with the distance went much better.  Myles Corcoran and Pat Carroll led us with top ten finishes both running in the mid 26's.  The race of the day came from Sophomore Sam Nieves who had never broken 30 minutes-he ran a huge PR of  28:43-he was an easy selection for Male Athlete of the meet for our team this week.  The women followed at 11am and ran a strong race.  I was definitely excited standing at the mile to see 3 Lady Quakers go through in the lead pack!  The women's field was loaded: Cedarville is an Naia/D2 powerhouse every year, Indian Wesleyan was ranked 10th in the most recent NAIA National Ranking, Otterbein was OAC Runner-up last year, Cumberland College is getting votes in the NAIA poll, Cleveland State is D1, and Wright State is a D1 school.  We had set our goal for a top 3 finish and actually came in 2nd.  Freshman Jenna Parlette was 2nd and ran her first race ever in the 18's and Annie Cekada was right behind in 3rd to lead the Lady Quakers.  There was some nervous anticipation after the race because we weren't sure where we finished, but we knew that we had run well.  Some of the parents thought we may have pulled off the win, but we ultimately ended up 2nd and we were all pleased with that.  The great thing about this group is they were happy with the results but not satisfied.  Our best runs are ahead of us.  We did have 1 dissapointment for the weekend!  After the race we headed to Youngs Jersey Dairy to increase our fatty food and ice cream intake but their was a festival for Wool going on at Youngs so we headed into Xenia to grab lunch.  In 2 weeks we are back at Cedarville and we will give Youngs another try then!  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Quakers off to a good start in 2011!

Well I finally started a blog for the Wilmington College Cross Country and Track and Field Teams.  This has been a project I have wanted to do for awhile and I hope everyone enjoys it.  The 2011 WC Cross Country Team is the biggest in school history-we have 36 athletes on the roster and we brought our biggest recruiting class ever-adding 17 new faces to the program this season.  We have now had 1 meet-The Franklin Sodexo Grizzly Invitational that was held on  September 3rd.  Our team got off to a great start in some tough conditions with the temperature on race day above 90 degrees.  The women won the meet for the 3rd year in a row-setting the meet record with the lowest score ever with only 22points.  Junior Annie Cekada got her 1st Collegiate win in 19:05.  The men took home their first Invite Championship in some time winning the meet with 45 points.  The Quakers were led by the 1-2 punch of Pat Carroll and Myles Corcoran who finished in 3rd and 4th.  I am typing this in my office on the morning of our 2nd meet-the Cedarville Friendship Invitational an I am excited to see what type of improvement we have made after 2 more solid weeks of training-we took last weekend off from racing.  Its a small field at Cedarville with only 10 teams, but it is very competitive with some NAIA, D2, and D1 schools.  I am confident we will race well!