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THE 2017 BOYS CROSS COUNTRY TEAM

Missing a few.

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2017 CROSS COUNTRY FEVER “CATCH IT”

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THE I.H.S.A. STATE SERIES HAS BEGUN

Pictured is the Peoria Notre Dame Regional field reacting to the starter’s pistol

LEAFS CLAIM IHSA
REGIONAL BRONZE TO ADVANCE TO SECTIONAL

On Saturday, October 21st, the Leafs traveled to Peoria’s Yeti C-C Course (formerly Donovan Golf Course) to participate in the opening round of the Illinois High School Association’s State Cross Contnry Series.  The field included teams from:  Bartonville (Limestone), Canton, Dunlap, Galesburg, Geneseo, Peoria H.S., Peoria Notre Dame, Peoria Richwoods, Rock Island (Alleman), and Rock Island.  Awaiting the top 6 teams and the first five finishers not on advancing teams was a trip to the Normal University High School I.H.S.A. Sectional to be hosted at Normal’s Maxwell Park on Saturday, October 28th.

The weatherman treated us to more of the incredibly mild October weather that we have received with a daytime high in upper 70’s and 10-15 mph south winds.  The 2A boys race took of at 11:00 a.m. sharp and the Leafs earned an A+ for race tactics over the challenging 5k course.  Saturday’s omnipotent goal was to advance to the next round via a top 6 team place.  Included in that goal was utilizing a “packing formation” through the first mile.  Senior Blake Duncan was given a “green light” to roll with the “chase pack” following probable All-Stater Spencer Smith from Alleman who smashed the course record by 20 seconds.

The course is deceptively challenging with a plethora of rolling hills.  Blake cruised past the mile running in the top 5 while our “pack” all came through together placed in the top 30.  From that point on the “race was on” and the team did a great job of moving up.  Senior Blake Duncan (17:32) raced to a solid 3rd place finish (earning a highly coveted Top 5 Finisher Medal.)  Next up was Freshman “Phenom” William Plumley (18:30) who roared home in 11th place.  After him the Leafs threw 5 men within 18 seconds with Senior Raymond Venneberg (18:44…15th), Sophomore Colby Rapps (18:49…17th), Junior Andrew Rizzo (18:55…18th), Sophomore Neo Colter (18:56…19th), and Freshman Rafe Morrison (19:02…21st.)  The team was ranked 5th coming into the race and simply ran their best race of the season to grab 3rd place as a team.

FINALLY AVANTI’S

Pictured are “da Leafs” at Coach Freddy’s favorite eatery Avanti’s

Our goal is always to peak during “Championship Meet Season”.  That means to line-up at the Sectional Meet healthy and ready to “roll the dice”.  Our team has been “flying under the radar” all season long and NO ONE will be looking for the Maple Leafs to be in a position to challenge for a STATE FINALS QUALIFYING BERTH.  Rest up and sharpen your spikes because next Saturday, it is “ON”.

RESULTS

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‘da LEAFS”

Pictured are the 10 Leafs who participated in
this year’s Sterling 09/JV Invitational and a few of their support crew

LEAFS RUN STRONG AT STERLING 09/J.V. INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, October 17th, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Hoover Park to participate in the annual Sterling 09/J.V. Invitational.  The meet included teams from:  Geneseo, Moline, Princeton, Rock Falls, and Princeton.  Dixon and LaSalle-Peru usually participate in the meet also but due to the postponement several Conference Meets from Saturday to Monday, several teams held runners out of the meet.  In addition, two teams simply chose not to attend.  We were hoping that the meet would be moved to Thursday but alas, it was not to be.  We love the meet, which includes a freshman-only race in addition to a Junior Varsity (J.V.) Race that is limited to NON-TOP 7 Varsity Runners.  Medals are awarded to the top 5 finishers in the freshman race while the top 10 finishers earned a medal in the Junior Varsity Race.

The coaching staff struggled with what to do when we found out Sunday night that the meet would stay on Tuesday.  Some teams decided to have their athletes run both races.  We chose NOT to do that.  After tossing it around, we decided to only run our Top 7’s at the NIB-12 on Monday in both the Varsity and F/S Levels.  All other athletes would run in the Sterling 09/J.V. Invitational.  Unfortunately, the change in the date of the NIB-12 Meet and no adjustment to the Sterling 09/J.V. Invitational resulted in seven Maple Leafs losing a race opportunity.  We chose to go with one quality race over trying to race two days in a row.  Our goal is always to have our men run their best race the last time they “Lace’em Up”.  Running a 2nd race the day after an all-out effort would have made that task extremely unlikely.

At 4:30 p.m. our only remaining freshman, Tanner Burgett, toed the starting line 16 other runners.  Last year’s race had 25 freshman boys finish the race.  This year that number was down to 17.  Moline was lucky to have contested the Western Big 6 Conference Meet on Thursday, October 12th so their entire team was well-rested.  It showed as they grabbed 8 of the top 10 places and 12 of the top 15.  Tanner ran a strong race placing 9th overall in 20:31.  Tanner showed tremendous improvement throughout the season and it was great to see him finish strong.  Another thing I love about this meet is the fact that the meet administration understands that this was a school night and combines the genders to shorten the meet’s duration.  Thus, all freshmen ran together.

AWARD WINNERS

Pictured are Sophomores Spencer Lindstrom and Will McKelvain who placed 6th and 8th
to earn the highly-coveted Top 10 Finisher Medals.

The same was true at 5:00 p.m. when the Junior Varsity Field took off.  Moline, once again, dominated the race taking the first five places and seven of the top ten.  Leading the Leafs were Sophomores Spencer Lindstrom (18:41) and Will McKelvain (19:34) who placed 6th and 8th respectfully to earn “hardware”.  Spencer, who is bouncing back from a severely sprained ankle, actually led the race early and held the lead for quite a while.  Next up were:  Junior Luke Sebastian (19:55), Sophomore Will Sammons (19:59), and Junior Brad Smith (21:35) who each cracked the top 20 with their 13th, 16th, and 20th place finishes.  Also closing out their season in fine style were Sophomore Nathan Yoder (21:34…21st Place), Sophomore Ethan Saucedo (22:46…22nd place), Sophomore Kyle State (22:51…23rd place_, and Sophomore Jacob Jorgensen (22:53…24th place.)  Each man put forth their best efforts and the entire coaching staff is proud of them.  Last year’s meet had 48 male finishers while the 2017 version only had 26.  Considering the entire situation, we were lucky and thankful that Sterling decided to have the meet and NOT cancel it.  We hope all of our returners will come back to us next fall (we hope most of you will run track also.)  Stay active and try to jump into a few road races before winter rolls in.

RESULTS

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THACKERY SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Thackery Newton

THACKERY NEWTON
IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Senior Thackery Newton, was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, October 2nd through Sunday, October 8th. Due to the postponement of the NIB-12 to Monday, October 16th, the time frame was adjusted to include the NIB-12.  Thackery was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. The committee meeting actually occurred during our cool-down after the NIB-12 races.  Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated two team members and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Ricardo demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

This is Thackery’s 4th year as a Maple Leaf “Harrier” and he put in a solid summer of base-work as he earned a highly-coveted 300 Mile Shirt.  Thackery hasn’t been able to fit track and field into his schedule to date so he has always had to play “catch up”.  He did a tremendous job of that this season as he ran a lifetime best of 18:05 (not a full 3 miles) at the Metamora “Running Red” Cross Country Invitational on Saturday, October 7th (7th man on the team running without Raymond Venneberg (S.A.T. Exam) and Andrew Rizzo (Illness.)  With those two men in the line-up he would have been 9th man and that is exactly were he finished in the NIB-12.  We kept all of our freshman and sophomores “down” and he was actually our 5th man on Varsity to be an official scorer, as he pushed fellow senior Tri-Captain Christian Booth every step of the way as they pushed each other to strong races on the wet Kaneland course.  Thackery ran a tremendous race and finished with an excellent time of 18:35.  Factoring in the fact that Kaneland received over 10 inches of rain on Saturday, running that fast is extremely impressive.

It has been a lot of fun watching Thackery change from a “little guy” into the MAN he now is.  In fact, my first acquaintance with Thackery was during the Cornbelt Running Club’s European Cross Country Race in November of 2013 when he was just an 8th grader.  We ran much of the race together and Thackery impressed me from that moment on.  He is a strong Christian with a tremendous sense of Passion and Purpose.  It has also been a lot fun to watch him go “deer hunting” and bag himself a “cougar”.  Seriously, it has been a true pleasure to watch Thackery and Kiah’s relationship develop over the years.  Kiah’s help, via her managerial role has been immeasurable.  She is also the only manager to every make the “Sterling to Rock Falls Dam Crossing”.  She completed her second trip earlier in the season along with her “hubby”.  Great Stuff!  It is my sincere hope that Thackery’s athletic career will continue a bit longer with him joining us on “da oval” in 2018.  This request is HIGH on my “bucket list”.

Thackery is the proud son of Kendra and Jeff Newton.  He is also the “baby bro” to Oliver (23) and Thornton (his twinkie.)  Thornton beat Thackery into this world by approximately 80 minutes.  All the best in the future.  You are a VERY special young man and it has been a true honor to serve as one of your coaches.  Please stay in touch.  God Bless!!!

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LEAFS RUN TO 6TH IN NIB-12 CONFERENCE MEET

Pictured are the the Varsity and F/S team members that raced in the NIB-12 Meet hosted by
Kaneland High School.  You can’t really tell by the picture but we are on TOP of “Mount Kaneland”

VARSITY BOYS RACE TO 6TH PLACE

On Monday, October 16th, the Leaf traveled to Maple Park “Kaneland” High School to participate in the NIB-12 Conference Cross Country Meet.  The meet was originally schedule for Saturday, October 14th but poor weather conditions (over 10 INCHES of rain) pushed the meet back to Monday.  The course was still wet but moderate 10-15 mph winds helped to dry a lot of the water up.  The daytime high of 61˚ resulted in ideal weather conditions to race in.  The field included teams from:  DeKalb, Geneseo, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Morris, Rochelle, Sterling, Sycamore, and Yorkville.  (VERY good teams.)

Moving the meet to Monday was unavoidable but had major ramifications.  The non-Top 7 team traditionally ends their competitive season at the Sterling 09/JV Invitational which was the next day.  After considerable contemplation, Coach Moe and I decided to hold out our Non-Varsity (Top 7) and Non-F/S (Top 7) from the NIB-12.  Thus, we only competed in the Varsity and F/S Races.  The Varsity Boys race started at 5:00 p.m.   Senior Tri-Captain Blake Duncan (16:56) led the charge with a 24th place finish.  Blake was hoping to earn All-Conference Honors (Top 18) but came up just short and was certainly not feeling 100%.  In fact, he was spotted “blowing chow” during the race.  Way to “Man Up” and finish strong anyway.  Next up were rookie Senior Raymond Venneberg (18:06) and Junior Andrew Rizzo (18:12) who ran together for most of the race and placed 35th and 36th overall.  Closing our scoring were Senior Tri-Captain Christian Booth (18:34) and Senior Thackery Newton (18:35) who sprinted home in 42nd and 43rd places.  Junior Nathan Carroll (18:50) and Senior Tri-Captain Adam Wells (19:26) closed things out for the Maple Leafs with strong races placing 45th and 49th overall.  There were a plethora of future All-Staters in the field and we are very proud of your efforts.

Next up were the F/S Boys, who were running a combined race with the F/S Girls, to beat the rapidly setting sun.  The coaching staff decided to “take a chance” and run all of our “young guns” in this race.  We hoped to place 7th in the Varsity Race anyway (The Varsity guys exceeded that by grabbing 6th pace.)  Unfortunately, we were racing without Sophomore speedster Spencer Lindstrom who rolled his ankle in PE class last week and we decided that there were far more negatives compared with potential positives since it is extremely hard to drop out of a Championship Race, even if you should.  The guys ran with a lot of pride and really “stepped into the arena”.  Leading the way was Freshman William Plumley (17:27) who continued his impressive XC rookie season by racing to a top 7 finish as he grabbed 6th place overall as he earned All-Conference Honors.  Also grabbing All-Conference Honors were Super-Soph’s Colby Rapps (15th…17:50) and Neo Colter (17th…17:55.)  Each man has been solid all season long and along with William, they would have been our 2-3-4 on the VARSITY TEAM.  Bring on the Regional!!!   Next up for us was Freshman Rafe Morrison (21st…18:21) who ran a strong race and threw down a MONSTER KICK!    Closing the scoring for us was rookie Sophomore Luke Henkhaus (Haus) who hung with Rafe through two miles knowing he was going to be our critical 5th scorer.  He tied up a bit in the last mile but hung on for an outstanding 19:07 (33rd place.)  Closing the race out were Freshman Ricardo “Ricky” Chavez-Sanchez (19:43) and Sophomore Ky Ariano (20:24) who sprinted home in 40th and 49th places respectfully.  When the “dust had settled”, the Leafs had placed an impressive 4th in the elite field.  Our future looks EXTREMELY BRIGHT!!!  Keep working hard and don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

RESULTS

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RAFE SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Rafe Morrison

RAFE MORRISON
IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Freshman Rafe Morrison, was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, October 2nd through Sunday, October 8th. Rafe was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated two team members and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Ricardo demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

Rafe’s week started in earnest on Monday with our long day.  For Rafe that was 8-miles.  He looked GREAT!  Now fast forward to Wednesday and a trip to Richmond Hill Park for another session of Hill Segments.  Each segment includes one minute of “up tempo” followed by one minute of “relaxed running” followed by the same intensities but lasting two minutes each.  During the 2-minute “up tempo”, each athlete is asked to climb a hill of significance.  Thus, each complete segment lasts 6 minutes.  We also throw in a 10-minute warm-up and 10-minute cool-down.  Rafe has worked up to running 8 segments and he ran them HARD.  He looked great, once again.  He then concluded his week at the Metamora “Runnin Red” Cross Country Invitational.  We “loaded” our F/S team keeping all of our “young guns” at that level.  The end result was an incredible 2nd place team trophy in a very impressive field.  Each man ran great but it was Rafe who moved up over ten places in the final 800 meters.  This moved our team from 4th or 5th into 2nd place via Rafe’s 38th place team finish that saw him break the 18 minute barrier for the first time with an impressive 17:53.  The future certainly looks bright and Rafe is a big part of that.

Keep up the good work, Rafe.  The way an athlete practices is a strong indicator of what type of competitor they are.  You are a emerging BEAST.  All the best at the NIB-12 and beyond.  Keep “DREAMING BIG”.  Your middle distance speed is impressive.  I had a good view of your back last night as we ran another round of the Oregon Drill at Richmond Hill Park.  Learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable in hard workouts and races is a critical skill.  You appear to be well on your way to accepting that fact.  You also turned more that a few heads with your summer dedication as you bagged a 400-Mile Club T-Shirt as well as having attended numerous of our optional Sunday late afternoon recovery runs.  It is also quite impressive to watch your “hunting” skills develop.  You’ve already captured quite a prize in “your cougar”, Amelia.  She is certainly a “Keeper”!  That is a very rare talent.  “Uncle Thackery” is proud of you, by the way, and so are we.  The two of you make a cute couple.

Rafe is no stranger to state-level competition.  He cracked the middle school’s top 7 both his 7th and 8th grade years.  In fact, he led the team his 8th grade year and earned “All-State” Honors via his 24th place individually.  He also experienced tremendous success of “da oval” as he qualified for the IESA State Finals in the 100 Meter Hurdles, 800 Meter Run, as well as the 400 Meter and 1600 Meter Relays.  He earned “All-State” Honors in the 1600 Meter Relay as well as in the 800 Meter Dash were he placed 7th.  Rafe was actually in 3rd place with 20 meters to go and “went down” and somehow did a front summersault, and sprinted in 7th to earn “All-State” Hardware.  He followed that up his 8th grade year by qualifying in all four of the same events.   Both the 400 Meter and 1600 Meter Relay grabbed “All-State” Honors.  He also just missed in the 800 Meter Run where he completed his season UNDEFEATED.  He just missed making the “fast heat” and won the middle heat, placing 10th overall.  Needless to say, the Maple Leaf faithful are awfully glad to have this youngster up at the high school level and will be watching closely to see Rafe’s continued development.

Rafe is the proud son of Sherry and Adam DeCap.  He is also the proud older brother of Austin Ettore (current 8th grader), Brielle Ettore (current 6th grader), Cara Ettore (current 4th grader), Aiden DeCap (current 3rd grader), and Charlie DeCap (current pre-schooler.)  That is quite a crew and they are lucky to have such a great role model for a “Big Bro”.  All the best in the coming weeks and years.  God-Given Talent should not be taken lightly and you have a “boatload” of it.  Keep chasing your potential through dedication and your intense sense of “Passion and Purpose”.  Now get ready to FLY!!!

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START OF THE VARSITY BOYS RACE

Pictured are several of our Varsity Boys reacting to the “crack” of the starter’s pistol

LEAFS COMPETE IN THE 41ST ANNUAL METAMORA
“RUNNIN RED” CROSS COUNTRY INV.

On Saturday, October 7th, the Leafs traveled to Metamora’s Black Partridge Park to  participate in the 41st running of the Metamora “Runnin Red” Cross Country Invitational.  The field included teams from:  Benton, Bloomington, Canton, Champaign Central, Decatur St. Teresa, Deer Creek/Mackinaw, Dunlap, East Peoria, Geneseo, Glenbard South, Illini Central, Lincoln, Macomb, Mahomet-Seymour, Metamora, Moline, Normal Community, Normal University High, Peoria Notre Dame, Olympia, Pekin, Peoria Christian, Peoria Richwoods, Rochester, Rock Island, Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin, Springfield, and Washington.  Ten of the schools are currently state-ranked.  There were a plethora of future “All-Stater Award Winners” in the field.  That is why we made the trip.  You get better by running against tough competition and our season schedule is loaded with mostly those type of meets.

The weatherman was kind to us as the predicted 2-3 inches of rainfall the night before ended up being less than 1/2″.  The ground is so drought-stricken that it just sucked the moisture up and there was zero evidence of rain.  The daytime high of 75˚ resulted in near optimal race time temperatures.  The only negative was a STRONG wind that blew at 20 mph with gusts between 25 to 30 mph.  It wasn’t a “P.R.” day but it was a great day to race.

F/S SQUAD CAPTURES “RUNNIN RED” SILVER

Pictured are several members of our F/S Boys team that placed 2nd in the elite field.

The F/S boys got things rolling at 10:00 a.m.  We kept all of our “young guns down” hoping to battle for some hardware.  We knew it wouldn’t be easy but this is a special group and we wanted to give them the opportunity to “Dream Big”.  Mission accomplished.  Freshman William Plumley (16:55), Sophomores Neo Colter (17:06) and Colby Rapps (17:24) each earned coveted Top 30 Finisher Medals as they sprinted home in 15th, 20th, and 24th places, respectfully.  Right behind them were Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom (17:43) and Freshman Rafe Morrison (17:53) who crossed the finish line in 34th and 38th place.  FIVE MEN in the TOP 40!  WOW!!!  Way to roll. Men!  Not far behind were:  Freshman Ricardo Chavez-Sanchez (18:28), Sophomore Ky Ariano (19:40), Sophomore Will Sammons (19:45), Freshman Tanner Burgett (19:59), Sophomore Nathan Yoder (20:26), Sophomore Kyle State (21:29), and Sophomore Jacob Jorgensen (22:18.)  Five of our F/S weren’t able to race due to various reasons.  The future looks extremely exciting.  All the best at the NIB-XII and beyond.

The Varsity Boys toed “da line” at 11:20 a.m.  Senior Tri-Captain Blake Duncan ran the best race of this season claiming 17th place overall to earn a coveted Top 40 Varsity Finisher Medal (16:03), followed closely by:  senior Thackery Newton (18:05), Senior Tri-Captain Christain Booth (18:34), Senior Tri-Captain Adam Wells (19:00), Junior Nathan Carroll (19:06), and Junior Luke Sebastian (19:32.)  The team was racing without six men, missing for various reasons.  When the dust had settled, the Leafs had placed 20th in the 27 team field.  Number Two man, senior Raymond Venneberg, was taking the S.A.T. exam while number three man, Andrew Rizzo, was home ill with a fever and a bad tummy.  If we throw those two men into the battle things would have been A LOT different.  Get ready to do battle next Saturday at the NIB-XII.  Battle for the top 7 regional spots.  They are up for grab.  It is time to really get ready to roll.  Trust your training and each other and “take the next step”.  All the best, Men.  It is an honor to be one of your coaches.

RESULTS

CAPTAIN BOOTH SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Christian Booth

CHRISTIAN BOOTH IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Senior Tri-Captain, Christian Booth, was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, September 25th through Sunday, October 1st. Christian was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated two team members and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Ricardo demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

Christian has been battling a pretty bad case of Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS) … for several weeks now. We have tried resting it, icing, deep massage, etc. Luckily, it is getting better and hopefully, Christian will be back to full strength when we roll into “Championship Meet Season”, which is just around the corner. Christian has been in the running for the award for several weeks now and his name was finally selected. This week’s selection was especially hard since we had no meets. We factored in Monday’s long run, Wednesday’s Oregon Fartlek Session, and Friday’s Speed Workout.

Christian was limited due to his injury but did what he could (which was a lot more than we had thought was realistic) and never complained a bit. He did what you hope all leaders would do put in those circumstances. “K.I.P. IT.” Translated: Keep it Positive. That is exactly what “Captain Booth” did. In fact, that is what he has done ever since he was elected as a Tri-Captain during last year’s XC banquet. That special moment will forever glow in my brain. The pure joy demonstrated by all three elected captains was unforgettable.

Christian, along with all of our other junior and seniors will run the “Varsity” race this Saturday at the Metamora Invitational. Then the following week, at the NIB-12 XC finals our top 7 junior and seniors will run the Varsity race while we hold all of the younger freshmen and sophomores “down”. Then, the following week, we will run our true “Top 7” as the IHSA post-season begins. Our coaching staff is very excited to watch the battle to determine those positions. Captain Booth figures to be right in the middle of that battle. All the best of luck, Christian. You are a very special young man and it has been a true honor to have you on our team. Christian is a returning Letterman who plays Baseball in the spring. He also played on the Basketball team earlier in his high school career. He is a “true” multi-sport athlete. That is a rarity in today’s world of specialization. I am certain that he is all the better because of it. Get ready to give your maximal effort in the upcoming opportunities. While you are doing that, don’t forget to “enjoy the journey”.

Christian is the proud son of Nicole and Bryan Booth. Christian’s parents are responsible for the wonderful XC signs in front of Geneseo Veterinary Service (across the street from McDonald’s.) In addition, they have supplied LOTS of goodies for post-meet refueling. His dad’s cookies are among the best I have ever eaten in my entire life! Thanks for all the support you have given our team. It is GREATLY appreciated.

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INDOOR ULTIMATE ON OUR OFF SATURDAY

Pictured are some of the guys who rolled in for some optional Ultimate Frisbee.
It was pretty windy outside so they played indoors.

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THE NEW TRACK IS COMING!!!

Our brand new track should be done within the next 10 days (weather permitting)

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“SPENCE” SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Spencer Lindstrom

SPENCER LINDSTROM
IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, September 18th through Sunday, September 24th. Spencer was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated two team members and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Ricardo demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

Spencer’s competition for the week was held on Saturday, September 23rd in Sterling. The annual Sterling Rock River Run Invitational was held at Hoover Park and included a very impressive field of teams that contained NUMEROUS State Ranked Powers. The coaching staff decided to continue to run all of our Freshmen and Sophomores “down” in the F/S Race even though several of them are in our Varsity Top 7. We realize that this weakens our Varsity team but allows more of our Juniors and Seniors an opportunity to crack into that group. It also allows us to give our emerging F/S Powerhouse more “seasoning”. Spencer is a part of that group and what occurred in the F/S race was EXTREMELY EXCITING! It was a “snap shot” of the incredible potential our “young guns” possess.

On to the race. Spencer “packed it up” running with several of his teammates in the front pack of the race and then STAYED THERE. The Leafs ended up putting 5 men into the top 20 and placed a STRONG 2nd to State Powerhouse Maple Park Kaneland. Spencer ran the two-mile course (shortened from 3 miles due to the excessive heat) in 11:36 and placed 15th OVERALL, running as our 4th man in a Top 5 that had a minuscule 17 second spread from 1-5. It was very exciting to watch the men work together and pull each other along. There is truly a plethora of truth to the “Power of the Pack”. That was on display during the race and is hopefully here to stay.

Spencer’s meteoric rise in this sport is nothing short of phenomenal. Spencer did not run track in middle school and only ran one season of cross country with limited success. He played golf last fall and then joined our track team during the indoor season. He also participated in the Track & Field Summit were he pushed himself so hard one day that he almost passed out and was extremely dizzy. After a careful medical examination, he was allowed to slowly return to full activity. Working with our middle distance and distance crew, he continued to improve each and every week. By the end of the season, he had blasted through the 5-minute mile barrier running an impressive 4:58 at the NIB-12’s. He had a very busy summer of traveling, camps, etc…. that limited his training a bit. Despite that fact, here he is, solidly planted in our top group and ready for a lot more. Keep that impressive combination of Passion and Purpose Alive. The sky is the limit and it is going to be a lot of fun watching you and your young teammates progress over the next several years. DREAM BIG!

Spencer is the proud son of Jody and Thad Lindstrom. He is also the proud “Baby Brother” of Devan. Spencer is well on his way to earning his Eagle Scout Award in addition to living a well-rounded lifestyle. Please be careful in the near future with any attempts at “Mt. Everest”. Please play it on the safe side. We wish you all the best in the coming weeks. I thank God and your Mamma for bringing you to our team. Now let’s get out there and see just how far you can take this thing! It’s Time to FLY!

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LEAFS FROSH GRAB STERLING ROCK RIVER RUN INV. SILVER

Pictured are several members of the Geneseo F.S. Cross Country Team early in the race.
The leaders are just ahead of (right to left): Neo Colter, Colby Rapps, Spencer Lindstrom,
Hayes Murphy, Ky Ariano, William Plumley, Luke Henkhaus, and Nathan Yoder.
Several teammate were hidden behind other runners including Rafe Morrison.

LEAFS BATTLE HEAT AND FIELD AT
THE 2017 STERLING ROCK RIVER RUN INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, September 23, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Hoover Park to participate in the 19-team Sterling Rock River Run Invitational. The boys field included teams from: Belvidere, Belvidere North, Dixon, Eastland, Freeport, Geneseo, Geneva, Hampshire, Hinsdale South, Kaneland, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Plainfield Central, Princeton, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Sandwich, Sterling, Sycamore, and West Carroll. Several teams were state powers with representation from all three Illinois Classes (1A, 2A, & 3A.) The weatherman was certainly not kind to the runners with a daytime high of 96Àö that included a heat index over 100Àö. The temperature set an All-Time record high for the day and continued an extremely warm weather pattern that has lasted for over a week.

The Varsity Boys toed the line first and exploded off the starting line at 9:30 a.m. sharp. Leading the charge was Senior Tri-Captain, Blake Duncan, who has been hampered all season long with a nagging case of hip bursitis. He raced pain-free and all-out for the first time this season. The result was “staggering” as he placed 16th overall (16:36) in the star-studded field, earning a coveted Top 30 finisher medal. Packing in behind Blake were Rookie Senior Raymond Venneberg (18:15) and Junior Andrew Rizzo (18:18.) Both men packed together for most of the race. Andrew was racing on a recently sprained ankle (fluke accident….I was a witness to it as he caught a weird piece of cement as we were leaving the construction grounds.) Next up was Junior Nathan Carroll who ran a strong race himself, finishing in 18:52. Out of over 200 runners that started the race, SEVERAL DID NOT FINISH! Closing out our Top 5 scoring was Senior Thackery Newton (19:36) who ran his best race of the season to finish in 127th. To be honest, I thought every single man ran a phenomenal race. Next up were: Senior Tri-Captain Adam Wells (19:44), Junior Luke Sebastian (20:07), Senior Tri-Captain Christian Booth (racing with a BAD case of “I.T. Band” (20:34), Senior Austin Heller (22:58), and Junior Brad Smith (23:55.) When the “dust had cleared”, the Leafs had placed 13th in the high quality 19-team field. All of the freshmen and sophomores were “run down” in the Frosh/Soph race. Keep working hard and get ready to run FAST for the rest of the season! The cool weather is coming.

The F/S boys squad was up next and the starter’s gun fired at 10:30 a.m. It was HOT and the meet administration had already decided the day before to shorten this race to two miles. It was the correct decision. With all of our “young guns” running down, Coach Moe and I both thought that we would have a chance of placing in the top 5 and winning a team trophy. Keep in mind that this meet has a very strong field. As you can see in the picture at the top of this meet summary, the Leafs were literally in it from the gun. The did a tremendous job of “packing it up” together, as evidenced by their minuscule 17 second spread from our top man to our 5th. Leading the charge were: Freshman William Plumleey (6th), Sophomore Neo Colter (12th), Sophomore Colby Rapps (13th), Sophomore Spencer Lindstrom (15th), and Freshman Rafe Morrison (19th.) Each man broke twelve minutes in the extremely warm conditions. Next up was rookie Sophomore Luke Henkhaus (34th) who ran a tremendous race himself, and barely missed a top 30 finisher medal. Coach Moe and I were proud of every single effort. The boys all ran GREAT. Next up were: Freshman Ricardo Chavez-Sanchez (59th), Sophomore Ky Ariano (74th), rookie Sophomore Will McKelvain (76th), Sophomore Nathan Yoder (90th), Freshman Tanner Burgett (00th), Sophomore Hayes Murphy (113th) and racing with a broken nose, Sophomore Ethan Saucedo (115th), Sophomore Kyle State (116th), Sophomore Jacob Jorgensen (118th), and Sophomore Evan Veloz (121st. When the dust had settled, the Leafs had placed a strong 2nd beating some very impressive teams. Keep working hard, Men. You are a very special group and proved just how strong the “POWER OF THE PACK” can be. It is going to be a lot of fun watching just how far your improvement curve can climb in the coming weeks. STAY HUNGRY AND KEEP DOING THE WORK!

RESULTS

 

SUMMER MILEAGE SHIRTS ARRIVE

Pictured are the “Baker’s Dozen” who earned a summer mileage shirt.
Row 1: Adam Wells, Christian Booth; Row 2: Colby Rapps, Blake Duncan, Neo Colter,
Rafe Morrison, Ky Ariano, Nathan Carroll: Row 3: Thackery Newton, Raymond Venneberg,
Nathan Yoder, William Plumley, Jacob Jorgensen

“THE WILL TO WIN MEANS LITTLE
WITHOUT THE WILL TO PREPARE”

There are many great quotes that we use to find inspiration and this is one of my favorite. “The will to win means little without the will to prepare”. The great Tanzanian distance runner, Juma Ikangaa, said this back in the early 80’s. He was one of the best in the world and his words of wisdom are so very true. It is easy to “talk the talk” but much harder to “walk the walk”. Our team was challenged by the coaching staff to put in at least 300 summer miles (June 1st – August 31st.) By doing so the athlete would earn a mileage shirt. The men in the picture above this story did just that. Well Done, Men! The shirts were handed out on Friday, September 22nd (they finally came in.) Their achievements are listed below:

600 MILE CLUB
Neo Colter-10

500 MILE CLUB
Blake Duncan-12

400 MILE CLUB
Rafe Morrison-09

300 MILE CLUB
Ky Ariano-10
Christian Booth-12
Nathan Carroll-11
Jacob Jorgensen-10
William Plumley-09
Thackery Newton-12
Colby Rapps-10
Raymond Venneberg-12
Adam Wells-12
Nathan Yoder-10

IN THE WORDS OF FORMER MAPLE LEAF HEAD COACH JEFF QUICK
“TALK WITH YOUR FEET……NOT YOUR MOUTHS”

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TEAM DINNER #1

Pictured are Jody Lindstrom, Tracy Colter, and Xanthia Colter
They were the “hosts” of a team dinner for the Boys XC Team

TEAM BONDING AND NUTRITION

On Friday, September 22nd, the Boys XC team met in the Commons for Team Dinner #1. The event was hosted by Mrs. Jody Lindstrom, Mrs. Tracy Colter, and Xanthia Colter (Neo’s Baby Sister.) The main dish was Pizza with delicious desserts, etc. It was great to meet as a group and have a chance to “hang”. Keep up the great work, Men! That includes a lot more than just running. Shoot for at least 8 hours of sleep each night in addition to proper hydration and caloric intake. High performance machines need high performance fuel. You literally are what you eat and drink so choose wisely. All the best in the coming weeks.

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“RICKY” SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Ricardo Chavez-Sanchez

RICARDO CHAVEZ-SANCHEZ
IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Ricardo Chavez-Sanchez was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, September 11th through Sunday, September 17th. Ricardo was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated two team members and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Ricardo demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

Ricardo’s competitive week consisted of his participation in the Geneseo’s own cross country invitational. The meet format restricts each athlete to compete in the race for their grade level. Thus, Ricardo raced every team’s freshmen. As mentioned in the meet article, we combined the freshman and sophomore races together (juniors & seniors also) to speed up the meet and try and beat some of the unusually warm conditions that were predicted. As a result, the athletes truly had little idea of what actual place they were in during the race in their class race. They had to wait until the results had been computed and were then announced.

Ricardo ran an inspiring race that saw him place 7th in the freshman division running an impressive time of 20:21 over the challenging Richmond Hill Park course in very warm conditions. He improved his team ranking from 14th at the First to the Finish Invitational in Peoria to 9th. That is AWESOME! His effort helped his fellow 9th graders place 2nd as a team even though they had to score a “ghost runner” since they didn’t have a full scoring 5. The fact that they almost won the division with only 4 runners is amazing and speaks volumes about the talent in our freshman class. Let’s try our best to increase of numbers by this spring and be ready to challenge the Bettendorf Bulldogs for the win next September.

Ricardo put in a solid summer that saw him run in excess of 200 miles. He has followed that up with a strong sense of “Passion and Purpose” on a daily basis. The coaching staff never has to worry about Ricardo doing the full workout and putting forth a solid effort. That, unfortunately, is not always the case with other teammates. It is difficult for any freshman to be a leader in any way other than by example and that is exactly what he does every single day. It is going to be a lot of fun to see just how far Ricardo can push his improvement curve during his four years in high school. Stay true to your tremendous work ethic and don’t be afraid to “jump up” training groups. You are already reaping the benefits of running with fellow freshmen, William and Rafe. Who knows just how far you can progress. Keep doing the work and “DREAM BIG”.

“Ricky” has two years of previous experience in both cross country and track and field. He is also no stranger to success having cracked the “Top 7” last fall as an 8th grader helping the team capture both the Heartland Conference Championship (the boys took the top 4 places with Ricardo taking 4th) and the I.E.S.A Sectional Championship. He then followed up those “Top 5” performances by placing 104th (3rd man) to help lead the team to a 9th place finish in the I.E.S.A. STATE XC FINALS. He also ran everything from the 100 Meter Dash to the 1600 Meter Run during the track season last spring. Ricardo is the proud son of Jesus and Maria Chavez-Sanchez. All the best in the remaining season and beyond. It’s time to go and chase your potential. “I don’t always run, but when I do I run FAST……RUN FAST MY FRIEND”!

“SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER”

Pictured are several members of the Boys XC team taking a moment
to snap a quick picture in the hall. The rest of the group is in “da gym” “getting down”

HOMECOMING 2017

Geneseo High School’s Homecoming weekend was held over the weekend starting with Friday, September 16th and the Homecoming Parade. Usually, we choose the picture from the parade but opted to go with this shot for a “change of pace”. Kudos to all the team members who attended the dance. Hopefully, a good time was had by all.

XC HOMECOMING COURT

Pictured are the Lady Leafs Cross Country Co-Captains Veronica Eilers and Rebekah Beard.
They were selected by the student body as the Homecoming Lady (Rebekah) and Duchess (Veronica). We are all very proud of both of them.
They are tremendous young ladies who are also strong Christian Role Models.

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LEAFS SOPHOMORES LEAD
TEAM WITH GOLD MEDAL PERFORMANCE

Pictured are 5 of our 14 sophomores who won the team title in the Geneseo XC Inv. Sophomore Division. Pictured are Spencer Lindstrom, Ky Ariano, Neo Colter, Colby Rapps, & Will Sammons

LEAFS MINE GENESEO XC SILVER

On Saturday, September 16th, the Leafs played host for their annual Geneseo Cross Country Invitational. The meet was hosted at Geneseo’s Richmond Hill Park. The 8- team field included teams from: Bettendorf, Davenport West, Geneseo, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Sterling, Streator, and United Township.

The meet’s origin come from Crystal Lake’s Hall of Famer, Dick Kloepfer, who came up with the idea of running races by grade level. When he started his meet, there was no girls’ cross country teams. He eventually added two girls races (9th / 10th) and (11th / 12th graders.) The meet was called, “the Grant-Crystal Lake Invitational” (co-hosted with Grant High School in Fox Lake.) Medals were awarded to the top 10 finishers in each race with a team plaque awarded to each team champion at each level. “Ghost Runners” are used if a team doesn’t field a “full scoring 5”. He then added up all the boys points to get an overall champion (another plaque.) Ditto for the girls. He then added up all the boys and girls points to get an overall champion. His meet no longer exists and we added a few tweaks to come up with our format. 20 medals in each race along with 4 races for the girls instead of 2. We also start the girls 3 minutes after the boys reducing the races from 8 to 4.

We have enjoyed an unusually cool summer and start to the school year. Unusually warm weather arrived late in the week and a forecast high of 90Àö for Saturday prompted us to combine the freshmen and sophomores races in addition to doing the same thing for the juniors and seniors. Our reasoning was for the protection of the runners. We knew that would complicate computing the results but nothing is more important than the safety of the athletes. Unfortunately, combining the races resulted athletes, not in the top group, being unsure what place they were in their class race. Oh well, no system is perfect.

On to the races. I’ll talk about the races in order of grade level. Our Freshmen were racing with only 4 men (that’s all we have.) The fact that they placed 2nd anyway (only 13 points out of first place) was extremely impressive. The team was represented by: William Plumley (2nd), Rafe Morrison (5th), Ricky Chavez (7th), and Tanner Burgett (21st place.) Each man ran inspiring races led by the “Usainian” (Usain Bolt) kicks of William Plumley and Tanner Burgett. Even though the race started at 9:00 a.m. the temperature was already north of 80Àö.

Our sophomores were also racing at the same time and really “stuck their noses” into the fight early. Leading the way were: Neo Colter (4th), Colby Rapps (6th), Spencer Lindstrom (10th), Luke Henkhaus (15th), Ky Ariano 16th), and Will Sammons in 20th place. In case you aren’t counting, that’s 6 Maple Leafs in the TOP 20!!! No far behind were: Will McKelvain (22nd), Nathan Yoder (26th), Jacob Jorgensen (27th), Kyle State (34th), and Cade Hornback (35th.) When the team points were added up, the Leafs had upset a powerful Bettendorf squad by 13 points by scoring 51 points to Bettendorf’s 64. GREAT JOB, MEN!

On to the final race that included both the juniors and seniors. Our juniors placed 3rd taking two “ghost runner” hits. Andrew Rizzo led the way in 7th place, running his best race of the season. Next up was Nathan Carroll (14th) with Luke Sebastian sprinting across the finish line in 24th place. Our lack of junior class depth hurt us in this race. We will have to work hard to recruit additional classmates before next September rolls around.

Last up was our senior class who placed 3rd in the team standings despite running only four of our eight men. Leading the way was Raymond Venneberg who grabbed 8th place in the strong field. Next up were: Thackery Newton (16th), Captain Adam Wells (18th), and Captain Christian Booth (19th.) Four entries and four Top 20 Medals. Well done, Men! We wish you nothing but the best in the remaining weeks of the season.

In summary, placing 2nd overall behind Iowa powerhouse Bettendorf is impressive. Our classes placed Freshmen (2nd); Sophomores (1st); Juniors (5th); Seniors (3rd.) An added challenge was the fact that this was homecoming week. Also, hosting meets is always a disadvantage in regard to coaching. Lastly, of our current 31 men, we only had 22 race. Some were held out due to injuries. Some simply failed to show up (either to work the meet or to race.) That is unacceptable and extremely disappointing. Let’s get EVERYONE on board and moving the CORRECT direction. We cannot afford to have any weak links. Don’t be a part of the problem. Be a part of the solution. There is a lot of truth the the saying that there is NO “I” in the word TEAM!

RESULTS

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WILLIAM SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, William Plumley

WILLIAM PLUMLEY IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

William’s story as a distance runner is quite amazing and unique. He bumped into fellow Freshman, Rafe Morrison, last winter while Rafe was waiting for Coach Ehlert’s Winter Running Club to meet. He asked about it and then took the idea of joining it home to his parents. His parents were all for it and so was his buddy Rafe. From there, William keep improving all season long, during the spring track sesason, eventually running an impressive 5:06, as he just missed qualifying for State. That was William’s first experience in distance running. He followed that up by coming to our sign-up meeting for XC last spring. He backed up that commitment with over 300 miles of summer base mileage in preparation for the season. Pretty impressive stuff!

William’s competition for the week was last Saturday’s First to the Finish Invitational hosted at Peoria’s Detweiller Park. This is also the IHSA host site for the State Finals and hopefully, William will be toeing the line there before he graduates. His improvement curve is simply SCARY good and we are only in the middle of September. At the First to the Finish Invite, William ran a brilliant race that saw him finish as Geneseo’s 5th man ON VARSITY! His time was a lifetime best of 17:49 for the 3-mile distance. He rolled through the mile in 5:45 and hit the 2nd mile in 11:59. Then he really got after it and cranked out a 5:50 last mile. He was only 13-seconds away from being our 2nd man. Several individuals were considered for this week’s award but ultimately the selection committee was unanimous in choosing William.

William has demonstrated an impressive combination of both Passion and Purpose on a daily basis. He has set lofty goals for himself and he is backing them up via hard work. Translation….he is walking the walk…not just talking the talk. Our team is filled with a plethora of young talent that is on the crisp of breaking through to an impressive level. Keep Dreaming BIG and be sure to pull some of your teammates along with you. It is going to be a lot of fun to see just how far you can progress this season and beyond. Don’t be afraid to try and run with “da Big Dogs”. Your potential appears limitless so keep up the hard work and continue to chase your potential. William bears an uncanny resemblance to a person of MAJOR significance. His middle name of Eugene is also the home of the University of Oregon that has produced many of the United State’s Top Distance runners over the years.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and William demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

William is also an extremely talented musician. He plays a “mean Tuba” having been selected as one of only a couple of Tuba players honored with the opportunity to play with an Honors Performance Series Orchestra this summer at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He is also a member of our school’s Marching Band. In addition, he is well on his way to earning his Eagle Scout Award in Boy Scouts. William is the proud son of Valerie and Marshall Plumley. He is also the proud “Baby Brother” of Lauren (current 11th grader) and proud “Big Brother” to Megan (current grader 7th.)

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LEAFS COMPETE AT FIRST TO THE FINISH INVITATIONAL

Perfect weather conditions, a hard and fast course, and a tremendous field resulted
in a plethora of personal bests for the Maple Leafs

COLTER AND NEWTON LEAD TEAM IN VARSITY AND OPEN RACES

On Saturday, September 9, the Leafs traveled to Peoria’s Detweiller Park to participate in the First to the Finish Invitational. Formally known as the Peoria Woodruff Invitational, the meet’s name changed when First to the Finish Inc. took over sponsorship of the meet. First a little history lesson.

First to the Finish Inc. History

For over 28 years, dedication to quality and service has made First to the Finish the complete source for track and field. They have built their reputation on providing track and field coaches and athletes a reliable source for quality apparel, equipment, and accessories.

Mike Viano (former teammate of Coach Freddy’s at Eastern Illinois University), founder and owner, began First to the Finish in the basement of his home. As an avid runner, Mike wanted to provide a service to track and field coaches and athletes. What started in a small basement has now grown into one of the three largest mail order businesses in the country dealing with track and field equipment and apparel. In the beginning, the word on First to the Finish got out by one page fliers; they now send out multiple catalogs including a 195 page full color catalog. They offer a full service website where you can review products and order online.

Back to the meet. There were 8 races (1A, 2A, 3A, and an Open Race for each gender.) I grabbed our calculator and did a little math. There were 336 teams that had runners finish their races. There were 3,892 runners that crossed the finish line. Spectators numbers in excess of 10,00. Simply put it was an amazing event. Once again, the course was extremely fast for those up front, but the extremely large number of runners in each race presented a couple of unique challenges themselves. One was trying to make the turns while the other was all of the dust that was kicked up. Now you know why cowboys wore something over their noses and mouths to filter the dust-filled air.

Almost every member of our team ran a lifetime best in the near-optimal conditions. The weather was perfect but there was a LOT of traffic on the course (other runners.) Our Varsity boys took off at 11:00 a.m. with each of the 58 teams limited to only their top 10 runners. The Leafs were racing without their top man, Blake Duncan (Sr.), who is still nursing a sore hip. Neo Colter (So.), Raymond Venneberg (Sr.), Andrew Rizzo (Jr.), Colby Rapps (So.), and William Plumley (Fr.) threw down a season best top 5 split of only 39 seconds with each man cracking the 18:00 minute barrier. In fact, Neo just missed dipping under 17:00 with a great time of 17:10. Our team is still a work-in-progress and today was a HUGE step forward in that process. Not far behind were; Rafe Morrison (Fr.) in 18:20, Christian Booth (Sr.) in 18:21., Nathan Carroll (Jr.) in 18:34, and Spencer Lindstrom (So.) in 19:17. Our team placed 37th out of 58 teams. No one has Geneseo on their radar so let’s use that to our advantage and see how far we can progress in the coming weeks.

Onto the open race that saw 1,051 runners cross the finish line. The field included both the 2A and 3A open runners. Many of the 3A schools have over 100 runners on their teams and have enrollments of over 2,000 students (we have a little over 800.) Bring on “da Big Dogs”. The Leafs placed 36th out of 78 teams. Leading the way were: Thackery Newton (Sr.) in 19:12, Luke Henkhaus (So.) in 19:40, Ky Ariano (So.) in 19:49, Ricky Chavez (Fr.) in 10:49, Luke Sebastian (Jr.) in 20:15, Will Sammons (So.) in 20:47, Hayes Murphy (So.) in 20:56, Will McKelvain (So.) in 21:04, Tanner Burgett (Fr.) in 21:16, Nathan Yoder (So.) in 21:18, Brad Smith (Jr.) in 21:42, Ethan Saucedo (So.) in 21:57, Jacob Jorgensen (So.) 22:18, Nathan Lambert (Sr.) in 22:20, Cade Hornback (So.) in 22:24, and Kyle State (So.) in 22:28. Henkhaus, McKelvain, Saucedo, Hornback, and State were all making their season debuts. With so many “Rookies” on our team it is truly impossible to know just how far we can progress. I know one thing….it will be a LONG WAY. Keep working hard and DREAMING BIG! Each of you can be “THE GUY” that is the difference-maker on this team. Believe it and LIVE IT!

RESULTS

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“LITTLE MIKE” SELECTED AS “THE BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK”

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Colby (AKA “Little Mike”) Rapps

COLBY RAPPS IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Sophomore Colby Rapps was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, August 28th through Sunday, September 3rd. Colby was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated a team member and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

Colby has been “On Fire” for XC ever since the summer base-training phase began. He put well over 300 miles into his “bank account” and is not a stranger to “da 11-Mile Hill Loop”. Colby has carried the same kind of energy into the season and has been “in the discussion” for each of the previous “Bingwa” selections. That is the kind of season he is having.

Colby’s week included two races (a rare occurrence in XC.) First up was the 16-Team Sycamore Invitational. The coaching staff decided to run all of our F/S guys “down” in the F/S race. Colby attacked the challenging Afton Forest Cross Country Course and field. He ran a strong race and placed 20th in the strong field to earn a highly coveted Top 30 Finisher Medal running a solid time of 14:53 over the 2.42 mile course. He was also our 2nd man and helped lead our F/S Team to an excellent 5th place team finish.

Next up was the 17-Team Galesburg Invitational hosted at Lake Storey Park. The course is also a challenging test of rolling hills and uneven ground. The weather was perfect as our mild weather continued. Once again, the coaching staff chose to run all of our freshmen and sophomores in the unlimited F/S race. The results were very pleasing as the team surprised a talented field by taking home the 3rd place trophy, beating a plethora of perennial powerhouses. Colby ran another tremendous race placing 13th in the talented field, earning a prized Top 20 Finisher Medal running an excellent time of 18:17 over the challenging 3-mile course. Colby was our 2nd man, once again, finishing a mere 12 seconds behind our number one man, Neo Colter.

Colby has become a key member of our team and will be seeing a lot of “Varsity” action from this point forward. His infectious enthusiasm and daily demonstration of both passion and purpose have thrust him into the role of a leader via example. Keep your eyes on this one because he is just starting to realize just how good he can become. DREAM BIG, “Little Mike”! Keep doing all the hard work that it takes to become a champion. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Colby demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to chase your potential.

Colby is the proud son of Alisande and Paul Rapps. He is also the proud “baby brother” of Becca (Class of 2016) and Drew (Cass of 2018.) Becca was a star Soccer Player and XC Runner while Drew is one of the “Big Guns” on the Green Machine Football Team playing running back, etc as well as being a key member of the Maple Leaf Sprint Core on the Track Team. Colby is also the proud “big brother” to Ali (current 8th grader and star XC & track runner herself), Jacob (6th Grade), and Lizzy (4th Grade.) All the best in the coming weeks, Colby. Thanks for being such a great kid!

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SILVER STREAK HARDWARE

Pictured are the members of the 3rd place F/S Team, our 4 Individual Medal Winners: Varsity:
Blake Duncan; F/S: Neo Colter, Colby Rapps, & William Plumley) and some additional teammates.

LEAFS COMPETE AT GALESBURG’S SILVER STREAK INVITATIONAL

On Saturday, September 2nd, the Leafs traveled to Galesburg’s Lake Storey Park to participate in the 42nd annual Silver Streak Cross Country Invitational. The field included teams from: Abingdon-Avon, Alleman, Dixon, Dunlap, East Peoria, Galesburg, Geneseo, Knoxville, Metamora, Mid-County (ROWVA-Galva) , Morton, Normal West, Ridgewood Coop, Sterling, United H.S., United Township, and West Central. The teams were treated to one magnificent early September weather with a daytime high of 70Àö and meet temperatures in the low 60’s. I can recall many years where the temperature and humidity were extremely oppressive so we were really treated to an amazing day.

The Varsity Boys got things going for us at 9:40 a.m. with the “crack” of the starter’s gun. The field included several state ranked teams and over 150 runners (not everyone finished.) The elite lead pack attacked the first mile blowing by the maker well under 5 minutes. The Leafs got out nicely and were led by Senior Tri-Captain, Blake Duncan, who charged home in 23rd place earning a prized Varsity Top 30 finisher medal. Next up were: (senior) Raymond Venneberg, (junior) Andrew Rizzo, (Senior Tri-Captain) Christian Booth and (junior) Nathan Carroll who placed 41st, 44th, 63rd, and 64th places respectfully to close out the Maple Leaf team scoring. Not far behind were: (Senior Tri-Captain) Adam Wells (71st), (senior) Thackery Newton (80th), (junior) Luke Sebastian (82nd), (senior) Austin Heller (130th), and (senior) Chris Hodshire (136th.) The team placed 9th in the 17 team field (not all teams had complete teams.) It should also be pointed out the the team was racing without any of the freshmen or sophomores who were all “held down” to compete in the F/S race. Every single man ran a season best and showed high levels of the omnipotent combination of “Passion and Purpose”.

The F/S boys exploded from the starting line at 11:00 a.m. sharp with the Leafs getting out nicely. The field was strong and it was inspiring the see the future of our program race so aggressively, while yet in control of their efforts. Medals were awarded to the top 20 in this race and the Leafs grabbed three of them with (sophomore) Neo Colter, (sophomore) Colby Rapps, and (freshman) William Plumley placing 9th, 13th, and 20th respectfully. Next up was (rookie XC sophomore) Spencer Lindstrom who ran in the top 20 for most of the race before barely falling out of it placing an impressive 23rd overall. Close behind were (freshman) Rafe Morrison (40th and bravely battling some stomach issues), (freshman) Ricky Chavez (49th), (sophomore) Ky Ariano (54th), (sophomore) Nathan Yoder (69th), (freshman) Tanner Burgett (74th), (sophomore) Will Sammons (75th), (sophomore) Jacob Jorgensen (83rd), and (sophomore) Hayes “Bobby” Murphy (88th.) The team “shocked” several of the powerhouses by claiming the 3rd place trophy. Great Job, Men! Keep doing all the “Little Things”. They all add up and will make a HUGE difference in the long run.

RESULTS

F/S SQUAD PLACES 4 IN “da HARDWARE”

Pictured are: William Plumley, Colby Rapps, Rafe Morrison, and Neo Colter who each
eared a highly coveted Top 30 Finisher Medal at the Sycamore Invitational in the F/S Race

LEAFS RUN HARD AT SYCAMORE INVITATIONAL

On Tuesday, August 29th, the Leafs jumped on “Big Yellow” for a two hour bus trip to Sycamore’s home XC course which is actually in nearby DeKalb. The course is located at the Afton Forest Preserve and the weatherman cooperated with race time temperatures in the 70’s (VERY rare for August in the Midwest.) We realize that this is a long bus trip on a school night. Our rational for attending is the fact that the field is quite impressive, including a strong field of elite teams. In addition, Coach Michael Lambin, (the Sycamore head coach and a good friend) has adopted the same time saving formula that we use at our Geneseo Invitation by starting the girls races shortly after the boys races. This saves at least an hour. The competition was intense and included teams from: Aurora Central Catholic, Belvidere North, Burlington Central, DeKalb, Dixon, Freeport, Geneseo, Glenbard South, Hampshire, Kaneland, Rochelle, Rock Falls, Sterling, Sycamore, West Chicago, and Wheaton St. Francis.

The Varsity Boys got things rolling at 4:45 p.m. as the starter’s pistol opened “Invitational Season”. The Leafs placed a respectable 11th in the elite 16-team field. Coach Moe and I decided months ago that we would run all the F/S boys at that level for the first two invites knowing that would weaken the Varsity Team but would put more of our potential Top 7 men in “scoring positions”. Rookie (senior) Raymond Venneberg led the charge with a 54th place finish followed closely by fellow senior, Blake Duncan, in 64th place. Blade was making his season debut (hip soreness) and under orders to run a conservative race with NO kick. Mission accomplished. Rounding out our top 5 were: (junior) Andrew Rizzo (71st), (senior) Christian Booth (85th), and (junior) Nathan Carroll (98th.) Next up were: (junior) Luke Sebastian (101st), (senior) Thackery Newton (104th), (senior) Adam Wells (107th), (junior) Brad Smith (133rd), (senior) Austin Heller (134th), and (senior) Chris Hodshire (144th.)

Next up were the F/S boys who “toed da line” at 5:20 p.m. The boys ran great and placed an exciting 5th place overall. Leading the way were: (sophomore) Neo Colter, (sophomore) Colby Rapps, (freshman) Rafe Morrison and (freshman) William Plumley who all cracked the top 30 (10th, 20th, 24th, 29th) to earn the highly coveted Top 30 finisher medals. Next up was rookie Spencer Lindstrom (55th) who, like Blake Duncan, was under orders to run a conservative race with NO kick. Mission accomplished. Not far behind were: (sophomore) Ky Ariano (61st), (freshman) Ricky Chavez (70th), (sophomore) Hayes Murphy (90th), (sophomore) Nathan Yoder (95th), (sophomore) Jacob Jorgensen (99th), (rookie sophomore) Will Sammons (100th), (freshman) Tanner Burgett (102nd), and (sophomore) William Venneberg (130th.) Great efforts by all.

A special shout out goes out to our outstanding managers Lydia Mejias-Dansbach, Peyton Krause, Alice Roseman, Amelia Seys, and Kiah VanWynsberghe who did a great job of helping me out with splits, collecting timing chips, etc.. Both Coach Moe (son with a temperature) and Tessie Freddy (puppy duty) were unable to attend. Another shout out goes out to Mrs. Tracy Colter for arranging for the team to purchase Subway sandwiches that we enjoyed on the bus ride home. Please keep recruiting and DREAMING BIG! Using the Alabama theme “Roll Leafs Roll”,

RESULTS

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NATHAN C. SELECTED AS THE
“BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Nathan Carroll

NATHAN CARROLL IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Junior Nathan Carroll was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the week of Monday, August 21st through Sunday, August 27th. Nathan was selected for this award by the coaching staff and the team captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included: meet performance, work ethic, a team-first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated a team member and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

Nathan has been “at it” all summer long and is well on his way to nailing a 400 plus summer of base mileage. His competition for the week was the Sterling Grass Relays which were held on Tuesday, August 22nd. He was partnered with Tri-Captain Christian Booth and they placed 7th overall in the competitive field. Nathan’s average for his three mile repeats was 6:06. The course is NOT fast and that was good enough to earn him Top 5 Man Honors. We were missing a few of our top guys but Nathan was only 5 seconds out of being our 2nd man and he has made his intentions known.

He followed that up with a “breakout” workout on Friday, August 25th. The team traveled to Geneseo’s own Richmond Hill Park (our home XC course) to run the “Hill Segment” workout. Each segment includes one minute of race pace followed by one minute of jogging to be followed by two minutes of race pace that needs to include a “hill of significance” followed by two minutes of jogging. Thus, each “segment” adds up to 6 minutes of running. Nathan’s group was assigned 8 segments following a 10-minute warm-up jog. Nathan lead his group for what looked to me like EVERY SINGLE STEP and added two extra solo segments on the end. He followed that up with a 10 minute jog. He finished with a big smile on his face “glowing” with the pride that comes with hard work. Tessie Freddy had brought for Popsicles a post workout treat. He gobbled a couple of those down and then headed for home.

Nathan closed his week out with an optional Sunday 6:00 p.m. practice that saw him tackle the 11-Mile Hill Loop for the first time this season (2nd time in his life.) I tried to talk him into a shorter run but he convinced me he was ready for the distance and had decided this week to become “the guy”. This is something that I have asked each team member to try and become. Neo, Raymond, and I joined him and we averaged sub 7:30 holding back. I am extremely proud of Nathan and it is especially impressive that he ran with us on Sunday knowing that the “Bingwa Award” had been voted on after Friday’s practice but not knowing that he had been selected as the Award Winner.

The word “Bingwa” is Swahili and comes from the African Continent which happens to be the home to a plethora of the world’s top distance runners. It means both “Warrior” and “Champion” and Nathan demonstrated the will to become both of those. I love the quote “The Will to Win Means Little Without the Will to Prepare”. We wish you all the best as you continue to “raise da bar”. Dream Big “Little Guy” (aka “Woody”). You’ll have to explain the last one to your family and teammates. Keep working hard and don’t forget to “enjoy the ride”.

Nathan is the proud son of Heather McReynolds (and proud step-son of Chris Thill) and the proud son of Dr. Lance Carroll (and proud step-son of Shannon Carroll.) In addition, he is also the proud brother or step-brother to the following individuals: Halle Olson (Current Senior at North Central College and a great runner herself); Olivia Carroll (Current Sophomore at Black Hawk College); Payne Olson (Freshman at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville); Paige Olson (Current Freshman at Bradley University); Cody Thill (Current Sophomore at Carl Sandburg High School); and Grace McReynolds (Current 7th Grader in the Sandburg School District.) Nathan is also the proud member of an extremely athletic family that includes his grandfather, Bob Carroll, who is a Hall of Fame athlete and coach, and a former Athletic Director at Geneseo High School. Nathan, it is an honor to be one of your coaches.

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LISA’S PLACE 2
Pictured are several members of the team who enjoyed
a delicious breakfast at Lisa’s Place in Atkinson

TOUR da ATKINSON 2

On Saturday, August 26th, the team was given a couple of options for practice. 1.) Run with Coach Moe at 7:30 a.m. (recovery day.); 2.) Bike from “The Geneseo Facility” leaving at 9:00 a.m. headed for Atkinson and Lisa’s Place for breakfast; 3.) Run with Coach Moe and then drive over to eat breakfast with the team. It was up to each man which option they chose. Several teammates had conflicts and were not available for any of the options. The weatherman cooperated with perfect conditions and a daytime high in the low 70’s.

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INDIE & PIPER FREDERICKS MAKE THEIR XC DEBUT TO
SUPPORT THE TEAM AND TRY TO TEACH “da POWER OF da PACK”

Pictured are 2-month-old Piper Fredericks (Yellow Lab) and
3-month-old Indie Fredericks (Chocolate Lab) and several members of “da team”.

LEAFS OPEN SEASON AT THE STERLING GRASS RELAYS

On Tuesday, August 22nd, the Leafs traveled to Sterling’s Hoover Park to participate in the annual Sterling Grass Relays. The meet’s format is unique in that each athlete has a partner and together they run a total of 6 miles (3 per man . . . alternating.) The 2nd man heads into the finish chute following his final mile and is counted a a “scorer”. The idea is to get three quality mile repeats in on a soft surface with a similar recovery time to what each man ran in a competitive environment.

The weatherman was kind to us as the amazingly mild August weather continued with a daytime high of 72Àö. Heavy rains projected to hit the Sterling area in the proceeding 24 hours stayed north and the course was mostly dry and moderately fast. So too was our competition. Sterling placed 4th last fall in the STATE FINALS and have quite a bit back from that team. They demonstrated that by defeating the Leafs 23 to 32. I have been asked many times this season if we are in a “rebuilding mode”. After all, we lost 5 of our top 7 runners from last fall’s sectional meet. My answer remains NO. We are currently in a “reloading mode”. We are also still manufacturing some of our ammunition.

As far as the meet goes, if a team grabs the top three places in a dual meet they can’t lose and that is exactly what the Golden Warriors did by going 1-2-3. The Leafs grabbed the next four places with the teams of : Neo Colter / Raymond Venneberg, Spencer Lindstrom / Colby Rapps , William Plumley / Rafe Morrison, and Christian Booth / Nathan Carroll grabbing 4-5-6-7. Up next were the teams of: Ky Ariano / Adam Wells, Ricky Chavez / Luke Sebastian, Jacob Jorgensen / Thackery Newton, Nathan Yoder / Hayes Murphy, and Tanner Burgett / Will Sammons who placed 10-12-14-15-16 respectfully. Eight members of the team were held out due to a variety of reasons including minor injuries and conflicts. Three of these men are potential Top 7 runners including our current number one, Blake Duncan, who has been bothered with some hip tenderness.

The efforts were solid and following a bit of refueling, most of the team took advantage on the challenge of “Running da Rock” by running the 3.50 miles from our team camp, down to the bike path, and then running across the Sterling / Rock Falls dam bike path. We finished at Jimmy John’s in Rock Falls where we chowed down. The team was joined by 14th grader (that means sophomore in college) Kiah “Bear” VanWnsberghe. She also goes by the “nickname” of Mrs. Thackery Newton. Pretty impressive stuff.

Coach Moe did an amazingly fast job of calculating the average for each of our team members which he completed doing before the team was finished “wolfing down” their Jimmy John’s sandwiches. The team results and team rankings are listed on the document below. The coaching staff was extremely pleased with the efforts and performances. Keep doing the work, Men and let’s see how far each of you can progress in the next two months. DREAM BIG! On a personal note, thank you for being so kind to our new “little ones”. Both Indie and Piper had a blast at the meet (their first) and enjoyed meeting each of you.

RESULTS

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NEO SELECTED AS THE
“BINGWA MAN OF THE WEEK” AWARD WINNER

Pictured is this week’s “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner, Neo Colter

NEO COLTER IS THIS WEEK’S BINGWA AWARD WINNER

Sophomore Neo Colter was selected as the “Bingwa Man of the Week” Award Winner for the days leading up to Saturday, August 19th. Neo was selected for this award by the Coaching Staff and the Team Captains. Factors included for consideration for the award included meet performance, work ethic, a team first attitude, etc. Each member of the “committee” nominated a team member and “made their case”. Following this process, the committee voted and this week’s winner was selected.

Neo has “been on a roll” all summer long and is well on his way to nailing a 500 mile summer. That has been the “Gold Standard” during my tenure. We have asked our “Big Dogs” to attain 500 miles or more during the months of June, July, and August. That demands a high level of commitment utilizing high levels of passion and purpose. Neo has demonstrated nothing but these traits ever since he entered Geneseo High School. The most effective way to lead is via example and that is what Neo gives his team each and every day.

Neo’s early season competitive highlight was a strong performance in the season opening “Rust Buster” that saw him cross the finish line first for the Boys Team using the far from perfect handicap formula. Neo ran the 2nd fastest time on the team with an excellent time of 11:34, behind only Senior Captain Blake Duncan’s 10:56. Neo has also embraced the challenge of striving for the pursuit of excellence. That road isn’t for the weak of heart and he has gradually upped his mileage and training paces by a significant level. He has also made the choice last year to train with our top runners and the end result is the fact that he has climbed to that level himself.

The season is early and our team is very much a “work in progress”. We lost five of our competing seven runners from last year’s sectional meet. Most teams would call this a “rebuilding” season. I prefer to call it a “reloading” season. We have a plethora of talent on our team and with leaders like Neo Colter, I feel certain that the outcome will be that of optimal performance when “Championship Meet Season” rolls around.

Neo is already an accomplished athlete having earned Varsity Letters in both XC and Track his Freshman year. Last spring, Neo narrowly missed breaking the impressive 5 minute barrier as he ran 5 flat (point something) THREE TIMES! That is AWESOME and I am oozing with enthusiasm to see just how far you can progress this season. He also experienced great success at the middle school level. Remember, being a distance runner demands patience. Keep “putting money in your bank account” (base mileage) so that when it comes time to make big “withdrawals”, you can “afford it”. All the best in the coming months. Don’t forget to enjoy the journey!!!

Neo is the proud son of Tracy and Scott Colter. He is also the proud “big brother” of Xanthia who is a freshmen. Neo’s mom is also our Head XC Boys Booster Cluber. It is a true honor to be one of your coaches. God Bless you and your wonderful family.

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KICKING FOR HOME

Pictured are Senior Captain Blake Duncan leading Sophomore Neo Colter as they head
into the final 100 meters and are going to their kicks

LEAFS KICK-OFF SEASON AT ANNUAL RUST BUSTER

On Tuesday, August 15th, the Leafs kicked off their season with the annual “Rust Buster”. The race is held on their home course located at Richmond Hill Park. The team ran the 2-mile course. The weatherman gave us a decent day with a race time temperature 81Àö with a heat index of 85Àö. The course was dry and “fast”. The race has been held since 1986 and has evolved during that time. Entry fees are the donation of 3 canned goods and a “giveaway T-Shirt”. We also ask all the boys to bring a 6-pack of beverages while the girls bring “treats”. Once the race was over. “Running Wild” provided an opportunity to purchase running and racing gear. We also had the race awards ceremony which included each race finisher receiving a T-Shirt that they selected. “Running Wild” also had some “goodies”.

The middle school also has a “rust buster” (with the same entry fees and awards) and races one mile. The high school race utilizes an imperfect handicap system. The Freshmen Girls take off at 6:00 p.m. sharp. They are then followed by the Sophomore, Junior, and then Senior Girls with each group taking off 20 seconds after the previous. Following the Senior Girls, the Boys team starts to roll in with the Freshmen boys up next (1:20 after the Freshmen Girls.) Then the Sophoore, Junior, and Senior Boys follow the same format leaving the Senior Boys 2:20 behind the Freshmen Girls at the start. Then they race the 2-mile course and try to catch who they can while utilizing a racing strategy that has them begin mile two with a lot of “milk shake” left.

We had 21 boys race and the competition was highly spirited. There are several “rookies” on the team and we encouraged them to run carefully, not going out too hard. Several teammates also chose to race without spikes for this meet. Leading the way were Neo Colter and Blake Duncan who finished 1-2 for the boys. Neo kicked down Blake with a great big smile on his face because Blake was running under orders from Coach Freddy NOT to hit the downhills and NOT to kick it in. I don’t know if he followed those orders to a tee but Coach Freddy did yell, “DON”T KICK, BLAKE!” as they came off the final hill. They had the fastest two “actual” times for the team with 10:56 and 11:34 respectfully. I will update the Rust Buster Top 25 a bit later when I have the time. I will post the link below.

I will list the rest of our team by the “actual times” subtracting the the handicap time. Rookie Raymond Venneberg, Nathan Carroll, Christian Booth, and Rookie Spencer Lindstrom, Colby Rapps, and Adam Wells rounded out our “Top 8” and all broke 13 minutes (the results link is listed below with the race time (including the handicap) and the team ranking and the “actual time” listed on a separate page. Next up were: Rafe Morrison, William Plumley, Nathan Lambert, Ricky Chavez, and Luke Sebastian who all broke 14 minutes with many strong finishes.

The next pack included: Thackery Newton, Jacob Jorgensen, Nathan Yoder, and Hayes “Bobby” Murphy who each cracked the 15 minute barrier on our challenging course. Not far behind were Tanner Burgett, and Rookie Will Sammons who each broke the 16 minute barrier. Senior Chris Hodshire closed out the Leafs efforts with a strong kick after running a careful race due to a chronic knee ailment.

The coaching staff was extremely pleased with every team member including those who couldn’t race due to some of the required “paperwork” that needs to be turned into the high school office but were out there anyway supporting their team. Now lets build from here. The Sterling Grass Relays are only one week away. WAY TO ROLL, MEN!!!

RESULTS

RUST BUSTER TOP 25 LISTS

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“DA TEAM” HANGING WITH LISA

Pictured are several members of the Boys XC Team with Lisa of “Lisa’s Place” in Atkinson

TOUR de ATKINSON

On Saturday, August 12th, several members of the Boys Cross Country Team met at the Geneseo Activity Center with their bicycles. Then they took off for the neighboring town of Atkinson with the ultimate destination “Lisa’s Place”. Once we arrived, it was time to order some delicious breakfast, hang out and team bond, have a picture taken with Lisa (the owner), and then jump back on the bikes for the return trip. The weather was perfect and no wipe-outs were observed. The total distance was 24 miles which we rounded up in our conversion table to a 6 mile run equivalent. Coach Tessie was with the team the whole time in “Kermit” (her Green Honda Element.) Coach Freddy joined the team there just in time for breakfast after running a road race in LaClaire . On the way back, Tessie led the group with Coach Freddy trailing behind. Each had their hazard lights on. Simply put it was a GREAT morning. Way to “ROLL”, Men!!!

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2017 CAPTAINS

Pictured are the 2017 Elected Captains
Christian Booth, Blake Duncan, & Adam Wells

2017 Season Off and Running

On Wednesday, August 9th, the Maple Leafs opened the 2017 season with their first practice at 7:30 a.m. The team’s practice schedule for Week’s 1 & 2 are listed below:

Week 1
Wednesday, August 9 (7:30 am in the facility)
Thursday, August 10 (7:30 am in the facility)
Friday, August 11 (7:30 am at Richmond Hill Park)
Saturday, August 12 (9:00 am at the facility for a bike ride to Atkinson)

Week 2
Monday, August 14 (2:30 pm in the facility)
Tuesday, August 15 (5:00 pm at Richmond Hill Park for the Rust Buster)
Wednesday, August 16 (2:30 pm in the facility)
Thursday, August 17 (2:30 pm in the facility)
Friday, August 20 (7:30 am in the facility)
Saturday, August 21 (9:15 am for team pictures in the facility)

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Maple City 4 Winners

2017 MAPLE CITY 4 CHAMPIONS

Pictured are the winners of the 2017 Maple City 4,
Josie Brown and Jordan Wildermuth

RUNNERS “SURVIVE” WARM CONDITIONS IN 2017 MAPLE CITY 4

On Saturday, June 17th, Geneseo played host to the annual Maple City 4 Road Race. The event also includes a 1-mile option, as well as a two lap indoor race for children 8 and under. Each race featured the age group awards.

The weather for the last several years has been optimal for running fast. Our luck ran out this year as an early morning shower was followed by the sun popping out just before race time. The result was a race time temperature of 75Àö with a dew point of 69. That means a “heat index” in the low 80’s which is certainly on the warm side. The bottom line is, the last mile was UGLY and everyone was pretty “shot” when they crossed the finish line. I guess we can “chalk it up to good Bix 7 preparation.

2005 G.H.S. graduate Jordan Wildermuth won the race for the 3rd time. Joining him on the victory stand was G.H.S., junior to be, Josie Brown. Their winning times were 22:29 and 26:37, respectfully, Overall, 116 runners raced the 4-mile distance.

MILE WINNERS

Pictured are “da Rinks” who each won the mile.
The sister/brother combination of Jeslan and Kaden each “Won Gold”

TOP 6 RUNNERS RUN “WILD”

In the mile race, the first six finishers ran “jaw-dropping” times. The overall winner, junior-to-be Kaden Rink, broke the tape in 4:20. I almost fell over when I heard his time (along with first year distance runner Raymond Venneberg who was only 1-second back.) Middle School XC and Track Coach Todd Ehlert set me straight when he reported that the first six runners followed the lead vehicle (Police Car) who turned one block early. He made sure that the rest of the field ran the correct route (and the full distance) as he was helping to pace his daughter Megan. No one was DQ’d since they simply followed the lead vehicle. It certainly makes for a good story. The mile field was still on the small side with only 21 runners. We hope to see those numbers rise in the future.

Overall, 31 current or former Maple Leafs crossed “da finish line” although one man isn’t listed in the results. That is because his timing chip fell off shortly after the start. I found it at “team run” lying on Ogden Street. It was bent from being run over by numerous cars. Luckily, its owner (Christian Booth) did survive the day and DID finish the course.

14 male XC or Track athletes competed. They were led by the following individuals who won “hardware” via their top 3 age group finish:

Four Mile:

  • 1st Place: Jordan Wildermuth (overall…..class of 2015)
  • 1st Place: William Plumley (14 and under)
  • 1st Place: Blake Duncan (17-18)
  • 1st Place: Don Fredericks (55-59)
  • 2nd Place: Neo Colter (15-16)
  • 2nd Place: Brandon Ramos (17-18)
  • 2nd Place: Jordan Starkey (19-24)
  • 2nd Place: Philip Moe (25-29)
  • 3rd Place: Andrew Benhart (17-18)
  • 3rd Place: Rafe Morrison (15-16)

One Mile:

  • 1st Place: Kaden Rink (overall)
  • 1st Place: Raymond Venneberg (13 and over Men)
  • 2nd Place: Mitchel Benhart (13 and over Men)
  • 3rd Place: Jacob Verplaetse (18 and over Men)

RESULTS

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Runstock 2017

RUNSTOCK 2017

Pictured is “da baker’s dozen” for Runstock 2017

After taking a year off due to a failed experiment, “RUNSTOCK” returned. The 3-day adventure started in on Sunday, June 4th at 8:00 a.m. with the running of the Carol M. Guthrie Memorial 5K race. The race was optional and five team members joined in on the fun. After that, it was back home for a shower, quick nap, and then departure from the high school facility at 2:00 p.m.

From there we traveled to rural Illinois City and Rock Island’s Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. Here is a quick summary of Loud Thunder and what it has to offer. This was my first visit there. It won’t be my last.

Loud Thunder is the largest of the Rock Island County forest preserves at 1,621 acres. One of the main attractions at Loud Thunder is Lake George, a 167-acres man-made lake with depths up to 55 feet and stocked with many varieties of fish. Other amenities are:
  • Five campgrounds that include 117 campsites, including a Horse Corral campground
  • Seasonal Boat rentals and concessions
  • Hiking trails (a two-mile moderate level and a 12-mile continuous loop moderate level)
  • Shared-use trails for mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers
  • Picnic shelters and one playground
  • A part of the Illinois Great River Road National Scenic Byway

After arriving, we set up our camp (twice…..we set up in the wrong location first.) Then enjoyed a HOT run for those who hadn’t run yet (and for those who grabbed a “double”.) That was followed by burgers and hot dogs prepared by Tessie Fredericks. Tessie then departed (she HATES tent-camping) and we were on our own. The camp was led by 2017 elected Captains Christian Booth, Blake Dunan, and Adam Wells.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Lots of ultimate Frisbee
  • Great camp fires and team-bonding
  • Free entertainment via the raccoons including raiding the back of Coach Freddy’s truck after tearing out the screens on his topper and eating MOST of our food (2nd night)
  • Another great game of Capture the Flag
  • Every group getting lost on the new 5-Mile trail. The last group returned 3 HOURS LATER!
  • ETC…. Great job, Captains. Now let’s back up our words with action. Each of you made a verbal commitment to each other. Let your legs “do the talking”
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Detweiller Park sign

DETWEILLER FEVER….CATCH IT

Pictured is the entrance sign to Detweiller Park in Peoria.
In case you’ve forgotten…that is where the STATE FINALS ARE RUN IN EARLY NOVEMBER!

DON’T BE A PRETENDER

“The will to means nothing without the will to PREPARE.” Success in “Championship Meet Season” depends on the work you put in during the summer. Hopefully, YOU are doing YOUR part! Very few team members are recording their mileage. Please train like a CHAMPION and record it on our website. If you’re unsure how to do this please contact Coach Fredericks. Dreaming BIG is an important step. But “talking the talk” means little if you don’t “Walk the Walk”. Remember we have NO WEAK LINKS. Each and every one of you could be “the difference maker” on this year’s team. Train with that thought in mind. Also, do what you can to motivate your teammates. Try and do at least one thing every single day this summer to HELP make our team BETTER!

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SUMMER TRAINING HAS BEGUN

WHEN: Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday (The week of 7/01-7/09 is No-Contact Week)
WHERE TO MEET: The high school athletic facility
TIME: 7:00 p.m.
HOW FAR DO I RUN? It’s up to you.
WHO CAN COME? Anyone including parents, friends, siblings

The summer mileage challenge has officially begun. Any athlete who meets the summer mileage challenges listed below will be awarded a summer mileage T-Shirt. The training runs from June 1st through August 31st. Anyone is eligible including parents and siblings. Team runs will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:00 p.m. Coaches are limited by IHSA rules to meet no more than 25 times during the course of the summer including our Runstock Camp so different coaches may be in attendance from week to week. We will meet in the high school athletic facility. Look for Popsicles after most of the team runs provided by Mrs. Fredericks. On any day that the heat index is over 100Àö we will NOT meet. On those days, we encourage team members to run earlier in the day. If that is not possible, wait until later in the evening when the temperature has dropped. Remember: cross-training mileage also counts.

  • Biking (1/4 of the bike ride. For example, a 40 mile ride equals a 10 mile run)
  • Soccer games or practice (for team members on the soccer team‚Ķ.every hour of games or practice equals 3 miles) (unless you are a Goalie)
  • Basketball games or practice (for team members on the basketball team‚Ķ.every hour of games or practice equals 2 miles)
  • Swimming (every 1/4 mile is equal to 1 mile of running)
  • Ultimate Frisbee (2 miles for every hour played)

SUMMER MILES BRING IN-SEASON SMILES
600 Miles
500 Miles
400 Miles
300 Miles

RECORDING YOUR MILEAGE

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