Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Belfast Info

!!! All things Belfast !!!

Troy Howard Middle School
Lincolnville Ave
Belfast, ME

Race Schedule:
See the post two places below this post with full race schedule

Course walk:
  • 9:45 - Everyone is required to be on site, ready for the course walk at 9:45
  • Runners that know this course well (i.e. have raced it in previous years) and want to arrive later should talk with Morgan

  • Two vans will be leaving Desert Rd at 7:30 am on Saturday morning
  • Susan needs to hear from EVERYONE by Friday at 5:00 pm about their transportation plans for Saturday (riding the van?  getting a ride with parents?)

There is often food (chili, soup, etc.) for purchase in the school, but the lines are long and we don't know for certain what is being offered this year.  All runners should bring their own food and lots of it, as it is a long day.  Runners should eat breakfast at home, and then bring at least a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack.

What else to bring:
Running shoes
Warm clothes
Water bottle

Coming back home:
If we have any runners that place in any races, we will stay for awards.  If not, we will head home after the last race.  That means we don't know now when we will arrive back at Desert Rd, but kids can call from the road.

No awards – lv after boys race
Anybody places – we stay for awards

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday evening pasta party

It looks like the team will be having a pasta party this coming Friday, the night before the Belfast races.

Look for an email from Sarah Pierce with more info.

Belfast FOC Schedule

Here is the schedule for Saturday at Belfast:

Meet Schedule
All Scratches Reported to Meet Management – 10:00 AM
Coaches and Captains Meeting at Starting Line – 10:25 AM
Canadian and American National Anthems – 10:50 AM
Girls Unseeded Section – 11:00 AM
Boys Unseeded Section – 11:45 AM
Girls Freshman Section – 12:30 PM
Boys Freshman Section – 1:15 PM
Girls Seeded Race – 2:00 PM
Boys Seeded Race – 2:40 PM
Awards Ceremony – 3:20 PM

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thinking about Belfast

For those that haven't previously been to the Belfast Festival of Champions (race next Saturday, October 3) and so you can start thinking ahead, here are some general things to know about this race ...
  • It is a long day.  Exact race times and travel times will be shared later in the week, but runners should plan on a full day.
  • The race takes place in Belfast, Maine, over a 1.5 hour drive away, adding to the long day.
  • There are six races during the day and we will have runners in all races.
  • Food offerings may have long lines and may not appeal to everyone, so all runners (and fans) should plan to bring their own food and snacks for the entire day.
  • We spend pretty much the entire day outside, so everyone needs to bring sufficient clothing to stay warm/dry.  We will have a tent, but everyone will still need warm things.
  • Later in the week we will be asking families to let us know their transportation plans and whether they will be bringing their runner to the race and/or taking their runner home from the race.  We will provide transportation to and from as needed, but will need firm plans from everyone, so please start thinking about that now.
That's all for now.  Stay tuned for more info this week.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Belfast Invite Seeds

Interested to see where you're seeded for Belfast?  The individual races (i.e. unseeded v. seeded) aren't up, but the overall seeds are here for girls and boys.

Lake Region (9.25.15)

Perfect cross country conditions greeted the team at Lake Region this afternoon.  The short course (2.8 miles) featured field and trail loops, with a 300 yard finish on the track.  This provided excellent views for spectators and some very quick times.  There were many milestones: individual winners in both the girls and boys races, as well as a win for the boys team (five runners in the top ten!)  Thank you for the parents who made the trek out to Naples, cheered us on, took pictures, brought snacks and drove the van (special gratitude to Dan Pierce for that duty!) Thank you also to Dylan, Ruben and Barbara for taking splits.

The girls led the way, and in Fiona A's case, she actually ran away with the race, taking control at the halfway point and never looking back.  Congrats to Fiona A for her first high school win!  Not to be outdone, Louise captured third place after overtaking a number of competitors in the final mile. Sophia also made a strong surge in her final lap, moving up aggressively.  Fiona L, making a recovery after early contact with chain link, battled onward and recovering nicely (if a bit angry/strongly motivated).  Emma claimed the final scoring spot, passing most of a large pack and exhibiting a strong kick on the track.  Sylvie kept pace, also overtaking several opponents and finishing with an impressive lap on the track.  Very close behind her were Sylvia and Salome, who again worked together, picking it up in the final mile and charging down the back straightaway.  Chloe also had a very impressive kick- what a turnover!  Continuing a team theme, Quinn's race was marked by much passing as she moved up several spots with a strong second half.  The girls finished second to Kennebunk, beating Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region.

The boys race also saw a Maine Coast runner out in front, with Tucker charging out to take the lead in the first quarter mile.  Congrats to Tucker for his first win of the season!  But perhaps the most impressive part of the race was Maine Coast finishing 1-6-7-8-10, which may be a first in school history.  Eli and Thomas worked together throughout the race, moving up into excellent position in the final mile.  Eli pulled away for sixth, with Thomas finishing with an aggressive kick in seventh.  Calvin and Davis also partnered up for the first two miles, with Calvin throwing down an amazing surge in the final .8 mile to claim 8th, and Davis running hard for 10th.  Nash and Finn, (who both displaced Lake Region's number 5), ran a smart race, staying competitive in the second half as their competition faded.  The boys won the race (!), beating Gray-New Gloucester, Kennebunk and Lake Region.

Next week we travel up the coast for the Belfast Invitational.  Please note that this is a Saturday race and there will be six different sections: unseeded, freshman, and seeded for both the girls and boys.  If any Maine Coast runners place in the top 10, we will be staying for the awards ceremony afterward.

As always, pictures are appreciated!

Return from Lake Region

Many kids are getting rides back from the race at Lake Region today.  Since we can not pin down a time or even a return location (some kids may get a ride with a parent that lives nearby), all the kids should be calling their parents after the race to let them know where they can be reunited.

Thank you to all parent drivers, and especially to Dan Pierce for driving a van to the race today!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Yarmouth (9.18.15)

Another Friday, another unseasonably warm cross country meet.  This week took us to Pratt's Brook in Yarmouth, where Maine Coast navigated the field and trails under some hot sun (thankfully, the trails provided some respite).  This lollipop course featured tighter spaces than our own Pineland trails, as well as a serious hill in the last quarter mile.  Many runners rose to the occasion, throwing down PRs or their fastest times for 2015.  Thanks to all the spectators (especially those bearing snacks) who waited on the field during this spectator-unfriendly race, and thank you to all the younger siblings who sprinted to the mile mark to take sprints.  

The girls were led this week by Fiona A, who started out with the lead pack and hung on for an impressive fifth place finish.  Olivia helped pace Louise through a very consistent race (although Louise edged her at the finish).  The dynamic duo of Fiona L and Sophia pack ran again to great success.  This week it would be Fiona L surging ahead in the home stretch as she and Sophia battled it out with a pack of competitors.  Sylvie took command of her race, turning in her fastest time of the season and looking quite tough on the final hill.  Emma and Phoebe worked strategically on the course, helping one another through the second half and staving off rival runners.  Emma would claim the seventh spot, but in a surprise move, Sylvia snuck up on Phoebe in the final quarter mile, just barely squeaking by her teammate and setting a PR by over a minute.  Sylvia was helpfully paced by Salome, finishing her first race of the season.  Not to be outdone, Quinn charged up the last hill to a 40 second personal best of her own.  The girls finished third to Falmouth and Yarmouth, beating Kennebunk (Sacopee Valley does not have a girls' team).

The boys side was a little sparse, due to some absences and injury.  Luckily, we had five finishers to make up a scoring team.  Eli was first across the line for Maine Coast, picking it up significantly in the final stretch.  Davis, in a return to form, ran the fastest in his third and final mile, zipping in to the finish.  Thomas was not far behind, powering up and over the final hill down the straightaway.  Nash, keeping his splits remarkably consistent, recovered from being boxed in at the start by making up some ground later in the race.  Rounding out the scoring five was Finn, who attacked the last hill on the straightaway in another dramatic battle (will all his races end this way this season? we'll have to keep watching to find out).  The boys finished fourth behind Falmouth, Yarmouth and Kennebunk (Sacopee Valley did not score).  

Please join us next week as we journey to Lake Region.  A reminder that this meet will start half an hour early: girls race at 4pm and boys at 4:30pm.

Team fee

The team fee for this season has been set at $120, which includes the team shirts.  Families will be billed by the business office.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Van/Practice this Thursday 9/17

This Thursday we will have XC practice at Desert Rd so the high school team can help with the middle school race.  We will transport all (non-driving) high school runners to Desert Rd, even if you are not a usual van rider.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jacket status

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to get jackets this season.  Despite working with the selected company since May, and receiving sample jackets for sizing, once we ordered we were informed that the women's jackets were backordered and wouldn't be available until January.  We have decided to get LS tech tees for everyone instead, which will allow us to show off our new school name in long sleeves!

Please talk to Susan if you have questions about this.

Friday, September 11, 2015

NYA (9.11.15)

Today Maine Coast took a brief respite on their return from their trip camping in the Maine wilds.  Stopping over briefly at Royal River Park in Yarmouth, they ran a few cross country races despite being slightly damp and disheveled.  The weather cleared in time for the meet, with dry air and hot sun over the baseball diamond at the second mile.  NYA's course featured plenty of pavement along the Royal River, along with some slower field sections.  Both teams did well, considering their sleep-deprived preparations, with four new PRs and nine course bests, as well as Maine Coast's first victories over WMC Class B schools despite our small numbers.  Thanks to all the parents, siblings and friends who came to support us (and whomever baked all those cookies), to Gina Quinn-Skillings and Amanda Blake Soule for the photos, and especially to Eliza and Emma for taking splits.

On the girls' side, Fiona A and Olivia led the way, settling in behind the race leader from the first quarter mile.  Working together for much of the race, Fiona finally broke away in the last mile to set another personal best and claim second place.  Dealing with some shin trouble, Olivia still managed a third-place finish with a course PR.  Rounding out Maine Coast's scorers were Sophia, Louise and Fiona L.  This trio was paced most of the way by Louise, until Sophia made a break down the home stretch, improving her time from last season by over thirty seconds.  Fiona, running on bandaged knees, was not far behind.  Emma, Sylvie and Phoebe made up the second group of three, pack running through the majority of the race.  This week it was Emma who surged in the last half mile, improving her course best by over a minute.  Sylvie finished strong in another course PR.  Not to be outdone, Phoebe refused to be left behind and registered the biggest improvement of the day (exactly two minutes faster than 2014).  Sylvia and Chloe also ran shoulder-to-shoulder along the Royal River, with Sylvia pulling slightly ahead in the final mile to set a new personal best.  Quinn, recovering from a second turned ankle, completed her first race with a strong finishing kick.  The girls finished third to Greely and Kennebunk, ahead of Poland (NYA did not score).

The boys got out to a fast start this week with Tucker and Dylan taking up early residence in the top four.  After equally strong second miles, Tucker went on to claim second place, with Dylan in fourth.  Both improved on their previous course times by almost a minute.  The pack of Calvin, Eli and Thomas exhibited quality pacing, and were rewarded for their restraint with two new personal bests (Calvin and Thomas) and an improvement over last year's time (Eli).  Calvin was able to pull away from Eli in the home stretch, with Thomas close on their heels.  This week Davis took on pacing duties, doing an admirable job of leading Nash and Finn through a very steady first two miles.  Davis led the way into the last quarter mile.  Nash left it all on the course this week while Finn still had enough energy for a sprint duel to the finish.  The boys finished second to Greely, ahead of Kennebunk and Poland (NYA did not score).

Next week we have another short journey, this time to Pratt's Brook for Yarmouth's home course.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Transportation to race on Friday

The HS will return from Mt. Blue on Friday around 2:00 to the EC parking lot.  After unloading and changing, we will transport the runners to the race at Royal River Park in Yarmouth (see the Race Schedule tab for an exact address), arriving by 3:15.  We are prepared to give all runners a ride, except those that drive themselves, so parents don't need to come to school to drive.  We will see you at the race!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Race photos

Here is a link to more photos taken at the race at Pineland on 9/4/15.  Thanks to photographer Jeff O'Brien!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Maine Coast (9.4.15)

The competitive cross country season got off to a promising start today on the Pineland trails.  For such an early season meet, we had excellent weather, with the humidity breaking just in time.  Both the girls and the boys turned in excellent efforts, and the day was marked by several PRs from returning runners.  The race also served as the debut for six new runners.  Everyone was cheered on by a healthy crowd of family, friends and faculty.  Many thanks to all our wonderful parent volunteers who provided flagging help and light refreshments.  We owe a particular debt to middle school coach (and parent) John Olson who worked on Thursday and Friday to help mark the course.  Thank you also to all the middle school runners and younger siblings who helped take splits, and particularly Salome and Quinn on the first mile.

The girls started off the afternoon with some pack running, which worked out well.  Olivia and Fiona A paced one another through the first two miles, with Olivia pulling away on the last stetch in what was the first of many battles to the finish chute.  Not to be outdone, Fiona A set a new PR and moved up the Maine Coast Top 10 list, becoming the second fastest girl in school history.  Louise was next, moving up several spots in the last mile.  The top five was rounded out by Fiona L and Sophia, with Fiona pulling away in the third mile.  In the most epic finish of the day, Sophia chased down an NYA runner with a vicious kick, edging her opponent at the lin (and taking a spike in the leg for her trouble).  The trio of Sylvie, Emma and Phoebe worked together for the first half of the race, with Sylvie cruising ahead in the final mile.  Emma managed to out-kick a competitor in the final straightaway and Phoebe set a new PR, breaking 27 minutes for the first time.  Sylvia and Chloe also paced one another through the first half, with Sylvia pulling away to break 29 in her first race.  Chloe was not far behind with a new personal best.  And Barbara successfully finished her very first cross country race, keeping a steady pace the whole way.  The girls finished third overall, behind Yarmouth and Freeport and ahead of Class C rival NYA.

The boys race also had its share of teamwork and sprints to the finish.  Tucker and Dylan led Maine Coast, running together for the first mile, before Tucker pulled away, moving up several spots in the last mile.  Dylan maintained a steady pace, holding off a (too) late challenger.  Calvin and Thomas went out in a blistering first mile, although Calvin still had enough energy left for an epic kick.  Thomas had the biggest PR of the day, a whopping 41 seconds faster than his previous best.  Eli, who will never have a career as a professional pacer, led Nash and Finn through a very ambitious first mile before finishing comfortably in the final scoring spot.  To their credit, Nash and Finn both hung in throughout the second half of the race, finishing within seconds of one another (Finn even out-sprinted a rival runner in the home stretch).  Ruben also had a strong finish to his first cross country race- for those keeping score at home, that's half of the Maine Coast finishers who competed in their first-ever meet.  The boys also finished third, behind Freeport and Yarmouth.  NYA did field a full team.

As always, check back soon to see photos from the meet (and if you took photos, please share them)

Next week we travel to NYA, where we'll race along the Royal River.  Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sleep and Sickness

Just in time for the first meet, a study about the connection between illness and sleep (or lack thereof)

The takeaway?  Get at least seven hours a night to increase your odds of fending off the common cold. 

From NPR:
"What we found was that individuals who were sleeping the least were substantially more likely to develop a cold," Prather says.  In fact, the adults who averaged five or six hours nightly during the study were four times more likely to catch the cold than people who slept at least seven hours per night.

Analyzed another way: About 39 percent of those who slept six hours or less got sick. Of those who slept more than six hours, "only 18 percent got colds," Prather says. "It's striking." Why a good night's sleep is protective isn't yet clear, but the scientists have a hunch.  

"There's evidence that people who don't get enough sleep show higher levels of inflammation," says Sheldon Cohen, a psychologist at Carnegie Mellon University who's been studying the common cold for decades and co-authored the study.  Other factors and behaviors may increase susceptibility too, research suggests. For instance, age may play a role, and smoking, chronic stress and a lack of exercise can all make us more susceptible.

Monday, August 31, 2015

World T&F Championships Update

Ben True finishes sixth overall in the 5,000m at the World Championships.

Last day to order jackets and pants

A reminder that today is the last day to order team jackets and pants.  If you haven't already done so, email Susan today to let her know if you want to order a jacket and/or pants.

Also, to be clear, there will not be a sweatpant order.  The only pants available to order are the wind pants that match the team jackets, both of which can be seen via the links in the post below.