Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Running Season

Now that the snow has finally melted, running season will be upon us before we know it and the high school running program will, as in past years, be offering a running camp this summer.  The dates will be Wednesday, July 15 to Friday, July 17.

For those new to the running team, the running program has sponsored a 2-3 day "running camp" each July hosted by the Pierce family on Sebago Lake.  The purpose of the camp is to build excitement for the upcoming season, to help runners stay motivated, to encourage a supportive and healthy team environment and, of course, to HAVE FUN!  In order to have the camp be successful for all, we ask that kids attend camp only if they intend on being on the team in the fall.

1.  We need a minimum of 10 runners to be able to hold the camp.
2.  Runners should be excited to commit to the XC Team during the fall season.
3.  Cost:  The only cost is for food at camp, usually under $75 for 3 days (thank you Pierces!).

By May 15, every family should let me know one of the following:
1.  You (your runner) will attend camp and can firmly commit.
2.  You (your runner) is interested in camp, but you need more time to determine if the dates work.
3.  You (your runner) is interested in running but cannot come to the camp.
4.  You (your runner) is not interested in the xc running team.

Please tell Susan at school, send an email to, or give her a call at 688-8989 with your intentions.

If we don't come up with enough kids for running camp, we'll still organize some team runs and team training days over the summer.

As always, please let Susan know if you have any questions.  Thanks!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Thank you to everyone for the amazing season!  

Monday, November 10, 2014

New England Championships (11.8.14)

The trip to the New England Championships provided the capstone to the boys' cross country season, a mixture of challenge, camaraderie and fun.  While the race results were definitely uneven- the absence of our reliable number five, Lars, was keenly felt- it was generally agreed to be an excellent all-around experience.  The team left Friday afternoon to travel to Manchester, CT, stopping on the way for dinner (which included the largest pasta portions ever seen).  The team spent a quiet night, waking up the next morning for a light breakfast and course walk at Wickham Park.  The team was fortunate to enjoy cool temperatures with bright sun and a light wind.  The course itself was fairly dry, but with a trail that criss-crossed a massive hill (for those who want a mental image, check out the course map, complete with topo lines!), it provided constant challenges, along with a beautiful view of the Hartford skyline.

A big thank you to Susan and Sarah for making the travel arrangements, and Keelyn for driving, chaperoning, photographing and supporting the team!

The boys' race started out fast- very fast.  Tucker was briefly in the lead, surging out quickly so as not to get boxed in.  The large, fast field quickly swallowed him, and he spent the remainder of the race comfortably in the middle of the pack.  He broke 18 minutes on the challenging course, as did Zach, who was not far behind.  Zach had one of his better races, using the competitive field to motivate himself.  Getting swept up in the fast pace, he handled the hills with aplomb and finished his high school career on a high note.  Dylan had perhaps the strongest race of the day, running very even splits despite the nearly half-mile sections of uphill.  Undaunted by the morale-crushing ascent in the second mile, Dylan powered through to finish right behind Zach.  Nick faced a slightly different challenge, after losing a shoe in the first half mile.  An unseen competitor stepped on the heel of his spike and heavily packed course was too crowded for him to recover it.  In true Carlin Tindall-style, Nick forged on ahead, completing the remaining two and a half miles with one shoe.  Unsurprisingly, gravel is uncomfortable in just a sock, and it's hard to get traction on the uphills.  Yet Nick still managed a fairly fast time, finishing close behind Dylan. Graham stepped into the final scoring position on the team, running another consistent race close behind some of the other Maine competitors from Freeport and Windham.  He managed to improve significantly on his State meet performance, despite the challenging terrain.  Lincoln was the final finisher for the team, and although he did get temporarily sidetracked near the end of the course.  Despite this, he managed to smile through almost the entire course.  Eli started his race with Graham, his usual racing partner, but after experiencing dizziness (among other unpleasant health symptoms), he dropped out at the second mile.  The boys' team finished 30th overall.

Full results can be found here.  The photo page will be updated in the coming days.

This meet marks the end of the competitive season for the cross country team.  Congratulations to the seniors on a great four years, and hope to see everyone next season!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

End of Season Things

Now that the season has ended, it's time to return your CLEAN uniform to Susan.

Remember that we have our end-of-season party on Monday, November 10 at 7:00 in the Community Hall.  Everyone should bring a dessert or beverage to share.

Thank you!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Potential solutions to lower leg injuries

For those who dealt with lower leg injuries and pain this season, here are two related articles: the first highlights a recent shoe innovation that might be causing distress (and posits a potential solution.  The second examines the potential benefits (beyond fashion) of compression socks.

Got Calf, Achilles or Foot Pain?

Do High Schoolers Need Compression Socks?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

More ideas for fueling on race day

This article has suggestions on what to eat and when (it's geared towards a track meet-type experience, but a lot holds true for a weekend x-country meet).  It has helpful advice on what to eat if you're among the many who have difficulty eating a good breakfast (early) on race day.

Monday, November 3, 2014

More Press Coverage

Tri Town News has an article on the Class C (and B) State Meet.  Check it out here.

And if you missed their coverage of the Regional meet, we've got you covered right here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

States (11.1.14)

Four top-ten finishes.  Five all-time PRs.  Eight course PRs.  Ten team medals.  And of course, one first-time-ever boys Class C cross country championship trophy.

Yes, Belfast was good to Merriconeag.

The weather, however, was not.  Luckily the almost-frigid temperatures didn't slow many runners down, as they barreled across the muddy course. The long straightaways, sharp turns and wide open fields seemed to agree with the Merriconeag runners, as several individuals (sporting hats, gloves and extra layers) charged through the five kilometers.  More after the jump:

Merriconeag XC in the news

The Portland Press Herald's story on the boys' race includes a quotation from our own Lars Gundersen.  The Bangor Daily News covers the boys' race and the girls' race.  And of course, there is the usual extensive coverage over at milesplit, including an interview with Tucker and more race photos.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

A new addition

Congratulations to the boys XC team- they won their first State Championship today.  Check back soon for complete details on what was a very successful day at Belfast for both the boys and girls.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A little good news

A little shout-out to Merriconeag in the Portland Press Herald's race preview for States.

Saturday vans

A reminder that we intend on leaving Desert Rd tomorrow morning at 7:30, heading to Belfast.  Runners riding the van should be at school by 7:25 so we can make our 7:30 departure.

One More Time: the Belfast Course Map

For those who need a refresher, here's the course map for the State Meet.

Last minute levity

Gladiators had their own form of Gatorade.  Check out this article- it's true!  Although it sounds like their version was much less palatable.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

And now a word from your captains...

Lars writes:

We continued to taper last week, running fewer miles and shorter workouts in preparation for the Regional Meet, which was held at Twinbrook on Saturday.  We had beautiful though far from torrid weather for the race, and everyone ran well, having been sufficiently nourished with gluten the night before.  Congratulations to both teams who, as everyone knows, finished second.

XC News and Updates

Lots of news to share …

Practice Info
-          No practice Thursday (tomorrow)
-          Friday practice at Desert Rd at 3:00

-          Vans leave at 7:30 AM from Desert Rd
-          Vans are stopping for pizza on the way home (see below for more restaurant info)
-          Vans will return to Desert Rd 4:00-5:00.  Kids can call from the road.

We need an RSVP for every runner (send email to Susan) with the following information:
-          Saying if you want a ride to the race in Belfast
-          Saying if you want a ride back to Freeport after the race in Belfast
-          If you don’t need a ride at all, send a note saying that

Pizza Info for Saturday
Vans are going to pizza on the way home from the races in Belfast.  We have made reservations for just the runners.  If parents or other family members want to join in, great - and please make your own reservations.  If your runner is not going to pizza at all, tell Susan in your RSVP note re: van rides.
The restaurant is:
Roosters Coal Fired Pizza
110 Community Drive

End-of-season gathering
Please put Monday, November 10 on your calendar!  We will be getting together on that Monday evening at 7:00 PM in the Community Hall.  We will have potluck dessert and say thank you to a number of folks.  It is always a nice way to cap off the season, so please plan on being there and bringing a dessert to share.  This is an event for runners and their parents, with siblings most welcome.

It's Official...

Congratulations to Tucker (First Team, All-Conference), Olivia (First Team, All-Conference) and Sam (Second Team, All-Conference)!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A solution to smelly wet shoes

Here's a brief video on how to best dry out your running shoes (and spikes), which seems apropos, given the weather last week.