Oct. 5, 2007
It seems like the deeper we get into the season, the longer it takes me to catch up in the office. So, it is now Friday, and I have finally gotten to my post-Minnesota blog.
Well, we had a bit of a bittersweet ride out at the Griak Invite in Minneapolis last weekend. Travel was great (travel with minimal delays is good). The weather was fantastic on Friday but for the competition it fell apart. The men ran under cloudy skies and heavy winds, but as the gun went off for the women's race, the rain began to fall and the wind continued to blow hard.
Our team has come so far in the last few years that it is hard to be disappointed in our performance. The men scored 185 points and the last time we were at the meet we scored 287. Andrew Jones and Alex Grant ran fantastic races, moving up in the competition the entire race. I truly believe they will continue to get better in our next few races. Drew Polley had his first race since last year's NCAA championships and I thought he had a solid effort. Our next group of runners from numbers 4-10 fell apart a bit. Woody Favinger had a tough day, and we hope to get him back. The others were just a bit off, but still our off day now is so far better than a good day in the past.
This was the first race for our top four women this season and they looked good. Sara Trané, Meghan Leonard, Collier Lawrence, and Isley Gonzalez, ran smart, moved up through the pack and had a great day. Again, keep in mind that in 2004 when we ran at this meet our women scored 460 points! This year we scored 213, what a difference! Our Achilles heal right now with the women is closing the gap from our 4th to our 5th runner. Lisa Egami was our fifth runner and finished 60 seconds behind our fourth runner. This gap needs to be 30 seconds and the women will get to the NCAA Championships.
So there you have it. Good solid meet but we have plenty more in the tank. For our top runners, this was their first race and I look for them to improve a bit more by Pac-10s and NCAA Regionals. We have had another good week of training and are excited to get after it again at the Pre-Nationals next weekend in Indiana.
Until next time, Go Cougs!