Champions are Made in the Off Season
Happy Holidays Hawks Family!
I hope you're feeling well and enjoying the holiday break. I also hope you're staying active, doing some fun activities, and letting your bodies grow and heal after a hard cross country season.
January, my friends, is right around the corner. And you all worked too hard all Fall to let that fitness and strength just slip away. Sitting around and doing nothing active all Winter will force you to start all over again in March when track season rolls around - and you don't want to go through that again!
They say that "champions are made in the off season." With respect to running, the truth is closer to "champions are people who train easy through the off season to maintain fitness, enabling them to build from a higher foundation the next season." In other words, we only want you to stay active and do some easy running until we start building into track. The hard stuff can wait. But you DO need to do something over the next couple of months. The work you've done so far is a base from which you can build to higher heights and faster times in the next season, if you don't let it slip away.
Starting in January, try to get 2 to 3 easy runs in per week. We will make it easy on you, as we plan to do weekly team meet-ups each Saturday morning at 9am at McKinley Park in East Sac. Come run with teammates and coaches and knock out one of the runs you need to fit in. That means you just have to do another jog or two sometime during the week to maintain your fitness - take your dog, or meet up with a friend, or run away from your brother - whatever it takes to get a few miles on your legs.
In the first week in February, coaches will start up a second weekly team meet-up on Mondays at the Boathouse. That means, if you also join us on Saturday, you'll have at least two runs a week with us and only have to run once or twice on your own.
Finally, we plan to do team meet-ups for easy runs three days a week starting in March. Monday and Thursday evenings at the Boathouse, and Saturday morning at McKinley. These aren't actual practices, we will just do some easy miles together and maybe some strength and stretching afterwards.
We are also running as a team in the Shamrock'n 5K on Saturday, March 11th, Coach Erin sent out a discount code on the team app. This may be another way to motivate you to keep running - sometimes having a 5K in your future keeps you going!
If anyone wants personalized workout schedules, let me know. I can email you a spreadsheet with a weekly proposed workout that you can print to keep track of your runs by the week.
We want you all to be fit and healthy when we start track practice on Monday, March 27th. But that means you have to be active this off season. We are counting on you to get out there and keep some of that fitness that all your incredible work developed during cross country. I'm looking forward to a successful, fast track season for you all!
The Hawks’ cross country season comes to a close, and they crushed it at USATF Junior Olympic Nationals in Texas! The athletes peaked right on schedule, many of them running their best races of the season and others gaining the critical experience of running in high-stakes meets against elite competition. The weather was MUCH better than the past few XC Nationals, and there was a great time had by all who traveled.
Hadley showed up early Saturday morning to be ready to run in the first race of the day. Competing against the best runners from all over the country, Hadley pushed herself to a great time and a 90th place finish out of 189 finishers, one of three Hawks to finish in the top 100!
Next, we had four Hawks toe the line for the 9-10 girls 3k race. A light sprinkle and some scattered clouds kept the temperature down and spurred our girls to brave, strong races. Josie ran out of her mind, finishing the season as the top Hawk on her team and placing 128th out of 283 runners in the race. She took 1:20 off her regional qualifying time and beat her nemesis (friend) from the Solano Thunderhawks for the first time all season! Sonia finished as the second Hawk in the race, lowering her race pace by 30 seconds from her regional race pace and earning 181st place. Harper, fighting through an upset stomach and a fall at the start, was still able to take 33 seconds off her regionals time to finish just behind Sonia in 196th place. Finally, Maddi rocked her race by running 8-minute pace overall, PRing by 44 seconds, and placing 251st with her perennial smile on her face! Overall, every 9-10 girl crushed the day and represented the Hawks with grit and aplomb.
Next up, David stepped up to represent the Hawks in the 9-10 boys race in his first nationals experience. He went out strong and pushed all the way through the race to finish in 202nd place out of 308 young runners. David ran 36 seconds faster than his regionals time, finishing the season with one of his best races!
Simply put: Elias had another race of his life. Going in, Elias had one of the fastest times in the country and was focused on one thing – beating the runner who ran him down in both races at track nationals last summer. He was sure, if he could beat his friend Quenton from the Barron Park Striders, he could finally secure a national championship. Despite successfully battling Quenton all race to finish ahead of him, and running a 3k time of 9:39 (just 4 seconds slower than his national record-breaking time of 9:35 on a track in July), Elias’ hopes for a title were dashed by another runner. Elias fought all the way to the finish to place 2nd in the 11-12 boys race – an incredible end to an incredible season and year for the Hawk. Of course his Coach/Dad couldn’t be more proud of him, knowing he gave everything he had in his final 11-12 age group race.
Following Elias was one of our newest Hawks, Annie, making her nationals’ debut. The weather was getting warmer by the time she hit the course, but Annie pushed her way to a great finish. Out of the 333 girls in her race, Annie finished 231st, and learned what it was like to really compete at the national level. Her work all season culminated in a great effort!
Finally, the Hawks’ 13-14 boys team lined up to compete in the largest field of the day with 416 runners on the starting line. The humidity didn’t seem to bother the boys as they were all business getting ready for their race. When the gun went off, the team did their best to get out fast but were quickly absorbed into the mass of runners. They all fought their way through the course, improving their positions over the race. Matthew came across the line first for the Hawks, placing 66th overall, passing 64 competitors, with fire in his eyes he ran his fastest pace for 4k all season. Oliver had another amazing race as he has improved all season. Finishing 132nd overall and second for the Hawks, reliable Oliver put all his heart into the race the way he always does. Ryko, returning from his victorious freshman season to run a solid third for the team, finished 210th overall. Charlie passed a number of competitors through the race to finish 301st out of the 416 runners in the race, while Lou rounded out the team with a great effort on his part. The team scored 611 points and beat 15 other teams to finish 23rd in the entire country. These boys handled their business and led our Hawks to the best finish in the club’s history – they crushed it as a team!
Overall, it was another successful end to another successful season for the Hawks family. Success begets success, we are building a program of excellence on the backs of these athletes and we could not be prouder of every Hawk on the team this season. Our success stems from the effort of EVERY runner on the team – we don’t complain, we trust the system, we work hard, and we have a positive mental attitude. With our three Ts, our team is getting better all the time and that is all we can ever ask. We are looking forward to the end of season party on Thursday, continuing our success in track season next spring, and growing a continual string of confident and competitive runners through our team. Geaux Hawks!
Delta Hawks Coaches