Welcome to Kaneland Cross Country!

The purpose of this blogsite is to allow full access to the team, practices, history, and future events. Please check back with this blog throughout the summer and fall for new updates on the team. Feel free to share it with friends and family who follow the program!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Your Letters... Our Book

We’ve had a tradition for about 10 years… and for the fifth time in seven years now, after BOTH teams qualify, the coaches are proud to organize a book for the runners to read and enjoy on their trip down to Peoria.  It contains information about the meet, a puzzle or two, and most importantly, letters from their families, friends, Kaneland alumni, community members and others who felt inclined to share. 

We solicit these letter attachments to email, offering a chance to share advice, thoughts, quotes and inspiration to ALL of the runners on the team.  If you know of anyone who may enjoy the chance to send something along to the TEAM, please have them do so.

·        There will be ONE BOOK with letters to both the girls and boys teams.
Parents:  ALL parents of runners on the State Teams should make a two-fold letterFirst, please address your letter to your athlete.  Let them know how proud you are of them.  Write what is in your heart.  They will likely save this book for years to come.  Second, please add another section dedicated to the team(s).  Advice, thoughts, inspiration or otherwise would be appropriate.

Guidelines:  We will be assembling this book on Thursday.  ALL LETTERS TO THE TEAM MUST BE RECEIVED VIA EMAIL ON THURSDAY at NOONIf you do not make the deadline, there will be no guarantee that your letter will be included in the bound edition.  ALL EMAILED LETTERS SHOULD BE SENT TO:  kanelandxc@gmail.com

Letters should be kept to one page in length, if possible (small font). 
As always, we appreciate the support that our extended Kaneland Community provides us.  If you know of someone who would like to offer something to make this book even more special, please pass along the guidelines and details here.

Thank you for your help in making this special KXC tradition a reality.

Address for emailing letters:   kanelandxc@gmail.com

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Knights JV Opens Regional Course with 11 Career PR's

Coming on strong at the end of the season seems to be the theme for many runners on the ledger today. Introducing themselves to a brand new course, the Knights took it to the competition and earned a final "un-scored" team win for the season in Burlington.

Ethan Walker earned a top finish for the Knights with a 4th place showing overall, and running a :28 career PR. Petrik was next into the chute, just 7 seconds later, also running a new career PR of 17:20 (:31 PR). Dallal crossed just behind at 17:21, :25 into a PR. Seth Nosek was just a few clicks off of his personal record time, when Finn joined him at the yellow finish line with a new PR of 17:37, also completing the pack split at just :24 for potential scoring runners. 

Dalton Klingensmith just outlasted Drew Occhipinti with an equal time of 18:10, which was Dalton’s career best. He surged through the last mile in order to achieve this. Drew caps a terrific first year of running in the program. Aaron Lodwig also  completed his season in great form, running a new career best at 18:16. Abruzzo chipped a few more seconds off his career  best just 7 seconds later. Fitts nabbed a top time as well when he crossed the line at 18:24, while Scotty Dunne blasted a big :31 PR in his final run of the year.

Senior Ben Purcell ran his best time of the season on his final race, finishing just ahead of Orczykowski, who has battled hard all season and led by example.

Huber capped his freshman year with a PR on the last day, racing to a 19:04 PR. Fountain also matched that feat by running his best, 19:28, at Plato Park. Parker Malone gave great chase to the runners of Sycamore and BC, coming across the line next at 19:48. Girolamo ended his senior year with a season PR, and Kyle Konrad fought through cramps putting down a blazing kick to  tie Holder at 20:28. More runners should take note of the courage that Kyle Wells runs with despite the pain an discomfort his own body affords him when the gun goes off. This is another senior, whose example of grit, courage, and intelligence have shown brightly.

Sussland completed this new course in 22:13 after a career day at conference. Matt Konrad was on the cusp of another PR for the year at 22:46. Jablonski was in obvious pain from the first mile, but never gave up, and with great fortitude he completed the day at 25:02.  Brazee was our last Knight into the chute at 25:14, completing a brief but strong freshman campaign.

To our seniors who ran in a high school meet for the very last time, it is with sadness that the season’s schedule has closed. It is also with sincere thanks that your coaches extend to you for the leadership you have provided the entire team along this journey. Some of you came into the program just six months ago, others since the summer of 2014, but all of you have left an indelible mark on our history, and we are better for it.

Sectional Volunteer Sign Up HERE!

We have one final task this season, as a KXC Family, and it's a big one. We need our KXC families to sign up for one or both races this weekend, as well as to consider assisting with parking cars and buses on the campus.


We are hopeful that all KXC Families will consider lending a hand to this important endeavor. We cannot do this without you! Thank you very, very much for your dedication to our athletes, the program, and to Kaneland Athletics.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Longer, Slower Course Doesn't Stop Kaneland Momentum

After substantial rains caused the meet to be canceled on Saturday, the course was modified in order to get the meet in. The course got longer, softer, and ultimately slower; but it didn’t dampen the scorching efforts of our Knights.

At the varsity level, Richtman took home second overall with a  new course PR at 15:13. Occhipinti moved up 16 places from ‘16 to net 6th overall in a course PR. Webster earned All Conference honors, placing 15th, with a :17 PR at home. Heiser was :00.4 away from All Conference, placing 19th with a new personal best at KHS. Aidan Lodwig sped to a :29 course PR, in 22nd place. Wielgos ran to 25th to complete our milestone split of 2-6 at :59, and knocking 4 seconds off his best race.  Henry Nosek needed to get his diphtheria shot today, but still managed to earn 29th overall at 17:19.  The runner-up finish for the Varsity puts them in a great position to build momentum for the post season.

When the frosh soph toed the line, they were getting their first glimpse of a talented Yorkville squad and a deep NIBXII. Ethan Walker took home the first ribbon of the day for Kaneland, running a career best 3 mile race at 17:41, for 11th. Dallal was next in the chute at 12th, also running a career PR for three miles. Seth Nosek earned the last ribbon, running 17:55 overall. Ethan Neal demonstrated courage in suffering through cramps, and raced to 19th. Popovich managed a Top 20 performance at 18:13, also running a :30 course PR on the day.  Abruzzo and Fitts raced together throughout, and Tony (24th) had a :29 course PR which Charles (25th) managed a :22 course PR.
The Open team threw down a huge team effort to put 5 runners in the Top 18 overall. Blake Finn cracked the Top 5 in a career best 17:44 for three miles. Petrik came across the line next with a :29 PR at home, as well as a career best time for three miles.  Drew Occhipinti net a 12th place ribbon in a career PR for the distance, as Orczykowski was on his heels 2 seconds later to also net a career best for three miles.

Klingensmith equaled his career best at 18:38, while Aaron Lodwig ran to a new :10 PR in 18:57, good for 22nd.  Scotty Dunne earned a new PR for three miles at 19:07 (25th). Purcell ended his senior year with a PR run on the longer course, improving by :03. Malone paired up with Fountain to run back to back finish places and times at 38 and 39. Running with a teammate is a strong motivator for success. Holder was next in 41st place, earning a 1:06 career PR for three miles. Kyle Konrad was able to put up a new career best at home, running a :13 PR at 20:14. Will Huber knocked down a :20 PR on the home course at 20:22. Girolamo, running for the final time at home in his career also had a PR race on the campus course.

Trevor Sussland had the biggest drop of the day when he smashed a 2:15 career PR for three miles. Kyle Wells followed the lead of his senior teammates by running to a career best at home (:25 better). Jablonski was next to the chute, finishing strong at 21:09. Matt Konrad net a course PR of 22:42, and was just a few seconds off of his career best. Freshman David Brazee smashed his previous best from Freeport to earn a solid 22:50.

Next up, we travel with our full team to Burlington Central for a preview of the Regional course on Thursday at 4:15.

Monday, October 9, 2017

KXC PARENTS: Volunteer Sign Up


Kaneland XC Families, we hope that you will find it in your hearts to volunteer for as many positions as you can this coming Saturday when we host the NIB XII Conference Championships. Our five races will run from 10am until about 12:30pm. It is critical that we get help with key positions on the course as well as at the finish line AFTER we run a smooth performance in the parking lots.

This meet is a great dress rehearsal for the IHSA Sectional which will be hosted on the Kaneland campus on October 28th. We are most hopeful that you will join us again that weekend in similar roles.

If you have questions related to volunteering, please contact Tom and Karen Richtman, whose number is located on the linked document. Additionally, we are in need of early morning help with bus and spectator parking, as well as possible last minute course set up.

Busy weekend ahead! Looking forward to showing how well we run our home meets.

Kaneland Rallies for Byron Handicap Victory

Tonight we came back to Byron, looking to close the gap from a third place performance in 2016. The team caught fire early, when Drew Occhipinti left the line first and didn’t let up until 17:27 later when he won his first individual title in the sport. Klingensmith followed suit, leaving the starting line :20 after Drew, and entering the chute just 11 seconds later.

Surging was the plan all evening, and Popovich was next at the finish, with a season’s best mile pace to go with a fourth place medal. Abruzzo followed in next at a converted 17:12 time for 6th, and a new season’s best mile pace.  Orczykowski closed team scoring at 8th place, and sub 18:00 pace, followed immediately by Petrik who converted to 16:56.  Dallal earned the last of our varsity medals when he raced in 11th place, just 7 seconds after Petrik.

Blake Finn raced to a season’s best mile pace as well, just short of a medal at 17th overall, but improved 1:09 from ‘16. Seth Nosek was next in the chute with a time of 16:38 converted to PR by 1:14 on the course.  Walker capped our night’s varsity races by passing 20 runners on his way to a 17:05 overall time at 28th place.

Orczykowski and Petrik tied with :47 improvements from 2016, while Abruzzo took off :15 and Klingensmith another :22. The challenge was laid out ahead of the race where runners know there’s more to race for this season in earning a roster spot on the Top 12. Continuing to push for that roster makes our entire team better. Keep putting up your own strong numbers. It makes a roster decision extremely difficult for coaches, but on the whole it also makes our program that much tougher.

When the sun was setting in beautiful colors of orange and purple, the open was nearly all black and white. Charles Fitts took the individual title with a season PR on mile pace, winning in 17:33. Aaron Lodwig was runner up, just :13 behind, followed :05 later by Dunne who improved by :59 over his 2016 race. Ben Purcell raced into the finish just two seconds later, for 4th, in PR time at Byron. Fountain was right behind Ben for a 5th place medal, racing in PR mile pace time.

Parker Malone turned in a sixth place performance, earning a medal at 18:37. Senior Kyle Konrad FINALLY got to race at Byron after four years sidelined by injury, and he net a 7th place medal in season’s best time. Kyle Wells earned his own medal in 8, and setting a new standard of excellence for the season at 6:40 mile pace.

Jack Holder improved 1:10 on the night, racing to 6:46 mile pace in the process. Sussland landed a Top 10 medal with a huge PR for mile pace, finishing in 19:50. Jablonski was next to the finish, without his spikes but in 12th position.  Matt Konrad ran a peak race with PR mile pace, coming in 13th overall.  David Brazee improved his mile pace by :50 and is really in a groove. What a huge time drop in mile pace!

Overall, there were so many highlights, but the best may have come after the race when a woman working the finish chute took a moment to speak with the coaches. She was not only impressed with the way the team ran, but she was most pleased by the genuinely good manners and respect that she was shown by all of our finishers.

What you do, how you represent your school, your team, and your family, speaks volumes when you may not even know it. While we took home many awards for great races, the fact that you left a lasting impression on a meet official who sees “Kaneland XC” in this light is a great victory for our program.

We are always proud of you boys, for the competitors you are, and how you go back at the finish to be good sports and shake hands with your peers from other schools. Always remember to C.A.R.E. about what you do, and to give your best attitude and effort; just like you did tonight.