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, September 17, 2017

Pair of 5th Place Finishes from Box 5 at Eddington

On a somewhat steamy morning of racing, our boys found “the pack” as a means of heating up the course and making history in the process. Matt Richtman surged to victory, using a new approach as front-runner from the gun. His victory was three seconds faster than his time last fall, in warmer conditions.

Behind Richtman, it was Daniel Occhipinti who passed twelve runners from the mile mark to net 27th place and earn a new course PR at 16:35. Peyton Heiser took “the edge” with the chase pack and finished just 26 seconds off of Occhipinti’s pace, :20 better than 2016. Sam Webster was on his heels at the chute, just two places and 00.3 back. Wielgos net a new course PR 4 seconds later at 17:04, to complete our scoring and help the team to a fifth place finish.

Henry Nosek joined in the fun by finishing as our sixth runner, and pushing the scores of  40 other scoring runners. Aidan Lodwig also did damage to the other scoring teams by netting a course PR and pushing 35 scoring runner totals up.

The frosh soph crew loaded Box 5 with their full arsenal. Neal fought dehydration and cramping to grind out an 8th place finish. Seth Nosek locked down at Top 20 performance with a :45 course PR time. Dallal moved up to 24th, with a time of 18:12.  Ethan Walker just missed a ribbon at 37th, in 18:30, but served as an excellent target for Popovich who was in next at 39th overall to complete our score.

Fitts was in the chute next as a strong 6th runner, defeating 56 other scorers from teams in the race. Abruzzo crossed the line 5 seconds later, pushing 55 more runner’s totals, and netting a 1:20 PR at home.

Parker Malone set a career best time in the heat, running :57 faster than at Detweiller last weekend. No one improved more than that, from last week. Dunne was 1:02 faster than ‘16, in PR time and just two places ahead of Aaron Lodwig who set his best course standard at 19:54. Huber also set his new 3 mile best, finishing in 20:42.

Jack Holder managed the biggest drop of the day by  dropping 2:10 off his ‘16 Eddington performance.  Sussland followed with a new course best to beat, at 24:05.  Woods was within :04 of his ‘16 Eddington performance, and will get two more reps on the home course with conference and the new Knight Run in October.

Unfortunately, the FS race was our last of the day as the heat took too many runners to the trainer or ER. The great value of hydration was on display as the ambulances left the campus. We net a pair of trophies on the day, and some critical lessons regarding meet preparation. We’ll be much sharper this weekend without the distractions of hosting a meet and adding extra time on our feet on Friday night. Get ready for a big week! It's "Peak Week!"


KXC Parent Feedback Solicited for Hosting Upcoming Meets

KXC Families are encouraged to use THIS LINK to reach a google document for offering positive, constructive feedback related to making our home meets even better. There are strict parameters for including ideas at the top of the document. All submissions are expected to remain positively focused and documented with the author's name as a point of reference in the event there are follow up questions that coaches can ask.

As always, the strength of Kaneland hosting cross country meets relies on the powerful and awesome efforts of our parent volunteers. Covering a course that stretches nearly 3/4 of a mile, it is critical that we use the ideas and observations of our volunteers to make adjustments to improve our meet.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Knights are Fifth to the Finish at Peoria

The course was in much better shape this year, and so was our team. On the strength of an individual championship from Matt Richtman, the team totaled 286 points to land in the Top 5 for a crystal trophy. Richtman hunted down two runners through the first mile and kicked to an :06 victory, the first ever for a Knight at this meet. Equally impressive, Daniel Occhipinti was able to crack the Top 30 and break the 16:00 barrier for the first time, running 15:58. With 30 points scored from our Top 2 runners, the power of the pack was felt just :47 later.
Sam Webster (70, 16:31) was just short of his career PR on this 80 degree day, and started a large wave of “diamond” Knights who finished just five seconds apart. Aidan Lodwig finished in the Top 100 (90, 16:40), just ahead of Heiser (16:43) who was our #5. Weilgos was on Heiser’s heels with an identical time (96), and Neal made his varsity debut memorable with a career best 16:45. Our 3-7 runners teamed up for four PR’s on the day.

Henry Nosek took a moderate approach to racing, following his race plan well and pacing his brother Seth to a 1:03 PR for 3 miles. Henry is looking forward to rejoining his pack mates next weekend at Eddington. Ethan Walker, in just his second high school race of his career, nearly broke 18:00, finishing off his day in 18:06.  With so many ranked teams in the Varsity race, it was particularly satisfying to see the group pack up and run with fortitude in the new diamond jerseys.

As the Open Race started, a flood of more than 1,000 runners thundered down the slope at Detweiller. When the dust settled, Kaneland amassed 12 career PR’s for 3 miles in the race.  Dallal led the charge by coming in 102nd (17:48), with Popovich chasing him down the stretch (17:51). Finn was following the race plan of hunting down “diamonds” at the end, finishing just 5 seconds off of Brady and earning a career PR in 17:56.

Orczykowski led the next wave of Knights who put four in the chute, just :06 apart. This makes watching the team so much fun! Kyle Or went 18:25 for a career PR, with Petrik earning a course PR just :02 later. Fitts was next across the line, earning a new PR of 18:29, and Drew Occhipinti cracked off a huge PR run at 18:31. The improvement from this crew is inspiring and has come after great intensity on the Crazy 8’s days the past two weeks.

Aaron Lodwig put up a career best for 3 miles at 19:07, and Dunne registered a course PR in 19:30. Fountain was just :03 back of Dunne, his first run under 20:00. Klingensmith established a new personal best on this course at 19:42, as did Abruzzo at 20:01. Purcell overcame a very bloody nose, proving his own Warrior Mindset strengths, to finish in 477th and in the top half of the field.

Malone ran three miles for the first time, setting the bar at 20:31 for his new time to beat. Kyle Wells was determined not to let his final chance at running Detweiller go by without a fight. His inspired effort to run 20:40 was exemplary. Freshman Ted Allen was able to run his GPS watch to perfection and compete for the very first time in our lineup. His execution of a restricted race plan allowed him to still finish sub 21:00, and well above the top 2/3 of all finishers.

Sussland managed a new standard to shoot for with three miles, running 23:13, while Jablonski raced to 906th in 23:39 on the day. Senior Matt Konrad dropped his mile pace by :12 from last week to finish in 23:56 and on a mission to improve.  Top to bottom, this was a super effort on a warm and dusty day. The collective State of 2A cross country seems up for grabs in earning a Top 16 finish. 

We must continue to work on our own milestones, and make every effort to move up in our own finish groups.  While we have waves of runners finishing close together, we need to see runners pushing into new packs and pulling teammates up to the next level. We’re not yet where we need to be. Keep striving for more, and push those around you.


Recent Rankings by Mike Newmann

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kaneland Masters Hills of Veteran's Acres for 3rd Place Varsity, 4th Frosh Soph

We knew the course was tough. We didn’t know our own team was tougher. Proving to be Warriors once again, the team was determined to pack up and race brilliantly on the legendary 5K course. 13 medals, every frosh soph runner ran a PR mile pace, and we finished as the best 2A school in the meet once again.

Richtman overcame two falls on the course to start scoring with a second place finish. Daniel Occhipinti landed a Top 20 finish with 17th overall, and was followed by our first big wave of finishers.

Aidan Lodwig, Sam Webster, and Jacob Wielgos finished 0.7 seconds apart, to complete our scoring and accomplish our first milestone of the season (3-5, sub :20, two meets in a row). Webster surged from 10 seconds down at the end of the race. Heiser came in 23 seconds later, good for 44th.

Finn and Petrik paired up and ran two seconds apart with Fin running a better mile pace than Tuesday, which is quite a feat!
Drew Occhipinti led another wave of checkerboard Knights when he out-leaned Orczykowski, just one second ahead of Purcell. Finishing in waves like this is breathtaking and exciting to watch because it shows that you all teamed up throughout the race to work with one another. Drew ran a PR mile pace, on the rolling Veteran’s Acres.  Matt Konrad improved his mile pace by 11 seconds per mile with a gritty effort and strong finishing kick.

Our Frosh Soph crew managed to have every single runner net a new PR mile pace for the season, despite the hills. Neal surged and passed all race long to finish 14th overall. Seth Nosek (26) led a twelve second wave of Knights to the finish with Walker, Dallal, Popovich, and Lodwig (32, 34, 38, 40). This type of scoring does a great amount of damage in team scoring. All runners were under 6:00 mile pace on the run. Fitts earned the last of our medals with a 61st place finish, and Dunne missing out by just one spot but a season’s best effort.

Fountain and Huber came in next after spending much of the race in contact with one another; they were 2 seconds apart. Malone and Abruzzo were quickly in next, five seconds later, making it a wave of four runners in :10.  Holder ran :30 per mile faster than Tuesday, and Sussland incredibly improved by :56 per mile. Conley also dropped :19 per mile on the course to finish in 16:28.

We have new milestones this week, and a course to be excited about, on tap in Peoria. We will see some of the very best 2A teams in IL this weekend; and an enormous open that will help us hit new heights for PR times.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Kaneland Packs Net Pair of Seconds at Sycamore Invite

It was the best opening meet we could have asked for in starting the 2017 campaign. The varsity squad nailed a solid pack split, putting 5 in the Top 28 to earn a second place finish among some strong teams in Class 2A.

Richtman held off a surging Sterling superstar to earn the individual title with a time of 15:20, a meet record. Daniel Occhipinti cracked the top 12 with his own strong effort against Sycamore, running 16:42 on the hilly course.

Our team sealed an elite finish when the pack of checkerboards began pushing into the chute a few seconds later. Wielgos, Webster, and Heiser raced :15 apart to earn medals. . Lodwig just missed a medal but net a terrific 32nd effort in 17:25, as the top 6th man in the meet.

Petrik poured in a very good 18:39, as our seventh runner, bettering 27 scoring runners from other schools.  Finn nabbed an 18:59, good for 66th. Purcell came in just 8 places later with a course PR of 19:07. Orczykowski celebrated his birthday in style by running 19:13, and a finish in the top half.  Klingensmith was on his heels just 5 seconds later, keeping the checkerboard in his sights the whole way.

Drew Occhipinti smashed the 20:00 barrier in his first three mile race, crossing the line at 19:40. Warriors and courage take on many forms in races. Keep watching Drew’s improvements. Jablonski completed the day for varsity at 24:11, remaining positive and committed to excellence. Matt Konrad began his XC career with great effort in 25:04.

The frosh soph crew wouldn’t let their older brothers have all the fun today. These Knights put up more medal winning performances and met their Milestone with a top notch split.

Neal started scoring by racing 6th in a season’s best 5:50 mile pace. This was :20 faster per mile than in the scrimmage. Seth Nosek and Dallal teamed up for 13 and 14 with a second between them. Popovich was our next Knight into the Top 20, placing 16th in 14:45.  Aaron Lodwig completed our scoring split by finishing 31st in 15:14, good for the :65 pack split. This is a great start!

Abruzzo and Fitts were in next, just two seconds apart, both with big PR mile paces over last week. Dunne was :07 per mile faster in this meet, finishing 43rd to get into the Top 1/3. Fountain was next at 57, :19 per mile better than Friday. Huber was right behind him (:21 improvement for mile pace).

Malone raced hard through the finish, another improving performance for  PR pace and intensity. Holder had the “finish of the day” by hammering home his sprint to run 17:28 (2:13 PR from ‘16). Conley and Sussland stood up to the challenge and were brilliant in their efforts on the longer course. Woods raced competitively throughout and ran sub 24:00.


Solid effort and great Knight!


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Silver Steals Scrimmage Title with 5 in Top 13

This event does many things for our team, including: gives a small glimpse of what’s to come, challenges our limits on a hilly course, gets us the chance to finally compete, brings some excitement to what we have been doing all summer long.
Silver used a strong push up front, and some surprises along the way to earn their victory against Brothers.

Webster and Heiser showed that the pack we believe we will have in the scoring mix is going to be tight all season. Each net personal record (PR) runs on the 2.4 mile course. Dallal was the first freshman across the line, cracking into the Top 10 in his first HS run. Just behind came Orczykowski, pulling a 1:14 PR. Rounding our Silver Team scoring was Finn at 15:27. Fountain chipped in a championship effort at 16:47. Jablonski and Sussland did the exact same with a 2:15 PR for Kevin and a 19:20 race from Trev, while posting his strongest mile pace of the summer.

Richtman won individual honors with a :41 improvement over last fall’s results. Black Team got equally good efforts from Seth Nosek, who posted a 1:58 PR, Petrik notching a :56 PR, 18th overall from Purcell, and Aburzzo on his heels with a 1:27 PR. Huber and Wells ran much of the way together as teammates, which is something we want to see from the whole team. Wells had the finish of the day, finding one of the many holes in the turf at the Woods. Pay careful attention to the way Wells approaches his season. Although injured, he gutted out yet another strong effort.

The Occhipinti Orange Team used some young power to net good results as well.  Daniel took some skin, and some time, off of his race from last year, posting a :12 PR. Neal showed he’s game for leading the FS team this fall with a solid 14:48, virtually running alone much of the way.  Popovich crossed next for Orange in 15:09, just out-kicking Petrik. Walker and Fitts, two more newcomers to KXC, paired up and finished 4 seconds apart and in the Top 15. Senior Drew Occhipinti and Parker Malone each ran their first races at Elburn Woods and looked tough in the process. It’s a long season, and we all got some good experience with hill running today.

White Team good a boost from Wielgos and Aidan Lodwig up at 4th and 6th. Both running 1:00+ PRs. Aaron Lodwig was next in for White, 2:00 back of his brother, and teammate Dunne immediately after, netting a 2:30 PR, second biggest drop of the day. Klingensmith and Tiv were White Teamers only a second apart, Dalton with a :29 PR, and Tiv on his third day of XC. Holder had the biggest PR smash, crushing his 2016 scrimmage time by 4:49.

Can’t wait to see this crew race as a full team, at both levels. It’s going to be a fun season for us all.


Friday, August 4, 2017

KXC Spirit Pack and Warm Up Jacket Orders Due 8/10

It's time for all of our boys to connect to the BSN Team Store, so they can order their new meet warm up top. These Holloway Raider tops were selected by our seniors and can be personalized with an athlete's name by going to bsnteamsports.com and then entering the following team code:  zCfRHJkPRq

KXC BOYS ONLY should order one jacket at the price of $48. After the team store closes on Sunday, BSN will credit all accounts who purchased the warm up top with $24. BSN has dictated that this be the easiest process for all families to only pay $24 (in the end) without coaches hunting down families for $24 checks.  The other half of the cost of the jacket is being paid by the coaching staff through our activity account with fund raised monies and remaining monies from our summer conditioning camp. In the ordering process there is an opportunity to add your name to this garment for no additional cost. This is the jacket you're looking for on page 2 of the flyer.

KXC Families should consider piggybacking on the order by grabbing any new t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other apparel. The orders for such garments can be made simultaneously with the warm up jacket order. Please keep in mind that the team warm up jacket is for the team only.

This fall, our team is getting some new equipment via the uniform rotation. The boys will have new jerseys and shorts for racing, and new backpacks to carry equipment on meet days only. The same shorts and backpacks will be on sale, on the Team Store, should an athlete wish to purchase any of them.

If you have any questions regarding the order, please contact Coach Clarey. Our window is short for orders so that we can get the equipment back to our team and families earlier in the fall. THE TEAM STORE CLOSES AT 11:59PM ON SUNDAY, AUG. 13. There can be NO exceptions after the deadline. When it's closed, it's closed.

You can see the flyer in the PAGES connection in column to the right.