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 27, 2015

Top 10 at Charger Classic

Kintz took 6th overall in 15:05, and Richtman ran 9th in 15:09.

Charger Classic Ends Peak Week in Big Fashion for Knights

Varsity Earns 8th in a field that included 7 teams ranked in the Top 25 for varying Illinois Class 2A and 3A polls, as well as the defending State Champion from Iowa (Linn-Mar) and Kentucky's #8 ranked cross country team.

Our Frosh Soph team collected 4th, and just 3 points from a team trophy.

Here's more:

Peak Week!” We knew it was upon us. We battled aches and pains, tired legs and a heavy field of top notch teams, and came away with great momentum for the remaining weeks of 2015.

Slight course modifications resulted in a :10 head start to awesome times. Kintz and Richtman wasted no time after the first surge point in passing 8-10 runners on their way to new course records. Sean Spaetzel couldn’t wait to get out of the traffic in the woods and start pushing toward his own course PR. Kuipers locked down a :29 improvement to run 4th for our squad, and Kainrath was on his heels just 4 seconds later. This tight knit racing by our 4-5-6 will be crucial in weeks to come. Kurz managed one of the biggest improvements with a 1:31 PR on the course. Messina also used surges and a very strong kick to outlast Kantola by one spot and net a new PR for the Oakhurst course. Again, pairing up to race is a necessity and a bonus for us; way to go Anthony and Andrew!
Aaron French and David Wojak were paired through the first surge point. The senior broke away and charged to a :25 improvement. As a team, our varsity improved their team time by 6:01 over last year! Their pack split also improved :36 from 2014.

In the frosh soph race, our team narrowly missed a team trophy, coming just 3 points shy of East Aurora. Webster improved :84 for a new PR, and started scoring at 13th. Nosek was just 6 places behind, also with a :82 PR. Wielgos had a big day, keying off of Henry, and running :01 behind. Scoring was completed when Peyton Heiser finished 9 places later (30), and Girolamo just 8 more (38). Cristian managed a :84 PR on a big day for this team. Purcell was three places behind (41), and was a factor in that pack most of the way. Freshman Aidan Lodwig ran his best mile pace of the season for 59th overall, easily in the top half of all competitors.

Our Open Team made history with the program’s best pack split for 3 miles this season (:53). Smith ran a :52 PR at ACC, Nemec hit his best mile pace of ‘15, with Wells (:26) and Gingrich (3:15) just 24 seconds off Smith’s pace. Orczykowski ran his best race of the season in 92nd place. Klingensmith and Babula were next, Babula at PR pace. Jablonski, Petrik and Osborne also ran PR pace for the season, with Kyle passing 7 in the last mile  for a dramatic finish.

We are really getting better despite the sore legs and heavy workload. We must keep our positive attitudes up, and need to challenge one another to stay in our packs. We’ll get better, but you need to want it.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Knights Varsity Steps Up at Eddington, FS Boys Take 5th

We had a pretty good feeling that times would be slow on the Elburn Woods course, given the heavy rainfall from the night before. We had no idea our team would step up to run such big PR’s and compete so well in a field that included Top 10 ranked teams.  We knew we would be in a battle just to have a chance at a trophy, and the team gave their best effort of the season.

Our varsity boys moved up 8 team places from 2014 to capture 6th behind a stellar Top 10 finish from Richtman (:98 PR). Our seniors came out and gave a huge effort to help lead the way to a high team finish. Racing his first time at the Woods, Kintz rocked a 14th place finish in a strong field of individual runners. Spaetzel ran a career PR by :27 to net a ribbon (26th overall). Will Kuipers put notched a career PR on the course in 17:45 (:44 PR) as our #4, and Zach Kurz stepped up to fill our #5 slot with a :59 PR to close our scoring. Kainrath defeated 37 other scoring runners in his Elburn Woods debut, and Kantola set a :26 PR on the wet, muddy course.

Our Frosh Soph team has excelled this season, and were up against some deep and talented programs. They narrowly missed 4th and outlasted East Aurora by a single point to bring home a 5th place trophy. Sam Webster captured a place on the podium, running 7th overall with a :94 PR. Nosek (21st, :95 PR) and Wielgos (27th) earned ribbons while gaining valuable experiences or racing amid big packs. Heiser crushed his PR by 3:00, Girolamo raced very strong in his first turn on the Woods course. Purcell net at huge PR at Elburn, with Lodwig and Nemec putting up strong races on the longer course. Kyle Orczykowski continues to improve, moving up the depth chart racing a great mile pace on a far more challenging course. Wells had another PR effort (:26) while our freshmen contingent of Klingensmith, Babula, Jablonski and Petrik are making strides to learn and grow in every race. Petrik managed to run :32  faster than his time a week ago in Peoria!

Messina was very aggressive in the opening mile and earned a 25th place ribbon and a :28 PR. French earned his first award of the season, placing 31st. Gale narrowly eclipsed Wojak at the finish, with David running a :56 PR on the course. Smith also is credited with a :95 PR while Gingrich put up a 3:45 improvement over his ‘14 time. Osborne surged past two runners in the last mile to have a season best mile pace.  An awesome effort with slow course conditions!

Very special thanks to our KXC Families for their efforts with hosting this invitational on the grounds of Elburn Woods. We appreciate all the families who braved the shuttle bus, those who helped set up, watched key flags in the race, respectfully communicated with other guests who came to the meet, and those who tore down the course after the meet concluded. Your coaches are so grateful for your help, commitment, and perseverance. Great role models for your children. One day, they will give back to their own children's programs because they see how you step up to the challenge as well.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Knights 7th to the Finish in Peoria

This year’s FTTF meet was huge on many counts. We saw the largest field on record for the event, in the 2A race. Finishing 7th out of 59 teams is quite an accomplishment! Our pack utilized the excellent course conditions and weather to produce an abundance of Personal Records (PR) for 3 miles.  Matt Richtman kicked off the parade of PRs surging to 14th overall, in 15:23. This is one of the top 5 fastest performances ever by a Knight at Detweiler.  Austin Kintz got his first taste of Peoria and medaled in 30th place. Noah Duffey  ran a :51 PR, finishing 83rd in a highly competitive field, with Sean Spaetzel close behind in 16:25.  Sam Webster knocked off 90 seconds from ‘14’s race, to finish as our 5th runner, in PR time. Will Kuipers rallied from illness during the week to also set a career and course PR.   Matt Kainrath bettered his best by :69 to skip the 17’s and drop down to 16:57 in his third race ever.

Henry Nosek led the next wave of Knights with his own :96 PR at Detweiler, finishing in 17:00. Zach Kurz managed a :55 career PR at 17:08, followed closely by a surging Kantola (17:12) and first three mile (17:20) effort from Wielgos. These four add a lot of depth to our line up!  Another pack of Knights began entering the chute with Peyton Heiser smashing his Detweiler time of a year ago (17:58), with Girolamo (18:02, :90 PR), and Konrad (18:06, PR) on his  heels.
Courageous running from our sick athletes was not uncommon today. Anthony Messina refused to back down from the struggles he’s faced with illness, and held tough for 18:32. Ben Smith notched a career PR next at 18:43, and Aaron French shortly after at 19:04. Leadership comes in many places on this team. Keep watching for it! 

Wojak started the next group of checkboards, at 19:23, followed by PR efforts for 3 miles from Lodwig (19:29), and  Nemec (19:39). Wells finished with a great kick, running 20:04 to lead Orczykowski (20:20, PR), Alex Gale (welcome back!), and Klingensmith (20:22, PR) into the chute.  Grant Gingrich put up an :86 PR at Peoria, which was also a career best time. Jablonski earned a record mark at 22:51, and Petrik completed our day’s work in 24:21 for his current PR. 

On the day, we found out that we are right in the mix with numerous teams from our (probable) Sectional field, and our best races are yet to come. Seeing some of the teams ahead of us running so fast, so early, is a difficult task to maintain. Our best efforts are yet to come. Historically, we’ve proven this. What’s most important is that we demonstrate fortitude, and work relentlessly to catch them.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Harvest Christian Varsity Champions and Top 10 Finishers

Knights Defend Team Titles in Fall Classic Field that Doubled in Size

The size of the field had doubled, but the Knights were up to the challenge of defending their team titles of a year ago. Despite being outnumbered 6 to 1 by Lincoln-Way East alone, the JV crew got the meet kicked off by putting 9 in the Top 25.

Webster bettered Richtman’s F/S course time from ‘14 by :10 en route to his first invitational win. Nosek was on his heels, running a :57 PR for this course. Wielgos raced to 7th, just ahead of a pack of 6 L-W East runners. Our next pack was equally important to the front, as 14 and 15th were covered by Heiser and Konrad. If any other bodies got between us and East, we’d not have held up the 4 point margin of victory.

Girolamo made the Top 20 with a strong run on the hills of HCA. Joining Heiser and Konrad, there was an impressive pack surge from  CJ, Purcell (22), Nemec (23) and Lodwig (25) just before the mile mark.

Senior Aaron French jumped back in the lineup, and ran an impressive mile pace for his first run of the year.  Wells led the next string of KXC teammates, including  Gingrich, Babula, Klingensmith and Orczykowski, each with their best mile pace of the season. Kyle Or.  ran a blistering 1:15 per mile faster in this meet! Jablonski and Petrik gained valuable racing experience and raced to new PR paces. Kyle Osborne improved his own mile pace by :11 from Sycamore.

This year’s varsity format changed to a Top 7 only, affair. Our Knights managed four runners in the Top 8 to win by more than double their 36 points scored. Elmwood Park put on a late surge to catch the checkboards, but the finish of our own team proved that their imagery from the night before worked “magically.”

Richtman ran down the final hill alongside the top L-W East harrier, and then put on a surge to earn his first varsity victory by 7 seconds. Kintz raced very tough from an odd spot (alone) throughout the course. It’s extra challenging, but the mental task of not falling off pace was terrific. Spaetzel and Duffey were never without one another through this race and with dramatic kicks and finishes, they managed the Top 10. Kuipers and Kainrath sealed the win with Top 20 finishes, exactly what we were shooting for. Smith rallied hard and ran a :38 PR on the course.

Terrific finish to a hot and draining week, boys.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Picnic After Peoria Flyer Coming Home

Details on a picnic after our race in Peoria next weekend will be coming home today. We apologize for not getting word out sooner. Please fill out the flyer and send back reservations for the meats your family will enjoy. Here's a glimpse of what's coming to you:

Peoria Picnic – Saturday, Sept. 12
Following the team’s race at 10am @ Detweiller Park in Peoria, we will travel north on
IL 29 to Henry, where we will hold a team picnic along the bank of the Illinois River.
Please use the details below to help coordinate a great picnic feast.

Special thanks to our senior class families for helping organize the grilling of meats from
Ream’s Market in Elburn. There will be a $5 offering per person( or $10 per family) for
the grill-ables, tableware and supplies.

Who: All KXC runners, families and friends (those not eating the grilled meat need not
Where: Henry, IL (corner of Cromwell and Main St.) at the park and pavilion. One block
north of IL 18. Coming back from Detweiller, turn right at the 4 way stop by Subway
and then right again when you see the town square (Main St.).
When: Immediately after the cool down, the team will leave for Henry. Parents are
welcome to leave ahead of us. There is a Kroger’s grocery store in Chillicothe, which is on
the way to Henry, in case you choose to stop for something fresh.

Cost: $5 cash, per person, can be placed in an envelope with the bottom portion of this
letter attached. (If there is any extra money left over, it will be used for bagels for the
team in the future)
Questions?: Contact Coach Clarey after the races on Tuesday, or you can see Heather Spaetzel or
Mili French.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Varsity runs 2nd at Sycamore, FS Win

We don’t usually “heat up” until the end of September. The weather forced our hand on that a little bit as we set a blistering pace in a talented field of 2A schools.  The Varsity boys finished just 6 points shy of an invite win, losing out to Belvidere North who had too much power up front this week. They notched 1-6-13 with their front 3 to our own awesome 5-7-17. We did best them at #4, 5 and 6.

Richtman shows that he likes this course, running in the top 5 for the second year in a row. Kintz got his first taste of Afton, and like the rest of us, looks forward to returning in October, with cooler weather. Front two have some targets to shoot for in future races.

Great placement of Spaetzel (17) and Duffey (18), and Kuipers rounded out all scoring runners with the fastest finish by a #5 in the meet.  Kainrath (37) had a terrific first meet, and has a lot to look forward to in XC this fall.  Kurz set a new PR on the course, and Kantola was the second non scoring runner in the meet at 63rd place.

Messina and Wojak each fought hard throughout the hilly and dusty course. They’re getting stronger each week, and leading by example. Smith and Gingrich both notched new course PR’s for 3 miles. Awesome!

Our Frosh Soph team took notice of the strong start from Varsity. They rallied late after packing up and surging together through the first 1.5 miles. Sam Webster (6) took the top spot for the Knights with a new course PR, as did Nosek (8th). We look forward to this one-two punch often this fall. Wielgos is making it a three hit attack though, gathering his first award in his first race, finishing 13th overall.

Kyle Konrad finally raced in a KXC jersey after a long freshman year without a meet. He earned 18th, with Girolamo setting a :20 PR in 21st. Heiser gathered a medal with his 24th place effort as well.The pack split for FS was 70 seconds. This needs to shrink.

Purcell had a big PR over a year ago, leaving everything he had on the course. Lodwig rallied after a nasty fall last night to finish his first run in 45th place. Very gutsy effort!  Crimmins and Wells looked tremendous, coming down the home stretch together. THIS is how we want to race! Babula and Jablonski repeated this feat about 30 seconds later with huge finishes. Klingensmith was right on their heels as well.

Kyle Orczykowski put in excellent effort in his first HS race and got an important one under his belt. Osborne rocked his race bettering his scrimmage pace by more than 3:00.
Big Knight. Don’t stop!