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!

Saturday, October 31, 2015

White Knights Race to 3rd at Woodstock Sectional, Qualify for 18th Time as Team

You boys said it best on Friday. If it were not for the heartbreaking defeat by a few points at last fall’s Sectional, you’d not have appreciated nor worked as hard to attain this high finish at Woodstock.

Behind a single digit and a crazy :37 split between 2 and 6, we were able to earn a comfortable advantage over the rest of the ranked teams on this sloppy, rolling course.

Matt Richtman only lost one place from Regional to Sectional when he placed 6th overall, giving us a great start on the team tally. Having familiar foes in his pack, and gaining energy as he passed more from last week, he managed a :70 PR on the course and an automatic berth to Peoria.

Thankfully, his teammates were equally up to the challenge. Austin Kintz maneuvered his way through the course with many other #1’s and 2’s, but fell down before the two mile. He popped right back up and into the mix, and managed a PR time at Emricson Park as well. Kintz started a stream of White Knights scoring quickly thereafter.

Sophomore Sam Webster, teamed up with Spaetzel, Kuipers and Kantola, right from the start. This pack of white was seen (and commented on, afterward) by many opposing coaches. We seemed very well in control of our pack, and our wave of passing continued to build. From the mile mark to the finish, the pack moved up a solid 20 places.

Webster and Kantola continued to surge forward and our seniors followed suit. Webster earned 35th overall, a magnificent performance for his first EVER run in the Top 7. He bettered his time at Woodstock by 1:45.

Kantola also had a big PR day, running :59 faster than in ‘14. His finish of 16:59 was just 4 seconds off Sam. Spaetzel also came up big today, running a :33 PR on the course and making history as our #5.  Will Kuipers was locked into this pack until he fell on the slick, muddy hills with 400 to go. He courageously fought back and was just 7 seconds off Sean’s pace, with a 1:20 PR at Woodstock.

Kainrath did his best to locate the pack in the thick field and wet mess of Mile 1. Without them, he raced to 94th overall. Matt beat 13 scoring runner from other teams. We are going to make sure we are more visible to one another next week, as we run in the  IHSA Class 2A Finals.

Results Here

Knights Closing on the Ranked Field Ahead of Us, 2nd at "Regional of Death"

The most important statistic at Saturday’s Regional was the fact that we advanced to the Sectional. We ran hard in the slosh of Elburn Woods, having a little bit of fun with the puddles and mud, mixed with the sweat and agony.

Every team including our own has had ups and downs with injuries and keeping a healthy team on the course. Saturday was no different. We could analyze the results all day long, but the one important factor that remains is that we are gelling at just the right time, and we are going to be ready as an underdog on Saturday in Woodstock.

Richtman and Kintz kicked off the first mile at the Woods running sub 5:00 first miles. This wouldn’t be uncommon if it were not for that 200 meters of hill in the middle. Richtman continued on to out lean the CLC #2 runner in a PR finish. Kintz closed very strong and also ran a PR on the final run at The Woods, netting an 8th place pumpkin in the process.

More important points came from seniors Spaetzel and Kuipers. Just :05 apart, they continue to excel in October. Spaetzel raced to a 14th place pumpkin, Kuipers to a :28 PR at home. Will beat every other team’s #4, and made up points on CLC ahead of us.

The power of running in pairs really spurred on Kantola and Kainrath. Andrew’s hip was fine, as he also ran down a 1:03 PR, with Matt knocking :22 off his previous best at Eddington.
Kurz capped our awesome morning with his own great finish ahead of PR’s #5 and 14 other scoring runners. His leadership, consistency, and commitment to excellence are hard to match.

We are closing the gap on many teams, late in the race. We took another week to figure out a good race plan, and how to surge forward together. There will be teams who try to change up what they do next week in order to “Get Down” with a State Finals berth. We must remain consistent, and team up. Every  man will count in this next weekend’s results. Prepare by supporting one another, and get ready for a big finish. You are ready.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Knights Take 2nd in NIB XII Conference Meet

The first time we visited Afton this year, we made a little bit of noise against ranked teams. That performance was repeated when facing #3 Yorkville, #19 LaSalle Peru, #24 Sycamore and previously ranked Sterling.

Richtman (2nd) and Kintz (7th) climbed right into the lead pack and surged to All Conference placement among a handful of All State runners. Our next wave of finishers proved lethal to the NIB XII field (non Foxes, of course).

Spaetzel and Kuipers hung with the tail end of the All Conference pack and pushed past important scoring runners to gain a final advantage in the standings. Each ran a 3 mile PR in the process.
Kainrath and birthday boy Kantola also closed strong, with matching times to outlast Sycamore’s #4. Kurz equaled their PR efforts with his own, and was 4 places ahead of Sycamore’s #5 to complete a pack split 1-7 of 70 seconds.

Our FS team followed suit with another impressive performance highlighted by four career PR races for three miles. Sam Webster sprinted ahead of YHS #2 to net a PR, running 16:39. Nosek (7th)outleaned Wielgos and finished with identical times, Jacob with the PR. Girolamo raced 15th to 17:53, good for a PR, and Heiser ran 16th to complete our scoring.

Lodwig  and Konrad pushed scores up by defeating 8 scoring runners from other teams, Aidan with a career 3 mile PR and Konrad having a tough first day back by falling at the bridge on the way out. He fought through the discomfort, and stepped up instead of stepping out.

Our open runners also were up to the NIB XII challenge in a very deep race this year. Messina ran to a course PR and earned the final ribbon of the day. Duffey came back from injury, using a modified race plan, he ran in the top 15. Smith equaled his PR time from Peoria, giving his very best effort at the finish.

French made it a good ending to his conference career with a course PR, while Klingensmith and Orczykowski each rocked new career bests under 19:30. Gingrich ran a new career PR, going under 20 for the first time. Nemec put up a 3 mile PR in his first race back in the lineup. Babula and Petrik also joined that PR group, with Jacob breaking his own mark by 3:57! Jablonski raced to a new best time of  20:59 and Purcell gave a courageous effort with a calf strain; ending his season at 21:00, but just a few seconds off of his time from September, on this course.

Crimmins is working his way back into shape and fought hard for a new PR at 22:28, while Osborne raced to a 1:58 mile pace improvement on the course.  Big day for us!  The pack split continue to drop, and the times were excellent on a challenging course of rolling hills and sweeping turns. Keep your intensity up, and your expectations high.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"Hangry" Harriers Produce Big Snacks

Kaneland Sweeps Team Titles at Freeport Pretzel Invite

“Challenge Your Own Excellence” was the theme of the week, and you rose to it when the Cheesemakers of Monroe, WI entered the course. This powerful Class 2A team (ranked #8) returned to Freeport for the first time in almost 20 years. In the varsity race, their red team aggressively pushed through the first mile with excellent pack placement. Our own pack in black and white checks used surges and strong race strategy to team up and run through their presence within the top 20.
Richtman out leaned an all state runner from Rock Falls, and Kintz earned his second big snack in 2 years, running a :27 PR.

Spaetzel rallied late to hold off more Cheesemakers, and set a :66 PR of his own. Within 19 seconds of Sean, our #4-6 runners came sprinting through. Kainrath and Kantola medaled for the first time this year with nearly matching times at 11th and 12th. Will Kuipers set an :18 PR for 13th, and ahead of Monroe’s #4.  Kurz notched a :65 PR to finish right at 17:00, giving us 8 runners at or under that standard for the day.

Messina led our next wave in with a strong finishing kick. Every week, he’s making progress because he’s challenging his own level of excellence. Wojak and Smith (18:20 and :21) were tremendous, with Smith earning a :25 course PR. French stayed out of “no man’s land” throughout and ended the day defeating 18 other scoring runners.

Gingrich continues to torch his previous year’s best races, this time with a 2:19 PR. For all you new runners, understand that this season has its own learning curve, and you’ll get to experience similar highs. Osborne battled sore legs and still ran :21 per mile faster than at ACC.
Webster gave a winning effort, and took a salty second. Every race teaches us a lesson. You all need to pay attention to it.

Nosek improved :72 to earn a Pretzel, and Wielgos surged to 5th to eat his own snack. Heiser  (1:38) and Girolamo (1:54) smashed their PRs at Freeport with 8th and 11th place efforts to seal the team title. Lodwig ran his fastest race of the season in 6:10 mile pace. Purcell surprised the coaches by jumping into the lineup following a late week injury. Ben demonstrates courage and desire to train hard and compete even harder. Very proud of you, B.

Our freshmen looked fantastic this week with season best performances. Orczykowski had his best run thus far, finishing 35th and under 19:00. Klingensmith, Babula and Petrik managed season best mile paces. Jablonski put on a big surge in the final 200m to run a personal best 7:05 mile pace. This is not easy! Way to go, Kevin.

Strong day. Sustain this effort.