What is heart? Obviously everyone understands that the human heart is a vital organ that is made up of muscle which pumps blood through the body. Without it oxygen would have no way to circulate and life would end, but why do we use the term for so much more? In almost all societies the heart is considered to be the seat of the emotions and the source of willpower. King David in the Bible was even known as, "a man after God's own heart." Phrases like, "I love you with all my heart," or, "He poured his heart out," have become commonplace to show how much a person cares about a certain thing. In sports the term has come to be one of the highest compliments that an athlete can receive when being evaluated. It is commonly accepted that when a particular athlete has "heart" they can overcome adversity better, they can overpower bigger, faster, and stronger athletes, and they can outperform any opponent. It's a never give up attitude that will give 110% in order to accomplish what they have set out to do. Having heart is not something that can taught by a coach, it comes from somewhere deep inside and is poured out like a fire hydrant that has been backed over by a garbage truck. You may be wondering where I am going with this but I say all of that to make this point: What I saw this week at the Midland Invitational by every single member of the HSM Cross Country team was 100%, all-out, never look back, never back down, HEART! More than I have ever seen in any collection of athletes, and I am in complete amazement at these young men and women!
The teams went to the Midland Invitational with one thing in mind: GET BETTER. They could not have foreseen what was going to happen though. Of the 33 team members that ran at the meet 23 set new PRs for the 3-mile and 6 more ran their best times of the season! The boys team finished 2nd place overall and the girls finished 3rd, but the performances of these athletes was awe inspiring!
GIRLS VARSITY RACE RESULTS:
Emma DeRosa came across the line first for the Lady Eagles this week, and she showed her Senior experience by running a season best time of 20:48*, now only 11 seconds away from her all time PR of 20:37! After recording her first 3-mile race of the season the opening weekend at Choudrant, Quinn Brown made her second 3-mile effort of the season look effortless with an awesome time of 20:56*! This was over a minute faster than her season opening time! These two Senior leaders are showing the younger girls on the team what it means to give everything you have for your teammates. After struggling with a cold all week, Kannin Cole mustered up every ounce of energy that she had and laid it all on the course with her time of 21:08. Although it may have not been a SB or PR her effort showed her devotion to the team! 8th grader Claire Callis with a jaw dropping time of 22:34*, a huge PR of 1:42 over her previous best time! This moves her into the #50 spot on the ALL-TIME best race time list for one of the most storied girls programs in the state of Louisiana. Chesney Mathews, running one of favorite courses, improved her season best time by almost a minute and pulled within 40 seconds of her PR with a time of 22:52! Abbey Scalisi improved upon her season best time as well, running a fantastic time of 23:54 and breaking the 24 minute mark for the first time this season. Amie Cochran finished out the Varsity race for the girls this week and she laid down another spectacular race for the team, as she has all season long. She will look to set her PR new these 7 girls wrapped up a fantastic performance for the Varsity team, but the JV team shined just as brightly this weekend!
* Emma DeRosa's time of 20:48 moves her to #10 on the Menard 12th grade all time list
* Quinn Brown's time of 20:56 moves her to #12 on the Menard 12th grade all time list
* Claire Callis's time of 22:34 moves her to #22 on the Menard 8th grade all time list
JV GIRLS RACE RESULTS:
Ava Laroux, another 8th grader for the Eagles, led the JV team this weekend running a time that can best be described as valiant! Her time of 23:15 was a PR shattering time of over 1:49 and like Claire is a sign of what is to come! (although anyone who has ever watched ANY of these 8th grade girls run knows the future of HSM XC is in good hands) She was joined by Breanna Buller, who is having such an amazing season and made an another incredible PR with a time of 24:07! This improved her previous best mark by 2:22!!! Caroline Crooks, the lone 7th grade on the team, also set a new PR this week with a time of 25:45 a better time by 2:02! Mia Parrish finished out the girls team this week, and did so with a BANG! Her time of 26:43 marks a new PR of 1:20 and a 2:30 improvement on her season best time.
BOYS VARSITY RACE RESULTS:
The boys team this week saw 18 of 22 runners set new PRs and the varsity team brought home 2nd place overall. 3 boys finished in the top 10 and all 7 finished in the top 25 of the boys race. With an average race time of 17:21 the boys put themselves in rare air and again showed a glimpse of what is to come over the rest of this season and the next couple years! Noah Gad once again showed just how much his hard work is paying off with a 4th overall finish and a new PR time of 16:57! This makes him only the 19th runner in the vast history of Holy Savior Menard to break the 17:00 mark and ties him with fellow teammate Charles Beard at that mark on the ALL-TIME list! Not to be outdone, two of his 8th grade teammates (that's right they are 13...) said hold my Capri Sun, and finished right behind him in 5th and 7th overall. Austin Siebeneicher ran a PR time of 17:04 and Cayden Gorham, hot on his heels, ran a new PR of 17:15! These two times not only place them firmly on the list of greatest runners in Menard history, (again... 13... as in 4.5 more years to go) but secured the #2 and #3 best races by 8th graders ever for the school. Mikey DeRosa came across in 13th overall with a new PR of 17:35, moving himself even higher on the ALL-TIME list and proving once again that the DeRosa family is rooted deep in the HSM running program! Carter Byers broke the 18:00 barrier this week with a time of 17:54 giving him a place back on the ALL-TIME list, and cementing his place as the most successful Byers at HSM this year so far (in one coaches opinion at least). For those keeping track that is a top 5 that is all in the top 50 ALL-TIME, plus Charles who is 18th! This brings us to Aaron Cantrell, who made his season debut this weekend after suffering an ankle injury prior to the jamboree meet. As a senior and captain on the team Aaron spent the last few weeks being the backbone of the team with his support of his teammates, and with his return came a flood of emotion that resulted in one of the happiest moments I have ever seen at a finish line of a 3 mile race. You would think that he would be tired but, the relief of knowing that he is back in the game overcame him resulting in one of the cheesiest smiles and thumbs up I've ever seen. He posted a PR of 18:11 and a 23rd overall finish. Charles Beard wrapped up the Varsity team with a 27th overall finish and a time of 18:17. He found a way to lead the team in an innovative way this week by showing them the path to success in a place where he set his PR a year ago! Great job guys!
JV BOYS RACE RESULTS:
Matthew Hawthorne set the tone for the JV boys race very early by finishing 1st overall and setting a :38 PR of 18:33! Matthew is highly motivated to make his mark on this team and has put himself in a position to do so by a combination of hard work and you guessed it... HEART! Landry McGlothlin, also a Senior along with Aaron, is making the best of his senior season by setting a new PR of 19:10 and showing everyone why his move to HSM was the right move last season. He is a great addition to the team this year and is quickly improving to the point of making a run at the state team! Michael Gad continued his amazing season with a time of 19:14, and although it wasn't a PR this week it once again shows just how hard he has worked to improve! Michael's attitude of being proud of his teammates who did PR and his understanding that everyone can't PR every week makes him such a joy to coach! If I had told Jake Noda two months ago that he would be disappointed with a time of 19:15 because he thought he could have broken 19:00, he would have laughed me out of town... but yet here he is today with a PR 1:15 faster than it was last year! I can't wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for this wonderful young man! David Shepherd followed his performance last week with an improvement of almost a minute, and a time of 19:47. Although he did manage to avoid mid-race alien abduction, he did apparently lose a shoe after the race was over, keeping his streak intact as the unluckiest member of the team! The next 3 runners are one's who I cannot wait to write about every week because it won't be long before they find themselves setting records of their own along with their fellow 8th graders! Jansen Fairbanks (PR of 20:33), Adam Traczewitz (PR of 20:35), and Seth Soprano (PR of 21:10) all three set new PRs this week smashing their previous efforts by an average of over 1:15. Fynn Raborn crushed his previous PR by :30 running a time of 21:53, and Caden Elkins made his 3 mile return with a time of 21:58, a mere :30 from his old PR despite suffering a fractured hip and torn hip flexor 2 months ago! John Eric Laborde improved his PR by :56 to 23:20, Noah Ryder dropped a full 8:00 from his PR in his first 3-mile race of the year to 24:02. Michael Whitehead once again improved his PR to 24:59, with Adam Sehon and Jack Anderson both setting initial PR marks of 28:10 and 30:15 respectively. Amazing job by all the runners!