Archive | November, 2011

NCAA XC NATIONALS: TOMORROW.

21 Nov

Last blog before the big day, can’t believe it’s finally here!  Good luck to everybody tomorrow.  Remember all those miles you’ve run and the sacrifices you’ve had to make to get to this day.  Enjoy your time out there, we’re all extremely lucky to be able to do this.

I took some time to sit down with the Lady Wolverines today to interview them about their season and the nationals experience.

Team:

What song would describe your team? Out Here Grindin’- DJ Khalid . Ever since our freshman year, it’s been our fantasy to get to the line and just grind in the air to this song.

Is there any quote you can think of that describes y’all as a group?– Be Frantic but not in a Frenzy.

THE ROOKIES:

TRUE FRESHMEN

Adidas Swag

 You are both here as true freshmen, do you feel you were able to jump on and contribute to the team right away? Did you expect to be on varsity this year? What are some things you’ve learned from your upperclassmen teammates?

Ellen– It’s been an amazing experience, the girls and coach Mike are just so awesome and I can’t believe that I’m here. No, I didn’t even expect to be running in college at all, I wasn’t very good in high school. We’ve learned everything from our upperclassmen. I’ve learned from them that life is a balance between running, school, and fun.

Brook– I knew I wasn’t planning to redshirt, but I’ve learned that college running is a lot harder than I thought it’d be, the races are more overwhelming, and what I thought was training hard wasn’t, I was wrong. It’s taught me what I want to do next summer to prepare better, and I think the biggest thing I learned is that you’ll do your best in xc when you let your teammates help you rather than just thinking you’re out there on your own. I’ve learned that tomorrow I need to go out there and focus on running as hard as I can for my team.

You two are the only two freshmen on the travel squad, tell me how thats been:

Ellen– Brook lets me borrow her clothes. We like to snuggle, sometimes. We have a telapathic connection. Brook has this problem where she has this foot fungus and I help her clean it before every race.

Brook– We’ve been roommates every meet and I feel like we’ve gotten closer each week. I feel like at the beginning of the year we were really competitive with each other and now I feel like we are so much closer and better friends. We’re always there for each other and we understand each other really really well. One day Ellen came in and I could tell she was mad, she didn’t want to admit it at first. But she did. She was mad the woman wouldn’t give her any cereal.

NCAA crushes?- Brook- Reed Connor.   Ellen- Zach Ornelas (haha Posada you Mexican)

SOPHOMORES (Freshmen eligibility)

I’m in the same boat as y’all with this being my first NCAA Nationals experience, how has it been for you so far?

M-Dubb keepin it real

Megan Weschler– So far it has been pretty chill, fun, and it’s been a good bonding experience. I think it will be a big eye-opener tomorrow when I’m at the course and cheering on my 7 hawt ladies, as well as the handsome young mens team. Shout outs to the Columbia guys and good luck to everyone.

Adorable. The puppy is too

Taylor Pogue– Big 10 freshman of the year. That’s pretty cool. How did it feel to win that award: I was very surprised, it felt good to be recognized and have my hard work noticed.

3rd Time’s the Charm (Juniors)

Knock Knock

Becca- indoor all american, 4 time all big 10, cat enthusiast.

This is the highest you all have been ranked since you’ve been here: what do you think has made the difference this year?

Two major factors have been Taylor Pogue and Meg Weshler. In addition, the upperclassmen have gotten a lot stronger this year and the newcomers (Brook and Ellen) came at a high level and prepared. We have a good team dynamic so the newcomers were able to more easily learn to do things right away. The atmosphere is great on the team.

Jill tearing up the Jersey Shore. Surfs up brah

Jill- 7 time all big 10, all american indoor, New Jersey lover

It’s your third time here as well, what do you think made the difference in your opinion?-

The difference is in leadership, great seniors like Jill and MG, and we definitely have a better team dynamic. We’re all a lot closer and I think that allows us to compete for each other rather than just individually and we do better individually because of that. It’s a good experience for the freshmen and for us since we haven’t had the experience being ranked this high before.

Danielle was a high school teammate of yours before coming here, how has that helped?– It eased the transition for me a ton, the comfort level of having somebody who I had trained with who was excelling with a whole new program and coach was very comforting.

Lindsey:

I found the most flattering picture of you I could find ❤

How has your time been in Terre Haute so far, any fun activities?

We looked forward to this trip all season, because we get to spend 4 days straight with each other in a hotel. Since there’s not that much we can do (via racing) we have to think of ways to entertain ourselves such as making up dances in our Adidas vests and painting our nails to match the vests. We also have enjoyed walking across the field to walmart, and videotaping ourselves to make a movie. It will be PG. We also like to go out to dinner extrememely early, be at the course extremely early, and the banquet. We just like being early. (Mike likes being early). Spoiler alert, we’ll be eating dinner early in our matching vests at 5:27pm sharp tonight (Mike likes to be early, if you’re not 3 minutes early you’ll be late) Vests to impress!!

The Seniors: THE LAST TIME OUT

DT looking to finish off her career with a great race

Danielle this is your 4th trip to the NCAA XC Championships.  Can you give any advice to the runners tomorrow?  What have you learned and how are you going to use your previous experiences to race tomorrow?

Danielle– I think at this meet it’s really easy to be overwhelmed and kind of get lost in the nubmers of people and the people on the sidelines, one thing ive learned is you have to stay relaxed and not get flustered by the amount of people cheering and in the race. Another thing is with this course it’s really easy to get out too hard and a little too ambitiously and I think with the terrain on this course it really does beat you up a little bit if you go out too hard.  Tomorrow I’m going to run a little bit more conservatively and try to work with my teammates and be more concerned about doing my part to help my teammates and to motivate them to keep pushing.

You’ve been one of the team leaders for a while.  The girls really look up to you.  You’ve had your fair share of ups and downs, what messages have you tried to convey to your teammates this year, having been there and done that?

I think I’d like to send the message that it’s important to create that balance with your teammates to have a competitive atmosphere in practice while working together. I feel like it’s improved a lot since my freshman year and hopefully I contributed to that. I’ve tried to give the girls advice and tips for each race that we’ve gone into. Not just for the race itself but also for making that transition from high school to college. When I was a freshman I was putting girls on pedestals and getting really flustered from the depth at the front and everybody around me. I know a lot of the girls coming in aren’t used to that and I think that’s something we’ve worked on in practice with a lot of girls pushing around each other. We’ve also worked on trying to stay relaxed in the big settings and I try to reinforce their confidence.

Favorite athlete- Apollo Anton Ono and David Beckham (he’s gorgeous). And Kerron Clemont, he’s like a model.

Mary Grace:

 

Michigan's number one Kentucky derby girl

Like Danielle this is your 4th time out here at the NCAA championships. What have you learned from the previous experiences and what advice have you given to the underclassmen?

Every year the experience has been entirely different. My freshman year I became the alternate by chance when a few people became injured late in the season, so I was pretty wide-eyed about the whole thing and just happy to tag along. This year as a senior, it’s fun to come in here ranked 10th and have a lot of momentum carrying us forward. NCAAs requires a different type of pack running then you’ll find anywhere in the season, and if you’re not ready for that it can catch you off guard. My biggest advice for the underclassmen was just to be aware of your surroundings and not allow yourself to settle. The number of people immediately around you can be overwhelming if you let it (but they’ll do great!)

I asked the girls how you and Danielle have helped them in both running and off the course, what has it felt like being a leader and what kind of example have you tried to set for your teammates?

For me as a leader, I think I’m best able to contribute to the team in a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. As a runner, I’m pretty solidly in the second wave, but that’s important too because someone from that pack will ultimately be the 5th man. My biggest impact I think has been on trying to help foster good team chemistry and keep things running smoothly. Overall though, I just care a lot about my teammates, this program, and this school. The best example I can set is to be passionate about the things I do and hope that it’s infectious

With this being Danielle and Mary Grace’s last NCAA’s, can I get some quotes on how they have helped you over the past few years?:

Meg Wesch-Danielle- always like a big sister and watching out for and supporting everyone

Becca- Mary Grace was my host when I was a senior, I feel like we have that special bond, it’s going to be weird when she’s not here. Danielle, like, cares.

Lindsey- It won’t be the same when they’re gone, they’re an integral part of this top 9

T-Pogue- They’re both people that will be remembered for a long time on our team. They’re like institutions

Ellen- Danielle is just so down to earth and so motivating.  I was a little bit hurt earlier in the season and she was so encouraging the whole time. She always has really good advice. And Mary Grace is really organized and goal oriented and that has a good influence on us.

Brook- The best thing about Danielle is how happy she is all the time, she’s positive and really cheerful. I like how Mary Grace is everybody’s biggest fan, she’s really good about making sure we have everything together apart from xc.

 

 

Running with the Wolverines:

The trial of miles, miles of trials are over.  Good races and bad races are in the past.  It all comes down to tomorrow, nothing else matters.  Tomorrow is our chance to take advantage of the opportunities we’ve been given, and damnit, we’re going to give ’em hell.

NCAA XC NATIONALS: 2 DAYS AWAY

20 Nov

This isn’t going to be very detailed, it’s late.  Tomorrows post will have interviews from the girls team and hopefully some other folks.

 

News of the Day:

2011 NCAA XC BANQUET 

First off, thank you NCAA for the food, mainly those brownies. Those were great.  And I respect the speakers thanks for taking time out of your schedule to do that.  But there were some quotes too hilarious to not write down here.  I just won’t mention who said them.  So without further ado, here are the best quotes from the night:

“She really likes things in threes”
“Nothing like seeing the men streak from the line”
“sorry for being premature”
“He’s still young, and flexible”
“You should run the course twice tomorrow and go out hard on Monday”

I hope there was another team there as prone to innuendos as us.

 

Running with the Wolverines:

Gibby knew of a park with some pretty cool trails, took us out there so we wouldn’t have to run the course two days in a row.  Boys are looking relaxed.  Instead of focusing on how we felt and how much to run today, we enjoyed our trot on the trails and then spent 10-15min throwing rocks at a gatorade bottle we placed on top of a road block.  Our team is closer than we’ve ever been, it’s been a terrific experience out here so far getting to share this experience together.  Just a few more days and we get to do what we came here for.

Thanks for the free stuff ADIDAS!

 

Wow these iPhone pics are pretty good quality. Kyle Merber and Paul Snyder swagging out in their Puma gifts

 

Michigan's finest, Mark sugar tits Beams

NCAA XC Nationals: 3 DAYS AWAY

19 Nov

 

2,500+ views on the blog today, thanks LetsRun.  Despite that quote about being an “athlete-student” I’d like to point out that I have above a 3.0 and have made All-Academic Big 10 several times.  I only skip classes when necessary 😉  (sorry PoliSci 311 and English 411 yesterday..)

 

News of the Day:

UPDATE ON SAVE UMD TRACK/XC-

Here’s a petition they posted on the Facebook group.  Take some time and fill this out for the sake of our sport!
http://www.change.org/petitions/athletic-director-at-university-of-maryland-save-umd-mens-cross-country-and-track-field-program

Recently some star athletes such as Michael Phelps and Tyson Gay have taken up support for the cause.  Nice guys to have speaking for the cause, good news.

If Captain America had been African-American, I have a feeling he would have looked like this.

 

Most Surprising Team (so far): University of Texas

Yes, I’m incredibly biased in picking them, I live 15 minutes from campus when I’m not at college.  But the longhorns made their first appearance in this years national poll ranked 25th.  They were pretty much under the radar until the Wisconsin Invite where a very impressive 6th place showing showed everybody that UT was a serious team to watch out for this season.  The longhorns, lead by Coach Hayes (recently named USTFCCCA South Central Regional Coach of the Year), head into Monday’s race ranked 9th place.  Look for an impressive showing from the burnt orange and an impressive performance from Craig Lutz.  Oh hey Rory, I want a rematch from Wisco, I’ll be looking to finish faster than 6min mile pace this time.  Loser has to eat a spider 😉

Hook 'em guys

 

RUNNING WITH THE WOLVERINES:

LONG BUS RIDE WAS LONG.  Anybody who took a similar route to us will encounter some serious traffic due to construction.  So to any people planning on traveling that way, plan accordingly.  We watched 3 movies, Captain America, Horrible Bosses, and then Star Trek.  Solid entertainment.  Highlight of the day, which I’m sure all of us would agree upon, was stopping at “Sara’s Restaurant” in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Team tradition to stop there when passing through.  If you ever get the chance, go there.  I recommend the “Yankee” breakfast.  Protip: Get chocolate chip pancakes with it.  We’re staying at the Holiday Inn Express in Terre Haute, right next to the WalMart.  If any of you are here come say hi.  As far as advice for the race goes, I’m not in the position to give it, this being my first trip to the dance.  So look for potential interviews with returners coming soon.  Maybe I’ll get Captain Craig to share a few words.

 

 

NCAA XC Nats: 4 DAYS AWAY

18 Nov

I had meant to do a post yesterday, but it turns out putting off a 6 page annotated bibliography is a bad idea.

Only 4 days out from the big dance now, and honestly I’m feeling more excited day by day and less nervous.  In fact I don’t really even feel nervous.  We made it to the meet, we belong there, no reason to be nervous now.  Just need to run how we’ve been running all year with maybe just a few things executed a little better and things will go our way.

News of the Day:

Lawi- Will he be stopped?

Silly Americans, you will not beat me!

SUPER IN DEPTH ANALYSIS:  Nope.    Korir will probably run with him for a while.  Lawi wins this one and runs his cool-down back to Arizona.

Many are claiming Miles “Stormin-Mormon” Batty to surprise a lot of people with a high up finish.  I wouldn’t be surprised, he’s been rolling. Just imagine how fast the dude could run with a little bit of caffeine though! Too bad..

Believe it or not, this is probably the most risque outfit to ever be worn on BYU's campus. HE'S SHOWING KNEE, WHAT A SINNER!!!

Letsrun front page:

Michael Stember- Will he break 18 for the 5k?

Jesus Christ I hope so.  Way to set your standards high, if you can’t run a time fast enough to win your age group at a local road race then you really must have let yourself go.

Better question, could Alan Webb break 18 for a 5k right now?

NEW MUSIC TO GET YOU PUMPED?:

DRAKE- TAKE CARE

If I had your money, I wouldn't be this sad looking.

Drake is love or hate. Or both at the same time.  While half the time Drake comes off as a “I cut myself and take sleeping pills” type dude half the time, there’s no denying that Wheelchair Jimmy spits some mad-fire rhymes from time to time.  Well this is one of those times where he spit some pretty hot fire (via DYLAN).  While “Doing it Wrong” and “Practice” probably are not going to put you in the mood to go and kick some ass, “HYFR”, “Headlines” and the bonus track “The Motto” will probably do the trick.  This album is pretty damn good.  If you’re broke like me, you should def. torrent it.

CHILDISH GAMBINO- CAMP

Ayo Gambino is a Mastermind

If you’ve never heard CG, first off where have you been? Guarantee you have never heard a rapper with punchlines like this dude.  Camp has some pretty hot tracks.  Especially Bonfire, “The shit that I’m doing this year, insanity, made the beat then murdered it, Casey Anthony”.  DAMN, THAT SHI- CRAY!   Hopefully he stops sobbing about people doubting him soon though, because that part of his lyrics is getting annoying.  Stick to talking about your swag and effing beaches.

Running with the Wolverines- 4 Days Away from the Big Dance:

Tomorrow we leave for Indiana and everybody is looking great.  The team atmosphere is relaxed yet focused at the same time.  While the end of the season brings the promise of much needed rest and whatever other shenanigans people partake in when in their rest period, the mood in the locker room right now is one of hope, confidence, and excitement for Monday.  Some of the upperclassmen regret that this will be their last trip to the NCAA’s for xc.  They’ve made it clear to us that have another chance at a trip back to the meet in the coming years that this is an experience to enjoy and take advantage of. To all of you running, remember how lucky we are to compete in such an event.  A very small amount of people in the nation get to experience something like this. Let’s go out there and carpe the effing diem.

ROBIN WILLIAMS SEIZES THE DAY ALL DAMN DAY

NCAA XC- Countdown to the Big Dance: 6 DAYS

16 Nov

Howdy.  Long time no see. Ironic what my last blog post was about eh? I’m not sure I’m even going to touch on that one, that kid is taking enough shit from every running message board in existence.

Anyway–

It seems like just the other day we were at camp getting lost on a 12 mile run and finding our assistant coach in his van 17 miles later.  But alas, we have finally reached the final week of the season.  Just 6 days until the 2011 NCAA Division One Cross Country Championships.  After 3 absolutely miserable, pitiful, and disastrous seasons, the Wolverine men have finally punched a ticket to the Big Dance.

As you can see, Coach Gibby was super happy

Here’s where I’ll make my excuse for infrequent and sporadic posting on this blog since school has started:
I finally, through better sleep/dietary decisions/smarter training, turned myself into a runner who actually was of use to his team.  With my first two years of college being a major disappointment (running-wise at least) it’s satisfying to see a season in which I placed 30 places higher than I ever have in a Big 10 meet, 40 places higher in the regional meet, and although xc times are nearly irrelevant I shaved 37 secs off my 8k and 63 secs off my 10k.

Enough about me though,  I know many of you readers can relate to experiencing the fruits of a successful season.  For all of you that have meets left, whether it be college or high school, the championship meets are the perfect way to end the season.  You’ve trained all year for this, and whether you’ve had a successful or a terrible season this is the meet where you can truly show what you’re made of. Plus, you know the saying, You’re only as good as your last race….

In the days leading up to the big meet, I’ll be doing a daily blog covering some of the recent running news and giving updates of the Michigan Wolverines as we get ready to kick some ass.

News of the Day: SAVE UMD MEN’S XC/TRACK AND FIELD

#SaveUMDTF&XC

I’m sure many of you have already received a Facebook invite to the group (6,000 members and growing! Great job spreading the word guys!).  If you haven’t heard, here’s the information posted on the group wall:

“Due to UMD’s budget crisis, Kevin Anderson announced today to the entire track and field family that all three seasons of Men’s running (XC, Indoor, and Outdoor Track and Field) are being recommended to be cut from the University Athletics.  This team’s history runs as deep as the university itself.  Dating all the way back to 1923, the running program boasts 8 NCAA champions, innumerable All-Americans (most recently, our very own Dwight Barbiaz, high jumper 2011), and over 50 ACC Team Titles.

The cross country and track and field programs here at Maryland are very unique; we truly are a family.  Taking away the guys’ side is like taking away our very brothers.  Cutting entire sports teams, especially those which have won so many titles, is not the solution to the financial problem.

Time to rally, Terps!  Voice your support and help save the team!!

President Loh’s email: wdloh@umd.edu

 Kevin Anderson’s email: kevina@umd.edu”

The official University President’s statement can be found here as well: http://www.umd.edu/UMDnews/pres_message_111411.cfm

Running with the Wolverines- 6 Days Out

While obviously I’m not going to divulge any workouts or information my coach would prefer not to be on the internet, I can give a little bit of insight to how we are preparing for the big day.

1.)  While they have taken a lot of crap from us, I’d like to send a big shout-out to the two freshmen that will be traveling with us to Terre Haute.  One of them will be running and the other will be the alternate.  They have both grown in maturity since the start of the season and the national experience as freshmen will be very valuable to them in the future when they return.  To any freshmen who have been lucky enough to make it this far in the season, give yourself a a pat on the back.  Obviously you read my freshmen tips earlier in the year 😉

Mason "Big Bird" Ferlic. Yes, he's as awkward as he looks ❤

2.) THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.  Everything counts this week.  Hydrate. Sleep.  That 8:30 am class going to prevent you from getting the required amount of sleep? Skip it, rest up for nattys (your coach can’t legally tell you that, but I am, and I think that’s ok).  Let’s be real, we’re Athlete-Students this week.

See ya tomorrow,

EATRUNSWAG