Monday, November 2, 2015

We have come a long ways!

This past weekend was the OAC Championships in Berea at Wallace Lake Park.  Hosting a meet is always a huge task for the staff and we wanted to make sure we created a great environment and atmosphere for the student athletes.  I think we accomplished that.  We created a 2k loop that was very spectator friendly.  We had music playing an announcer reading off scores as the race was going on.  There was a great electricity in the air throughout the whole day.

As for the race, Saturday was a good day for the Brennan’s.  Sophomore Brian Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) and younger sister and freshman standout Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) led the teams to fifth and sixth place finish, respectively.  Brian Brennan, earned his second straight All-OAC honor, by finishing third of 130 runners in 25:14.5.  Brian ran a heck of a race.  He was the only person to make the move with the eventual winner about 4k into the race.  He laid in on the line and went for the win.  His low score definitely helped the team in a big way.

In addition, sophomore Evan Milovich (Westlake) placed 28th with a time 26:41.3.  This was a big time race for Evan, we were hoping that he would finish around 30th place, so for a sophomore to step up and run tough at the conference championship was huge.  I am excited to see what he can do at the Regional championships.  Our third runner in was senior All-Ohio runner Greg Blevins (Mentor) finished 31st in a time of 26:46.1.  Greg has done a great job of leading this team as a 5th year senior and while I know he didn’t run the race he was hoping for he hung in there and battled some of the Heidelberg guys throughout the race.  Freshman Creighton Jensen (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) was 53rd in a time of 27:26.5.  He continues to impress me with his competitiveness.  He followed up a spectacular race at Oberlin with an impressive run.  Rounding out the team scorers was sophomore Brady Jeffers (South Amherst/Firelands), as he placed 56th in a time of 27:32.6.  Brady has come a long ways, he is gaining more and more confidence in his ability to run 8k cross country and has bought into the fact that the better at cross country he gets the more it will help him on the track.

Kelly Brennan, who earns her first All-OAC accolade, led the women’s team as she finished fourth of 136 runners in a 22:28.9.  Kelly ran a gutsy race.  She was up with the leader the whole race and gave herself a chance to win the race.  Even though she came up a little short, the future is bright and she should have shot to qualify for the national championships in two weeks in Terre Haute.

In addition, freshman Hannah Fredriksen (Hamburg, N.Y.) placed 28th in a time of 23:37.1.  She ran another great race competing hard against the schools we were aiming to beat.  Sophomore Maeve Christie (Lakewood) came in 36th place in a time of 24:15.9.  Maeve bounced back from a really tough race at Oberlin to beat out a few key girls the last 600 meters.  Sophomore Hannah Kiraly (Lakewood) was 81st in a time of 25:33.8, which was a lifetime best, she has proven that she is a competitor and with some consistent training she could be a huge help in the future.   Rounding out the team scoring was junior Alivia Stephan (Carey) as she finished in 109th place in a time of 26:55.0.  Alivia has done a great job of stepping up and taking on the role of 5th runner a few times this year when we really needed her.

This team has come a long ways since August.  Last year the women were 9th and the men have finished 8th the previous 3 years.  In the OAC pre-season coaches polls both teams were picked 7th.  When we arrive on campus and headed to Camp Wanake for camp I would say that we were the only ones that thought we could finish higher.

Our group has put in a lot of work this fall.  We have embraced a culture of personal success, working hard each day and enjoying the process of grinding day in and day out.  There are no secrets to getting better, you simply have to put in the work and challenge yourself.  All but one of our kids ran a life time best this year, but more importantly we learned how to compete hard, race consistently and be comfortable being uncomfortable.  I am excited for the future with this group and the people we will have join us next year.  It is going to be a great time to be a BW Yellow Jacket!

We are back in action on Saturday, November 14 in Terre Haute Indiana for the NCAA Division III Great Lake Regional Championships at 12:30 p.m.  We will be taking a full men’s team and Kelly from the girl’s side.  We think we have a shot to have a few kids qualify on to the national championships.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

As the season rolls on

It has been a while since I have posted on here.  I feel like things are progressing well.  We have a great group of student athletes that are working their tails off and getting better every week.  I felt like the women ran very well at All-Ohio and the men ran ok.  I did not do a very good job of instructing the men to get out in a field of 700+ and we got buried.  They did a great job of moving up throughout the race but just started way to far back.  I was very happy this past weekend and felt that both teams took another nice step in the right direction.

This past weekend we competed at Oberlin.  Coach Appenheimer and his staff put on a great meet.  This is a meet a plan to support as long as I am at Baldwin Wallace.  On the guys side we had a solid day.  We had 13 out of 14 run seasons best, some were minutes faster, and we had about the same amount run life time bests.  Sophomore All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC runner Brian Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) led the way as he finished 23rd of 273 runners in a time of 24:52.3.  He beat a few key people from conference schools that beat him at All-Ohio two weeks ago.  That alone is more important to me that him running a big PR.  I also think it sets him up well for OAC's on Halloween. 

Next across the line for the Jackets was senior two-time All-Ohio runner Greg Blevins (Mentor) placed 106th in a time of 25:53.9.  This was Greg's second race back after having foot surgery last year.  He has made huge strides forward each week and I am excited to see what he can do after 2 more weeks of training going into OAC's 

Sophomore Evan Milovich (Westlake) finished 129th with a time of 26:13.2.  Even gave us a much needed shot in the arm.  He had to sit out All-Ohio due to tweaking his calf earlier that week.  Having him back 100% and running well was huge for the team.

Freshmen Creighton Jensen (Sheffield Lake/Brookside) was 174th in a time of 26:51.4.  Creighton continues to impress me with his tenacity on the race course.  He is one heck of a competitor.  He is another that keeps improving week after week.  Having the consistency he has show will be huge at conference.  Rounding out the scoring for the guys was sophomore Brady Jeffers (South Amherst/Firelands) finished in 181st place with a time of 26:55.0.  Brady has had some good solid workouts and is coming along but has yet to make the big breakthrough I know he is capable of.  When it clicks for him our team will be a lot better.  He continues to improve but has yet to put it all together.

Rounding out the top 7 was Freshman Todd Cushing who ran 26:58 and Senior Aaron Long, 27:15.  Both ran very solid races and added some nice depth to the team.

Dylan Tanner- 27:21, Phil Spronz- 27:25, Alex Fuhrmann- 27:34, Spencer Mahon- 27:44, Justin Swords- 27:57, Cullen Grude- 28:30, Jason Young- 31:16.  As you can see we are going to have a inter-team battle for the final few spots to go to regional's.  OAC's should be a heck of a meet for us. 

I was very pleased with how well the women raced and competed.  We had several people who not only ran 6k PR's but also 5k PR's enroute to their 6K.We finished 18th of 29 teams with 569 points.  Looking at things going into the meet, I had us projected to score about 652 points.  So we ran well ahead of my expectations.  We were missing two of our girls, and when you only have 7 to start the season that can be a hard pill to swallow.  We are hoping to have both of them back by conference time.

 Freshman Kelly Brennan (Akron/Walsh Jesuit) continued led the way as she placed eighth of 244 runners in a time of 21:41.7.  She came through 5k in 18:08.  Her 5k PR last year was 20:10.  She followed up an impressive run at All-Ohio with an even more impressive race this weekend.  She is on a trajectory to have a shot at qualifying for Nationals as an individual in 4 weeks if she can stay consistent with her training. 
Freshman Hannah Fredriksen (Hamburg, N.Y.) finished 101st with a time of 23:20.4. This was another big step forward for Hannah, she also broke her High School 5k PR, from her Sophmore year, enroute to her 6K PR.  Hannah has stepped up big and run well when we have needed her.
Sophomore Maeve Christie (Lakewood) placed 109th with a time of 23:29.3.  Maeve ran right around the same time she ran at All-Ohio.  She has been a little inconsistent, but has been working very hard and is someone who I feel can pull it all together at Conference and help make a huge impact.  
Junior Alivia Stephan (Carey) was 214th with a time of 26:30.9 has been coming on very strong and is someone I am very excited to see what she can do in a few weeks.  Sophomore Bailee D'Amore (McDonald) rounded out the girls scoring.  She finished 242nd with a time of 28:44.5.  This was another strong step forward for Bailee.

We are back in action on Saturday, October 31 at home for the 2015 Ohio Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships at Wallace Lake in the Mill Stream Run Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks at 11 a.m.  We only get to host this meet once every 9 or so years.  We have put in a lot of miles on the course and I am excited to see what we can do.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wooster Opener

Ridding in style with the Fan Express Bus

We had our opening "meet" last night at Wooster College.  I really liked the unique set up of the meet and we got a great effort in.  We had a 5k race and a 4 mile race for the men and a 4k and 5k race for the women.  We had our teams run both.  The ladies started off the day with the 4k.  Next up for the 5k was for the men.  We ran both of those races at Marathon Pace.  Brian Brennan and Brady Jeffers ended up finishing 1-2 in the 5k, running it as a workout.  Next was the women’s 5k.  Freshman Kelly Brennan had a great performance and finished 3rd looking very comfortable in her second race of the day.  The men finished off the day with 4 miles at Tempo effort.  We then follow up the races with a weight session.  We brought some med balls, weighted PVC pipe along with us so we could keep our normal lifting pattern.  I was really happy with the effort the team gave and the focused they showed during both races.  It ended up being a great workout for the whole group.  They showed great restraint and executed the plan perfectly.

We have another race on Saturday at Ohio Wesleyan where we will get after it more than we did last night.  We are building our training and racing to be ready to run our best at the end of the season.

Brian and Brady looking comfortable going 1-2 in the 5k
Maeve and Bailee post-race

The team has done a great job of adapting to a culture of success and having a hard nosed work ethic.  I have thrown a lot at them since we started at camp and I am excited at how well they are adapting.  The future is going to be exciting.

Post race med ball work

My futures so bright I gotta wear shades

I have included links to a few social media accounts to give you instant updates on how the team is doing.  So if you are interested in getting an inside look into our program, you can follow the team and myself at the links bellow.  Hope to see some new followers.

@run800met instagram
@BW_TF_XC Instagram
@BW_track twitter
@coachjoeeby twitter

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Season opener

We had a great week of camp and followed that up with a great first week of school.  The group is getting into the swing of practice and our workout schedule.  We as a staff have thrown a lot of new things at them.  We have a new warm up, cool down, we do core circuits after runs, we added hill sprints in, and we have started going to the weight room twice a week.  We are trying to slowly implement all of the new things slowly.  All of the items we have added are supposed to help prevent injury not cause them.  Next week we will add in a speed development session and at that point we should have all of the ancillary extras added in.  They will get more and more complex as the students adapt and learn the movements, but the major pieces will be in place.

Today is our first "meet" of the year.  We will be heading down to College of Wooster for multiple races.  Because of NCAA rules we need to run a meet on the 1st of September due to coming back early and going to a team camp.  We are going to use this as a glorified workout as we will be "racing" again on Saturday.  The schedule is women's 4k, men's 5k, women's 5k, men's 4 mile.   We will have the majority of our crew running in both races.  Tuesday is normally an important workout day for us, so this early in the year I want to keep our schedule as normal as possible.  So we will have entered everyone in both races and expect a solid effort out of today but nothing that will go to the well.

I am excited for the group we have.  They have done a great job of working hard each day and paying attention to detail.  Any time there is a new coach it can be a hard transition for the athletes and the coaches.  Fortunately or unfortunately I have experience in this and this has been one of the smoothest transitions as a whole that I have dealt with. 

Until next time, Awww Jackets!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back in the saddle again

Wow, it has been a long time since my last entry.  A lot has happened in the last almost two years.  I am home and very excited to be working with Coach Cole at Baldwin Wallace University in Berea Ohio.  Today is our first day of camp.  We just got done with our team meeting and will be loading up the vans to head to Camp Wanake for three days, two nights down in Beach City.  We have a great group of kids with a lot of potential. The next few days should be very interesting.  Tomorrow morning first thing we will run a 3k time trail on the track.  This will give me a much clearer picture of where we are right now.  I will be implementing new warm up, cool down, core routine, weight lifting etc...  We will have some sore kids over the next few days.  I have a goal to keep this blog updated as we go through the season.  So check back from time to time to keep up to date on the Yellow Jackets.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bouncing back and preping for Big Sky!

Well last weekend was a rough one for the girls.  It flat out just wasn't our day.  It was frustrating because I know how fit we are and know that we can run with those teams.  We will get at least two more chances to prove how fit we are.  And the next two are the biggest meets of the year and what we have been working all season towards.

Lady Hornets in Terre Haute

The guys and three ladies ran well at the Bronco Invite at Santa Clara.  I am very excited to see what  they can do the next few weeks as well.

Monday we got right back at it with a long run and had a tough strength mixed rep workout today.  It was exciting to see the kids back at it working hard.  Todays workout ended up being a little tougher than I had planned but I liked what I saw and this is the time of year to push a little bit and get out of the comfort zone.  Today was a big break through in their ability to run tempo pace on the soft, wet grass.  They have been struggling with that all season and today it seemed to click a lot better.  The little gains are going to start adding up.  The thing that was the most exciting was that they were able to hit their paces, looking comfortable and I added a small but tough wrinkle into the workout.  I am excited to see what they can do this weekend.  Saturday will be a big workout for them.  It is the Mount Union workout.  I have taken it with me to every school that I have coached at.  It is a very challenging workout and I am excited to see what this very talented group can average.  This is a workout where they will hopefully be able to run fast while being very uncomfortable.  If you can make it though this workout you are ready to race hard.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Workout Friday

Today was a big workout for transitioning into the next phase of the season.  The group was most focused for the whole workout than I have ever seen them.  From the warm up through the last 200 they were on it.  It showed by the times they ran.  We are very ready to run well next weekend.  I had every intention of taking some pictures during the workout today but got caught up in how things were going and forgot.

Today's workout was 6x1k. I have been trying to set the tone for the workout all week telling them it was an important one and to be focused.  I moved the workout to the track instead of the grass to so I could monitor what was going on a lot better and be my vocal self.  Our top 5 girls averaged 3:15, we had some girls close 3:00 and better and our top 5 guys averaged 2:45 also closing well.  We had some specific instructions on how i wanted the first three to go then how to cut down the last three.  They were right on target for the whole thing.  The women's team closed the gap up significantly which is exactly what we need for the rest of the meets this season.  The men were able to close the gap as well and the Frosh group made some big steps in taking their training to a new level.  All in all this was a good way to start the weekend.

Now its time to get focused on Pre Nationals for the top 7 women and Santa Clara for the rest of the women and the men.  Both have great opportunities ahead.