Saturday, October 10, 2015

Cape Elizabeth (10.9.15)

A wet and cold race yesterday at the Gull Crest fields in Cape Elizabeth.  Our last regular-season meet was marked by intermittent showers and grey skies.  Cape's flat course, featuring field and woods loops, was very spectator-friendly, with a clearly-viewed last half mile snaking around to the finish.  Despite their lack of sleep (and several head colds) after a week of camping out and travel, the Maine Coast runners managed to turn in several great performances, marked by course PRs and improved pacing.  Thank you to all the friends and relations who braved the soggy conditions to offer support.

In the girls race, Fiona A went out with the lead pack, moving up several spots in the last mile and passing a Cape runner in the last 200 yards to claim third place overall.  She improved her course time by almost two minutes.  She was (unsurprisingly) followed by another Ahearne, with Louise also cutting over a minute over her course best.  Sophia ran another great race, gradually passing competitors and flying through the last quarter mile.  Fiona L also exhibited a strong finishing kick, using the competition to her advantage in the final mile.  In a first for the year, Salome rounded out the scorers as the fifth place Maine Coast runner, ending her race with a very aggressive charge to the finish.  Sylvia was not far behind her usual racing partner, running her fastest pace of the season.  Both Salome and Sylvia earned themselves varsity spots at next week's WMC meet.  Phoebe also turned in a excellent effort, running her fasted-paced race ever and running a very strong second half.  It was the same with Chloe, who not only improved over last week, but also brought her Cape course time down by over a minute and a half- and she still had enough energy left for a kick.  Quinn managed to pass several competitors in the second half of the race, turning in a solid effort.  The girls finished third, behind Cape and Falmouth and ahead of Gray New Gloucester and Poland.

On the boys side, Tucker got a little jumpy right before the gun went off (see below for photographic evidence), but soon settled in right behind the leader.  Challenged in the final mile, he was able to hang on for a fifth place finish.  Eli was next for Maine Coast, running hard to finish with his fastest pace ever.  After a disappointing run last week, Calvin rebounded nicely, working his way up throughout the race and (in a theme for the day) finishing with his fastest-pace run of the year.  Despite a cold, Thomas still managed a solid effort, running strong throughout all three miles.  Finn rounded out the scoring five for the day, battling his teammate Nash and a Cape runner down the home stretch.  Although he was edged at the line, Nash hung on valiantly, and both benefited from excellent teamwork during the race.  The boys finished fourth, behind Falmouth, Cape and GNG, and ahead of Poland.  

Thanks to Amanda for the photos- Milesplit has pictures of the meet as well.

Next week we'll travel to St. Joseph's College in Standish for the Western Maine Conference Championship.  Maine Coast competes in the smaller division II (although both divisions run the same race and individual awards are not determined by division).  Please note the earlier start time and four races instead of the usual two (varsity and junior varsity for both girls and boys).  There will be an award ceremony right after the final race.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cape Elizabeth Race Info

We will be departing school by 2:05 on Friday afternoon for the Cape Elizabeth race and will have two vans going to the race.

Since this race is farther away than usual, we can provide transportation to the race for the driving runners if necessary, but all driving runners must tell Susan their transportation plans first thing on Friday morning so we can plan accordingly.  There may be only one van staying at the race, so anyone requesting a ride from the race back to Desert Rd needs to tell Susan first thing in the morning.  We are expecting many runners to get rides home with their parents.

Race location is the Gull Crest fields on Spurwink Ave in Cape Elizabeth.  You can find this on google maps by looking up Spurwink Ave & Dennison Dr in Cape Elizabeth.  It is located just south of the entrance to the Recycling Center.

Cape Elizabeth Start

Please note that the start times for Cape Elizabeth will be 4:30 (girls) and 5:00 (boys).

Thanks and hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Belfast Invitational (10.3.15)

 Yesterday marked the halfway point for our competitive season, with the cross country team bundling into the two vans early in the morning for the ride up to Belfast.  We lucked out with a glorious fall day, sunny and a bit breezy.  Belfast's flat, fast course was relatively dry (with the notable exception of the cut-through between the first and second miles) and was, as usual, good to our runners with 11 new PRs and five course PRs.  Not being at full strength due to a few injuries and SAT dates hurt the team scores somewhat, with the girls finished 34th out of 54 teams, while the boys finished 45 out of 64.  However, this provided ample opportunity for new runners to step up and occupy some of the scoring positions for the first time this season.

Thank you as always to all the parents, friends and relations who made the long (long) trip up the coast.  Thanks for all the cheering, snacks, number pinning, photographs and especially to John Olson for driving one of the vans.  Captains Dylan, Tucker and Sylvie did an excellent job keeping everyone organized, warmed up, cooled down, checked in and warm in the midst of a very chaotic meet atmosphere.

The unseeded girls heat saw the largest Maine Coast contingent, with six girls competing.  In what was the first race of the day, Sylvia and Salome, continuing their successful partnership, led the way for the team.  Although Salome pulled ahead in the final mile, Sylvia caught her on the final straightaway.  Both girls ran their fastest race of the season, with a large personal best for Sylvia (who also would end up as the team's fifth scorer).  Sylvie and Phoebe were not far behind.  They also employed a pack strategy, using it to pass a number of competitors in the second half of the race.  Sylvie surged ahead in the last half mile, but Phoebe improved her best time by an even 30 seconds.  Not to be outdone, Chloe chopped off over a minute and a half from her PR, cruising in below the 28 minute mark for the first time ever.  Barbara, running in her second cross country race of the season, did an excellent job and improved her PR by well over a minute (must be all that hard work!)

In the unseeded boys race, Thomas took a commanding lead in the first quarter mile, leading the pack by a surprising margin.  But the bigger surprise was Ruben, who kept pace with Davis for most of the race (even passing the upperclassman at several points!), and setting the largest PR of the day, by over three minutes.  Davis himself finished with a new PR, ultimately leading the way for the Maine Coast boys in the unseeded heat.

In the freshman girls race, Quinn settled into a comfortable pace after a very quick first mile.  She also ran a new PR by over a minute (skipping over 28 minutes in the process).

In the freshman boys race, both Nash and Finn got out quickly, cruising through the first mile and working hard in the second two.  Nash improved his time by over half a minute (and even managed a small kick down the final 100 meters), and also ended the day as the team's fifth scorer for the first time. Not to be outdone, Finn also set a new PR, charging up the last hill and passing several competitors in the final quarter mile.

In the seeded girls race, Olivia returned this meet with a solid effort, regaining her leading scorer status.  Louise was next for Maine Coast, hanging in after a very fast first mile for her fastest finish of the season.  In another (pleasant) surprise, Sophia was just a second behind her, gaining a new PR after running a very determined second half (not to mention claiming the title of ninth fastest runner in school history).  After running her first mile with Sophia, Fiona L also handily managed a new personal best, exhibiting her trademark fierce kick in the final stretch (see below for pictoral proof).

In the seeded boys race, Tucker went out hard with the lead pack, covering most of the race at (personal) record pace.  After moving up a few places in the second half, Tucker hung on for a 20th place finish.  Eli also put in a quality effort, despite being somewhat hobbled by stomach cramps.  He managed to finish with his fastest time of the season.

You can find additional meet photos at Sub 5, and the full results here.  Next week, we'll be at Cape Elizabeth for our last regular season meet.  Please note, as of right now, we do not know the start time for this meet (it will be either 4 or 4:30pm), so please check the blog for an update later in the week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Belfast Info

!!! All things Belfast !!!

Troy Howard Middle School
Lincolnville Ave
Belfast, ME

Race Schedule:
See the post two places below this post with full race schedule

Course walk:
  • 9:45 - Everyone is required to be on site, ready for the course walk at 9:45
  • Runners that know this course well (i.e. have raced it in previous years) and want to arrive later should talk with Morgan

  • Two vans will be leaving Desert Rd at 7:30 am on Saturday morning
  • Susan needs to hear from EVERYONE by Friday at 5:00 pm about their transportation plans for Saturday (riding the van?  getting a ride with parents?)

There is often food (chili, soup, etc.) for purchase in the school, but the lines are long and we don't know for certain what is being offered this year.  All runners should bring their own food and lots of it, as it is a long day.  Runners should eat breakfast at home, and then bring at least a morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack.

What else to bring:
Running shoes
Warm clothes
Water bottle

Coming back home:
If we have any runners that place in any races, we will stay for awards.  If not, we will head home after the last race.  That means we don't know now when we will arrive back at Desert Rd, but kids can call from the road.

No awards – lv after boys race
Anybody places – we stay for awards

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday evening pasta party

It looks like the team will be having a pasta party this coming Friday, the night before the Belfast races.

Look for an email from Sarah Pierce with more info.

Belfast FOC Schedule

Here is the schedule for Saturday at Belfast:

Meet Schedule
All Scratches Reported to Meet Management – 10:00 AM
Coaches and Captains Meeting at Starting Line – 10:25 AM
Canadian and American National Anthems – 10:50 AM
Girls Unseeded Section – 11:00 AM
Boys Unseeded Section – 11:45 AM
Girls Freshman Section – 12:30 PM
Boys Freshman Section – 1:15 PM
Girls Seeded Race – 2:00 PM
Boys Seeded Race – 2:40 PM
Awards Ceremony – 3:20 PM

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Thinking about Belfast

For those that haven't previously been to the Belfast Festival of Champions (race next Saturday, October 3) and so you can start thinking ahead, here are some general things to know about this race ...
  • It is a long day.  Exact race times and travel times will be shared later in the week, but runners should plan on a full day.
  • The race takes place in Belfast, Maine, over a 1.5 hour drive away, adding to the long day.
  • There are six races during the day and we will have runners in all races.
  • Food offerings may have long lines and may not appeal to everyone, so all runners (and fans) should plan to bring their own food and snacks for the entire day.
  • We spend pretty much the entire day outside, so everyone needs to bring sufficient clothing to stay warm/dry.  We will have a tent, but everyone will still need warm things.
  • Later in the week we will be asking families to let us know their transportation plans and whether they will be bringing their runner to the race and/or taking their runner home from the race.  We will provide transportation to and from as needed, but will need firm plans from everyone, so please start thinking about that now.
That's all for now.  Stay tuned for more info this week.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Belfast Invite Seeds

Interested to see where you're seeded for Belfast?  The individual races (i.e. unseeded v. seeded) aren't up, but the overall seeds are here for girls and boys.

Lake Region (9.25.15)

Perfect cross country conditions greeted the team at Lake Region this afternoon.  The short course (2.8 miles) featured field and trail loops, with a 300 yard finish on the track.  This provided excellent views for spectators and some very quick times.  There were many milestones: individual winners in both the girls and boys races, as well as a win for the boys team (five runners in the top ten!)  Thank you for the parents who made the trek out to Naples, cheered us on, took pictures, brought snacks and drove the van (special gratitude to Dan Pierce for that duty!) Thank you also to Dylan, Ruben and Barbara for taking splits.

The girls led the way, and in Fiona A's case, she actually ran away with the race, taking control at the halfway point and never looking back.  Congrats to Fiona A for her first high school win!  Not to be outdone, Louise captured third place after overtaking a number of competitors in the final mile. Sophia also made a strong surge in her final lap, moving up aggressively.  Fiona L, making a recovery after early contact with chain link, battled onward and recovering nicely (if a bit angry/strongly motivated).  Emma claimed the final scoring spot, passing most of a large pack and exhibiting a strong kick on the track.  Sylvie kept pace, also overtaking several opponents and finishing with an impressive lap on the track.  Very close behind her were Sylvia and Salome, who again worked together, picking it up in the final mile and charging down the back straightaway.  Chloe also had a very impressive kick- what a turnover!  Continuing a team theme, Quinn's race was marked by much passing as she moved up several spots with a strong second half.  The girls finished second to Kennebunk, beating Gray-New Gloucester and Lake Region.

The boys race also saw a Maine Coast runner out in front, with Tucker charging out to take the lead in the first quarter mile.  Congrats to Tucker for his first win of the season!  But perhaps the most impressive part of the race was Maine Coast finishing 1-6-7-8-10, which may be a first in school history.  Eli and Thomas worked together throughout the race, moving up into excellent position in the final mile.  Eli pulled away for sixth, with Thomas finishing with an aggressive kick in seventh.  Calvin and Davis also partnered up for the first two miles, with Calvin throwing down an amazing surge in the final .8 mile to claim 8th, and Davis running hard for 10th.  Nash and Finn, (who both displaced Lake Region's number 5), ran a smart race, staying competitive in the second half as their competition faded.  The boys won the race (!), beating Gray-New Gloucester, Kennebunk and Lake Region.

Next week we travel up the coast for the Belfast Invitational.  Please note that this is a Saturday race and there will be six different sections: unseeded, freshman, and seeded for both the girls and boys.  If any Maine Coast runners place in the top 10, we will be staying for the awards ceremony afterward.

As always, pictures are appreciated!

Return from Lake Region

Many kids are getting rides back from the race at Lake Region today.  Since we can not pin down a time or even a return location (some kids may get a ride with a parent that lives nearby), all the kids should be calling their parents after the race to let them know where they can be reunited.

Thank you to all parent drivers, and especially to Dan Pierce for driving a van to the race today!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Yarmouth (9.18.15)

Another Friday, another unseasonably warm cross country meet.  This week took us to Pratt's Brook in Yarmouth, where Maine Coast navigated the field and trails under some hot sun (thankfully, the trails provided some respite).  This lollipop course featured tighter spaces than our own Pineland trails, as well as a serious hill in the last quarter mile.  Many runners rose to the occasion, throwing down PRs or their fastest times for 2015.  Thanks to all the spectators (especially those bearing snacks) who waited on the field during this spectator-unfriendly race, and thank you to all the younger siblings who sprinted to the mile mark to take sprints.  

The girls were led this week by Fiona A, who started out with the lead pack and hung on for an impressive fifth place finish.  Olivia helped pace Louise through a very consistent race (although Louise edged her at the finish).  The dynamic duo of Fiona L and Sophia pack ran again to great success.  This week it would be Fiona L surging ahead in the home stretch as she and Sophia battled it out with a pack of competitors.  Sylvie took command of her race, turning in her fastest time of the season and looking quite tough on the final hill.  Emma and Phoebe worked strategically on the course, helping one another through the second half and staving off rival runners.  Emma would claim the seventh spot, but in a surprise move, Sylvia snuck up on Phoebe in the final quarter mile, just barely squeaking by her teammate and setting a PR by over a minute.  Sylvia was helpfully paced by Salome, finishing her first race of the season.  Not to be outdone, Quinn charged up the last hill to a 40 second personal best of her own.  The girls finished third to Falmouth and Yarmouth, beating Kennebunk (Sacopee Valley does not have a girls' team).

The boys side was a little sparse, due to some absences and injury.  Luckily, we had five finishers to make up a scoring team.  Eli was first across the line for Maine Coast, picking it up significantly in the final stretch.  Davis, in a return to form, ran the fastest in his third and final mile, zipping in to the finish.  Thomas was not far behind, powering up and over the final hill down the straightaway.  Nash, keeping his splits remarkably consistent, recovered from being boxed in at the start by making up some ground later in the race.  Rounding out the scoring five was Finn, who attacked the last hill on the straightaway in another dramatic battle (will all his races end this way this season? we'll have to keep watching to find out).  The boys finished fourth behind Falmouth, Yarmouth and Kennebunk (Sacopee Valley did not score).  

Please join us next week as we journey to Lake Region.  A reminder that this meet will start half an hour early: girls race at 4pm and boys at 4:30pm.

Team fee

The team fee for this season has been set at $120, which includes the team shirts.  Families will be billed by the business office.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Van/Practice this Thursday 9/17

This Thursday we will have XC practice at Desert Rd so the high school team can help with the middle school race.  We will transport all (non-driving) high school runners to Desert Rd, even if you are not a usual van rider.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Jacket status

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to get jackets this season.  Despite working with the selected company since May, and receiving sample jackets for sizing, once we ordered we were informed that the women's jackets were backordered and wouldn't be available until January.  We have decided to get LS tech tees for everyone instead, which will allow us to show off our new school name in long sleeves!

Please talk to Susan if you have questions about this.

Friday, September 11, 2015

NYA (9.11.15)

Today Maine Coast took a brief respite on their return from their trip camping in the Maine wilds.  Stopping over briefly at Royal River Park in Yarmouth, they ran a few cross country races despite being slightly damp and disheveled.  The weather cleared in time for the meet, with dry air and hot sun over the baseball diamond at the second mile.  NYA's course featured plenty of pavement along the Royal River, along with some slower field sections.  Both teams did well, considering their sleep-deprived preparations, with four new PRs and nine course bests, as well as Maine Coast's first victories over WMC Class B schools despite our small numbers.  Thanks to all the parents, siblings and friends who came to support us (and whomever baked all those cookies), to Gina Quinn-Skillings and Amanda Blake Soule for the photos, and especially to Eliza and Emma for taking splits.

On the girls' side, Fiona A and Olivia led the way, settling in behind the race leader from the first quarter mile.  Working together for much of the race, Fiona finally broke away in the last mile to set another personal best and claim second place.  Dealing with some shin trouble, Olivia still managed a third-place finish with a course PR.  Rounding out Maine Coast's scorers were Sophia, Louise and Fiona L.  This trio was paced most of the way by Louise, until Sophia made a break down the home stretch, improving her time from last season by over thirty seconds.  Fiona, running on bandaged knees, was not far behind.  Emma, Sylvie and Phoebe made up the second group of three, pack running through the majority of the race.  This week it was Emma who surged in the last half mile, improving her course best by over a minute.  Sylvie finished strong in another course PR.  Not to be outdone, Phoebe refused to be left behind and registered the biggest improvement of the day (exactly two minutes faster than 2014).  Sylvia and Chloe also ran shoulder-to-shoulder along the Royal River, with Sylvia pulling slightly ahead in the final mile to set a new personal best.  Quinn, recovering from a second turned ankle, completed her first race with a strong finishing kick.  The girls finished third to Greely and Kennebunk, ahead of Poland (NYA did not score).

The boys got out to a fast start this week with Tucker and Dylan taking up early residence in the top four.  After equally strong second miles, Tucker went on to claim second place, with Dylan in fourth.  Both improved on their previous course times by almost a minute.  The pack of Calvin, Eli and Thomas exhibited quality pacing, and were rewarded for their restraint with two new personal bests (Calvin and Thomas) and an improvement over last year's time (Eli).  Calvin was able to pull away from Eli in the home stretch, with Thomas close on their heels.  This week Davis took on pacing duties, doing an admirable job of leading Nash and Finn through a very steady first two miles.  Davis led the way into the last quarter mile.  Nash left it all on the course this week while Finn still had enough energy for a sprint duel to the finish.  The boys finished second to Greely, ahead of Kennebunk and Poland (NYA did not score).

Next week we have another short journey, this time to Pratt's Brook for Yarmouth's home course.  Hope to see you there!