Patrick HennerWith the top rated Wolverines, Ducks and Buffaloes occupying the rolling grasslands of the Indiana State course for the women’s Pre-Nats meet, Coach Mike Smith decided to organize a hunting trip. His women’s team organized their gear, loaded their weapons, tracked their prey and brought home a wide array of game for a fine feast indeed!

Top-ranked Michigan had defeated our Lady Hoyas in Boston four weeks ago, but with the added contribution of Haley Pierce we were able to turn the tables and beat the Wolverines and also take down #3 Oregon.  The expedition was lead by All-American Katrina Coogan who went out on point and immediately inserted herself among the leaders.  She took the initiative in the middle of the race to move into 2nd and break the #1 Michigan runner before getting nipped at the line and finishing 3rd overall.  With Katrina as a front runner, our pack of 2-5 was able to all finish within 12 seconds of each other to solidify the feast. Kelsey Smith and Maddie Chambers finished 19th and 20th respectively with Andrea Keklak only four seconds back. Rounding out our top five was Annamarie Maag.  Michigan State, who won a big invite at Wisconsin this past weekend, is now #1 with your Lady Hoyas #2.

Our young men’s team just needed to learn how to race together as a team and Coach Brandon Bonsey developed a masterful race plan for Pre-Nats. The men executed that plan perfectly and winded up handily beating all of the teams except for #1 Colorado and #2 Oregon.  Our team leader, Brian King, rebounded from a poor showing at Boston three weeks ago, and lead our team through the first 5k in exactly the right position.  At that point All-American Ahmed Bile took over and ended up being our top runner in 21st. Jon Green ran with our pack the whole way but closed hard to finish 28th.  In close order was Scott Carpenter ( 31st), Darren Fahy (33rd) and Brian King (35th). Our top five was all within 10 seconds! The Hoya family should be excited that our top four runners were: sophomore, freshman, sophomore and sophomore. Team leader Brian King was the lone upperclassman in our top five.  We had been unranked, but the results of this meet moved our young team up to #16.

The main focus of our teams will be to do everything possible to improve as individuals and to improve our team racing tactics. It is through the focus on the process of improvement that we will garner the results we desire.

Just as your Hoya Cross Country teams utilized team racing strategies to defeat the top teams in the country you need to do your part to contribute to team success. You might be able to be a front runner and make a large gift, or you might show and contribute to the team success by a smaller, but equally important, gift.  Each and every member of the Hoya family needs to contribute to ensure our team success!

Patrick Henner

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