Most Recent Meet
NCAA Championships -
The season came to a close in Louisville Kentucky, with the running of the NCAA Championships held at the EP Tom Sawyer State Park. The race was on a flat, spectator friendly course that would see the runners traverse a loop that skirted some athletic fields as well as head out through the woods two continuous times, before running up through some grass / gravel roads that ran parallel to the starting field then running the perimeter of the starting field and finally heading out on a rolling field loop with pine tree cover for the final mile before a nice gradual downhill finish. We started on the inside of the start line, which helped avoid some of the fray caused by the mass of runners that were ultimately heading towards our side of the diagonally crossing starting field before merging on the the wide course and beginning of the first of two loops - each about 2k in distance. As they came though about the first 600m, it seemed like we had done okay getting a decent start as Mo was in the Top 25, and not far behind him ,Steve had put himself into the thick of things and then probably about 30-40 spots behind Ray and Cosmo were together, and then another few seconds behind, the twins and Kristian were connected and a but further in the field. At the 2k chip mat, the results showed that we were sitting in 4th with scoring runners at 9th, 37, 38, 40 and 76. As they headed back through the 2nd time, Mo was at the front end of the 2nd chase pack - there were 4-5 guys at the front, then a pack of about 15 runners with a gap to Mo's pack. Steve had fallen back to Ray and Cosmo, while Craig had started to move towards them opening up a gap on Scotty and Kristian. Coming out of the 2nd loop and heading towards the side of the starting field loop, Mo had fallen through his pack and was now hanging on for Top 35 and behind him Craig and gotten up to Raymond and they were running together, while Steve and Cosmo were still very close and was what we were hoping to see. The 4k chip mat had us sitting at 5th in scoring spots of 18, 45, 49, 51 and 53 - we had dropped a little at the front but Craig had moved up. As they ran around the starting field and back towards the final 2k, things had started to slide further south as Mo was struggling to maintain form and was losing spots as he had now fallen out of All-American contention. Craig and Raymond continued to look strong working with each other, but Steve and Cosmo had fallen off them and were dropping through the field while Scotty had started to move up closer to each of them and at the 6k or so chip mat, we had dropped down to 8th with scoring places of 25, 43, 49 then 98 and 106. The final 2k was not real kind, as Craig and Ray would do a good job of keeping their positions relatively close but the others dropped a few more spots unable to move up through the field any more and ultimately, when the dust had settled, we finished 12th. Mo would, as he has done all year, finish as our top runner but his 68th place finish would be a bit off of what he would normally be - having earned All-American honors in his first two years - and then with 6 seconds of his finish came Craig and 2aymond who would hit the line in 83rd and 88th. 20 seconds later, Steve would finish at 145th in 25:14 while Scotty closed out the scoring 3 seconds later in 154th place. Cosmo was a few ticks above 26 minutes and Kristian was not far behind him. Coming in ranked 8th, we were hoping to finish around there but in looking at how things ended up playing out in the race, to finish in 12th - in a race where it seemed like everything went wrong in the later stages - was an unexpected bonus, as to have key scoring runners struggle like they did, and still have the strength and depth to be able to stay focused and come out of the race in the Top 12 certainly makes you wonder what a healthy Mo and Cosmo could have done. While it was not the finish we hoped for, we do return five of the guys next year and will look towards the future and what we need to do to get closer to the elusive podium finish at next year's NCAA's.