Sunday, February 11, 2018

At long last . . .

the scorekeepers got it right and corrected the Girls results for this past Friday's meet versus Pembroke.  I went to bed Friday night knowing the score was tied 49-49 (I should have placed another runner in the 2 Mile) but woke up at 3:00AM, checked the results online and was stunned to find Pembroke was shown as the winner 50-48.  So, I couldn't go back to sleep until I got the matter resolved, at least in my own mind.  I went through all the events, color coding the top 3 finishers in each.  Then created a spreadsheet to insure old age had not deteriorated my math skills to where I could not add, and then retraced my steps . . . twice.  Following this I felt confident enough to send off an e-mail to the scorers BEFORE they made the incorrect results official.  Ultimately, your tired coach got confirmation that. in fact, the meet had ended in a tie.

The official results can be found at:

It was a terrific finish to a roller coaster season marred by poor weather and a lot of down time.  I made my apologies on the bus ride home because, honestly, I didn't think the kids would have a chance against a very formidable opponent in Pembroke.  The tie was hard earned and well deserved.  Outstanding effort all around.  We do not have enough t-shirts to go around, but I believe EVERY girl deserves a game ball!!

Thank you all for an enjoyable season, and continue to check in for news about our year-end soiree and spring track of course! Sadly, some of you will be leaving us, in particular Seniors Camryn "Camo" Boyce and Julia "JD" Donovan.  Good luck in LAX and Softball and thank you for a memorable four years in XC and T&F.  On the bright side, all our other Seniors will be back and Spring Track is right around the corner and I am psyched.  It should be a tremendous season.  Bring a friend!

And finally, Friday's bus ride included entertainment by Tasha Bui.  For nearly 70 minutes this old guy listened to music I am desperately attempting to enjoy (OK, I DID like Sara Bareilles "Love Song". )   Near the end of our journey Tasha did take my request for a U2 song.  My reaction was similar to that in this short video . . .

I'll see Nicole, Jack and Andrew on Monday.  Everybody else is welcome and I'll be posting a short "between season" program here in the next couple of days for our Distance/Mid-distance kids.

Friday, February 9, 2018

I've been there . . .

As we approach what, for most of you, is the last meet of the Indoor season, I find myself reflecting on the Whitman-Hanson Track & Field program and what the future holds for it.  Dwindling numbers in a sport where glory pales in comparison to many of the other options our student-athletes have available to them is only part of the problem we face.  Commitment and dedication are requisite elements in our sport, one can't succeed without them.  Dealing with the elements during the season has had an impact certainly.  And while we have an indoor option, it is after all a walking track and repeated use has resulted in numerous injuries.  

When I came here four years ago I was as enthusiastic as the 15 year old in the picture.  (You may appreciate the venue even if you can't recognize the athlete.)  I remain hopeful that Whitman-Hanson Track and Field can again become the successful and even dominating program it once was.  I am seeking the input of the student-athletes and parents on how to enhance and improve our program.  I don't honestly believe glory is what our kids seek, nor do I believe all our young people lack commitment, or even that winter turns athletic kids off to Track & Field.  What I know is that we are facing an uphill climb as we try to increase awareness and participation.  Admittedly, I am loath to accept criticism, but this is my appeal for your thoughts and ideas.  Let the chips fall where they may, my feelings are irrelevant.  After all, I sincerely want what is best for our young track athletes. Like I said, I've been there . . .


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

TUESDAY - January 31, 2018

Today's forecast at practice time calls for 33 degrees and partial sun. Not too bad for this time of year.

 Distance/mid-distance will be outdoors following warm up on the walking track.  Quiz - fill in the blank: Yesterday was EASY, so today is ______________. 

We've got a nice workout planned. One you've previously done consisting of 6-8 X .10 Hill, .15 Recovery Jog, .10 Hill (6 for the 200, 300, 400 runners, 8 for the 600 and up.)  .10 on the Junior Path and Main Driveway, .15 on the flat surface between the football and baseball fields.

My answer to the quiz . . . CHALLENGING. 

See you at 2:30.

Monday, January 29, 2018

A truly great weekend . . .

We all enjoy the weekend.  A chance to step a way from the grind, and spend time doing what we want to do with less attention paid perhaps to what we need to do.  Many of us, because of the nature of our work, spend our weekends at our jobs, and for me that was the case this past weekend. This is a particularly stressful time of year for people in my profession (tax accounting.) But, that did not keep it from becoming a great weekend for me.

Some of you may think of your coaches as folks who are looking for an easy way to supplement their income.  But I can state with absolute certainty every W-H coach would do what they do for nothing.  I have never heard of a coach who declined a position because it didn't pay enough.  There are no negotiations.  In fact, I can't recall an interview where money was discussed.  It is irrelevant. There are dozens of reasons for coaching which trump the paycheck.  At or near the top of that list for me is watching the kids I have had the privilege of coaching coach mature in and outside of athletics. This weekend was chock full of events which are clear evidence of how mature some of those kids are.  For example . . .

Nicole Norve and her Mom texted a number of pictures from Colorado as they toured Adams State University (the top D2 XC and T&F program in the country, Boys and Girls) and she is excited about the probability of heading there next year. Hard work has made that possible . . .

On the subject of hard work, Camryn "Camo" Boyce, the hardest working kid I know (I had to cut her town park loops short last week or she never would have stopped!) received appointments to both the U. S. Air Force and U. S. Military academies over the weekend.  That accomplishment is not something you get done in the first few months of your Senior year, it is a 17+ year commitment to excellence . . .

Continuing with that hard work theme, Jack Ryan, who practices as hard as anybody on our team, and THEN heads to the weight room 4 times per week, ran an incredible, let me say it again, INCREDIBLE, 1000 meter race on Sunday at the Coaches Invitational, improving his PR by 6 seconds to 2:38.75.  If you want to achieve results, do what Jack does.  Is there a better attitude or work ethic?

And finally, I got a call yesterday from WATD's Bill Wilhelm who hosts a Sunday night sports show which regularly features local high school athletes.  Three hours before air time I sent out a casting call and four great kids, Maeve McDonough, Julia Cosgrave, Lily Perkins and Tori Boss all agreed to appear.  If they were nervous, I didn't hear it.  They each spoke eloquently.  But it is not only their eloquence that impressed me.  Bill customarily asks everybody to give a "shout out" to anybody before leaving.  Over the years I've heard kids shout out to their friends, teammates, significant others, and more.  Last night ALL 4 kids shouted out to their parents.  Speaking from the standpoint of a parent (by the way, the most important and rewarding job I have) I was tremendously impressed by that.  In fact, I can't think of anything a parent wants more than to simply be acknowledged by their child.  By "shouting out" to their parents, those four girls proved to me that they really "get it!"

Thank you all for making my working weekend truly GREAT . . .

Friday, January 26, 2018

Friday, January 26, 2018

Today, sunny and 33 degrees.  "Real feel" will be 34 degrees.  You can do the math on the wind.  Distance and Mid-distance will be holding a workout on the Track following a warm-up indoors. Easy jog behind the school to the Track via the tennis courts.  Strides on the turf and the a "reverse pyramid" of 800, 600, 400, 200, 200, 400, 600, 800.  I like this workout because the transition to fast twitch muscles creates quicker turnover.  I'm hoping this carries over to the climb back UP the pyramid, after which you'll jog back to the walking track via the tennis courts and the BACK of the school.  Core and stretch to follow.

We have two weeks until our final Dual Meet.  I will be encouraging those athletes who want to challenge themselves to do so by extending their runs.  Whether you have competed in the mid-distance or distance races and understand the increased volume will improve your times,  or if you've been solely a 200 or less runner who can see the way to a Varsity letter may be in expanding your horizons, all are welcome if you're up for it.

Practice tomorrow AM at 10:00, Easy/long run for all. 

2:30 . . . Walking Track . . . See you then.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Whitman-Hanson versus Silver Lake

I was very happy the Boys won over Silver Lake 54-45 last night.  With wins in the 600 (Joe Coletti), 1000 (Jack Ryan), Mile and 2 Mile (Andrew Newman) the distance/mid-distance group was well represented.

On the girls side, going into the relays Silver Lake and W-H were knotted at 45-45.  We needed wins in both the 4x200 and 4x400 to gain the victory and both teams came through with exciting and close wins!! (4 and 5 second margin of victory, respectively)  The 4x200 victory assured a tie. And with 75% of our 4x400 team out, Dorothy, Julia, Courtney and Tori saved the day! Final score - 55-45!!!!!!


But last night a lot of people stepped up.  Three game balls . . . (no practice today hence the announcement here).  In alphabetical order, all were phenomenal.

Camryn Boyce - Knowing we were short two or three of our top D/MD athletes, Camo, the consummate "team" player, offered to double up in the Mile and 2 Mile, scoring in both with a 3rd and 2nd place finish.

Maeve McDonough - Although  the Silver Lake Coach (Gentleman Joe Darche) congratulated us on entering 3 runners in the 2 Mile in order to have a shot at the 9 points, it was made possible by Maeve who, when asked to double in the Mile and 2, replied with a simple, "Sure, Coach."  She killed both with a 2nd in the Mile and a win in the 2!

Samantha Perkins - Who is asked to reside in Track "limbo"- somewhere between Sprinter and Mid-Distance, but leaves no doubt as to her Field events prowesss.  2nd in the 55, member of the winning 4x200, and winner in the Long Jump.

Of course, it was a team effort that resulted in the win.  All week long I harped about how having a season with no wins was absolutely unacceptable.  Whether it was to shut me up or prove something to yourselves - you won!  Big league!  (he did NOT say bigly!)

Great effort kids!  Coach Driscoll gave the Boys the day off . . . We will follow suit.  We will be back at it tomorrow though, so enjoy your day off.  Take the two hours you've been given and make them productive . . .

See you Friday!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday - 1/24 W-H vs. S/L

Yesterday's practice for the Distance crew was fairly impressive.  Sure, it was warm, but with the torrential downpour and the short run I really expected the group to stay indoors.  Virtually everybody chose to run outside!  I was surprised, but the cameras were rolling as you youngsters headed out . . .

Today, there is no precipitation in the forecast and it will not be quite as mild.  But the conditions will be ideal inside the RLTAC.  We need everybody to step up tonight and run their best.  There is a lot on the line.  We are not going to win any titles this year, but "you are gentlemen of brave mettle," and "tis not done" for the ladies.  And the final Shakespeare reference "trouble resolved itself after winning."  Now, if you aren't familiar with The Tempest, MacBeth or Henry VIII , maybe you recall the simple phrase heard before any March Madness NCAA Tournament basketball game . . . Win or go home!

Maybe it's me who has a lot on the line . . .

3:20 bus departure . . . be there . . .