Cross country running is a crazy sport to coach. Does this even count as coaching? Out of a 20-minute race, our runners are in my line of sight for maybe a minute, in total, at best. I catch glimpses of them as they weave between trees, across a field, through the forest and back again. They are within earshot of me for just ten seconds of that 20 minutes. There is nothing I can do to impact their performance during their race except to give an encouraging word as they struggle past. There are no time-outs, no extra time, and definitely no substitutions. They can be in a world of hurt and no one can help them but themselves. Indeed, we talked about that this week when we watched these two videos. (short version
, long version)
and longer yet if you ask my version as I was there that day).
We didn’t have anyone crawl across the finish, but one or two weren’t sure they would make it to the start line, and we definitely had collapses after the finish line. Following our home opener last week, the most common (and
, understandable) comment from our many rookie runners was, “I think I could have gone faster.” That sentence was not heard today.
The 3.5 kilometre junior girls and boys race was a crowded affair in the beginning, but quickly strung out as Natalia Shaw ‘27 and Ali MacLean ‘27 pushed the pace and nearly ran the whole field into the ground. Occupying two of the top three podium positions, Shaw earned a silver medal and MacLean scooped up the bronze in her rookie race. Kenshin Hojo ‘27 proved once again that he is a force to be reckoned with as he finished in fourth place for a second week in a row. Look for him to crack the top three at the next race (Brooklyn District Elementary on October 13). Finn Turner-Galaise ‘26 had a solid first KES race last week, but really opened up and pushed himself much farther today (then he received a second workout as he ran with me around the course to cheer on his older teammates). Finn and Ken were more than happy to add a third runner to their junior boys group (just one more needed for an official scoring team) in the resolute Eli Strum ‘28. Eli has proven many times in practice that he has an admirable ability to push himself. His very ruddy cheeks were proof of his hard work today.
The 4-kilometre intermediate senior girls race gained the advantage of the aforementioned juniors as each one of our juniors provided impressive and important course feedback for their teammates. Sophie Christiansen ‘23 led the girls today with a solid silver medal performance. Sophie was cautious in her approach at the beginning of the race, content to let the others take the lead. However, she passed them coldly as their too hot of an early pace caused them to falter. Just off the podium today but rising in the ranks and long to peel themselves from the grass (post finish line), were Beatrice Galise-Turner ‘24 in fifth of the intermediate runners, and Bella Galise-Turner ‘22 in fifth for the senior race. Desperately wanting to join her teammates, but a big coaching help at the finish line, was Paula Tschritter ‘23.
The 4-kilometre intermediate-senior boys race was much more hotly contested this week, and as with our home race, the KES boys were led by Quinn Emery ‘22. Quinn improved from just outside the top ten last week (11th), to a few significant places higher today at eighth position. It takes a tight team of four to qualify for the provincial championships, and Stanislav Matkovskyi ‘22 had a breakthrough run and followed as close as can be in ninth spot. Owen Seely ‘22 continues to make impressive improvements in practice (particularly his sprints from Monday) that are clearly transferring to races as he was just a few spots back of Stanislav. In his second cross country race, August Henrici ‘23 moved up five positions from last week, and I only see his climb continuing next week.
Coach Brodi Robinson and I chatted after (while the runners were on a warm-down run) about how great it was to see so much improvement just from last week. A lot of nerves before the race, but far more laughter and smiles after their excellent efforts. Special thanks to our always supportive Athletic Director, Mr. Kim Walsh for providing last minute transportation needs and to the new-to-me parents I met today.
For those willing to run, we are willing to coach, and there will be practices running over break!
Senior School Faculty
Coaching XC, Track and Field, Swimming