Congrats to the EPXC Boys and Girls teams on a great set of races in Brush yesterday morning for the Patriot League Meet! When we strategized this race with the team at the beginning of practice this past, Friday our boys were projected at 3rd and our girls were projected at 5th place. The runners knew what each of them needed to do in order to better those projections and, as the results show, both our teams arrived yesterday ready to compete.

The boys ran first and after a smart first mile, were able to progress through the field of runners to finish with 2 in the top 5 and the next 3 in the top 25 for a team score of 65 which placed us 2nd in the Patriot League!

We needed a number of big personal performances to move ahead of Liberty Common and the boys team delivered. 7 of our 14 runners set new lifetime PRs on this course. Dylan finished 1st for EPXC and 4th overall with a time of 16:40, a 12s PR which earned him an All-League Honors and moves him up on the "EPXC All-Time Top 10 5k" to #4. Finn finished next with a 26s PR and broke the 17 min barrier (a huge achievement) with a time of 16:57; Finn also earned All-League Honors and earned a spot on the "EPXC All-Time Top 10 5k" list at #7. After spending last season injured, Seth was able to make a big comeback yesterday, running a 35s PR and breaking (more like SMASHING) into the 17’s for the first time ever with a time of 17:27; Seth placed 3rd for our team and 12th overall which earned him All-League honorable mention and was only 5s away from a spot on the "EPXC All-Time top 10 5k" list. Mason was our 4th across the line and placed 19th overall with his first ever sub 18min 5k, a 18s PR for a time of 17:49! Rounding out our top 5 was Cobi with a new 51s season PR which placed him in 25th and secured our team’s 2nd place finish ahead of Liberty Common. Additional lifetime 5k PRs were set by Paul -1:19 (biggest PR of the day), Aiden -5s, Lucas -54s, and Blake -24s. There were also 2 additional season PRs, -43s for Eric and -1:27 for Oliver. These new 5k performances have moved our boys team to 6th ranked team in the state for 3A!

The girls team ran second, and even after multiple start line delays, were able to keep their composure and ran a great team race with a number of big individual improvements. Unfortunately the race directors miscalculated the team scores at the award ceremony and our girls team placed 4th in the Patriot League (a finish everyone should still very proud of!).

The theme of the girl’s pre-meet team meeting was very similar to the boys...“We need to place our top 5 in the top 30 if we want to improve on our 5th place projection”. Through a combination of tough racing and fast individual performances, our girls were able to move into the 4th place position in the league. Lily finished 1st for our team and 1st overall with a new 18s season PR (and fastest CO 5k time with the exception of Liberty Bell) of 18:18 and is the 2016 League Champion! Annalise was our second across the line in 24th place with a time of 22:26, a 27s PR and only 4s away from making the "EPXC All-Time Top 10 5k" list! Mae cruised through a tough workout on the track in the dark at 6:00am this week running her intervals in negative splits up to 20s under her pace, an indication that she was ready for a big race this weekend. Mae came across 3rd for our team and placed 25th with the biggest PR of the day -1:17 for a time of 22:38 (her first time under 23mins). Hannah set a new season PR of 23:02 (her fastest 5k ever with the exception of Liberty Bell), placed 4th on our team and 30th overall. Samantha completed our girls top 5 placing 39th, bettering her PR by a fraction of a second for a time of 23:25. We had a additional lifetime PR from Zoe, an improvement for 1:16, for a time of 24:06! There were also season PRs from Piper who took 1:03 off of her time and from Olivia who improved by 3:22.

Now that league is behind us, we are shifting our focus toward the Regional Meet on Thursday, October 20th. The regional meet determines which teams will qualify for the CHSAA State Championships on October 29th; only 4 teams from each region will advance to the state championship. While we are confident that we will bring two teams to state again this year, we need to maintain focus and drive over the next 11 days to ensure that we preform well at the regional meet. We are limited to 10 runners on the regional roster, those runners will be selected by the coaches based on performances at league, season average times, and merit. All athletes are encouraged to continue to practice until state but must maintain the same level of commitment and will be held to the same attendance expectations as athletes on the state roster. We will announce the regional roster during practice on Tuesday.

Important upcoming dates/ Reminders:

Monday (10/10) 3:30-4:45pm – Team Trail Run

We will meet at the Cow Creek Trailhead at 3:30pm for a trail run for practice on Monday. This is a regular Monday practice and we expect all athletes to attend unless we get an email from your parents.

Friday (10/14) 3:40-6:00pm - Practice

I will be flying home on Friday afternoon to see family and run the Detroit marathon. Coach Stafford will be in charge of practice.

Saturday (10/15) Time: TBA – Captain’s Practice

Coach Stafford and I will both be in Detroit for the Detroit Marathon and captains will be holding a practice at the high school at a time TBA. More info later this week.

**Athletes, please remember to bring in $10 for your team t-shirt. We have only received payment from 4 runners so far. **

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