Thursday, October 31, 2013

News Bits

Cavalier Daily story on the impact of a trio of freshman, including Shakopee's Maria Hauger, on tenth ranked Virginia's women's cross country team is HERE.

Milesplit's boys HS team rankings is HERE, girls is HERE.

Minnesota Daily Big Ten Championships preview is HERE.

UMAC XC coaches will participate in an online chat at noon HERE.

NSIC weekly XC summary for women is HERE, men HERE.

MIAC student athlete spotlight on Gustavus's Kailee Carlson is HERE.

St Paul chosen to host 2014 US  TriathlonDduathlon National Championships announcement is HERE.

The Underdogs become Top Dogs at NSIC Championships

NSIC champs UMD with their trophy and T-shirts.
Photo courtesy of Augustana
It was the type of performance coaches hope to get from their teams.  Each member of the NSIC champion University of Minnesota Duluth women ran a personal best as the Bulldogs won the NSIC title on Saturday.  Mix that with the fact that one of the team's top runners did not compete because of a stress reaction in her leg and another that did was fighting a nasty cold and you realize these women are not underachievers.

"I always dream and aim really high," said NSIC women's XC coach of the year, Joanna Warmington of UMD.  "(I told the team) You can win this race.  (I told our top four) you all belong in the top ten...Our whole team did it."

On the awards stand after being given their first place placque, the announcer told Warmington "to show a little excitement"  By then, however, she was already thinking ahead.  To Regions.  To Nationals.  Her mentor, retired UMD coaching legend John Fulkrod, advised her that: "you can't get too high and you can't get too low."  She also didn't want to show disrespect for the teams UMD had beaten with any excessive celebration.

The Central Region Championships would be in two weeks on the same course.  The other teams would be ready to get one of the top two spots in order to advance to the NCAA DII finals.  The goal for the season was to be one of those two teams.  The conference meet win was a great effort and a confidence builder, but the job they set out to do at the beginning of the season wasn't finished.

And the other teams were, no doubt, thinking the same thing.  Augustana's coach, Tracy Hellman, said in a post race video interview that his women's team had learned from the experience.  They hadn't been as "aggressive" as they should have been at the beginning of the race, but the Regions would be in two weeks and they could adjust using what they had learned.

Warmington's women would have to rise to the occasion again. Unlike Augustana, who Warmington notes, has great senior leadership, UMD's squad is composed of underclassmen(women).  Warmington recruited them because she believes they have the mental toughness, the work ethic to succeed.  The room to grow as athletes and individuals.  They've made great progress already.  Ssophomore Hannah Olson, who finished fifth at NSIC's, was a 5:22 miler in high school.  In her freshman year Olson dropped her time down to 4:58.

Warmington says treating each athlete individually is one thing that helps make her program work.  For example, she has some team members who are primarily middle distance runners and they have to be trained differently than the distance-specialists.  Then they all have to come together as a team.  Compete as a pack instead of as an individual.

On Saturday the team did that.  Came in as underdogs and emerged as champions.  They'll face the same challenge in the weeks ahead.  The expectation will be that Augustana will pick up their game, defend their wounded pride.  UMD will have to crank up theirs as well, not be content with merely being conference champions.

When Warmington was facing a challenge some years ago, the person advising her tried to aid her in coping with the issue by lowering expectations.  "Why is it so bad to be average?" she was asked.  "I wasn't raised that way," she answered.  "That's not in my make up."

Early in her running career, a coach tried to "let her down gently," suggesting that maybe running was not "in the cards" for her.  She responded by dropping her 800 time from 2:17 to 2:10 and demonstrated that running was indeed in her "deck of cards."

Having demonstrated that the team is made of that same ability and aggressiveness, it now remains for the newly crowned champions to discover more about their capabilities, Warmington says.  A time for the "underdogs" to perhaps redefine themselves, to prove themselves again on another "stage."

Pick Ten: Big Ten, MIAC, and UMAC

This week's collegiate cross country conference championships are a reminder that the competitive season, along with the DtB fantasy contests, are coming to a close. This week will mark the penultimate contest of the Pick Ten in 2013.  We'll also feature two more weeks of Yes/No questions, and throw in some bonus questions to make it interesting.

This weekend will crown conference champions in the Big Ten, UMAC and MIAC.  On Saturday, the UMAC will run in New Brighton at a meet hosted by the University of Northwestern.  Also on Saturday afternoon, the MIAC's annual competition will take place at Como Park Golf Course.  On Sunday, the Gophers will travel to West Lafayette for the Big Ten Championship, hosted by Purdue.

Pick Ten has a simple concept: predict the finish place for each of 10 Minnesota athletes/teams at their conference meets. You will score points for each athlete who scores at or above the finish place you predict for them, following the 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 scoring system.

For example: If you pick Laura Docherty to place first in the Big Ten, and she places first, you get 10 points. If you pick Docherty to place first and she finishes second, you get zero points. If you pick Docherty to finish third in the race and she places first, second or third, you get 6 points, since that's the place you picked her for.

To play Pick Ten, cut and paste the list of names/events below into an e-mail and add your place predictions -- 1st or 2nd or 3rd...10th. Send your predictions by 12:00 P.M. CST on Saturday, November 2nd to DtBFantasy [AT] gmail [DOT] com. Make sure your full name is in the e-mail. We'll announce the winner of this Pick Ten contest next week as well as crown a grand champion for the year. As with our Yes/No contests, we don't offer any prizes, so no one needs to fear running afoul of NCAA or other anti-gambling regulations.

Pick 10 ... Big Ten and MIAC Championships:University of Minnesota Women:
University of Minnesota Men:
John Simons (University of Minnesota):
Laura Docherty (University of Minnesota):
St. Thomas Men:
St. Benedict Women:
John Subialka (St. Johns):
Rebecca Hare (Gustavus):
Martin Luther (Men):
North Central University (Women):

To Help You Make Your Picks ...

The Gopher men finished fifth at Big Tens last year. Currently, there are three nationally ranked teams from the Big Ten - Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. The Gophers are ranked behind these three teams and are thirty-first overall in the National Rankings.  John Simons finished eleventh at Big Tens in 2012 and the top six runners in that meet have graduated.  He is a sub-four minute miler and All-American on the track.  

The Gopher women placed fourth at Big Tens last year. They are currently ranked fifteenth in the nation after strong showings at the Griak and Wisconsin Adidas Invitational. The competition will be fierce:  other ranked teams in the conference include Michigan State - sixth, Michigan - fourteenth, Indiana - twenty-one, Wisconsin - twenty-eighth and Penn State - twenty-ninth.  Laura Docherty ran to a ninth place finish at 2012 Big Tens and four of those runners have since graduated.

St. Thomas men finished second at MIAC in 2012. They are ranked sixth overall in the region behind St. Olaf (first), Carleton (fifth) and ahead of St. Johns (eighth). St. Ben's women finished fifth at MIAC in 2012. There are four MIAC women's teams ranked in the top ten in the regional poll. They include Carleton (second), St. Olaf (third), St. Benedict (fourth) and St. Thomas (eighth).

Rebecca Hare finished fourth at MIAC in 2012 as a sophomore.  She went on to finish thirteenth at Regions and 133rd at Nationals in 2012.  John Subialka was the tenth place finisher at the MIAC meet in 2012.  He was the conference champion in the 10,000 Meters on the track last spring.

Martin Luther men finished fourth out of eight teams at the 2012 UMAC Championships.  North Central women finished third in the same meet last year.  The only UMAC team in the regional rankings is St. Scholastica women led by prohibitive conference favorite Chelsea Johnson, and they are ranked fifth in the region.

Here are the Conference Championship Meet Websites:

Good luck!

The fantasy contest question from last week was: Will 18 or more runners at the Anoka Grey Ghost run faster than Bill Andberg's (at the time) world age-best 18:33 5k as a 65 year old? The answer was no.  Five players answered correctly and Lori Anne Schwiesow is now in first place with 23 points.  Dimitri Drekonja has 22 and Pat Foley is tied with Mary Varney for third with 21.  No one answered the Photo ID question correctly last week, so there were no extra points awarded. The handsome gentleman is none other than Bill Andberg.  In one picture he is talking with Emily Lanin.

Photo ID
Guess we have to go with a younger demographic, so we have a high school photo of this week's "mystery man."  He's just won the Swain Invitational in Duluth.  He would go on to become an Olympian, among his many accomplishments, and he'll be involved in the sport this weekend in his present job.Who is he and who is he shaking hands with?  Hint on that.  The place where the meet was held is named after him.  
Photo from the collection of Gene Niemi

The 2013 Pick Ten standings are as follows: Mike Henderson leads with 152 points, followed by Jesse Schoen with 136. Patrick Eastman is third with 132 points.

For full standings of both contests, please visit DtB Fantasy Corner.

Boys Class A HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Perham                    
2     Minnehaha Academy         
3     Waseca                     
4     Martin County West        
5     Mounds Park Academy        
6     Mora                       
7     Crosby Ironton            
8     St. Cloud Cathedral        
9     Plainview-Elgin-Millville  
10    Long Prairie/Grey Eagle    
11    Glencoe-Silver Lake       
12    Canby/Minneota/LinHi       
Others: Holdingford,  Esko, Cotter                     

1     Keeghan Hurley, 12            Perham                  
2     Ian Torchia, 12               Rochester Lourdes       
3     Shane Streich, 11             Waseca                  
4     Ephraim Bird, 11              Hope Acad.              
5     Mike Destache, 11             St. Paul Acad.          
6     Ethan Wagner, 12              Minnehaha Academy       
7     Isaac Overmyer, 11            Park Rapids             
8     Jayden Cullen, 12             Perham                  
9     Billy Beseman, 11             Perham                  
10    Ryan Phillips, 12             Redwood Valley Area     
11    TJ Schiltz, 12                NRHEG                   
12    Sam Johnson                   Mesabi East             
Others: Ben Burgett, 11, Willmar Christian

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

News Clips

Northfield News story on Northfield's Kaia Bierman qualifying to run the MSHSL XC Championships is HERE.

Press release on inductees to Hamline Hall of Fame is HERE.

Firsthand report of running Surf the Murph 50K is HERE

USTFCCCA DII National Rankings are HERE.

Red Wing Republican Eagle on Red Wing's prep for MSHSL Champs is HERE. Story on Emi Trost is HERE. Story on Lake City's MSHSL Champs is HERE.

Milesplit's Class A MSHSL Champs "virtual scorecard"(list of team and individual entrants) is HERE, AA virtual scorecard is HERE.

MIAC student-athlete spotlight on Gustavus' Kailee Carlson is HERE.

NSIC weekly summary for men's XC is HERE, women's HERE

UMAC XC coaches will participate in an online chat today at noon, link is HERE..

Girls Class A HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Annandale                 
2     Waseca                     
3     Perham                     
4     Dover-Eyota                
5     St. Cloud Cathedral        
6     Holy Family Catholic       
7     Fairmont                   
8     Lac qui ParleValley-DB     
9     Luverne                    
10    St. Paul Academy/Summit    
11    Spectrum                  
12    Lake City                  
Others: Trinity at  River Ridge, Canby/Minneota/Linc HI     

1     Emi Trost, 12                 Cannon Falls            
2     McKenzie Holt, 12             St. Cloud Christian     
3     Mary Naas, 11                 St. Paul Academy/Summit 
4     Courtney Alama, 12            Annandale               
5     Elizabeth Schlafke, 10        Annandale              
6     Nicole Slater, 12             Adrian                  
7     Madison Schandelmeier, 9      Luverne                 
8     Alaysia Freetly, 11           Lac qui ParleValley-DB  
9     Kayla Huhnerkoch, 11          Redwood Valley Area     
10    Rachel Eickhoff, 11           St. Cloud Cathedral     
11    Bethany Coop, 12              Mora                    
12    Tierney Winter, 10            WEM/JWP                 
Others: Victoria Burr, 12, Glencoe-Silver Lake; Judy Larson, Norwood Young America; Becca Wilkin, 10, Trinity at River Ridge  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

News Bits

USTFCCCA DII Regional rankings are HERE, National DIII rankings HERE, and DIII Regional rankings are HERE.

East Ridge's Emily Betz, Minnehaha Academy's Ephraim Bird, Highland Park's Elana Breitenbucher, and Eagan's Anne Van Wyk selected as Pioneer Press athletes of the week HERE.  PP article noting the accomplishments of the Ferlic brothers is HERE.

Star Tribune article on East Ridge's Bailey Ness is HERE. On Burnsville's Ali Ahmed and Vivian Hett and the Southwest Conference championship is HERE. Interview with Anoka's Alexis Fritz is HERE.

Minnesota Daily story on Jack's Run is HERE. Full Jack's Run results are HERE.

Waseca County News on Waseca sweep of MSHSL Section 2A team championships is HERE

Perham Focus story on Perham sweep of MSHSL Section 8A team championships is HERE.

Sun Current on Richfield's Obsa Ali overcoming shin splints and an untied shoe to win Section 3AA individual boy's title is HERE.

Sun Current on Eden Prairie's girl's team and individual boys who qualified for State is HERE.

Milesplit boys individual rankings are HERE, girls are HERE.

Will Leer on facial hair HERE.

Jamie Cheever's blog post on the USATF Elite Athlete Summit is HERE.

Girls Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1     Wayzata                                                                
2     East Ridge                                                 
3     Lakeville South                    
4     Eagan                                                
5     Willmar                   
6     Chanhassen                                                             
7     Bemidji                   
8     Forest lake               
9     Roseville                 
10    Eden Prairie              
11    Marshall                  
12    Minnetonka
Others receiving votes:  Edina, White Bear Lake, Moorhead, Burnsville  

1     Anna French, 11               Wayzata                            
2     Megan Hasz, 10                Alexandria                         
3     Bethany Hasz, 10              Alexandria             
4     Jenna Truedson, 11            Bemidji                
5     Rachel King, 12               St Michael-Albertville
6     Emily Betz, 11                East Ridge             
7     Caroline Brisbois, 12         Roseville                          
8     Lizzy Heil, 9                 St Michael-Albertville 
9     Anna Van Wyk, 11              Egan                               
10    Vivian Hett, 12               Burnsville 
11    Tess Misgen, 9                  Shakopee   
12   Emma Benner, 10              Forest Lake
 Others receiving votes: Bailey Ness, 12, East Ridge; Anastasia Korzenowski, 9, Chanhassen; Annika Lerdall, 9, Wayzata; Annika Halverson, 12, Wayzata  Patty O'Brien, 12, North St Paul;  Shaelyn Sorensen, 12, Tartan; Rhianna Rinke, 9, North Branch;Jane Baude, 9, North St. Paul; Anna Maurer, 12, Hill-Murray