2017 Defiance Early Bird Open Recap

2017 Defiance Girls TJ
The 2017 Varsity Girls XC team pays tribute to late Athletic Director TJ Rupp at the Defiance Early Bird Open

Recap: You really never know what to expect in the first meet of the year, and this kickoff to the 2017 season was no exception. The Viking Cross Country program came into Defiance with the largest team in recent memory: 35 runners between high school and middle school, including an impressive 16 high school boys. This first meet is always a mixed bag, not only because it’s a challenging course but because it’s so often the first race many of these athletes have ever run. Some runners do surprisingly well, while others turn in times that don’t really reflect their current abilities. Factors behind this can vary from the type of course, to how much they’ve been running over the summer, to just simple inexperience. At the end of the day, it’s just a single race; a benchmark at the start of a long season.

The high school boys kicked off the day with a strong showing, improving on last year’s 16th place team finish out of 17 teams with a 15th place finish out of 20 teams. These results are more impressive when considering the field was much faster and more competitive this year, and the Viking men dropped their top five average from 21:00 to 19:50. The Vikings were led this year by newcomer sophomore Kyle Bowser, followed closely by returning freshman record holder Ben Schwan. Continuing the youth movement on this team were sophomores Alex Majewski and Chandler Ruetz, with new runner Kevin Crisp and veterans Augie Tipping and team captain Tom Pollard rounding out the top seven. Of the nine other runners in the boys race, five were running their first ever high school 5k and six set personal bests.

The high school girls followed up with a very impressive effort, improving from ninth out of 18 teams to eighth out of 19 teams. Junior Sarah Schwan led the Lady Vikes with an eigth place finish in 20:13, taking a remarkable 1:08 off her previous personal best and school record set at last year’s district meet. Kennedy Keller turned in a new freshman record of 21:09 with her 22nd place finish. After missing all of last season with a knee injury, senior Grace Bryson returned to the course already showing the form from late in her 2015 season. Trinity Welch, team captain Katie Fritsch, and Ashley Garlick…all seniors…worked with junior Alexis McCormick to bring the Lady Vikes to within just a few points of rival Archbold, giving a preview of some exciting competition in the coming weeks.

Here are the results for the High School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Bowser Kyle 18:45 56
Schwan Ben 18:58 67
Majewski Alex 20:13 125
Ruetz Chandler 20:22 137
Crisp Kevin 20:52 150
Tipping Augie 20:55 153
Pollard Thomas 21:14 165
Smith Kyle 21:15 167
Donnald Drew 21:24 171
Pennington Evan 21:33 180
Hartzell Chris 23:27 215
Rhodus Gavin 23:25 216
Peete Kyle 23:52 220
Hassen Nick 23:56 222
Utz Ashton 25:07 235
Simon Pete DQ
Schwan Sarah 20:13 8
Keller Kennedy 21:09 22
Bryson Grace 23:25 64
Welch Trinity 24:53:00 99
Fritsch Katie 25:54:00 129
Garlick Ashley 26:00:00 133
McCormick Alexis 30:15:00 175

For the middle school runners, this meet was a whole new experience. They had their first meet at the Lake Invitational just two days before on a very flat course that provided a great introduction to competitive running, but only three of the twelve (Owen, Jolie and Kayla) had run at Defiance before and experienced the hills and trails common to cross country. Kayla’s experience served her well as she moved up from tenth place at the mile to pass two runners in the final 200 meters on her way to winning the middle school girls race. Newcomers Jocelyn Schuster and Emma Majewski ran well as a duo, coming in close together. Lindy, Jolie, Izzy and Trinity combined to bring the Viking girls an impressive ninth place team finish (ahead of both the Archbold and Wauseon teams).

The middle school boys were led by seventh grader Anderson Tipping with a solid performance. Isaac Overfield and Owen Bryson again worked together to come in in close succession, followed by Carson LeRoux and Brayden Bull. Again, this was a short turnaround and a very challenging course compared to the Lake meet just two days prior. The boys ran better than their 15th place finish would seem to indicate, and we look forward to seeing them compete at Archbold.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Gleckler Kayla 14:08 1
Schuster Jocelyn 16:22 36
Majewski Emma 16:29 43
Williamson Lindy 18:21 77
Huffman Jolie 19:20 90
Barkhimer Izzy 20:20 98
Clampet Trinity 20:49 102
Tipping Anderson 14:47 67
Overfield Isaac 16:58 124
Bryson Owen 17:05 125
LeRoux Carson 18:07 133
Bull Brayden 26:43 151

There were a lot of great object lessons in this meet. A few important points can be seen in the finishes of Sarah and Kayla in particular. First, Kayla’s time was nearly minute slower than the Thursday race, a reminder that it’s not always about the time, especially on difficult courses. You run the same course as your competition, and the competitive outcome depends ultimately on place not time. There were actually relatively few PRs set at this meet by experienced runners because it’s not a traditionally fast course. Sarah was an exception to this though; she did focus on place over time, but in so doing actually took an incredible amount of time off her PR. Again, each runner responds differently to each race based on the type of course, where they are in their training cycle, what type of training they’ve done, and several other factors. We train to peak in October, so each race up until that point simply provides lessons and cumulative fitness in support of that plan. This was an excellent first step, and the coaches are excited to see where this season takes us.

-Coach Schwan

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: The high school travels to Otsego this weekend, while the middle school has the weekend off.  It’s also Fulton County Fair weekend, so good luck to the many Viking runners participating in the fair!

Upcoming Schedule

Between school cancellations for fog, fair week and just our regular meet schedule, we’re in the midst of a little bit of craziness.  Here is a look at the upcoming Viking XC schedule:

Wed 8/30 – Practice 3:00pm at the high school (middle school optional if school cancelled)

Thu 8/31 – High school dual meet at Delta Reservoir. Bus leaves 3:30pm, girls will run at 5pm and boys around 5:40pm (there’s a possibility boys and girls will run together, in which case all will run at 5pm).  Middle school will meet after school for regular practice.

Fri 9/1 (No School) – Regular easy practice/team meal 3pm at the high school.

Sat 9/2 – HS in Otsego (details coming shortly)

Mon 9/4 (No School) – Optional practice at Lyons Community Park 7am. Early run to get ahead of any fair or other plans for the day.

Tue 9/5 – Practice at high school 7am. Holding practice early so that those who want/need to be at the fair can get their run out of the way before the day begins.

Wed 9/6 to Fri 9/8 – Regular practice schedule (team meal on Fri)

Sat 9/9 – HS in Tiffin, MS in Archbold (more details will be posted ahead of the meets)


2017 Lake MS Invite Recap

2017 Lake girls start
The 8th grade race gets under way at the Lake Invitational

Recap: As mentioned in the meet preview, the Lake Invite is a great first meet for middle school runners. It’s a flat, open course and it separates the 7th and 8th graders out instead of running everyone in one race (the only meet on our schedule that does so). Because it also lacks the intimidation of experienced high school runners and intense high school coaches roaming about the course, it’s a relatively safe environment for the new runner as well as a change for returning 8th graders to be the “big shots” at a meet. This meet is not without its challenges though: the course has changed every single year we’ve participated so we never know exactly what the route is, and the field has gotten more competitive with new schools showing up.

Our middle school team was a green bunch this year, with eight of the twelve runners competing for the very first time in a cross country meet. Three of the four veterans were on the girls team, with Kayla Gleckler matching last year’s fourth place finish with a 13:11…just seven seconds shy of her middle school record time from last year’s NWOAL Championship meet and with almost perfectly even splits. Jocelyn and Emma showed similar patience in posting near even splits for their races. Jolie took advantage of the confidence built during last season to run almost six minutes faster than her previous Lake meet. Lindy performed well in her first race with very consistent split times, and Izzy came across the line as the only returning runner to post a personal record in the first meet of the season. One effort worth calling out belongs to Trinity Clampet, who ran the entire race start to finish. For many new runners, cross country is the first time they’ve done any sustained aerobic activity and it can be a real challenge adjusting to that type of effort. Trinity showed great effort and determination in going wire-to-wire for her very first race.

For the boys, Anderson put forth a really solid run at 13:20, showing similar consistency to Kayla in running almost even splits. Inexperienced runners tend to go out much faster than they can sustain, leaving their second mile much slower, so it’s great to see middle school runners with even splits in their first meet. Isaac and Carson both put in great efforts for their first race, slowing some in the second mile but hanging on for a strong finish. Owen showed the poise of a veteran runner in overcoming an early fall in the beginning of the race and run negative splits on the way to finishing over a minute faster than last year’s time. Finishing up for the Vikings in the 7th grade race was Brayden whose enthusiasm, though it tends to make pacing a challenge early on, will in the long term likely serve to make him a relentless competitor.

Here are the results for the Middle School:

Last Name First Name Finish Place
Gleckler Kayla 13:11 4
Schuster Jocelyn 14:43 16
Majewski Emma 14:57 23
Huffman Jolie 16:56 42
Williamson Lindy 17:17 20
Barkhimer Izzy 17:49 52
Clampet Trinity 21:56 26
Tipping Anderson 13:20 26
Overfield Isaac 15:28 35
LeRoux Carson 16:02 44
Bryson Owen 17:01 61
Bull Brayden 17:51 49

Middle school cross country is about learning basics, just like any other sport. You have to learn the fundamentals before you can move on to the advanced concepts, and our middle school runners showed us that they’re off to a great start. The foundations they are building now will carry them through the rest of their running careers at Evergreen, and we’re very proud of the work they’ve put in and the well-deserved results they saw in this first meet.

Full Event Results are available on Baumspage.

Up Next: After a short turnaround, the middle school runners competed at the Defiance Early Bird Open. Recap coming soon!

Defiance Early Bird Invitational Info

2016 Defiance Ashley Katie
Ashley and Katie work together through the first mile at Defiance

Defiance Early Bird Open Sat. 8/26 (High School & Middle School)

Results available at http://www.baumspage.com/cc/ccframe.php?path=./defiance/2017

Course maps:

Defiance High School Course

Defiance Middle School Course

Camp Lakota
2180 Ginter Road
Defiance, OH 43512

6:30am – Bus leaves from High School (est. arrival 7:45am)
9:00am – HS boys race
9:45am – HS girls race
10:30pm – MS boys race
11:00am – MS girls race
1:00pm – Estimated return time

Meet Notes – This is a fairly challenging course, but a great example of what cross country is all about. The high school runners get a fairly flat first mile before running down “The Hill” and into the trail portion (the Middle School just goes right down the hill).  The second mile of the course is different this year; there is still the moderate second hill, but instead of looping all the way around the lake in the woods, it turns back and runs along the front side. The benefit is primarily for spectators in that you don’t have to go all the way back to the far side of the lake for the 2-mile mark (it should be roughly near the boathouse).  The course loops back to head up “The Hill” before turning to the finish.  From a spectator standpoint, the start, mile mark and finish are all right in the same area, with “The Hill” being only a short walk away.

*There will be concessions available. However, we ask that athletes have a healthy breakfast that morning and NOT eat concession food until after they have competed. We will have healthy snacks provided by parents; athletes are strongly encouraged to partake of these after competing.

Lake MS Invitational Info

Lake Middle School Invitational Thu. 8/24 (Middle School only)

Course map*:


*Note – course map based on the 2016 meet. They’ve been known to change it, so we’ll update it if we get new information.

Lake Middle School
28100 Lemoyne Road
Millbury, OH 43447

3:00pm – Bus leaves from Middle School (est. arrival 4:00pm)

5:00pm – First race (assume a race kicking off every 30 minutes or so)

8:00pm – Estimated return time

Meet Notes – This is a unique one for the Middle School runners as they run 7th grade and 8th grade separately, so the new 7th grade runners are a little more relaxed not having to compete directly against the 8th graders.  It’s a moderately fast course that starts just outside the track and ends at the start/finish line on the track.  The map provided is an approximation of the route, which has changed slightly over the years. The mile mark is on the south side of the school, and they hit the mile as they’re coming back across it.  If you walk fast, you can get from the start line by the field house across the parking lots to the mile mark before the runners, and get back across the parking lot to see them finish on the track (although you may question who’s getting the better workout if you’re trying to beat the frontrunners).

**There will be concessions available. However, we ask that athletes have a healthy lunch and NOT eat concession food until after they have competed. We will have healthy snacks provided by parents; athletes are strongly encouraged to partake of these before and after competing.

Check it out!

*We will not be having practice after school tomorrow (Friday, August 18). Instead, we will be having a team bonding movie night from 6-8:30. We will meet in the music room at Evergreen Elementary (meet at front doors). Pizza and drinks will be provided; please bring a snack/dessert to share. We will be watching the movie Tracktown (http://tracktownmovie.com). Everyone is welcome 🙂

*Parents- if you are interested in signing up to bring a team meal or a snack on one of our race days, please click on the link to sign up http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090d44aaaa2baafb6-2017

Thank you!

Schedule for First Week of School

Here we are, ready for the start of the school year!  If anything, our runners should have a little easier transition this year as those who went to camp have already been up and running by 7am for three weeks now Smile

Just a reminder that as of the start of school all athletes should change in the locker rooms (not the restrooms), and your stuff can be stored in Coach Cymbolin’s room during practice. If this changes going forward we will be sure to let you know.

Here’s the schedule for this week (all runs at the high school):

Monday 8/14 7:00 am – Long run (nine miles for the longest group)

Tuesday 8/15 7:00am – Easy recovery run

Wednesday 8/16 3:00pm – Moderate run

Thursday 8/17 3:00pm – Speed work on the track

Friday 8/18 TBD – Team fun day. Will either be games after school or a team movie night in the evening. Details to come soon.

Possibility we may swap Wed/Thu workouts depending on schedules. Don’t forget to hydrate well this week, especially since we’re shifting to afternoon workouts where it promises to be a little warmer than our morning runs!