Pella Cross Country is excited to announce a special guest will be joining us Wednesday at practice. Bridget Franek, 2012 Olympic Finalist in the 3000m Steeplechase, will be sharing the day with us and speaking to the team. We were fortunate enough to meet Bridget at the Ultimook Running Camp this summer. Bridget was a great resource for the students and coaches that attended. Before we parted a request was made that she come and visit Pella on her way back to Ohio. Bridget, being the amazing person she is, quickly agreed that she would if it worked out. Guess what? It did! Here is our adjusted schedule for Wednesday, August 24, 2016: 3:40-4:10 Facing New Challenges and Searching for One's Very Best 4:10-5:30 Practice 5:30-6:00 The Olympic Experience and Dreaming Big (Open to Public) No one will be required to stay from 5:30-6:00 but I hope as many as possible are able to take advantage of this unique experience. Athletes from other teams may be joining us to listen to Bridget, that is yet to be determined. Parents, you are welcome to come from 5:30-6:00pm as well if you would like to listen. If you would like to read more about Bridget you can head over to her personal blog. She ran at the 2016 Olympic Trials this year and wrote a great write up about the experience. Bridget Franek Bio 6-time State Champion in HS (Ohio) 10-time NCAA All-American 2010 NCAA Champion 2-time USA outdoor runner-up American Record Holder in 2000m Steeplechase 6:19.09 Olympic Finalist 2012 London Olympics 3000m Steeplechase
If you are new to cross country, let me say WELCOME! My goal is to give you a brief introduction to the sport and how it works. First, we need to remove much of the vocabulary used in other sports. There are NO substitutions, halftimes, or timeouts. Good news for spectators as this moves things along quicker. At the same time there are no arenas, courts, or fields of play. Bad news for spectators as you will likely have to move around to participate as a fan! Here are some vocabulary words you might need to understand. PR or PB - Personal Record or Personal Best. This term is fairly common in running. The idea is anytime you run a certain distance in your fastest time yet it is considered a personal best. It is something we focus on often here at Pella. Roll Out - While this term can be ambiguous, we tend to use this term as a directive to our athletes to get their lacrosse balls and rollers out and ROLL OUT their sore muscles. The idea here is to break up the fascia tissues that may be causing soreness. Cross - Short for cross country. This is a hip way of saying cross country that hasn't caught on with my generation. But at least if you hear it you will know what they are talking about. Bauers - Named after legendary TV hero Jack Bauer from the show 24, these repetitions are workouts that your son or daughter run almost once a week. Made up of a 24 minute set of 2:00 easy, 1:30 hard, and :30 very hard. This four minute set is then run 6 times equaling 24 minutes. Occasionally, students
Team Results Individual Results
Results from the 2014 Washburn Classic Middle School State meet
Watch this wrap up of the Pella Invitational meet on September 6, 2014. Footage shot by our own Shawn Sytsma. Enjoy!
Now before you think I have gone off the deep end, I need to explain this word "Hebla" that has entered the vocabulary of some of our Dutch XC Alumni. This word originates with our girls team in our 2010 season, or might have had even earlier origins. It was the Knoxville meet that year where I was exposed to it for the first time. I kept hearing a few of our varsity girls using the word "HEBLA" and was not sure of its meaning or why they kept saying it to each other. The girls team had begun making a habit out of writing words on their tape that the coaches wrapped around their shoes to keep their laces down during a race. Christina Hibbard apparently wrote "HEBLA" on her tape, but that was NOT what she “really” wrote on her shoe. What Christina REALLY wrote was, Heb. 12:1 (in reference to the scripture Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”). As I rode the bus to our first meet of the 2014 season, there was quite a bit of time to reflect on all that has occurred over the years and where our team currently is. This marks the start of a decade of Pella Cross Country for Coach Cutler and me. We arrived as “rookies” to Pella in 2005. We were given the honor of continuing a legacy of cross country running started by Coach Bandstra. Neither Coach Cutler nor I were not aware of each other or what all
As a late primary grade student and middle school student, I suffered from a tremendous amount of self-doubt. I was one of those kids that was perceived as odd and different. Even now I don't completely understand why. I believe I was a nice enough boy, but I was a sensitive young man and that vulnerability may have been seen as a target for others my age. Regardless the reason, as a result I suffered from depression and loneliness. There is little point in trying to rank or compare levels of depression, but I believe it can be valuable to share that as a result I did see a psychiatrist for several years. So students, when I say there is no shame in saying to others, "Help me," I tell you that because I carry no shame from needing help when I was young. With this background, I will share a piece of my passion for cross country. I was 13 years old, an odd boy in many ways. I loved school and learning, especially math and science. I participated in a variety of sports, pretty good in many, exceptional in none. I found a niche for myself by being willing to play the positions and do the things that weren't popular for most. In soccer I was the goalie, in baseball I played catcher, in basketball I loved to rebound. As a result I tended to find a way to have value to a team while also never quite fitting in, always a bit different. Coaches appreciated me, but to my peers I was just a bit different. My freshman year was about to begin, and I held all sorts of anxieties inside of
Friendships created during cross country are on a level that few other friendships experience.
So as many of you know I coached cross country at the middle school a few years ago. I loved every minute of it. Working outside of public education in the "real world" was part of my daily routine. However, the highlight of my day was cross country practice. I was able to be around kids I loved and coaches I connected with. It was an amazing experience. Soon after the end of the 2011 cross country season my business began to lose customers. It wasn't long that my business partners and I could see that we would have to shut our doors. We shut our business down in the spring of 2012 and I had to search for another job. I found one quickly, thank God. However, the downside was that the new job was in Des Moines. Not only did I have a two hour commute I wouldn't be able to coach cross country. Now, as you can tell from the title my ONE WORD is ENGAGED. What does losing your business and not coaching cross country have to do with being engaged? Everything! See, one of the issues I have been struggling with over the last two years has been having less involvement in my families activities and less involvement in the things I love. I haven't been engaged. When Coach Cutler gave Coach (Mrs.) Hammann and I the book called One Word to read and then challenged us to find a word, I took it to heart. I spent a few days pondering the concept. I slept on it, prayed on it, and mused over it. The word that came to me was engaged. When you are engaged in something you
My one word is FAMILY. I selected my one word in January 2014 and therefore am now eight months into my journey.