Groves Cross Country
It's a Wrap!The boys finished their final week of the season by racing in some of the wettest, muddiest conditions I've ever witnessed in my 26 years of coaching cross country. Through it all, they showed a toughness and grit that will serve them well in athletics and beyond. Now we celebrate the season with our annual banquet, which begins at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 3, in the Groves Cafeteria.Approaching the Finish Line!Our (most likely) final week of competition begins with a surprise addition to the schedule and ends with the Regional Championship. On Monday, October 25, freshman and sophomore runners will compete in the Bloomer 9/10 Invitational. Athletes will need to find transportation to Bloomer Park in Rochester and arrive by 4:30 PM for a 5:30 race. It should be a very wet day, but a fun chance to race one more time.On Friday, October 29, our top 7 athletes will compete in the Region 8-1 Championship at Chandler Park Golf Course in Detroit. School gets out at 11:00 AM, but athletes need to be at the park by 2:45 PM to cheer on the girls and prepare for a 4:30 race.Here's a rough outline of our practice plans for the week:Monday: either race (in the Bloomer 9/10 Invitational), or do a 20-minute tempo run + 6 x 100 m stride outsTuesday: 4 x 400 (progressively faster) + 1 x 800Wednesday: 3 x 400 + 1 x 200 + 2 x 300Thursday: day off -- rest and prepareFriday: regional raceOAA Blue Jamboree #3 (League Meet)The competitive season wraps up for some of our runners this week with the OAA Blue Jamboree #3. Athletes will dismiss a little early from school on Tuesday, October 19, and leave at 2:30 PM on a one-way bus to Hess Hathaway Park in Waterford. The varsity (top 8 this time) will race at 5:00; the JV, at 5:30. The meet organizers have asked that spectators not bring pets as the park runs an active farm.On Thursday, October 21, athletes will run from Groves to the Franklin Cider Mill to enjoy cider and donuts courtesy of the Groves Cross Country Boosters. We will need some parent drivers to transport full-bellied athletes back to Groves.The final race of the season will likely be the Regional Championship race on Friday, October 29 at Chandler Park Golf Course in Detroit. Although we can only race 7 athletes that day, I'd like our top 10 boys to continue to practice in case someone succumbs to injury or illness. The top three teams and top 15 individuals at the regional race will automatically qualify for the State Meet on Nov. 6.Upcoming EventsHere are some important events and dates to keep in mind as the season starts to wind down:Sat., 10/16: Gabriel Richard Invitational and Senior Recognition -- we will recognize our boy and girl seniors at Hudson Mills Metropark after the varsity boys' race (about 3:00).Mon., 10/18: The Morris family will host a pasta dinner after a short, pre-league-meet practice.Tue., 10/19: OAA Blue Jamboree #3 (League Meet) -- a one-way bus will depart Groves at 2:30 PM and take athletes to Hess Hathaway Park in Waterford. Varsity (top 8) run at 5:00; JV, at 5:30. This is the last race for the JV runners.Thu., 10/21: Cider Mill Run -- athletes will run to the Franklin Cider Mill and enjoy cider and donuts courtesy of the Groves Cross Country Boosters.Fri., 10/29: Regional Race -- the top 7 boys will race at 4:30 PM at Chandler Park Golf Course for a chance to qualify for the state meet.Banquet (tbd)Gabriel Richard WeekWe run our final Saturday competition this week, the Gabriel Richard Cross Country Invitational at Hudson Mills Metropark. Update: since we can enter 12 athletes in the varsity race, we will not be running in the JV race. All participating athletes should arrange to arrive at the park by 1:00 PM and plan to run in the large school varsity race at 2:20.County MeetThis week brings one competition, a return to the Possum Hollow Picnic Area in Kensington Metropark for the Oakland County Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 9. The varsity (top 7) will race at 10:30 AM; the JV (the next 7), at 11:30. Athletes should arrange to arrive at the park by 9:15. Athletes should let coaches know ASAP if they are unable to participate in this meet.The Second Half of the Season Begins!We resume competition with two races this week. On Tuesday, Sept. 28, we return to Memorial Park in Royal Oak for the OAA Blue Jamboree #2. Athletes should arrange to arrive by 3:45 PM. The varsity (top 10) boys will race at 5:00; the JV, in the Open Race at approximately 5:45. We are hosting this meet, so we could use a few parents to direct traffic on the course (and keep spectators out of the way) and manage the crowd around the finish line.On Saturday, we race in the 21 Legends Classic at Huron Meadows Metropark. The varsity (top 10) boys will race in the Blue Division at 10:40 AM; the JV, @ 11:50. Athletes should arrange to arrive at the park by 9:30 AM as traffic builds up at the park entrance and parking might be tight.Meet Date/Time/Location UpdateOAA Blue Jamboree #2: Tuesday, September 28 @ Memorial Park (Royal Oak); Varsity (top 10) @ 5:00 PM, JV @ 5:30Legends Classic: Saturday, October 2 @ Huron Meadow Metropark; Varsity (top 10) @ 10:40 AM, JV @ 11:50Oakland County Meet: Saturday, October 9 @ Kensington Metropark; Varsity (top 7) @ 10:30 AM, JV (next 7) @ 11:30Gabriel Richard Invitational: Saturday, October 16 @ Hudson Mills Metropark; JV @ 1:10 PM, Varsity (top 10?) @ 2:20XC Season - Part 2The boys wrapped up the first part of the season by finishing 9th out of 21 teams at the Autumn Classic at Stony Creek Metropark this past Saturday, and nearly every athlete posted a season-best time. We have no competitions this coming week, but will resume racing next Tuesday, September 28, when we host the second OAA Blue Jamboree at Memorial Park. Following that, we'll race for three consecutive Saturdays (Legends at Huron Meadows Metropark on 10/2; County at Kensington Metropark on 10/9; and Gabriel Richard at Hudson Mills Metropark on 10/16).Off and Running!The boys face only one competition this week, the Autumn Classic at Stony Creek Metropark (Bay Point Beach) on Saturday, September 18. The boys will run in two races, divided by time, beginning at 11:00 A.M. Following the competition, we will enjoy a picnic with the girls' team. We're then off until we host the second OAA Blue Jamboree back at Memorial Park on Tuesday, Sept. 28.Update: We will not have bus transportation for this Saturday's meet. Boys should arrange to arrive to the park no later than 10:00 AM. Boys who run faster than 22:00 will run their race at 11:00 and the remainder of the team will run at 11:30. The 100 fastest times in both races combined will earn medals.Let the Jamborees Begin!Our second week of school brings two competitions: our first OAA Blue Jamboree on Thursday, Sept. 9, and the Averill Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 11. OAA Blue Jamboree #1 will take place at Memorial Park in Royal Oak. Varsity (top 10) boys will run at 5:00 PM; JV, at 5:30. On Saturday, the teams will compete in the Averill Invitational at Kensington Metropark (Possum Hollow Picnic Area). Varsity (top 10) boys will race at 10:30 AM (silver division); JV, at 11:30 (bronze division). Our normal 3:15 - 5:00 PM practice schedule resumes on Tuesday, Sept. 7.Update: a one-way bus will depart Groves at 8:00 AM on Saturday, Sept. 11, and transport athletes to the Possum Hollow Picnic Area at Kensington Metropark.And We're Back!School begins this week, and so does our competitive season! We begin racing at the Mustang Invitational at Cass Benton Park in Northville on Tuesday, August 31. The 11/12 boys race at 4:30 PM; the 9/10 boys, at 5:30. The district isn't providing bus service for weekday meets, so make sure your athlete gets to the park at least 30 minutes before race time. Here's a link to a map of Tuesday's course; and here's a look at the week ahead.Monday, 8/30: 1/2 day of school; practice and uniform distribution at 3:15Tuesday, 8/31: full day of school; Mustang InvitationalWednesday: team pictures at 3:00 (athletes should wear a uniform)Thursday: practice after school at 3:15Friday - Monday (Labor Day Weekend): no practice; runners should get miles in on their own.Afternoon Practices BeginThe team will begin afternoon practices (3:15 - 5:00) on Monday, August 23. Athletes are encouraged to bring water and ice packs to keep cool during the hot August weather. We'll also have a parent meeting this week on Tuesday, August 24, at 6:30 PM in Groves Room B-3. Also, here's a preliminary look at our schedule for the season; updates/changes will appear on our Athletic.net page:
8/31 Mustang Invitational 4:30 (Cass Benton Park - Northville)
9/9 OAA Blue Jamboree #1 4:30 (Memorial Park – Royal Oak)
9/11 Averill Invitational 10:00 (Kensington Metropark – Possum Hollow Picnic Area)
9/18 Autumn Classic 10:00 (Stony Creek Metropark)
9/28 OAA Blue Jamboree #2 4:30 (Memorial Park – Royal Oak – Groves Hosts)
10/2 Legends Classic 10:00 (Huron Meadows Metropark)
10/9 Oakland County Meet* 9:00 (Kensington Metropark – Possum Hollow Picnic Area)
10/16 Gabriel Richard Invite 10:00 (Hudson Mills Metropark)
10/19 OAA Blue League Meet 4:30 (Hess Hathaway Park)
10/25 Bloomer 9/10 Invite 4:45 (Bloomer Park)
10/29 Regional* 4:30 (Chandler Park Golf Course)Practice Starting Time Change
We have decided to run our practices from 8:30 - 10:15 AM every weekday for the first two weeks of the season. Starting on August 23, we will switch to afternoon practices (3:15 - 5:00 PM). Here are some important upcoming dates:
Friday, August 20: Inglenook 3200 m time trial
Monday, August 23: afternoon practices begin
Tuesday, August 24: tentative date for parent meeting (6:30 PM @ Groves)
Monday, August 30: first day of school
Tuesday, August 31: our first competition, the Mustang Invitational at Cass Benton Park in Northville
Official Practices Begin Monday, Aug. 9!
Are you ready to compete in the OAA Blue Division this fall? We'll begin official practices on the Groves track at 8:00 A.M. Monday, August 9 -- make sure to get a physical and all your "paper"-work done by then (go to grovesfalcons.com). We start racing on Tuesday, August 31, at the Mustang Invitational in Northville. Check the Groves pages on athletic.net for information about our schedule this season. You can see a preliminary schedule on the "Parent Meeting Agenda" file linked below.
Summer TrainingDive into the world of running as you work to maximize your summer mileage. Log your weekly mileage here and stay connected with the team via social media. Voluntary captains' practices will start at 8:00 A.M. every weekday at the Groves track (note time/location change). Check out the pre-season training document (preseason meeting agenda) for training ideas. Stay tuned for more announcements about targeted team races and prizes for summer mileage achievements.Running FormAs you log more miles and gain more experience, your form (and efficiency) will improve. The bounding and plyometric drills we do before every practice should help as well. You can also focus on some simple ideas that will improve your running form. New Balance's Good Form Running site provides a useful set of principles to run by. You can watch a great breakdown of an Olympian's running technique here. You can also check out this super slow motion clip of the Boston Marathon finishersMake sure you have a decent pair of running shoes in which to train. Local stores like Hanson's, Running Fit, and Level Multisport have experienced runners that can answer questions about your individual running needs. All three stores will give you a discount if you mention that you're running cross country. Above all, find a shoe that fits your running style, frame, and foot-strike pattern.