Ashley Brasovan, Bobby Nicolls, Doug Smith and Jordan Hasay are four of the best cross country runners in the country this fall, and they've each signed up to share their journey throughout the fall in our seasonal feature, the MileSplit Cross Country Journals. In the third edition, the athletes talk about their busy recruiting, race and school schedules as they prepare for the championship months ahead.
(Sr., Wellington, FL)
Entry #3 (October 15, 2008)
The last two weeks went by way too fast! I had two big meets in a row. First up was the Flrunners Invitational. This is a pretty big meet for Florida and basically the whole state is in attendance. My whole team was able to go as well, but it will be our only away meet together. I was really nervous because I had no idea as to what kind of shape I was in, and this meet would be a very good indicator.
Well, the race started out pretty fast, but by the mile there was no one in sight. I took the first mile out at about 5:15 and it felt pretty comfortable (keep in mind this is a flat, Florida course) and finished in 16:46. I was actually really surprised at that time because I hadn’t been feeling well all week. I got to talk to Brittany Koziara and Kayla Hale about our college visits and overall it turned out to be a fun meet.
Homecoming for my school was this last week. I was on senior court, but could not go to the game or dance because I had Great American this weekend. I was disappointed for a while, but it ended up being worth it in the end. It was tough to focusing on running this week because I went to the powder-puff game, the carnival, and our volleyball game, trying not to miss out on anything senior year.
The best day was Wednesday because it was “nerd” day, and all my friends dressed up together. I wore bright red suspenders, pulled my shorts up really high, wore a tie, long sock, and some crooked glasses …I would have to say that I looked pretty ridiculous!
Despite all the distractions, I had a good workout Thursday of some 200s on about 35 seconds and 600s on about 1:50 seconds. My mom and I flew out to Alabama for the meet on Friday. That’s when the race started to hit me, because frankly, I had forgotten all about it. My mom decided to get a flight that got there at 6 o’clock at night so I had to run on the highway next to our hotel instead of the course (it was closed). We had dinner at this cute little diner called Jason’s Deli. I was still a little sore from the workout the night before and kind of starting to regret going so hard.
The next morning I woke up, raced, and my vacation was basically over. It was nice to have competition though. Kathy (Kroeger) and I were neck and neck until the last hill at about 4000 meters. That’s when I pulled ahead and won by about eight seconds. Afterwards, I got to have lunch with Jessica Tonn, whom I met at Nike Outdoor last summer. We went to the Cheesecake Factory with our parents. All of us got huge salads. Then it was back to hot, humid South Florida for me….
(Sr., Misson Prep, CA)
Entry #3 (October 13, 2008)
Last weekend I had my first XC race of the season! It was a really fun meet called the Atascadero Invitational. I ran 17:53 for the 5k and won the race. My teammate Annie was second. Our race was really early in the morning and it was pouring down rain. Sounds like XC! I was happy with the result as it was a pretty tough course and I tried to go out very conservatively. Other than that, training has been going great and I am feeling ready for Mt. SAC in two weeks. Just have a few more hard workouts this week then we will start to taper a little bit.
In the meantime, I thought I would take up most of this journal entry by talking about colleges. The recruiting process thus far has been very exciting for me. I’ve got my schools narrowed down to Arizona State, Stanford, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, and University of Washington (that is in alphabetical order so no one go making any assumptions! Ha-ha). Other than these schools, I didn’t get too many other phone calls, which was nice because these were the schools that I was thinking about in the beginning.
The coaches can call you once a week per NCAA rules… and most don’t miss their chance to speak with you each time! During the summer this is really nice since you don’t have as much to do, but now that school has started and the XC season is underway, it has been much busier for me. I frequently find myself making five return phone calls on Friday evening when I don’t have to worry about all my homework! I enjoy talking to all of the coaches and they all seem like great people.
The worst part about the process is that in the end I can only choose one school! I’ve been on one official visit so far and that was to Arizona State. I had a great time there and really enjoyed the team. Ashley Brasovan and Taylor Wallace were also visiting there that same weekend. We went to the football game, had a BBQ with the team, went on a great long run, and finally played an intense ultimate Frisbee game. I feel really privileged to be able to make these visits and to be recruited. It’s been an awesome experience and one that is making my senior year really enjoyable. I feel that I could be happy at any school it is just a matter of choosing the school that is the perfect fit.
(Sr., Regis, CO)
Entry #3 (October 15, 2008)
Welcome to championship season. Well this may be pre-mature for most of the nation, but here in Colorado we are well on our way to determining a State Champion. This last Friday marked the first “championship” weekend in the Mile High state.
For me, this meant the Continental League Championships. It’s not a huge meet with just 11 schools, and it is not part of state qualifying, but the league meet can be a great source of pride in my league.
The meet went really well for the Raiders, as we were able to bring home Regis’ first league title in four years. The course was also very interesting. Aside from being held at the renaissance festival, there were many other quirks in this year’s course for our league.
The first was a half-mile uphill climb into a single-track creek bed, and then up one of the steepest hills I have ever seen. It only lasted about 20 meters, but one is almost forced to go on all fours to get up it.
The second mile was full of steep down hills and a few steps, and the race finished with a grueling uphill. The challenge left lots of guys on the team sore, but also excited for what is to come. In fact, this journal will probably go up the same day as my regional meet on the 16th.
I can’t believe it’s already time to decide a state champion, but I couldn’t be happier; this is what we all run for, and each meet now is huge!
Good luck to all of you with your championship seasons and enjoy the rewards of all the hard work you have put in. As always, you can drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, I would like to give a shout out to all the guys who made me feel at home last weekend at the University of Minnesota, particularly my hosts Sean and Hassan. You guys are awesome.
(Sr. Gill-St. Bernard's, NJ)
Entry #3 (Coming Soon)
My first race was on October 4th and it didn’t go as well as I would have liked. Got out really slow, like 5:29 first mile slow. Yeah Jordan and Ashley could’ve beaten me in that race, pretty pathetic first mile. Wanted to pick up the pace more in the middle of the race then I did, but I just couldn’t get into a good rhythm. I wasn’t really disappointed with the race; I was more shocked then anything.
I finished the race I wasn’t tired at all. I shouldn’t have been tired since I ran so poorly. After that slow first mile I got a very big stomach cramp. Pretty much the race was just a disaster. Like my coach has always said, “If you run like shit, then you’ll feel like shit.” That pretty much sums up the race. I didn’t really get hung up on the race at all, and just got up the next morning and went for a nice 15-mile run.
Since I ran so poorly, we decided to run in the Patriot Conference meet at my school, Gill St. Bernards, on Tuesday, October 7th. The conference meet is actually very competitive. The whole race isn’t, but the top two people are usually very competitive, and put on a good race. I ran an hour the day before, so I was pretty much just training through the race, but was looking for a good time to boost my confidence a little.
The race went very well. I ran 15:39, which is 10 seconds faster than I’ve ever run at the course at school. The course is actually pretty tough. The first mile is very fast but the majority of the second mile is up hill, and the last .8 miles is pretty much all uphill. I felt soooooooo much better. It actually felt like I was running. I think I just needed to get used to racing again. My first race of the season has always been slow, and this one just felt odd considering I’ve been running a lot more miles than ever before. I’ve been getting in good training since then. I got in 85 miles last week, and have a meet this Saturday up at Bowdoin Park, which I’m very excited for.
Other than running races, I took an official visit to Arizona State University this past weekend, and it went very well. I liked it out there, and I got in some really good runs with guys on the team. School has been going well too. My goal is to get straight A’s for once in high school. I’m trying hard, but it will take almost a miracle for that to happen. Flirting with girls at school is probably my favorite part, even though there aren’t that many, considering my high school consists of 250 kids, but it works fine for me. Not having a girlfriend is the way to go, by the way, for all of the readers that are considering whether or not to ask out a girl. Just email me for some good advice.
Good luck to everyone in his or her upcoming races!