One of the best poems for distance runners is Rudyard Kipling’s “If,” which teaches that racing is as much about your mental posture as your physical fitness. Read aloud, it speaks to many of the emotions we felt yesterday at the 2015 Hornet-Red Devil Invitational. Results. DyestatIL Recap. Tyler Hughes Historic Creek Jump. Milesplit Illinois Recap. Connor Horn Interview. Coach Vandersteen Interview. Daily Herald Article.
If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs…
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting...
All week we practiced restlessly, preparing ourselves for the pitiless heat. A summer of preparation can overwhelm a runner’s nerves if he pours all of his ambitions into one precarious moment, and we were eager to get our first race behind us to recenter our focus. Mercifully, the meet organizers moved the Varsity race to 9:00 A.M., which allowed us to confront the moment under cloud cover.
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
The Varsity race lived up to those verses, as our team executed their plan almost exactly as they had hoped. Connor Horn (3rd/15:06) held back on his personal race in order to help pace the lead pack, which was larger than any we’d ever raced. Scott Anderson (4th/15:07) fulfilled the promise of a year of meticulous preparation, and Jake McEneaney (7th/15:12), Jackson Jett (9th/15:16), and Dominic Dina (10th/15:16) sealed the win with hard strides up the hill. PRs by Caleb Ferguson (15:20), Zach Kinne (15:21), Patrick Wolak (15:22), Danny Winek (15:42), Josh Mollway (15:53), Josh Patel (16:16), Paul Neubauer (16:43) Peter O’Neill (16:48), Ethan Ohlhausen (16:53), Lukas Weber (17:02) led a parade of the summer’s consummation. Junior Jeremy Hayhurst (16:32) improved on last year’s mark by almost two minutes, proof of what a year of dedication can deliver.
But there was indeed disaster amidst the triumph, as x-rays soon revealed that Scott Anderson had broken his ankle a half mile into the race, and he was splinted in the early afternoon. The image of Scott that impresses most is not his finish yesterday, but the methodical patience he brought to every push up set, every hip exercise, every lunge. He is the metronome of the team, and it will be heartbreaking to start the next race without him. But yesterday’s victory was built on the model of his consistency, and we will carry that example with us.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
As the sun climbed the sky, the races intensified, and our freshmen debuted in a field of sweltering humidity. Chris Keeley (4th/10:02) matched Jake McEneaney’s effort from two years prior, and was soon joined by Michael Madiol (10:56), Nick Drechsler (11:01), Matt Jett (11:10), and Michael O’Connor (11:17) for a 5th place team finish. The Sophomore race, packed with upperclassmen refugees, proved a thrilling affair, with Alan Poe, Shiva Singh, and Keanan Ginell leading the surge for a 3rd place finish.
The relief we feel at our good fortune and happy results is tempered by the painful losses and imposing challenges of the road ahead. We will resume our preparations and intensify our efforts, drawing on Kipling-- and Scott Anderson-- for inspiration.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!