BHS XC race strategy

Basic advice for all:

Start comfortably with the effort of our pace quarters and the controlled miles. None should start in the all-out sprint or fast quarters pace. After 3 minutes or up to mile 1, if you’re still relaxed, start picking it up and go chase someone. Speed up and close in gradually. Don’t wait for a dead sprint in the last 70 yards — dig in coming over the little ditch in the woods coming up toward Becknell and work the last 400-600 yards (more like Monday’s “let’s go home” quarters rather than a high knees/buttkickers drill!).

Special notes:

Lauren likely will be right at the front or in close sight even with her restrained start, and I would suggest by the time she gets back near the start the very first time (3/4 mile), she should reassess if she’s not in front and close in if she’s not yet straining — she can be aggressive earlier than she thinks. She can check how she feels passing at the start, at the sand volleyball/tennis courts and across the pond at the football practice field and dig in if she can. Rest of the girls need to feel their way to a comfortable range of Lauren and their practice places/paces, Madelyn working with Lauren in sight and the others following. Tori be safe; Izzy and Reese find targets and chase one uniform at a time.

Maggie should be hanging near front of junior girls if she feels OK, but she needs to clear/relax her mind. Not sure if a fruit bar or some light snack for fuel might be tolerable, but she also needs her stomach and hydration to be right, maybe soak her head and shoulders not long before the start because she struggles with heat. Kinley has to figure out what it’s like to have girls nearby and do what she has to do — there is no shortcut or special rule or handicap. No prize for most whining; no relief from the task. Here’s the route; here’s what we do; do it fast enough and get a prize.

Gunner gets adrenalin up and starts fast; he especially should stay steady early at our controlled practice pace. Cave City alone will have 3 runners who are 30 seconds a mile (120 yards) ahead of any of ours, but we have 6 who should be able to hang around that far back. Peyton has a good sense of that pace so Gunner, Peyton, Brandon, Hayden, and Kaden all ought to be able to hang together back to the start line first time around like Lauren. Then they can start pushing each at their own strength gradually at marker spots as well. I think it’s demoralizing to others to push a bit on the hills, so even a subtle surge at a couple of those will pay off.

Lane, Cody (careful that he’s rehydrated), Jorge, Junior, Quentin, Devin are wildcards — the closer they can comfortably hang with the front bunch, the better we’ll be and the sooner some of them may join the front bunch as season goes on.
Trey and Noah can start at the controlled pace and should be at the front of the pack. They can go chase (or leave the field behind?) whenever they are able. They are halfway done back at the start line, so they can let it go from there. Tanner likely will be in the neighborhood and Andrew and Kade probably not too far behind. Andrew is another one who needs his hydration right. Alexander is a wild card; Mason is a grinder; Mason probably could use a soaked head and shoulders against the heat.