Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Richmond Cross Country Competes in Spider Alumni Open

The Spider women swept the Spider Alumni Open over William & Mary
Below is an article, links to results and a Video Recap...along with a few stats for our men's and women's 2011 Spider Alumni Open Cross Country meet held this past weekend.

Lori and I are pleased to see several members of the team stepping up into leadership roles and doing a great job as leaders this season. As my high school coach Jerry Rea said, "Choice, not chance, determines destiny". Within our sport this is especially true. As with any team, we must have leaders and those leaders along with all team members can expect to see success only when they make the right choices and pursue their individual and team goals with an unrelenting passion. Having and establishing a team environment that fosters, supports and enables teammates to make the correct choices is much of what leadership, on all levels, is about.

Our destiny depends on a multitude of factors. As coaches, athletes and students we must all focus on those factors we can control and simply manage and deal with the ones we cannot. Managing stress, proper nutrition and hydration, sleep patterns, and study habits are only a few of the things outside of the training that pave the way to success…Managing each of those is critical.

Our teams hear Lori and I often speak about the importance of their education. Being at Richmond it is given they are committed to excellence in the classroom. That is their primary purpose for being here. Additionally, our student-athletes must achieve balance and continue to test their limits daily as they pursue two passions: academic and athletic success. As athletes they must attack each choice they make with a simple question: “will this help me run better?”

As a wrap up to the weekend, we are thankful to the many Alumni who came back to watch and/or participate in the race and watch the 2011 team compete. Lori and I can't express how important this is for our teams and preserving history.  Over the years we tell the stories over an over to establish the foundation and historical relevance of the men and women who worked so hard to build this program from back in the era of Fred Hardy and Bill Jordan through the current teams. 

We appreciate all the former athletes, who made great effort to come back to support the team.  Athletes like John Ciccarelli, who won the first Atlantic 10 Conference Cross Country title for the Spiders...blasting away on the final climb in Pittsburgh on a cool October day in 2004...to Jon Lauder, Seann Mulcahy, Sherry Sikora Hannay, Matt Hannay, Jeff Watson, Charlie Ban, Ryan Jobes 'Band of Brothers', Sean Welsh, Greg Hoffman, Derrick Jensen, Shelby Faircloth and many, many others who came back this weekend and during their time at UR fought for this team, laying it on the line in practice and in races. To all the Spider Nation of track & field and cross country Alumni...new and old...We can't thank all of you enough for your continued support!!

We also want to thank Collegiate School for providing a great venue on their Robins Campus. Our course layout was a 1600M loop repeated 2 times for the women's 2 mile and 3 times (+200M) for the men's 5K. Their facility provided a great vantage point to watch the races for parents, Alumni and spectators.

As you can see from results our women won (19-44) over William & Mary and our men came up a little short in a 25-30 loss while defeating ODU (15-50) (Note-ODU is a club program that will be elevated to varsity next year.). Our loss to W&M was close...Both Jason Skipper and Chris York led most of the race and kicked hard at the end, coming up just short of the over-all win but certainly making the race (Skipper was 0.5 behind W&M's Tyson and York was 1.8 seconds behind him.). Add this to the fact the Tim Becker passed W&M's Gunnerson with 120M to go and then was passed back 10 meters from the finish line getting edged by 5 tenths of a second (15:48.5 to 15:49.0) and you can see it was close. A combined total of 2.8 seconds was the difference between us winning by 1 point instead of a loss by 5 points. That’s not a negative, simply stated as fact.

Here are a few stats from the 2011 Spider Alumni Open: 

Over-all WOMEN: Stephanie Paradis (11:02.4)...ran the 2nd fastest time in Spider Alumni Meet history (behind Richmond's Jill Prentice's meet record of 10:57.3 set last year in 2010)...

Freshmen WOMEN: Alli Stapleton (11:22.7)...ran the 4th fastest freshman time in meet history behind Richmond's Jill Prentice (10:57.30 meet record and freshman record in 2010)...Richmond's Roxanne Henningson (11:19.3 in 2010) and Richmond's Alli Mannon (11:19.6 in 2010).

Over-all MEN: Jason Skipper (14:53.4) and Chris York (14:54.7) placed 2nd and 3rd as the top 3 men today broke the previous Spider Alumni Open Meet record of 15:03.2 set in 2008 by Richmond's Andrew Benford...

Freshmen MEN: Tim Becker (15:49.0)...ran the 3rd fastest freshman time in Spider Alumni Open meet history behind Richmond's Ryan Lee (15:30.9 in 2010) and Richmond's Levi Grandt (15:38.9 in 2008)...

Richmond Cross Country Competes in Spider Alumni Open

Courtesy:Richmond Athletics

RICHMOND, Va. - The Richmond cross country squads opened their 2011 campaigns against William and Mary and Old Dominion in the Spider Alumni Open on Saturday morning at the Collegiate School cross country course in Richmond.

The Spider men were edged by W&M by a narrow 25-30 margin, but defeated the Monarchs 15-50. On the women's side, the Spiders topped the Tribe by a 19-44 margin.

"It was a good day and we had a lot of good things come out of the race," said head men's coach Steve Taylor. "After graduating some strong upperclassmen this past year, we needed several of our men to step in as leaders and they did that. Jason (Skipper), Conor (Phelan) and Chris (York) really stepped up for us today. It was a great effort and while we've got some work to do, I'm pleased with the outcome."


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