The past seven days have been successful, tragic, and at the end of the day just plain funny.
It was certainly successful. The Malone Pioneer men and women qualified to the National meet in Louisville, Kentucky. It has been only the second year they’ve been competing at the D2 level, and to have both teams qualify is a daunting task for anyone. They did it with poise and maturity, and they are a team you don’t mind hopping on the bandwagon with. They put in some serious work, and deserved every accolade they received. The course was a complete wreck. It was true cross country at its finest, but it was also borderline tough mudder. The men were first, and they definitely did a number on the already ruined terrain. I’m sure the ladies enjoyed that next! The whole men’s team ran to complete exhaustion, they didn’t leave anything behind. Drew Trusty finished 10th overall somehow, some way. It looked like he was a clear 11th place going to the finish. Whatever he mustered up to catch the 10th place male was some kind of outer body experience he had going on, it was insane! Roush was next in I believe 16th place, another All-American. Amazing! Jordan Mckelley rounded out the top three for Malone. This dude, a high school teammate, a college teammate, a great friend, and most importanly my brother worked so hard this year. It seems like he hasn’t been healthy in forever, and to have the season he had is remarkable. He is the definition of persistence and dedication. He didn’t get the results he wanted for his final cross country race, but he can’t say he didn’t give it all he had, all year. The men ended up finishing top ten as a team in 9th place under the guidance of the great Jack Hazen. What he has done for what, the past 48 years (!!!??!!??!!!) for the Malone program has been incredible. I am biased, but he’s the best coach in the nation hands down! Sorry I am starting to write a lot.
Next up though were the women on the thrashed course. I was pretty tired from sprinting around during the men’s race with Jarod Williams, who I am pretty sure hadn’t ran a step since his last race with Malone till this day. I gained energy though with a whole new big group of people running around the course. There was Jarod Williams, Ally Peare, Mikey Pete, Nate Addessi, Emily Fisher, Nick Fresenko, Tina Oprean, Marcus Samblanet, Aaron Huckels, and so many more people cheering on the athletes. It was so exciting, and the adrenaline was pumping. We ran to so many different spots trying to catch the women every chance we could. I obviously was a bit more nervous now having Sara in this race. I really wanted her to go out strong in her cross country career, and she did! I can’t express how extremely proud I have been of her dedication to the program and to herself these last few years. She makes me so proud to be her boyfriend! Mattie Rankin, Maddie Schuler, and all the other girls ran their hearts out as well. With the terrain being the way it was, there were obviously obstacles to overcome, and they all finished with nothing left. They finished in 11th overall at the national championship. It was a proud day to be a Malone Pioneer!
The last seven days were also oh so tragic! My running suffered haha. Yes, in the grand scheme of things, it was hardly a setback. I still ran a ton of mileage, and was hitting some key workouts, but it was a bit chaotic and unorganized. My eating, my DRINKING, and my overall recovery was much worse then it usually is. And that is saying a lot!
It was all worth seeing my friends, teammates, and family succeed. Seeing others reach their potential can be more satisfying then your own personal successes sometimes. You spend so much time being selfish and working on your self, it is really important to take a step back and by joyful for and with others. So at the end of the day I can only sit back and laugh at how caught up you can get in your routine. I wouldn’t take back my experience in Louisville for anything.
PS: I will be posting my last 9 day cycle tomorrow when it ends! Check back for that please!