Saturday, November 14, 2015


Girls 7th in STATE FINALS.

BANQUET a SUCCESS - great speeches seniors

Slideshow posted at

Courtney Busch qualified for MIDEAST MEET OF CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!

and Emily Byrne writes a poem that summarizes GHSXC perfectly.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

state finals RECAP and end of season for GHSXC

Final GHSXC report

Gaylord girls come in ranked 10th after finishing 2nd in regional and end up 7th beating Whitehall.

The All-state performances of Alexis (4th) and Katelyn (16th) lead Gaylord to a 7th place finish at the Division 2 XC state finals.

Full results -

With 150 schools in division 2 i would liken this to a season ending wtih 143 wins, 6 losses record.  It was also amazing to beat Whitehall who had just beaten us for the regional title last weekend.  Also, finishing in the top 8 puts us in the "quarterfinal" in other sports.  Sometimes a finish like 7th gets lost in the idea that 6 other teams beat us.  However, in other sports we would be elated to make it to the elite 8 as that means your team played in the quarterfinals of the state championship.

Alexis Smith - ends her GHSXC career with 3 "All-State" performances, running the 2nd best time by a GHSXC athlete in school history and doing it all with a smile.  Alexis has the qualities that all coaches love in an athlete - she listens, she works hard, she is a positive role model for the younger runners and she is driven to be the best she can be.  Her performance today was just spectacular and we are truly going to miss her next year.

Katelyn Smith ended her GHSXC career with a bang.  Last weekend at the regionals i think she had the race of her life and today she topped that with a 16th place finish in the state finals.  She worked so hard all summer with her sister to earn this and she deserves it.  If the race had been another 200 yards longer she would have caught another 6 runners and been top ten.  She leaves GHS as one of the top 10 XC runners in school history.

Courtney Busch also had the race of her life today at MIS.  She has been working for 3 years to crack the 20 minute barrier and today it happened with a solid 19:52.7.  Courtney works tirelessly balancing soccer and running and her drive to be her best is a quality that helps her achieve what she does.  As a 3rd year runner she earned all-conference and all-regional honors and today she was finally happy her with perfromance.

Brianna Martin finished today as the 18th fastest freshman in the state!!  The other girls improved about 20 seconds from their regional times, but Bri topped last weeks performance by 43 seconds.  She finished her season as our 4th girl after starting (back in August) as 9th girl.  She has listened and learned from the older girls what it means to be a runner and what dedication and hard work can do for you.  I am looking forward to the next 3 years with Bri.

Carlie Martella solidified our 5th scoring position with a near season best time.  Since her freshman season Carlie has improved by minutes and now is our solid and dependable 4/5th runner depending on her day.  Her foot speed combined with her endurance are going to be a quality that we need next season with the loss of the Smiths, Busch and Byrne.  I know Carlie really wanted to break that 20 minute barrier this season, but it was just not in the cards, thats why we have 2016.

Emily Byrne caps a fine two year XC career with two state finals appearances, a 20:29 best 5k time and a solid 6th runner all this season.  I know Emily wanted a bit more out of this season, but it just didnt happen for whatever reason.  Still, it was her performance in last years regional that will stand out for me as the highlight of her career.  She came into that race ranked in 53rd place and ended up in the low 30's solidifying our trip to MIS and the state finals in 2014.  Without her, our team would not have had the experience we had last year, to be at our best this year.

Alli Kowatch ended her season in a career best 21:27 today.  I am so proud of all Alli has achieved in the last 3 years.  She has grown from a "middle of the pack" runner in in middle school to a varsity runner on the 7th best team in the state.  She has worked tirelessly for this day and i am happy she earned it.

Zak Goddard returns to GHSXC next year as a senior leader and All-regional runner after finishing this year with a season and personal best 17:10 at MIS.  Zak wanted to crack that 17 minute barrier today but it looks like that waits for next season.  As a team leader and role model I couldn't ask for a better person that Zak.  I look forward to one last year with him in 2015.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Well, we made it ladies and Zak!!

GHS girls qualify for state finals FOR THE 23RD TIME IN THE LAST 29 YEARS.  Zak Goddard caps a fine regular season with an individual qualifier status.

Alexis Smith becomes Gaylord's 4th regional champion on the girls side.  When you put Alexis' name in with Katie Harriger (2003) Thereseanne Zimmerman (Huprikar) (2004 & 2005) and Sloan Secord (2006 & 2007) you realize how special of an athlete she is.  Today she totally dominated the regional competition and, I think, this is her first win EVER for GHS.  It is so tough competing in the Big North Conference and many of the invitationals that we go to as we look for high level competition, but today Alexis was not to be denied.  Her nearly 30 second win was about as convincing as it gets.  This puts Alexis in the lead pack at the state finals and gives her a shot at the overall title for D2 State Champion.

Katelyn Smith had the race of her life.  During our regular season she hovered anywhere from 45-70 seconds behind Alexis and came into the regional race ranked # 6 -- and ended up 3rd only 30 seconds behind Alexis.  She truly had an amazing race and this sets her up nicely to possibly earn a top 20 position at MIS in the MHSAA finals next weekend.

Courtney Busch had a huge improvement from last weekends NMXCC invitational - running 22 seconds faster and nailing a top 20 finish for us.  I am sad for Courtney because last year she finished in the top 15 earning "ALL REGIONAL" status and this year she did not make it because our regional was stacked with so many highly ranked teams.  Put her in any other regional and she is definitely "ALL REGIONAL" status.

Carlie Martella and Bri Martin have decided to shadow each other and use each other to push themselves and today it worked nailing down our #4 and #5 spot nicely.  Just like Courtney, either of these girls could be "All Regional" in many other regions.  Carlie especially had a nice race, taking nearly 30 seconds off her time from last weekend on the same course.  Bri continues to improve and has done an excellent job as a freshman in a high stress # 5 position.

Emily Byrne and Alli Kowatch rounded out our top 7 varsity with solid performances.

Zak Goddard places 14th to punch his ticket to MIS.  Zak has had some ups and downs this season but put it together when it was most needed - today.  He had a solidly paced race to continually move up the field into the top 15 to earn "ALL REGIONAL" honors.  Justin Desloover, Nick Green, Matt Jaroneski, Mason Monchilov, Kenny Smith and Derek Giallombardo all return next season for the blue devil harriers.

workouts this week.



WED - TIMED MILE HARD !!!  A few 400's for fun and some 200m finishes.


FRIDAY - DEPART GHS AT NOON, get to HOTEL @ 330pm, run workout, clean up and head to dinner @ Olive Garden ASAP.  Then MALL, then team meeting, then bedtime.

Saturday MHSAA D2 STATE FINALS - GIRLS 1:30pm Boys 230pm, then awards.


BOYS - BRING POP, MILK, Chocolate Milk
I will provide forks, spoons, cups, plates

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Back in June you started training.  You ran literally hundreds of miles in the summer, then hundreds more during the season.  You missed time with friends.  You missed time with your family.  You missed school.  You stressed out about your position on the team.  You got nervous with aniticipation of your first race.  You endured hills, and wind and rain and hot sun.  You made new friends.  You did all this in anticipation of next Saturday, the regional meet.  The regional meet on our home course.  The screaming frenzy of fans and parents and friends who came to watch you run.  You did all this to be the best you can be on one day with the hopes that you would serve your team well.  You didn't really care about individual honors, but would take more satisfaction i hoisting a regional trophy or qualifying for the state finals as a TEAM, rather than just an individual.  You wanted your team to be the best they could be.  Now, that time has come.  It's THE WEEK.   It's THE DAY.  IT IS THE HOUR.  IT IS RACE TIME.

Monday - easy distance, not as long as we've gone on Mondays before, time to rest a bit.

Tues - super short.

Wed -  Some speed.  Not 100% sure what we'll do yet as I want to see how you're feeling on Monday and Tuesday.  Likely its a longer warmup (2 miles)  an 800m at race pace,  4x400m at race pace, and some 200m finishes.  2 mile cool.


Fri - team meeting, then easy short with stride outs.

Saturday - RACE DAY.  up at 8-9am, breakfast.  Light, good breakfast of carbs that's easily digested.  Small bit of protein, fruit, banana, granola, juice ( NO MILK PRODUCTS KATE).  Arrive at coach's house at 1130am.  Go to bathroom, get a snack, have a Gatorade or water.  Once everyone is there run over to course at NOON, get to tent (same spot as last week), check numbers, pins, etc.  Girls go through course at 12:40pm.  Boys at 1:10pm.    Then we are in BOX 13.  GIRLS RACE 130pm  BOYS RACE 2pm.  Awards immediately after.

Be sure all freshmen, newbies are on board with this plan, communicate with them so they know and remember because even though i go through this all at practice someone isnt' listening and confused!! :)  I won't mention names.  #8 runner you do all this too, pretend you are in the race and doing everything everyone else is.  I hope you are as excited as I am!!!

See the best regional times here, switch between boys/girls and click the "hypothetical" team scores button to see where we rank.

Sunday OFF

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Well JV'ers, it is the end of your season this week.  We have come a long ways since August 17th when we went to team camp in Munising.  It was a week of fun and games and running and swimming and bridge jumping and learning about how you fit into our team.  Over the last 10 weeks you've gotten faster and stronger, you've gained both endurance and speed.  But, this week we focus on rest so you can be at your BEST.  Our conference meet on Tuesday is hilly and PACING will be key - it is supposed to be 57F and a light breeze.  Perfect running conditions.  Our home invite at Michaywe on Saturday (sunny and 55F) is the flattest fastest course we'll run all year - yes faster than Benzie.  It has been a great seson, lets end these last weeks on a positive note!!

Monday - short with stride outs.

Tuesday - you are responsible for your own ride to the country club.  Girls 4pm, boys 430pm,  girls JV  5pm, boys JV 530pm.  ALL CONFERENCE AWARDS AFTER.

Wed - short and sweet

Thursday - JV OFF, Varsity  PRACTICE AT COACH'S HOUSE.  1 mile easy - 1x400 @ race pace, 1x800m @ race pace, 1x800m @ race pace, 1 mile easy on the Michaywe Race Course -- Get a ride there, or ride with me.  

Friday - easy and short

Saturday -- HOME INVITATIONAL @ Michaywe.  Girls varsity11:30am, boys varsity 12:10pm, girls JV  12:50pm  boys JV 1:30pm (middle school starts 10am girls, 1030am boys).  FLAT FAST COURSE AND YOU RUN YOUR BEST TIME.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

week 9 workouts

Week 9 workouts --


Monday - Longer run but not too long.  2mile warm, stretch, 6 miles, medium pace, working hard.

Tuesday MEET AT COUNTRY CLUB - warmup and HILLS

Wed - easy and short

Thursday - 2 mile warm, 13x400m each one faster than last 2 mile cool

FRIDAY - FOOTBALL RUN - bus departs GHS front doors at 7:55am - bring a lunch and SNACKS WITH YOU!!  We will be back to GHS about 3:45 to participate in the HOMECOMING PARADE.  BE PREPARED WITH FRESH WARM CLOTHES FOR WALKING IN PARADE, ITS GOING TO BE COLD.

Saturday - homecoming.  Make good decisions.  Behave.  Have fun.  Don't ruin your season.  BEFORE THE FESTIVITIES START BE SURE AND GET OUT FOR AN EASY 30-60 MINUTE RUN.




Saturday, October 10, 2015


PORTAGE Boys and Girls XC teams in action at Portage invitation.

Girls - 6th of 45 teams in a race featured 12 of top 15 teams in the state and we ended up 6th, beating #13 Dearborn Divine Child, #14 Richland Gull Lake, #11 Middleville, #7 Grand Rapids South Christian, #6 Dewitt, #15 Whitehall.  

I think we had a "good" race.  We're still no where near where I think we can be.  Our final push on speedwork next week, followed by some rest will give us that final piece of the puzzle we've been looking for.  Alexis was awesome up front running the 2nd fastest time by a Gaylord girl in GHSXC history, only topped by Sloan Secord.  Katelyn had the best race of her life and #7 fastest time by a girl in GHSXC history, Courntey Busch was just seconds from a personal best and is now flirting with sub 20 minutes which is right where we need her, Carlie has been dealing with some pacing issues but was still right near her personal best time, and Brianna Martin was our 5th girl today running her personal best time.  Bri continues to improve and just keeps moving up faster and faster.  Our varsity scoring was rounded out by Emily Byrne and Allie Kowatch.

Boys 37 of 49 teams.  Our goal for the boys was to get some "big meet" experience and we did just that.  Zak Goddard continues to lead the boys team as #1 runner and had a solid low 17's as did Justin Desloover, running his personal best time.  Ethan Huey is one solid freshman, placing as the 19th fastest freshman on the day and nearly a personal best time on a pretty tough course.  Derek Giallombardo was close behind in 18:24 with a personal best time and freshman Matt Jaroneski rounded out varsity scoring with 18:46.  Our boys are young and this was a great experience for them.  We do not have a senior on our varsity and the experience we gained today will pay dividends in the future.  I still believe we have an outside shot at qualifying for the D2 state finals with this group.

Saginaw Results for JV
Some GREAT times for our JV runners!!