September 14, 2013 - Vanderbilt Commodore Classic & Insight from JJ LaPointe (Fr. - Arlington, VA)
Post date: Sep 16, 2013 5:46:11 PM
CNUXC traveled to Nashville, TN for meet #2 of the 2013 season. Both squads positioned themselves well in the large fields featuring several SEC squads and 10 of the Captains posted lifetime bests (5k for women, 8k for men) on a course that was by no means fast. The women finished 2nd among non-D1 schools (first D3) and the men were 3rd among non-D1 and trailed only Ohio Northern University among D3 squads.
From JJ LaPointe:
Continue to focus on completing the task of today. With trust, and a group that can persevere through times of adversity, elation and disappointment, the end result can only be of that sweet feeling of satisfaction which makes the darkest of days shimmer with the light of success.
Early Friday morning, before the sun came up to run its day-to-day course, the cross country team was headed to the airport. Yup, you read it right, we runners don’t just run everywhere like some may think. As we got on our first of two planes to fly us to Nashville, Tennessee for the Commodore Classic, the nerves of eagerness and exhilaration traveled through my veins and flushed out the feelings of apprehension. That feeling of eagerness soon turned to one of claustrophobia as I found my narrow self seated in between a former football player now baseball coach and a drowsy, “let me use your shoulder as a pillow” middle aged man. I wasn't complaining though, cause I was off to the city of delicious BBQ and jammin’ country music to do what I love. Run.
As our second plane took off from Atlanta to bring a taste of Newport News to Tennessee, the anticipation to check out the course we will be running on Saturday morning grew strong. After a quick pit-stop at Noodles & Company to enjoy some mouthwatering Mac & Cheese we were off to preview the course and get our daily run in. The lush green grass of the course greeted our team of Captains with a Win The Day attitude. We were ready to race!
The 6am alarm woke my weary yet prepared body. Breakfast with the team was a peaceful and comforting moment to pause and get in that state of mind that has come so habitual to us runners, race mode. Ready we were, the warm up run and drills blew by like a swift fall breeze. After a hurried glance at my wristband to read the phrase #good2great I was off. Our team was packed together throughout most of the race, like lions hunting down their prey. All of our summer training and base work prepared us well I thought. As the race came to a much appreciative, however abrupt finish, my aching foot and hamstrings were greeted with the smiles and encouragement from this team which has become like a family to me.
After the race ended and our team of college hunks took some pictures and loaded up the vans, we were off to downtown Nashville. Slowly turning into our alter ego…tourists. The group I walked around with got to tread around Vanderbilt University’s Campus, and of course eat some delicious food. The trip was capped off with a team dinner to get some Tennessee BBQ that I wolfed down like a ravenous panda in a bamboo forest.
As the sun finished its course of illumination and delight the memories of the trip were slowly being impressed on our minds, not to be forgotten. As just a peculiar freshman who is young and naïve, I am truly thankful for the opportunity to travel with such an awesome group of guys and girls. We will continue to focus on the task presented to us each day, and win the day. Cause soon enough winning the day will turn into winning the season.
Arlington, VA (Bishop O'Connell HS)
HS 5k XC Best - 15:49 (Footlocker South Regional)
2013 Virginia Catholic Schools Champion - 800m, 1600m
2013 Washington DC Catholic Athletic Conference Champion - 1600m, 3200m
CAC Cross Country Athlete of the Week - Week #1