Carly Danoski Season Finale Update - November 21, 2017
Last blog post of the cross country season! That makes me sad but also excited because that means track is soon! Hopefully I’ll be continuing these posts throughout the winter and spring so you can follow us on the track. We wrapped up our season last Saturday at Big Spring High School for Regionals. Since the season is officially over, I think I can honestly say I’ve never experienced so much bad luck on a team in my 7+ years of running. I know I mentioned it in my last post, but we truly got hit with some crazy things. Injuries, sickness, unavoidable circumstances just kept coming at us. But I still think there’s something to gain and we’re using this season as a tool moving forward to analyze what we can improve.
Despite all the obstacles, this season was definitely memorable. We had some awesome performances and PRs throughout the season; congrats to Katie for being All-Region with her 25th place finish! We also had some freshmen step up and really contribute to our team and its atmosphere. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come since way back in August when we first stepped on campus for pre-season. I couldn’t imagine spending every day over the last few months with anyone else, so I want to thank my teammates and Coach Jesse for making it such a great season.
I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re ready to make some noise in indoor track. Thanks for following along this season, I know many alumni and friends have been watching our progress since August and it means a lot to know how much support we have. See you on the track!
Carly Danoski Pre-NCAA Regional Update - November 10, 2017
Hello everyone from the other side of Conferences! Since I last wrote the team has competed in two meets, one at Rowan University and of course the Landmark Conference Championships. We competed at the Inter-Regional Border Battle at Rowan on October 14th. I think most of us agreed that it wasn’t the best course. It was extremely uneven footing and an unfamiliar course to us but some people still had good days. It was relatively flat which is the opposite of what we had the pleasure of experiencing at Conferences. Overall, it was an okay meet.
Rowan University Inter-Regional Border Battle
In between Rowan and Conferences we ran some Juniata-simulations in workouts. We did several workouts at the dog park to get us ready for the hills at Conferences. Here’s a picture of some friends that we made after one of these workouts..
Dog park workout complete with dogs!!
On October 28, the team geared up for one of the most important days of the year: Landmark Conferences. Like I’ve previously said, the course was a doozy. It was hosted by Juniata College at Standing Stone Golf Course and consisted of 3 loops that contained a total of 6 hills. We knew we had done what we could to prepare, but unfortunately we were hit with several obstacles in the prior weeks. We had several people battling issues ranging from anemia, a sprained ankle, a stress reaction, mono, to asthma. I’m really proud of my teammates that stepped up to spots they normally weren’t placed in. I’m also proud of the people that pushed through the grueling race despite the aforementioned problems. Both Grace and Katie grabbed some spots on the All-Conference team which is so awesome. Grace has had a great freshman season and Katie has been consistently putting in the hard work that has shown all season. As a team we ended up in third which is not shabby at all but I know we had high hopes for this meet. All we can do now is use that to motivate us to better ourselves and fully dedicate ourselves to every race, every practice, and everything else in between.
Landmark Conference Championships
We’ve also been running some Regional-simulation workouts to prepare us for the up and downs of Big Spring High School. We did some workouts at dog park and Monocacy Park to get in some hill work. Below you can see a picture of us on our Halloween run. Notice the two Coach Jesse impersonators on the right (props to Ashley and Alyssa), complete with Coach’s actual fishing rods (no muskies on them though).
Next up is Regionals, hosted by Dickinson at Big Spring High School on November 11th. We’re still working through some injuries but I know we’re entering this meet ready to fight. I see how hard everyone has worked this season and how badly my teammates want to accomplish their goals, and we have one more shot to do that on Saturday. If things go right, hopefully we’ll have some people from both the women’s and men’s team extend their season at Nationals.
See you after Regionals!
Carly Danoski Midseason Update - October 3, 2017
Hi everyone, coming at you with another blog post after a few weeks. The past few weeks have been filled with lots of workouts and a few races! After our first meet at Lehigh, we went to Juniata on September 9th to get a preview of the 2017 conference course. It was definitely a challenging course, but the team knew that it was a good opportunity to prepare for the conference meet. Because it’s such a hilly course, our recent workouts and runs have been geared towards tackling those steep inclines (did I hear South Mountain long run?).
On September 23rd some of the team went to Delaware Valley University for a meet. Unfortunately the weather hasn’t been as fall-like as we hoped it would be, so they ran in some hot temperatures. However, that was a good chance for some of the team to get another race in after previously missing one or two.
Over the past few weeks we completed two “benchmark” workouts that gauged our fitness at different points in the season. One was a workout on Lehigh’s course that consisted of race-pace mile repeats. We did this in the beginning of the season and again two weeks ago. It was warm, buggy, and hilly but it was one of those workouts that you know is going to prepare you for some tough courses (like Conferences and Regionals this year).
The other workout was 400m repeats on the track. This is a great VO2 max workout and although it may seem odd to do a “track” workout in the fall, the team benefitted from testing our limits and preparing for sustaining a fast pace. Again, we completed this workout at the beginning of the season and again last week. There were lots of improvements all around!
VO2 Max Workout
This past weekend on September 29th we travelled alllll the way across Bethlehem for the Paul Short meet at Lehigh! I think mostly everyone can agree that Paul Short is always an exciting meet. We ran in the Brown race, so we got some great competition from DI, DII, and other DIII schools. Many people had breakout days (shoutout to Alyssa L., Nora, Marlee, Natalie, Julia, and Alison for their PR’s!) which is really encouraging for our last few meets coming up.
Paul Short 2017
Throughout the last few weeks the team has consistently been putting in the hard work that will hopefully come to fruition at the end of the season. We have some big goals in mind that we know we can accomplish if we continue to work together day after day, despite the obstacles that may pop up. Injuries, bad workouts, and negative thoughts will happen, but we know it’s just a matter of pushing through and doing all the little things right that will add up to some hopefully big performances in just a few short weeks. I look forward to seeing what the team can do at our last few meets. Catch the ‘Hounds racing next at Rowan University on October 14th!
Thanks for reading!
2017 Paul Short Run Update - October 2, 2017
Paul Short has always been a checkpoint for us to see where we’re at and if we need to make any adjustments in the middle of the season either with respect to training, or racing strategies and this year was no different. Our goal for the women is to first get five under 24:00 (20:00 5k pace), then get our average down to 23:00 for our top 5 (roughly 19:08 5k pace). We feel if we can do that, it gives us a chance to win conferences, and finish top eight in the region.
As I told our team, this was a feast or famine meet for us. Half of our team set lifetime PRs. Alyssa L. broke the 24:00 barrier for the first time, Natatlie set a lifetime PR in the 5k DURING her 6k, Ali Nicolosi set a huge 2:00 PR after a breakthrough week just to name a few positives. On the flip side, Ashley Rohrer, one of our top five lost a shoe which aggravated her ankle and she had to drop out. Alyssa Ullmann and Grace Gilbert either had to drop out, or we made a pre-race decision to hold back due to asthma so at least two of our top five didn’t’ finish, or only tempo’d. In a big meet like Paul Short, that’s going to show, and it did for us.
We now have five underclassmen on the roster who have broken 24:00, and at least two more who daily run with that pack in workouts who have proven they’re ready and able. We have the best depth we’ve had in my time here at Moravian, and with so much youth it’s a bright future, this season and moving forward. We just need to be able to do this on the same day, and I’m hoping with the shoe and asthma misfortunes, some of the bad luck is behind us. The team had an extremely impressive workout on some tough hills at the Bethlehem Dog Park yesterday, and this work will really pay off when we get into the championship meets in a few weeks. This is the most exciting part of the season, and the young ‘Hounds are ready to showcase what they’re capable of!
Katie wrapping up another loop at the Dog Park
Nora and Marlee feeling like they’re back home at Holmdel
2017 Carly Danoski Update - September 5, 2017
Hello all! My name is Carly Danoski and I will periodically be blogging about Moravian College’s women’s cross country team! I’m a sophomore here at Moravian and am excited to share with you all the happenings of our awesome cross country team.
The first week of classes has been conquered and the week was capped off with our first race of the season! We had a solid week of training after preseason the previous week. Thankfully we were able to practice on Lehigh University’s cross country course for a workout before we raced there on Friday. I’ll be honest; the workout didn’t go as anyone had planned, but I was amazed with the attitude and determination of my teammates. We gutted it out through a less-than-ideal workout and I think there is still something to be gained from that. Not every race is going to go as planned and I think our Lehigh workout was a reminder and a preparation for that.
Our first meet of the season at Lehigh went really well! I know everyone’s been working really hard over the summer and into these first two weeks of practice and I think that showed in Friday’s race. Of course, the race was a baseline for the rest of the season. We’re not where we want to be right now but I think the meet was very encouraging. It’s awesome to see our returners improve so much from the same meet a year ago, as well as see how great the freshmen performed on a new team and at a new race distance. Several people improved over a minute from last year’s course and that’s a tremendous thing to see!
Overall, things are going well here on the women’s cross country team. These past few weeks have been challenging but exciting and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for the rest of the season!
Until next time,
Moravian Women’s Cross Country
2017 Women's Preview - August 27, 2017
The first week is already in the books for the 2017 XC season. The parents kicked things off with a welcome dinner on Saturday, we got in a nice run at Jacobsburg State Park on Sunday, and Monday was our annual time trial under the lights. On Tuesday we started the first ever XC Dodgeball Tournament, Wednesday and Thursday we took our annual trip to Jim Thorpe and did some whitewater rafting for the first time ever, and then we wrapped up the week on Saturday with our alumni XC race. Thanks to all alums who came, and we hope to see even more next year. Mark your calendars for the AUGUST 25th, 2018!!!
As far as the team, the mile time trial gave us a good indication of what’s ahead. The core of our team is very young with three sophomores, and two freshmen leading the way in our time trial. Katie and Carly dropped over 10 seconds from last year to run in the low 5:30s, and both Grace and Molly were right behind them showing they “did their homework” over the summer. Since then Ashley, both Alyssa’s, and especially Marlee have shown huge gains from a year ago in our tempo sessions and are proving they’re ready to go this year as well.
As I’ve told the team, I know we have the potential to be really good, it’s just a matter of when it’ll come together. I truly believe we can get at least five on this team to break 23:00 (19:09 5k), it’s just a matter of if it’ll be this fall, or 2018. Moravian has never been able to do that in my time here, but I truly feel this group can achieve that. With that said, they have to put in the work. However, we have some extremely devoted and focused athletes who I’m confident are ready, willing, and able to do the work necessary to continue to sustain our tradition of being one of the best distance running programs in the region.
2016 Women's Recap - January 4, 2017
The 2016 Cross Country season was a successful one for the Greyhounds. Going into this year we were loaded with youth so we anticipated some growing pains. Nearly half of our roster was freshmen so there were adjustments to the longer racing distances, life in college, and a change in training styles.
Despite that, we accomplished a lot of great things. On the men's side we had seven athletes break the 28:00 barrier. Five of them will be returning next fall and only two of them will be juniors next year so the future is very bright. There hasn't been this much enthusiasm for cross country in our men's program since I've been here and with some good talent coming in next fall to supplement the roster, there is a lot to look forward to in the future with the program. One of our main goals next year will be to get our top five under 27:00 and a couple to flirt with 26:00. If we can do that, we'll be able to be in contention for a top 10 spot in the Region. Considering the slowest of our top five returners ran 27:15 last year, I think this is a very realistic goal.
On the women's side we had five athletes crack the 24:00 barrier including Meg Brockett who set the new school record at 21:06. Both she and Sarah went 1-2 at Landmarks, 2nd and 12th at Regionals, and then 35th and 112th at the NCAAs in Louisville. It was Moravian's first women's XC All American since 2001, and the most women we've sent to NCAAs since that time as well. The young 'Hounds are looking great, most notably the trio of Katie Mayer, Carly Danoski, and Ashley Mayer. Katie was only three places from going to NCAAs as a freshman, and both Carly and Ashley broke the 24:00 barrier so that's an incredible trio to build around for the next four years.
This is a tight knit group as you can see in the picture below who are all eager to work. They'll be a great representative of the program for years to come.
2016 Women's Season Preview - September 4, 2016
We knew two things about the team headed into the season. Meg and Sarah are really good, and we have a very talented, albeit young pack behind them. The track credentials of our incoming freshmen are as good as I’ve ever had in 11 years of coaching with four sub 5:20 milers, another sub 12:00 3200 runner, and some other athletes whose best days are clearly in front of them. Similar to the men, the question is whether they can adapt from the track to the cross country course and the 6k distance.
With Meg and Sarah, they’re running at a level as good as any female athlete I’ve coached. Meg just became the fourth fastest Moravian 6ker in school history on Friday night. The three in front of her on the list were All Americans! Sarah Hughes opened up almost a minute faster than last year at Lehigh, and last season she came within 20 seconds of NCAAs. They surprise me each day with how well they’re running.
The next main pack has had to nurse some injuries and some adjustments to college, but all of a sudden in the middle of last week they started to take off with workouts. Larissa Strycharz is running the best workouts of her Moravian career, and just in the past few days Katie Mayer, Rachel Mikols, Ashley Rohrer, and Carly Danoski ascended to a new level. All five broke 25:00 in their first 6k of the season, and getting all five under 24:00 by Paul Short in early October is a very realistic and exciting goal.
We’re still getting a few key players back from injuries and other setbacks, but as long as this group continues to bring the enthusiasm and work ethic that they have thus far, I don’t even know what the ceiling is for them. There are big things on the horizon for this group!
2014 Season Review - November 17, 2014
On September 20th, after our meet at Dickinson I pulled the team into a hallway and told them that this was the most talented team I’ve ever coached. Jillian Troisi and Meg Brockett were rapidly ascending. Devon and Emily were in the best shape of their lives. Claire, our #1 runner who missed NCAAs by 0.85 seconds last year was bouncing back from some early-season setbacks. Sarah Hughes and Meredith Colton were right with our top 5 in workouts. I felt we had a shot at a top 5 finish in the region, which could put us in contention for NCAAs considering the historical strength of our region.
Apparently I jinxed us because within the next month, Claire developed Achilles tendonitis and a few other ailments that kept her out of running for about 1.5 weeks, and restricted it for another 1.5. Devon pulled her soleus in the middle of the race at Princeton which led to 10 days of non-running heading into Landmarks, and a mix of rest days and modified running for the remainder of the season. Meredith, our top freshman through Paul Short strained a quad that ultimately ended her season.
In the end, we lost about 8 weeks of combined training for our #1, 3, and 5 runners in the last half of the season, and needless to say, no team can absorb that kind of a hit without a drop in performance. Despite that, the team ran to the best of their abilities at Landmarks. Emily beat all but E-Town’s top pack. Meg continued with her steady self, and Jillian completed her unprecedented ascension from our #11 runner in August to #11 in the conference. Devon, Claire, and Meredith gritted their teeth through their ailments and that all added up to a 3rd place finish with the best effort we could have put forth that day.
As I expressed to a number of the athletes on the team, my frustration was to that point in the season we never showed what we were capable of. We all knew what we could have been, we just hadn’t shown it yet, and in many instances due to circumstances beyond our control. Regionals gave us one last chance to prove who we were.
This last week of training, Claire and Devon took one last weekend off and came back on Monday. Albeit with about a month of hindered fitness, they were as healthy as they had been since Paul Short. Emily, Meg, Jillian, and Kirsten were all flying through workouts effortlessly.
Finally, after a season of waiting, we came together on the same day with the best race we had in us. Despite the setbacks we sustained, Emily earned All Region in 29th place, Meg and Jillian were just 5 and 6 spots respectively from the top 35 All Region designation, Claire bounced back to finish 67th, and Kirsten and Devon both finished in the 80s. Our #6 on Saturday finished better than our #3 did in 2013, and we set four PRs (Emily, Meg, Jillian, Kirsten) on one of the tougher courses of the season.
Every team has their setbacks and can all play the “what if” game at season’s end. With that said, Claire and Devon were in front of Meg and Jillian up through mid-October, not only in races, but consistently in training. It’s not too unrealistic to think that if not for their setbacks, our #5 runner from Saturday could/would have been Jillian in 41st place, giving us a team score under 200. For some perspective, the 4th and 5th place teams yesterday scored 170 and 190 respectively. They don’t hand out trophies for what coaches think their teams should/could have been because everyone has hiccups and speed bumps during the season. However, I say this for perspective on how strong this year’s team really was.
As I expressed to the team in a wrap-up message, finishing 8th when you have major and even season-ending setbacks to 60% of your scoring runners is incredible, and a testament to their work ethic. Emily, Devon, and Claire led the charge as seniors showing how important it is to pay attention to details. We rarely ran distance runs averaging slower than 7:30/mile pace. They maximized every workout, lifting session, and run. They committed to the process and summer training and were one of the best teams I’ve worked with, both in terms of talent, and work ethic.
We’re going to take a big hit with respect to talent and leadership with Devon, Claire, and Emily graduating. The seniors helped to turn the corner with our program, and I’m now expecting our frosh/soph group to carry the torch. I don’t know that we’ll ever match the remarkable run of success that Coach Will-Weber and his teams of the 1990’s and early 2000’s established here. However, as I’ve consistently expressed to recruits and our team, that is what we’re striving towards. We had a great last two seasons that I expect to be stepping stones thanks to a great senior group, and now it’s up to our motivated and talented underclassmen to continue this program’s ascension.
2014 Off to Strong Start at Lehigh Meet - September 4, 2014
On Friday we started our cross country season over at Lehigh with a 6k race. For the most part we don’t get too concerned with the results of the first few meets. They’re just a good way to shake off the rust, acclimate to racing, assess where we’re at, and then work to improve on tactics. Lehigh is a really nice opener for us since it’s a course that we’re very familiar with and the competition is good but not overwhelming.
Up front, we had some really good performances. Emily, Meg, and Devon, despite getting out a little too quickly (all sub 6:09 first mile) managed to run within 30 seconds of where they finished on the same course at Regionals in 2013. Considering Claire and Emily improved nearly two minutes from August to November last year, to already be within 30 seconds of where we finished last season is a very encouraging sign of what’s on the horizon this season. Sarah and Claire are in great shape, but unfortunately their races didn’t reflect that yesterday. Claire has been dealing with some nagging tendonitis that flared up on Friday, although she’s already back to normal training now. The 6:08 opening mile for Sarah proved to be just a bit too fast. She’s in great shape, though, running 5:31 at our mile time trial on Monday so she’ll be just fine and I’m confident will be under 24:00 by October.
Freshman Meredith Colton by her own admission had a pretty inconsistent summer of training. However, we’re already seeing big improvements in her workouts from the first day of practice to now, and then her 24:39 performance yesterday was a great starting point to her season. I expect her to improve exponentially throughout the fall and be a big asset for us. Jessie Goldberg also had an up and down summer, but started off with a strong opening time and she too should improve by leaps and bounds the next few months.
Larissa is battling a minor muscle issue in her leg that flared up again yesterday, but with a little recovery she should be back to what she’s capable of. Freshmen Christine Hughes and Jillian Troisi are adapting to 6k, but I expect to see big improvements from them in the coming weeks as well.
Overall it was a decent first meet for us. We know what we need to work on individually and what we need to focus on for training. We have a break for the next few weeks which will be a good time to focus on training and heal up some nagging injuries like Kirsten’s minor ankle sprain, Claire’s tendonitis, and Larissa’s muscle strain. We may run a few people in two weeks at Muhlenberg, but for the most part we won’t race again until Sept. 20th at Dickinson when we preview the Regional course.
2014 Cross Country Getting Ready to Run - August 28, 2014
We’re starting to get into the usual weekly routine after our preseason up in Jim Thorpe and hosting the alumni meet. Aside from a minor sprained ankle on the Canal Path this week it’s been a good start these first few weeks.
As with the men, one of the early tests to see where we’re at is a mile time trial on the track, and the early signs show we’re much improved from last year. In 2013 we had three runners under 5:42, but on Monday we wound up having six, and that doesn’t include Meg Brockett who would have been a seventh if it weren’t for a virus she picked up over the weekend. It’s clear not only from the mile time trial, but some other workouts that we’ve run thus far that Meg, Sarah Hughes, and Devon Bedell have made huge improvements from last year and are already in at least as good of shape as they were at the end of the 2013 cross country season. If they continue to improve, I think all three could be under 23:30 this season.
Emily Lambright and Claire DelCasale are in great shape as well, and ready to continue to lead our team this year. Additionally, we have some strong freshmen that could make an impact, most notably Meredith Colton, a former District 11 XC Champ, who is starting to round into good shape. Kirsten Lebo and Christine Hughes ran well in our alumni tempo/time trial, but unfortunately Kirsten was the one who rolled her ankle on Tuesday. Our conference is as strong as it has ever been with the addition of Elizabethtown and return of a strong Scranton squad. However, I also feel that if everything comes together, this could be one of the better teams we’ve had here at Moravian since the early 2000’s. It all starts tonight at Lehigh at 5:30pm so feel free to come out and cheer on the 2014 Hounds.
“Icing” in the Lehigh River after a run up in Jim Thorpe
2013 Cross Country Season Set to Begin - August 29, 2013
The team has been back at Moravian for about a week now, we already spent a few days up in Jim Thorpe running, we had our CC alumni race/event, and now we’re ready to get started with the season. In the eight years that I’ve coached cross country, I’ve always had a mile time trial within the first five days of practice. Although admittedly it’s not the perfect predictor of cross country success, it’s just long enough to expose a lack of fitness, but short enough so that people who haven’t raced in months aren’t afraid to fully exert themselves, and as a result it serves as a good fitness barometer to start off the season with.
Last year at the time trial our top runner ran the 1600 in 5:53. On Monday night our 7th fastest runner ran faster than that 5:53, we had six women run 5:43 or faster, and of those, three ran between 5:31-5:35. I’d be happy if we were running those times in the middle of indoor track, but the women are now running that off of base training in late August! As I alluded to above, a mile on Mondo is a lot different than 6k on hills/grass, and we’ve got over two months until our Championship season starts, during which we have to stay focused, motivated, and healthy. However, it’s clear that the women put in the work over the summer and are in the best shape of their lives. We start off the season over at Lehigh with a 6k at 10:30 am on Saturday. If you have some time, come out and cheer on the ‘Hounds!
Cross Country Alumni 2013 - August 27, 2013
Over the weekend we had the second annual alumni CC event at Monocacy Park. Although it was a little on the warm side, the weather otherwise cooperated making for an enjoyable evening. We had about 30 alums, current athletes, and even dogs complete the race (results pictured below) along with a number of other alums who cheered everyone on during the 2 mile race through Monocacy Park. We followed that up with a children’s race of about 400 meters, and the pictures for both of these races can be seen on our Moravian XC TrackandField facebook page.
We then had a cookout down near the waterfall along Monocacy Creek and later relocated to Bob Thear’s house. It was a great time for me as I got to hear some stories of a few athletes and teams narrowly missing XC NCAAs in the late ‘90s, some of the tough runs up South Mountain that Coach Webs used to start the season off with, and Emily Shertzer brought back some great newspaper articles highlighting the 2001 women’s team that ended up finishing 3rd at NCAAs. When I was still a junior at UW-Stevens Point I remembered watching the women race at Augustana with Heidi finishing second to Dana Boyle and the women placing 3rd on an unseasonably warm day for November in Illinois – little did I know that I’d be working for the ‘Hounds 10 years later! It’s great to hear the old stories, not only about racing, but also the good times everyone had when they were here at Moravian, so I strongly encourage people to continue to attend these events so that you too can reminisce and reconnect with friends and teammates.
Next year we’re hoping to have the same event on the same weekend, we’ll just try to host the events on Saturday rather than on Friday. Mark your calendars now for August 23rd, 2014, we’d love to see you all again for the 3rd annual CC alumni event!
From time to time, Director of Cross Country Jesse Baumann will give an update on the program.