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Cross Country Athlete of the Week

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Athlete(s) of the Week – October 15 – 22, 2017
The final Athletes of the Week for the 2017 cross country season are freshman Sam Foster, Freshman Emma Helgeson, Sophomore Scott Sritharan, junior John Riker, and Senior Veronica Schuermann
On Friday October 14 we had our last time trial of the season and it was held on the same 2-mile course that we hosted our scrimmage on against BCC in August.  It was fun to see all the major improvement by everyone, big drops in time across the board from our top runners through our pack.  But showing the most improvement on that day was Sam Foster, taking a shocking 5:30 off his 2-mile time.  He followed that up on Saturday at the County meet with a 2 minute PR.  Great job Sam, way to work hard this season!
At the County meet on Saturday we had incredible performances with well over half of our team earning lifetime PR’s.  It was a great day for racing and the kids were motivated and worked hard.  We had three people earn individual titles in their races by dominating their competitive.
Emma Helgeson ran smart and tough in the girls 9/10 race going for the lead early on and making it her own by pulling away and running stronger and stronger as the race progressed.  Emma finished with a big milestone of a sub-21 PR to win her race.  Scott followed up in the boys 9/10 race right after Emma’s race with an amazing finish to pass two guys down the long straight away and earn himself a huge sub-18 min PR and win.  Both of these were very fast times for their respective races and earned both Emma and Scott a spot in the post-season.
Emma%20Helgeson   Scott%20S
Later in the day Veronica ran a very smart race, believing in herself and knowing how to run the best race for her.  She started off patient by watching a couple of WJ runners in front of her knowing that as the race progressed she could close the gap.  And boy did she, when she took over the lead about half way she never looked back and won by a large margin with her personal best time.  That performance also secured her a spot in the post season.
Lastly, John Riker has had a great season and has been our strong top runner the entire year.  Saturday he ran the race of his life and was involved in one of the most exciting County finishes there has ever been.  He went out with a large pack of 10 guys all breaking away from the rest of the field at the start and carrying a extremely fast pace.  It literally came down to the last quarter mile as they all took off. John fought hard and finished 5th overall, just 7 seconds out of first and with the fastest 5k ever run by a Wootton athlete.
Congratulations to everyone on a fantastic season!

Athlete(s) of the Week – October 8, 2017
The athletes of the week for week ending October 8 are Sophomore Anna Baldwin, Juniors Samantha Damonte and Richard Qiao, and Senior Hannah Boyd.
Anna has been having a great season and running in the top 10 on the girls side the entire season.  But on Saturday at the Wolverine Invitational she finished her race so hard that she literally changed the outcome of the meet.  With about 200m to go in the race Anna was a good 30m behind 2 Broadneck girls. As our 7th runner, Anna had the opportunity to add points to Broadnecks team score.  So in the final stretch Anna turned on a new gear and went flying by those two girls and in doing so she secured Wootton the win by 1pt!  Excellent job, Anna, way to finish strong.
Samantha Damonte has been working very hard this season and always trying her best. But she knew she had more to give when it came to racing and thought maybe it was her mind that was stopping her from achieving what she knew she could.  So she asked coach Redmond for a copy of a pamphlet on Confidence and took it home that night and read the entire thing.  Not only did she read it but she took copious notes and on the day of the Wolverine Invitational she even wrote some of those notes on her hand as a reminder of what she needed to do. It certainly paid off as Samantha earned herself a PR by over 1:30 and a 9th place finish to earn a medal in the girls JV race.  Way to go Samantha, thank you for being all in!
Richard is a key part of the boys team and has been a big player all season.  But on Saturday at the Wolverine Invitational he ran in a way that we had yet to see.  Missing three of our varsity runners that day we new we needed some boys to get out and take a bit of a chance.  We desperately needed to close the gap from our #1 runner to our #2 runner.  Richard jumped on the chance and got out quickly and confidently in the first mile setting himself up for a huge race.  He stayed poised and showed a lot of courage as the race progressed and ended up finishing 5th overall in the varsity race and keeping a close gap on our #1 runner,  John Riker. We are confident that if Richard continues to run like that he will set himself up for a lot of success throughout the remainder of the season. Congratulations Richard, we look forward to seeing what you will do next!
Hannah is one of our captains and has showed great leadership all season.  But the care that she has taken with the freshman girls is going above and beyond what she is required to do.  She has helped them progress on the xc course and really taught them so much about the sport and I’m certain has even helped them when it comes to school.  But during a couple workouts prior to the Wolverine Invitational she really worked with a couple of freshman helping them through workouts and showing them what they could do.  She came up with unique ways of inspiring them and even had them alternate carrying a walnut during the workout to keep them working together.  Her extra help paid off big as both of those girls (Angela Parra and Cate Ledoux) hit PR’s this past meet!  Hannah also has been a great observer of others in their workouts and meets, letting the coaches know when she sees something that is noteworthy or deserves acknowledgement.  Thank you, Hannah, your leadership has been amazing!
Athlete(s) of the Week – October 1, 2017
The athletes of the week for week ending October 1 are Junior Maddie Grainger and Sophomore Joe DeJong.

Maddie has been a big part of our varsity girls team ever since she was a freshman.  She has always been a hard worker and tough but she showed that even more at the meet against Northwest. While Maddie was racing she didn’t see a branch and ended up running into it pretty hard, so hard that she fell to the ground.  But without thinking twice Maddie bounced right back up and continued to finish the race, not letting that be a distraction.  In addition, even after this happened, she helped push others and even at once point directed those going the wrong way on the course.  We have also had reports of how much she has helped others get through practice, even when it was feeling really hard for her.  Great job Maddie, keep being such a great example.

Joe has been having a great sophomore season and appears to be getting faster and faster each week.  We have also noticed that his confidence is rising and he has been challenging himself much more in practice by training with kids that he knows will push him.  This type of work pays off and during the meet at Northwest he put himself in a great position, charging the entire way and earning an 18:57 on a not very fast course.  On top of that he earned a top 10 shirt for the first time.  Keep challenging yourself Joe, and you will have a great future!

Joe D
Athlete(s) of the Week – September 25, 2017

Our Athletes of the week for week ending September 24 are Senior Avery Tarwater, Junior Adna Trakic, and Freshman Angela Parra.
During Avery’s four years on the team he has always been a hard worker and has cared deeply for the sport. Avery has showed progression during each year but on Saturday at the DCXC everything came together for him and he had huge breakout race.  Avery was tough from the start and literally seemed to get stronger and stronger as the race progressed, passing kids and feeling more and more inspired as the race went along.  Avery ended up finishing with a lifetime 5K PR (which is not easy to do as a senior) and ended up in the top 10 boys for the first time.  We are happy for you, Avery, keep it up!
Adna Trakic has always been one of our stronger female athletes since she joined the team 3 years ago.  Lately however she has struggled a bit more with the mental part of racing and has been getting frustrated.  She has done a number of things to try and herself through this and there have certainly been some struggles along the way.  But on Saturday she pulled it all together and did all the right things to run an amazing race at the DCXC, she finished 10th overall in the junior girls race and helped our junior girls win their division. We are thrilled to have Adna back racing strong and are excited about the rest of the season!
Our last athlete of the week is freshman Angela Parra.  We certainly don’t want to take anything away from her performance at DCXC, as she was our second freshman to finish and also set a 5k PR that day but we would be remiss if we didn’t talk about what really earned her this award this week.  Angela is not shy and volunteered to show her talent on stage at the DCXC meet this past weekend.  Who knew that Angela had the ability to eat an orange in less than 5 seconds?!  Well that talent earned her a new pair of headphones while simultaneously inspiring the entire Wootton team.  If you need proof, see the video below.  Well done, Angela!

(Click the link)>>Angela eating an orange 

Athlete(s) of the Week – September 18, 2017

The athletes of the week for week ending 9/17/19 are Juniors Shayne Brooks and Jenna Oringher, and Freshman Lauren Ullman.
Shayne is in his first year at Wootton and his first year running XC.  In his previous years of high school Shayne has focused on track and running much shorter distances.  But Shayne has shown he can run longer distances too and has been getting progressively better each week.  He was able to show that off at our home meet as he ran in the JV boys race and fought hard to the finish to win the race over a Churchill runner by .5! Awesome win, Shayne!
Jenna has run XC at Wootton since she was a freshman and has always taken it seriously and worked very hard at practice.  She is constantly focused and always tries to get the most out of practice.  Jenna took it to a whole new level though when she asked to do more last week at practice while still maintaining the prescribed pace. It’s going above and beyond like that which will take her to a new level. Great job, Jenna!
Lauren also had a standout practice last week.  While doing a very hard interval workout Lauren was completely focused.  All the kids were given paces to hit and the athletes had to work very hard to maintain those paces.  Lauren was incredibly focused and on each and every interval and was able to beat her prescribed pace, and not just by a little, she crushed it.  It was an amazing workout and we know she will transfer that new found confidence to her next meet. Excellent work, Lauren!

Lauren U

Athlete(s) of the Week – September 10, 2017

The Athletes of the Week for week ending September 10, 2017 are Senior Matthew Klein and Freshman Nathan Roberts.
Matthew, one of our captains, worked hard this summer and had a list of goals he wanted to accomplish.  He had been running great so far this season but unfortunately during his race at Wheaton Regional Park something happened on the course and he broke a bone in his foot.  Matthew was so focused on the race, however, that he continued to push and do his best.  It wasn’t until he crossed the finish line that the pain of what happened hit him.  Matthew was helped off the course and in a cast the next day.  We are incredibly sorry for Matthew but know he will remain a strong presence on the team and will be back stronger than ever!
Nathan earned Athlete of the Week with his performance during the progression run last week.  The kids were told to start the run at a certain level and continue to drop 15 seconds each mile.  Nathan challenged himself that day and started with kids that normally are a bit in front of him.  He kept this up during his run and had a great practice. We love to see kids challenging themselves like this during practice since these things carry over to meets.  Due to Nathan’s hard work he will definitely be making improvements as the season moves along.
Athlete(s) of the Week – August 2017
Our athletes of the week for the first three weeks of our cross country season are:  Senior Emma Henderson, Freshman Jeffrey Riker, and Freshman Hannah Haledjian.
Emma came into this season focused and well prepared.  She worked harder than she has ever worked over the summer, got all her miles in and was ready for a breakout season. All that work paid off because in our first scrimmage she dropped 2 minutes from the same course last year and was one of our top runners.  Emma proves to be showing that she is going to be a huge player on our team this year.
Emma H (2)
Jeffrey showed that even as a freshman if you put the work in you can have impact, he represented the strong freshman class by finishing in the top 10 in both the scrimmage and time trial.  It’s clear he will be a huge part of this Wootton Boys team.
Hannah earned AOW last week for her flat out toughness.  During one of our first hard workouts of the season, on a very hot day, she actually asked if she could do an extra interval!  Hannah wanted to challenge herself and stay training with the girls she knows she can run with in meets.  We loved her mental strength and willingness to push herself.  Great job!
Hannah (2)

Congratulations to all three of these athletes, we have a great group of kids and are proud of everyone’s hard work!





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