Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Awards and Championship Races

Above:  Fifth year senior Rebekah Winterton receiving her award for outstanding community service at our recent home football game vs Oregon. 

Pac-12 Championships recap:  We certainly didn't finish as we would have liked (9th place) despite some health issues among our top runners.  However, the middle of our line up (two freshmen and a sophomore) continue to develop as a group.  Six teams in our league are currently ranked among the national top 30 with two more receiving votes.  The 2013 league champion finished just in front of us in 8th place this year.  We undoubtedly run in the toughest xc league in America...and we love it!  Our gals see it as a platform to improve and be the best they can be. What more can you ask for as a coach?!?!

Regional Preview:  This Friday afternoon in Albuquerque, NM we race at the NCAA Regional Championships.  If we can put it all together we believe we have a chance to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA meet.  It will require our absolute best effort of the year as the field is very deep from 3-10.  If we are unable to qualify as a team we also have two individuals who will be looking to secure individual qualifying spots (top four individual on a non qualifying team).  Fifth year senior, Rebekah Winterton (trying to make it to the NC meet in consecutive seasons) and true freshman Sarah Feeny will look to run among the leaders and earn their way to Terre Haute, IN.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Moving Forward

We took a couple steps in the right direction this morning at Pre Nats.  While we would have liked to finish among top ten we got a terrific effort from all of our gals.  They competed hard and weren't afraid to be aggressive in a huge field of nearly 300 runners.  In some cases, maybe overly aggressive.  However, we got out and into the race and fought hard to hang on over the last third of the race.  Times were still pretty good considering a very soggy track that really created a battle of will over the last third of the race.  But it was the overall effort and mental toughness that was the difference today over two weeks ago.  This should provide us with the boost of confidence we need going into the championship part of the schedule.  Be sure to follow and support us!!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Deuces are Wild and Breaking in New Coaches

The cross country team has raced twice and finished second in both meets thus far.  The Utes were second to open the season at the Nevada Twilight.  Last Friday in our home meet the same nine gals combined for the runner up spot again.  We have not raced at "full strength" yet as I've chosen to hold out our top two runners as they had long track seasons.  However, they (Senior Rebekah Winterton, and Freshman Sarah Feeny) will likely see their first races in two weeks at Montana State.

Thus far we have been led by seniors Nikki Rietz and Lauren Mills along with true freshman Shaylen Crook.  They were 4-5-6 at Nevada and 6-7-8 at our home meet.  Behind them have been two freshmen (Dakota Grossman and Sadie Wassum) along with soph Jessica Sams.

Also...as some of you may know we have a new sprint/hurdle/jumps/multi coach.  Pete Herber comes to our program from South Florida (and Iowa State before that).  I have known Pete for a long time and watched him "pay his dues" and develop into a terrific coach.  Pete coached two All Americans last year at South Florida.  Pete was an outstanding collegiate high jumper (lifetime best of 7-3.25) at Northern Iowa.  Yes...the same Northern Iowa that I attended.  The same Northern Iowa that Burke attended. We were teammates for a couple of years and the coaching tree in several sports at UNI extends all over the country.  Regardless, I felt Pete gave our program the best chance to continue moving forward in the Pac-12 and nationally.  He has coached almost every event and had success in those events at his previous schools.  I hope you will welcome Pete and his family (wife Dawn and kids Ellie and Tate) to our program.

Pete replaces Burke who has moved on to Tacoma, WA where he joins his fiancee, Tracy.  Tracy is a Utah alumnus who recently completed medical school and was fortunate to land a great job in Olympia, WA.  Burke will be coaching at DII St Martin's also located on Olympia.  I will dearly miss Burke as he was a huge asset to our program and me personally.  He always had great ideas and input and I know he will continue to be successful in his transition to the Great Northwest.

Be sure to check us out at Twitter and Facebook.  Pete is doing his best to takeover for Burke on that front which we all know will not be easy.  Burke was our social media czar.  Be patient and he will get it up and rolling regularly again.    

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Camp Wrap Up

Two wicked overnight thunderstorms, a brutal hill workout, a petting zoo, and some great team bonding activities comprised the final two days of our preseason camp.  We certainly still have a lot of work to do, but I like where we are at going into the season and feel like we have several runners on the verge of big breakouts.  Our first meet is in six days in Reno at the Nevada Twilight.






Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Off and Running

Today featured cooler than usual temperatures (high 70's), cloudy skies, and even a few scattered showers.  The morning run featured some threshold intervals while the afternoon run was a recovery effort at Green Pond near the Snow Basin ski resort.   Grilled chicken, cous cous, and garden salad for dinner. 



Monday, August 18, 2014

Year Ten

Unbelievable.  Remarkable. Where did time go?  Those are some of the thoughts going through my head as I embark on my tenth season as the Head Coach of the University of Utah Cross Country and Track & Field programs.  The cross country season has officially began as the team has reported and we are at preseason camp.  As we move forward here are some of the questions that have to be answered in order to figure how this season will go:
1.  As always...with any xc team...can we stay healthy?  We are off to a bit of a shaky start, but hopefully our current issues are primarily minor and will heal with a few less miles and a little cross training. 
2.  Who will step and lead this group?  We have several options with some accomplished upperclassmen.  But we also have some very talented youngsters.
3.  We have obtained some national recognition for our continued improvement and successful recruiting.  How will we handle that publicity?
4.  Could this be the best Utah team ever? (See #1)
5.  Can we get to the national meet for the first time ever as a team?
6.  If the answer to #5 is no, then can we get an individual to the national meet for the sixth time in seven years?  6b.  Could we get multiple individuals to the big show?
7.  Someone will unexpectedly have a breakout year....who?  

Stay tuned to find out these answers and more.  We have a couple workouts this week so I'll try to remember to take some photos and maybe get a short interview or two and post here and possibly our program facebook site.  Question 8...will Coach Bockman still run our social media sites even though he how lives in Washington and works for a different program? 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

It's About That Time

Only nine (9) more days until the cross team reports for preseason camp!  Where did the summer go?  We are all looking forward to another successful year.  Summer training has gone well from the reports I have received.  We will hold camp in Eden, UT again this year.  Be sure to check back for more updates.