Milesplit.US Cross Country Journals
Wade Endress returns this season as one of the top distance runners in the country. Last year Wade earned three state medals in track - and was on the Caribbean Scholastic Invitational U.S. team, where he took 3rd in a PR 1:52.24 in the 800. He had PR's of 4:15.00 in the 1600 and 4:18.37 in the Mile. Follow Wade for the next few months as he journals about her final season.
(Sr., Altoona Area HS, PA)
Journal Entry #8 (December 8, 2010 - NXN and "WE ARE!")
“Mud, mud, and more mud” are the only words to describe the NXN course at Portland Meadows. It’s fair to say my spikes will never be worn again, after that race. 61st is no where near how I wanted to place, but it was definitely one of the toughest and painful races I’ve raced. Not only was trying to keep with the chase pack taking a lot out of me, but attempting at keeping my footing was even worse. Through the first 1k, I was right with the front pack of guys, sitting in 24th place, which is where I wanted to be. The strategy was to sit around 25th, and just kick at the end and make All-American. Unfortunately, I was not mentally prepared for those race conditions, and the plan back-fired, as I found myself further and further away from the lead pack. With 1k left, I was 57th, but a pack of 10 guys passed me. The last 600 meters begins with the hay bails, a slight uphill to the left, and the final straight. As soon as I cleared the last hay bail, I moved up, and almost caught everyone from that pack. I was also the number three guy for the Northeast squad, as Ed Cheserek took second overall, and Steve Sollowin was 59th. Regardless of how the race went, I enjoyed every minute I was out there.
From meeting the top high school runners, such as Jack Driggs, the Rosas, etc., to meeting the Nike-sponsored athletes, it was almost too much to take in for one weekend. My trip started with Margo (Malone, North Hills) being on my same flights, so I got to meet her right away, and she’s one of the nicest people I’ve met! The minute we landed, the Nike workers put us on buses, and we were off to the meet hotel. When I walked in, I looked up, and spotted all the team and regional banners draped from each floor level. I have to give a shout out to my roommate, Tyler Tate! After settling in and getting to the rooms, we were off to the Tiger Woods building of Nike Headquarters. They set up the infamous “Athlete Lounge”, where all the runners got to meet everyone else and just hang out. The highlight of the first day was getting our gear- shoes, spikes, a uniform, warm-ups, a backpack, the works! I did not want to take the uniform off, until it was drenched with mud of course.
Our second day was just as crazy, with it being our course tour. Minus the hay bails, whoop-de-doos, and the mud/rain combination, Portland Meadows has the potential to be the fastest course I’ve ever seen. Paul Limmer is the mad man behind that course, so hats off to him. Once we got our pre-meets over with, we went back to the hotel, showered up, and headed for the Nike Campus to relax and enjoy dinner.
I already gave you the details of the race, since I knew that was the part on everyone’s minds. Following the race, we showered at the hotel, and visited the Tiger Woods Center one last time. The closing ceremonies included a dance-off between the Nike athletes, and the handing out of the awards. Sitting through it, and watching those kids get their awards was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but I was also happy for everyone of them! Congrats to the F-M girls on another one, haha, the Arcadia team, led by my man Ammar, and to Lukas and Rachel!
I just want to say thank you to all the meet directors, officials, fellow runners, Nike, the NSSF, and everyone else who makes Nike Cross Nationals possible every year!
I don’t want to overshadow my Nike experience, but rather, add to it. As of last night, I will be a Nittany Lion next fall! Being so close to home for my family, and joining an already stellar program really influenced my decision. Plus, I think my girlfriend was pretty happy with my decision as well. WE ARE!
Journal Entry #7 (November 29, 2010 - Post NXN Northeast Regional)
One more 5k left, in my high school career, and I almost missed out on it. The NXN regional was probably one of the most humbling, yet difficult races I have ever run. The top 4 seeds going into the race made my PR’s look like mediocrity. With runners like Jim Rosa and Jeramy Elkaim, both sub 8:50 two milers, Ed Cheserek, a 14:40s cross country runner, and Mike Mazzaccaro, a 4:09/9:02 guy, I knew I had my hands full. Before I keep rambling on about the race, my training leading up to this race was probably the hardest it’s been all season. After our cool down at States, the guys and I took three days off, just to sleep, stretch, and eat properly. Those three days later puts us at Wednesday, the 10th of November. From the 10th to the 14th, being Sunday, our runs were anywhere from six to eight miles, and somewhere around 6:45 to 7:00 minute pace. The 15th was our first workout back, and we handled ourselves pretty well.
Monday: 6x600m hill repeats @ 1:50
Tuesday: 7 mile run @ 6:55 pace
Wednesday: 5x400m, 5x800m with equal recovery @ :68-:73 and 2:18-2:25
Thursday: 6.5 mile run @ 6:55 pace
Friday: 2 mile time trial
- Myself @ 9:36 (4:52 & 4:44), Korey Replogle @ 9:48, Dylan Mountain @ 9:54, Tyler Lidwell @ 9:57, Patrick Reade @ 10:32 (tempo’ed at 16:50 5k pace)
Saturday & Sunday: 6-7 mile runs @ 7 minute pace
With that being our hardest week of the season, in my opinion, we got to start our so called “taper”. This past week consisted of:
Monday: (Being all continuous) 1 mile warm-up into a 5 mile tempo @ 5:50-5:55 pace into a 1 mile cool-down
Tuesday: 6 mile run @ 7:05-7:10 pace
Wednesday: 5x300m hill repeats @ 80-85% effort, :65-:69
Thursday: THANKSGIVING! Shh, we took this day off, but don’t tell Coach Baranik!
Friday: Arrived at NXN NE, jogged the course, static stretch, dynamics, 5x150m striders
To describe the race in one word- absolutely crazy! Alright, so maybe two words, but I’m not lying. For the first mile, I found myself right with Jim Rosa and Ed Cheserek. Some might say I went out too fast, (Don Rich), but I was caught up in the moment, and luckily I was able to come back with a kick. At the halfway point, being the top of the hill, I was in about fifth or sixth. Once we hit the downhill to the two mile, that’s when the race broke open. Jim and Ches took off, and Elkaim sat comfortably in third, with myself and three others acting as a chase pack. Going into the last mile, I fell off from the group and little bit, and was sitting in seventh. At the final 1k marker, I saw sixth place dropping back, so I immediately moved up. Fourth and Fifth place were side-by-side, and about 15 meters in front of me. The layout of the last 400 is an uphill, with an equal downhill that leads into the final straightaway. The moment I hit the uphill, I hit it hard, to get some momentum into the downhill. When I looked up, I saw I had shortened the gap to about 5-10 meters, and I knew I had to kick like crazy. In my final steps, I peeked to my left and right, and saw I had the kid to my left (Sixth place) by a step or so, but the kid to my right was in a dead even sprint with me. He may have beaten me by a hair, or a toe, but the results gave us an exact tie with him in fourth and myself in fifth. (Photo by Tim Fulton, ArmoryTrack.com)
As for the team, we did our best to get ourselves into the contention for a bid, and came close. Korey Replogle didn't have the kind of day he wanted, but it's all about experience for the younger guys. Dylan Mountain ran the race of his life, and came up huge for us, running 17:03 on a difficult course. Our usual number three or four guy, Tyler Lidwell, has been battling some sickness as he threw up in the middle of the race, but he hung with our number five guy, Pat Reade. These guys needed another race to redeem themselves, after a "less than best" performance at the state meet, and I think most of them showed how competitive they really are. As for the redemption, I think everyone on the team was happy with beating West Chester, regardless if our guys didn't have the greatest day, which is another statement made about our team within itself.
Now, with an eventful trip to Portland, I have one entry left to do, and it might be the best one yet. Also, congrats to Margo, Angel, Zach and Chris!
Journal Entry #6 (November 11, 2010)
Is it weird to say that I wasn’t nervous for this past weekend? If anything, I was excited. I could tell my teammates were nervous, especially the younger guys who have never raced the course. After the start, I found myself in the top 5 when we crossed the road, and sat there the whole race. The North Hills duo of Hebda and Silenkis took over the race right before the mile, and we went through in a 4:50, so it was quick, but nothing too fast.
Photo by Doug Michaels
Heading into the Aloha Hills, Reece Ayers made his move on the first hill, and put 10-15 meters on the chase pack. Even as the race developed, I sat in 5th, since that was my goal going into the race. I knew Gil was going to sit back and let the race develop, as did Campbell of CR North, but I continued to look around for them. Reece continued to lead through the two miles, and I think I hit 10:03, while I still sat in 5th place.
With roughly 1k left, Gil made his move heading back the gravel path. I responded to his move, and made my way into 3rd, behind him and Jake Kildoo of Grove City. The downhill, towards Poop-Out, gave me some momentum, and I knew I had to make a move for Gil now. At the bottom of Poop-Out, I passed Kildoo for 2nd, but could not carry my momentum up the hill, as Gil pulled away from me a little. Zach Hebda moved up on my shoulder, so I made a small move to get away from him. He responded with a kick of his own, and on that day, I had another surge in me to hold him off for 2nd. These moves put us both and Campbell, within 10 meters of Gil. I’d like to congratulate Gil and the entire NA team.
Our number 2 guy, Korey Replogle, put together a great race of his own, as he grabbed the last medal spot. The rest of our guys put forth a good effort, but they didn’t have the kind of day they wanted. As redemption, the team and I have decided to run the NXN Northeast Regional. If we put together the best race we can, I believe we’ll be making the trip out to Oregon as a team. Best of luck to the PA guys at Foot Locker, and I really think PA could and will send more than 3 guys this year.
I have not made a college choice yet, but I plan on verbally committing sometime this month, whether it be next week or the end of the month. Congrats on Syracuse, Katie! You will definitely wear the orange well!
Journal Entry #5 (November 3, 2010)
Districts and States should never be around Halloween time. All this Halloween candy has me tempted to go crazy, but I have to resist until next week. Last week, the week of districts, our taper somewhat began, but not much.
Monday- We had a small meet called “Blair and Huntingdon County Day”, where all the schools from the Blair and Huntingdon county area were invited to run at our home course. This day was more or less a tempo workout for us, as we took the first eleven places, so I have to commend our younger guys, as most of them PR’ed.
Tuesday- The team enjoyed a relaxed paced run, but it was one of our longer runs for the week.
Wednesday- We had another distance run, but we increased the pace compared to Tuesday, yet it was still conversation pace.
Thursday- 10x300m hill repeats; A stretch on our course stays flat for 100-120 meters, then becomes a hill, which inclines for about 180-200 meters. We alternated from fast to slow, with the “fast” being at :48 to :54 seconds, and the “slow” were :54 to :60 seconds.
Friday- This was our Pre-meet day, so we did a 5-miler, but at a relaxed pace.
Photo by Bob Piccirillo
Saturday was our District meet, and I really can’t complain about any of my teammates’ performances, which all left me excited for this coming weekend. I just missed the course record, set back in 2003 by David Mock of Westmont Hilltop (15:31), as I ran 15:37. If I would have known how fast my first mile was going to be, I definitely would have dropped back and eased up, but I had no idea. I felt real smooth with my stride, as I went out in 4:41, woops. My second mile split came about to be roughly 9:52, which was where I needed to be for the record., but I still came up a bit short. Our number two guy, Korey Replogle, who has been at my heels all year, dropped a 10-15 second course PR, as he ran 16:06. By the way, that was the time I ran last year on our district course, so I’m a little worried about him taking my District record down haha. The number three guy, junior Dylan Mountain, finished in 16:29, which was another course PR. Senior Tyler Lidwell may not have had the day he wanted (16:40), but he still took fifth place, helping our team score be as low as it was. Patrick Reade, a junior, has been trying to come back from a foot fracture, which put him out the most part of September and early October. He finished in 10th place, with a 17:09, and he still has room to improve. The team’s varsity seven consisted of Ryan Gallagher (Senior) and Terry Futrell (Sophomore), who placed 13th and 14th. Not to be left out, but the JV guys almost all PR’ed in the process of taking second as a team. It’s amazing to know how strong of a varsity team I have behind me, but I also know how talented our younger guys are coming up. How could I forget the coaching staff?! Coach Baranik is the man, enough said. I could not ask for a better coach, who got me to this point I am now. Without him, the long-time success of Altoona cross country is non-existent.
This is it, States. How could I not want to end my high school career with a bang? I’ll leave it at that.
For everyone who qualified, the best of luck! To everyone else, make the trip to Hershey because this year’s race, individually and team wise, is going to be one of the best the state has seen in years.
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss, you will still be among the stars.” - Les Brown
Journal Entry #4 (October 26, 2010)
I’ve really started losing track of the days anymore. Is it really time for my last district and state meet?
I missed out on last week’s entry due to a college visit, and just some other school work in general. On that weekend, I visited Penn State University with Nick Kaiser of Michigan. Due to them having the Penn State National Invitational that Saturday, Nick and I stayed at the Nittany Lion Inn our first night there.
On Friday, we toured the campus, and met with the Kinesiology department advisor, to discuss future academic goals and the overview of the major.
Following Penn State’s excellent performance on Saturday, Nick and I went with our hosts. Ironically, fellow PA grads, Nick Scarpello and Mike Mahoney were my hosts. When I “met” the other guys on the team, it was sort of like a big PA reunion with guys like Tom aka The Fluff Luff, JC Rizzo, Sam Havko, Kyle and Owen Dawson, Vince McNally, Matt Fischer, Evan aka Glen Ulatowski, Bernard Bennett-Green, and obviously Brady and Aaron, my old teammates. Sorry if I left anyone off that list haha. Coach Sullivan and Gondak really know what they’re doing when it comes to being successful, so that is definitely on the plus side for when I make my decision.
Photo by Doug Michaels
The week consisted of:
Monday- Easy Run
Tuesday- Hill Repeats followed by a tempo road mile (5:05)
Wednesday- Pre meet
Friday- Recovery Run
Even though I didn’t see much of Zach Hebda and Juris Silenkis during the race at Tri-States, I got some experience tailing Joe Kush. When you take 4th behind those three guys, you really can’t complain. This week preparing for districts is going to be lighter than most weeks, consisting of some easy/long runs, and some small speed stuff here and there. I’ll be in touch with my district results, individually and as a team! Best of luck to everyone at their respective district meets!
Journal Entry #3 (October 12, 2010)
Hey everybody! I’m back with my third entry, and I believe we left off with the Steel City Invitational in Coatesville, PA.
This past weekend, I visited High Point University in North Carolina with Reece Ayers, and a few other recruits. Coach Esposito and the team treated us the best they possibly could, and I loved everything about the campus and area. On Sunday morning, we drove 20 minutes to Salem Lake with the team, and my host, Jevin Mounds, led a 15 mile run around the lake. For the rest of the day, I got to experience the entire campus with Jevin and the other teammates. Reece and everyone else arrived later that day, and the team dinner allowed everyone to meet and greet each other. Monday morning, Reece and I did a solid 8 miles through the local town, which is just as beautiful as the campus itself. I honestly recommend this campus to anyone who’s as serious about their academics, as they are their running career.
While I was gone, senior varsity runners Tyler Lidwell and Ryan Gallagher missed our meet because of the SAT test, and after his test, Tyler visited the infamous Lock Haven University.
The meet three three of us missed was the State College Invitational, at State College High School. Despite us not being there, the team still won the meet, which says a lot for our underclassmen runners and our depth. Junior Korey Replogle won the meet over a State College runner, while junior Dylan Mountain placed a solid fourth. Our other runners included sophomore Cody Nail (7th place), junior Patty Reade (8th), and sophomore Terry Futrell (9th). Our sixth and seventh runners were junior Chris Sinisi and senior James McTavish. Winning the meet with our number one, three, and sixth runners absent is a feat that I was proud to see, along with my coaches.
The next focus on our schedule is the 21st, and we are really buckling down for our latter part of the season. This coming weekend, I have a visit planned for Penn State University, and I cannot wait to see the former PA runners, who now run for PSU. I’ll be in touch to let you know how my visit went, as well as our weekly workouts and training.
The best of luck to everyone!
Journal Entry #2 (October 5, 2010)
Sorry I’m a day late, but how is everyone doing? I’m doing just swell. I believe we left off with the Carlisle Invite results? With the season rolling into October already, the training has not let up, as you would expect. My week, following Carlisle, consisted of:
Monday, September 27th- Pool workout (laps, tread water, all that fun stuff)
Tuesday, September 28th- A hilly 7 miles at roughly 6:10 - 6:15 per mile
Wednesday, September 29th- 600m hill repeats at 1:45, 1:44, 1:43, 1:42, 1:41
Thursday, September 30th- Another tempo; 6 miles at 6:05 - 6:10 pace
On Friday, we left school at nine o’clock to venture to Coatesville, PA, for the Steel City Invitational. Since it was a pre-meet day, we just walked the course, and did a light run (10-15 minutes), to stretch everything out. Every year, we eat at the Shady Maple buffet the night before. The coaches try and tell the team to not go crazy with food, but you have to enjoy everything you can, so no holding back, haha.
Photo by Todd Malligan
Waking up Saturday morning, my legs felt heavy and I knew it was not a good sign, but I tried to forget about it.
I led the race’s first mile, and hit around 5 minutes. It wasn’t necessarily too fast, so I felt okay going into the next mile, which is straight uphill. If you have ever run or seen the hills at the Hershey state course, imagine this course’s hills being their evil and older brother. I put a nice surge as soon as we hit the hill section, and had around 20 to 30 meters on Chris Campbell of Council Rock North.
Now, after you pass the two mile mark, there is a u-turn, and you come straight back downhill, but on macadam and road. As soon as we hit the downhill, Chris made a move and surged past me, and I tried sticking right on his heels. With 600 or 700 to go, he began putting a gap on me (15-20 meters). I knew I had nothing left after my surges through the hills, so my coach told me to sit and relax, but Chris continued to pull away, haha. He ran a great race, so shout out to him.
As a team, we snatched the team title with 39 points, where we finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 22nd, 39th, and 40th. Our injured varsity runner is still coming back from his injury, so we are slowly getting him ready for the end of the season. Right now, I could not be happier with the guys I have running behind me.
The team’s next big meet is the Tri-State Coaches Association meet on the 21st, out at the Slippery Rock course. I will be in touch soon, and good luck to everyone running.
“To give anything less than the best is to sacrifice the gift.” - Steve Prefontaine
Journal Entry #1 (September 28, 2010)
My name is Wade Endress, and I am a senior at Altoona Area High School, in Altoona, obviously. Throughout my senior season, Milesplit has asked me to put my experiences and thoughts, into these journal entries. I can’t thank them enough.
Photo from 2010 Carlisle Invitational -
by Megan Clugh
Growing up, I played football, basketball, and baseball, until the time I went into Jr. High School (7th-9th). In the spring of 7th grade, I quit baseball, to run track. After falling in love with it, I really began considering running to be my main sport, but I continued to play basketball and football as well. After injuring my back going into the summer, going into my 9th grade football season, I quit to ensure that I wouldn’t end my chances of running, and was convinced, by our cross country coach, Lee Baranik, to run cross country. As I entered high school, the love for basketball faded, and I joined the indoor track team, as a sophomore. Without Coach Baranik pushing me, who knows if I would’ve joined the team. Is it really my senior year already? With it being my last year, I obviously have high goals for myself, as well as for my team. As an individual, to challenge and contend for the state championship is my ultimate goal, but to lead my team to a state championship would be even better. States are obviously are number one priority, but qualifying for NXN (Nike Cross Nationals), as a team, is in our mind everyday.
With cross country requiring as much commitment as it does, my summer training was dedicated to reach the high goals that I have set for myself. Our coach has never been a high-mileage guy, and never will be. I consistently hit around 40-50 miles a week, but I couldn’t start until July 1st because of track nationals running so late, and I took two weeks off after the New Balance National meet. As a team, we ventured to the Eastern States Cross Country Camp, held at Millersville University. Coach Young (Millersville) and Coach White (Kutztown) do an incredible job, and I recommend this camp to any team! At the camp, they bring in other staff members, including the Millersville athletes, and local running legends, from the Lancaster area, as well as statewide. James Carney (Millersville Alum and New Balance Athlete) also makes time to come to the camp, and share insight on his success. Even with summer ending, as a team, we were doing 40-50 miles a week, but still no speed, so we were a little worried for the first meet, and anxious to race at the same time.
The first meet, Big Valley Invitational, was mainly a test of fitness and strength. I dropped back, and helped pace some of my teammates to PR’s, as well as running a course PR for myself. We also won the team title there, as well.
Our first speed test of the year came at PTXC2. Our 5th runner, Patrick Reade, suffered a small fracture in his left foot, but we didn’t know this at the time, so he ran the race. To run the time I did, let me walk away very happy because it was an all-time PR, as well as a course record. Korey Replogle, a junior and our number 2 guy, also broke the 16 minute barrier, which shocked just about everyone! Tyler Lidwell, a senior, and Dylan Mountain, a junior, broke the 16:30 mark, which put our pack very close together. Seniors Ryan Gallagher and James McTavish round out our varsity at 6th and 7th, respectively.
Our home invite is always a fun race, and was a major success for the team.
Next up, the prestigious Carlisle Reebok Challenge. With Patty being in a boot for another week (this Tuesday is his last day, nice!), Sophomore Cody Nail was our 7th man on varsity. This race always kills me, and didn’t let up this year. It wasn’t the easiest day for the team either because of Patty having to miss a big meet like this, but you can’t complain about losing to a team like North Allegheny, especially when they are led by Sir Ryan Gil.
Next up, we have a grueling month of strength and speed work, this October, with invites such as Steel City (Coatesville) and the Tri-States Association meet, at Slippery Rock, against the mighty WPIAL army. I’ll be in touch with the next entry very soon. Best of luck to everyone out there running!