Archers XC Men Win First Overall District Team Title

Archers XC Men Win First Overall District Team Title

6 Archers finish in the top 13
by Coach Tim Tsuei

As summer training began in July, the 10 members of the 2018 St. Stephen’s Academy cross-country (XC) team took time to think about season goals. By the end of the summer, the men’s team decided to set two goals: to advance from the District Championships to the State meet and then to place in the top 3 teams at the State meet. On a rainy Thursday, October 25, the Archers men completed part one of that mission by winning the overall District team title.

These were heady goals indeed for a distance running program that finished 5th, 9th, 6th, and 8th in the previous four District Championship meets. But this team had been looking forward to this 2018 season for the last two years. A change in attitude and training started in the 2017 season with then-freshmen Seth B. and Luke W. and transfer sophomore Aiden S. joining sophomore Colton S. and junior co-captains Evan T. and Josh W. This summer, talented freshman Colin Friend joined to form St. Stephen’s “dream team,” their own self-proclaimed moniker. However, the Archers knew that their chosen sport wouldn’t reward bravado and hollow goals. “Championships are made in the summer.” Most of the team averaged 80-100+ miles per summer month in base mileage foundational training. With this summer investment in training, third-year Coach Tim Tsuei was able to ramp up the intensity and distance of the fall training, with the goal of peaking at State on November 3. The team bought into the training and the necessary commitment; the performances at meets got faster and faster.

A rainy, windy October 25 brought the Archers to the District field of competition confident and ready. This 2018 team is a close-knit team with extraordinary chemistry, uplifting competition, and a strong bond. The theme of the season has been #Strong, taken from 2 Samuel 22:31-37: “He made my feet like the feet of a deer.. my arms can bend a bow of bronze… You gave a wide place my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.” While the women’s 2018 team didn’t have enough runners to compete as a team, they trained just as hard and improved throughout their season, training just as hard as the men. As the rain began to fall in earnest, Annaliese O., Olyvia O., and Kaylinn J. ran their 1A/2A/3A championship 5k race. Kaylinn was coming back from four weeks of injury to run this final race on the biggest stage. Freshman Olyvia finished first, coming in 16th overall, just four seconds off the school record. Annaliese made a huge 77 second breakthrough on her personal best time from last year, and Kaylinn showed almost no sign that her injury had slowed her down. It was a courageous effort by these young women, and the Archers men were absolutely inspired.

The team has had some mottos that have driven the last few weeks. “Leave No Doubt” referring to the goal of taking the overall title at Districts, and not settling for second place to advance to State. “Pain is Temporary” to remind us that giving up during a race would be way harder to live with than the excruciating pain of physical exertion. Just before the District race gun, Coach Tsuei told them, “This is your day.” It was about trusting the process of the season-long training, the investment that they had chosen to make, and running without fear, second thoughts, or doubts.

The Archers men delivered, and in overwhelming fashion. Seth shattered the school record by 23 seconds to finish 3rd overall. The top six runners (Seth, Aiden, Colin, Colton, Luke, and Evan) all delivered personal best times to finish in the top 13, earning All-District team honors. Josh also set a PR with a 22nd place finish. When the scores were tallied, the St. Stephen’s Academy Archers men’s cross country team won the team title by 10 points, earning a spot in next Saturday’s OSAA State Championship meet at Lane Community College in Eugene. We look forward to seeing if the team’s dreams do really come true.

#getstrong #bestrong #staystrong #archerstrong