With three finishers in the top fifteen, the Magic earned a fourth-place team finish at the Monticello Invitational last Thursday afternoon.
Early in the year, Monticello has worked on grouping its runners and it paid off at the home meet, as Colin Lyndorff, Oliver
Winsor and Derek Secord all came in within seven seconds of each other to finish 11, 13, and 14, respectively.
“Our focus these first couple of meets have been trying to pack up,” said Coach Dave Wik. “I was happy, I thought we ran well.”
Finishing outside the group for the Magic were Andrew LaVallee (31), Lawrence Krause (41), and Andrew Mergen (46).
So far, Wik is happy with the progress he has seen from both his top guns and the younger guys. But he knows that if they’re to make up ground, both on the course and in the standings, they have to keep moving.
They finished 41 points behind St. Michael-Albertville Thursday, as the Knights took home the crown. But the Magic would like to put themselves in a position to make a run at the Knights by season’s end.
“I’m satisfied [so far],” said Wik. “But we’re making a little bit of a transition to be more aggressive. We need to keep chopping time off.”
With their focus on packing, Monticello has also put an emphasis on running a controlled race, and running their own race. Soon, the Magic will have to throw those principals out.
“It’s time to be a little more competitive, rather than just running your own race,” said Wik.
While his top six runners have seperated themselves as far as becoming the varsity runners, they’ll need to now find that separation from other teams.
Currently, the top three are running around 17:15 competitively, the goal is to get them under 17 as soon as possible.
“They’re ready for it,” said Wik. “They’ve ran three really controlled races.”
From 17, they’ll attempt to keep going lower. Eventually he’d like his top runners down to 16:30, a number Wik believes is well within reach of their talents.
But it will also be important then that the next few runners keep lowering their time to tighten up the gap between the first group and the second group. Wik compared it to a yo-yo, noting that while the second group doesn’t have to catch the first group, the Magic do now need them to at least maintain the gap.
As the year goes on, Monticello will continue to be happy to see its runners in groups. They just want those groups near the top.