It all started on Friday, November 15th and our team just capped an incredible Season with a State Championship Team Title! Want to see what makes this team special? Just read the below email Coach Ecalon sent to his team and realize the relationships that have been built and the love that he shows his athletes. The Girls are amazing in all that they do because they have such a good model to follow.
Excerpt from Coach Ecalono’s End of Season Email:
From Day 1, I knew we had a Special Group and this proved true all Season long. The girls showed up on the biggest stage under the brightest lights and simply went to work! It was incredible to watch. I am still getting chills from last night! So many unbelievable performances, jaw dropping moments, tears of joy, and plenty high fives to go around!
I am simply amazed with how this team would not be denied. The Team Battle was supposed to be a tight one, but we ran away with it and you aren’t supposed to do that at States! We put up 77 Points. 2nd Place had 32. We won by 45 Points!
My Twitter Post I Wrote: All Season Long These Girls Bought In & Were ALL In. Selfless, Motivated, & Relentless. Super Proud Of ALL Of Them! Nothing Else To Say! #together
Isn’t that the truth. Your Relentless Pursuit To Excellence Has Been So Much FUN To Watch! I Am Just Glad I Had A Front Row Seat!
A Few Days Ago I Was Asked The Following Question- Is Winning Boring To You & Your Team??
My Response: No Winning Doesn’t Get Boring, But Really It’s About The Girls Buying In. This Program Is Built On That & It’s A Testament To Their Hard Work & Selfless Attitude. At Meets, We, The Coaches, Are Just A Fan With A Front Row Seat. It’s A Lot Of Fun, Whether We Win, Lose, Or Tie, But Winning Is Just Bit Sweeter!
Enjoy What I Have Written Below, Especially About Those Relays…
How We Did IT
We Qualified For States In 11 of The 13 Events. We Scored In 10 of The 11 Events We Competed In! Projected To Score In 8 of The 11, But That Just Motivates Us More! Points On The Board, They All Add Up.
You See At States, You Don’t Have To Be Perfect. Don’t Try Too Hard. Go Back To The Small Things. The Fundamentals. Trust Your Training & Believe In Yourself! Don’t Get Too High Or Too Low. Stay Even Keel…
Gold: We Won 3 Events! In Fact All 3 Were The Relays! Which Is Very Satisfying Because That Truly Is All About The Team! We Swept The Relays! First Time In Program History & First 4×200 WIN In Urbana History! We Qualified For New Balance Nationals In The 4×400 & 4×200! And Already Qualified In The 4×800 Earlier In The Season!
Harmony Hartje– 9’2 In Pole Vault. First Time Qualifier! Woot Woot!
Lydia Robling– 1:16.89 in The 500! Qualified For Nationals! HUGE PR! 😲
Harmony Is Special. She Doesn’t Even Know It. Watching Your Passion & (Frustration At Times) Has Been Fun! Silver Medal At States, You Didn’t See That Coming Back On November 15th!
Lydia, I Always Knew She Had It. People Were Shocked At Her 500 Performance. It Was Crazy, I Had So Many People Come Up And Ask Me About Lydia. I Have Something In Store For You All At The Banquet. Stay Tuned! But, No, Not Me, I Wasn’t Shocked, Not In The Least!
Piper Jons– 40.37 in The 300! Nearly Took Off An Entire Second Off of Her Personal Record! Qualified For Nationals! Simply Incredible!
Ella Auderset– 1:17.61 in The 500 After Anchoring The 4×800 Meter Relay Team To A State Championship!
Piper, Oh My Goodness! From Coming Out To Stay In Shape For Soccer To Signing A D-1 Scholarship At Elon University For T&F To Individual National Qualifier. You’re Amazing And We Have Yet Another Season Left…
Ella, The Only Open She Did. She Was On All 3 Relays & That Meant We Meant Business. She Ran Great In The 500. Perhaps Not What Had Hoped, But This Girl Is So Incredibly Humble, It Is Amazing. She Loves Her Teammates & Would Do Anything For Them. Herself? Well, She Is Up To 6 Gold Medals At The State Level, That Is Pretty Absurd!
Ezri Scott Soared Over 5′ In High Jump!
From Being Hurt (Still Hurt) & Muscling Out 4 Points At States. We Ain’t Done Yet Either. Proud Of YOU!
Oni Scott Soared Over 5′ In High Jump!
Macy Hines Soared Over 5′ In High Jump!
Jess Kilgore Cleared 7’8 In Pole Vault! First Time Qualifier!
Piper Jons Going Back To Work In The 55 Dash!
Oni Scott. Amazing Season! She Was Most Definitely Frustrated With Her Performance Here, BUT That Is States For Ya! Proud Of YOU!
Macy Hines, SOOO CLOSE To 5’2 & At Least A Bronze Medal! She Will Be Back & Better Than Ever! Super Proud Of YOU!
Jess Kilgore, Whaaaaaat?!? Who Saw This Coming?! I Don’t Even Think She Did. She Goes 7’8 And Gets 6th Place At States! Let’s Gooooooo! This Girl Is All Work & Energy. Proud Of YOU!
Piper, Yea, She Is Special!
Oni Scott– 34’4.25″ in Shot-Put.
Lydia– 41.39 In The 300
Oni, Well OVER A FOOT PR! Wasn’t Supposed To Score, But Someone Forgot To Tell Her That! You See She Didn’t Let Her HJ Performance Effect Her In Shot-Put. That Is Hard To Do!
Lydia, You Already Know. PR. And Picked Up Points Even Though She Wasn’t Expected To Score!
Lauren Custer– 7’2 in Pole Vault! First Time Qualifier!
Same Here. Who Saw This Coming!? You Know The Best Thing About Her. She Made It To States, I Mean, That Was A Shock To Begin With. Then, She Scores At States, Again Who Saw This Coming On November 15th? She Had Already Won BY Just Qualifying To States! But, She Comes Up To Me And Says, “Coach, I Did So Bad!” I Said, “No, Ma’am! You Didn’t. You Made It Here, That Was Good Enough For Me! Be Happy! I Am Happy For You.”
Qualified But Did Not Score: Ivy Coldren & Sara Jarman in The 3200 Meter Run! Such An Incredible Deep & Talented Field. Proud of BOTH of YOU!
Ivy, You’re Only A Freshman. Sky Is The Limit. Seriously. Got Something Really Special To Say About You At The Banquet Too!
Sara, You’ll Bounce Back. No Doubt In My Mind. Setback Is A Set Up For A Comeback. I Got You!
As Mentioned Above We Swept All 3 Relays!
4×800 Meter Relay
Karly McDonnell Lead Us Off And Handed Off In A Close 1st. She Ran A 2:26! Lyna Beraich Making Her First Indoor States Appearance Took The Baton And Ran A Great Leg. Never Gave Up As She Knew She Was Running Against Some Of The Best 800 Runners The State Had To Offer. Her Job Was To Compete & Keep Things Close & To Break 2:30. Overachiever- Runs A 2:28! Super PROUD Of HER! Another Example Of A Girl Stepping Up When We Needed Her The Most! Emily McDonnell Never Panicked. Such An Incredible Leg. Henry A Wise Ran Their Fastest Girl 2nd, & Opened Up A HUGE Lead. Like I am Talking Darn Near Close To 100 Meters! When Henry A Wise Handed The Baton To Their 3rd Leg, I Am Standing Next To The Walter Johnson Coach (The Eventual 2nd Place Finisher) & I Said, Henry A Wise Will Come Back To Us, Especially If Their 3rd Leg Goes Out HARD & Did She Ever! Her Legs Got Heavy. Emily Was In The Same Exact Situation At Regions Where She Had A Huge Gap To Close. She Did It Then & She Did It Now. Went From 3rd To 1st And Ran Extremely SMART! 2:25 Leg! Boom! Ella Auderset Anchored The Team Where She Was In Control Her Entire Leg! Crosses The Finish With A 2:19 Split! 10 Points & A Gold Medal!
4×200 Meter Relay
***Me Casually, Looking At The National Qualifying Time Seconds Before The Race Started. I Saw It And Thought, Ehhh, No Way. Put My Phone Back In My Pocket***
Weird Things Happen In This Race. We Prepared Them Well. If You Haven’t Seen The Video, It Is A MUST WATCH! Lane 1, FAST Heat- Slowest Seeded Team There. Lydia Robling Runs An AMAZING 1st Leg, Running A 26 Second Split, Hands Off In A Distant 4th, But The Stagger Wasn’t Made Up Yet. Macy Hines Is 2nd & She Grabs The Baton & Moooooooves! She Runs Another 26 Second Split But We’re Still A Distant 4th! (The 1st 3 Teams ARE REALLY FAST). Ella Auderset Is Our 3rd Leg & She Goes 26.1! Runs A MEAN Leg! Closes The Gap A Little, But Yet Somehow We’re Still A Distant 4th! Piper Jons Is Our Anchor. A Bulldog. Talk About Never Giving Up? Talk About Relentless? Talk About Doing Everything I Can Do For My Teammates? Talk About A Jaw Dropping Moment? The Race Heard Through The Entire State. Piper Is About 50 Meters Behind When She Gets The Baton (Not Even In The Video When They Show The Leaders), But She Is Comingggggggg! Whips Herself Off The First Turn, Sling Shots Down The Straight With Her Slightly Leaned Forward Tilted Running Style, Hits The 2nd Curve (with 100 Meters To Go) And The 3 Other Teams Battling For 1st Are Jostling For Position And Here Come The Hawks Swooping In Quickly, No Way They (Or Piper) Can Pull It Off. No Way. Around The Final Curve It Is No Longer A 3 Team Race. It Is A 4 Team Race. Pipes Sling Shots Herself Off That Final Curve, The Crowd Is Erupting, The Live Stream Dude Is Going Bananas , 4 Wide On The Final Straight, Piper Passes 1, Piper Passes 2, Ooooh Is She Gonna Really Go 4th To 1st! Shoulder To Shoulder & The LEAN! You Got Chills? Yea, Me Too.
Unofficially We Were Given 2nd, But After The Winning Team (Who Barely Beat Us) Was Disqualified, We Were Officially Given The Gold Medal. You Got Chills? Yea, Me Too.
***Me, After The Race. Elated! I Mean Who Wasn’t?!? Then, I Got To Deliver The News To Them That They Qualified For Nationals & Then About 30 Minutes Later Telling Them That They Were State Champs In This Race! Oooooh, Gosh! Not To Mention, That Is A School Record Too. Oh, Pipes Split? Does It Really Matter, It Was FAST- 25.5!***
4×400 Meter Relay
Last Event. Already Knew We Had Won The Meet. But, 4x400s Are In Our Blood. We’re The Defending Outdoor State Champs In This Event. I Said To Ella & Karly, “Let’s Send Piper & Lydia, The Seniors Off With Another Gold Medal. Ella, Put This Thing Away 3rd Leg.”
Lydia Starts Off Slow, But It Is All Done By Design, She Moves Down The Straight, Establishes The Lead Around The Curve & Never Surrenders It. I Yell, “She Is On FIRE TODAY”!” Hands Off In 1st Place. Karly Is Our 2nd Leg, Literally JUST OFF Her Open 800, Probably 20 Minutes Ago. She Was Down On The Track After Her 800. Her Legs Tired. The 800 HURTS. She Was Also Crying, More Or Less Frustrated Crying (Sorry Karly, But I Needed A Set-Up Here). I Get A Text From The Frederick Coach, “Coach, Your Twin Is Down At The Finish.” I Run Over There, She Is Up And Now Walking Back To The Team Area. I Make My Way Back There And There She Is Between 2 Of Her Teammates, Balling, Crying, Frustrated. 4x400s Have Been Called. I Have Her Sister Ready To Run Just In Case. I Say, “Karly, Are You Okay? Are You Hurt? Or Are You Mad? Pissed?.” She Says, “I Am Pissed.”. I Ask, “Are You Running The 4×400?” She says, “Yes.”. I Say, “Good, I Like When You’re Pissed And Running A 4×400, I Dare Ya To Break 1:02…” She Walks Away And Nods. I Already Knew What Was Going To Happen. She Gets The Baton From Lydia & Runs Hard! 2nd Place, Bowie Goes Zooming By Karly, But Karly Doesn’t Get Flustered. She Sits & Drafts Off This Girl. Then Karly Zooms On By Her & Widens The Gap & Hands Off In 1st. I Know You All Are On Pins & Needles, Did She Break 1:02?! Oooh Yea! 1:01.3, Nearly eclipsed 1:01! Ella Is 3rd. Remember What I Told Her Before The Race? Put It Away On Your Leg. Ella Is An Anchor, But I Put Her 3rd Because Well, I Just Want To. Ella Goes 59.2 And Gives Piper A Comfortable Lead Where Piper Can Just Cruise! She Goes 1:01 & We Put An Exclamation Point On The Day By Getting The Gold Medal & Sweeping The Relays! That Is 30 points Just In The Relays!