Thanks so much for your support! :)
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
And that is exactly why it's so important to BELIEVE in the power of hard work, the power of setting goals, and the power of having those all pay off to make a dream become reality.
It's been an incredibly, almost indescribably exciting start to 2011 for me. I headed down to Disney just after I officially signed my contract on 1/1 with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project (based out of Rochester, MI!). I have been to Disney World every year since I was born basically -- so yes, I've been there over 20 times! We've gone at this time for the past 3 years but I've never taken the step up to the half marathon since I've normally been preparing for 3K's and 5K's on an indoor track and my Coach would've probably killed me for running that long of a distance. Well, this year was obviously different and what made it even more exciting was that Hansons have sent team members down there for the past 3-4 years, so I'd have the opportunity to run the race I've been eagerly anticipating running--as my first professional race in a Hansons-Brooks uniform!
I didn't fully realize just how much extra walking you do through the parks at Disney. My Mom wore a pedometer and it generally added up to be about 5 miles a day, sometimes more! By about Wednesday I got very nervous as my legs started to feel like bricks. I decided--with help from Mario Fraioli (competitor.com running expert!), who was kind enough to help me prepare for the 1/2 by giving me workouts from about December 10th to the day of the race-- to cut my runs a little short on both Thursday and Friday and to go extra slow. Luckily, by keeping in mind this "if a little is good, a lot is NOT better" mentality, it paid off come early Saturday morning. My legs were back under me for the most part.
Getting to the starting line was an adventure in and of itself. Luckily, we had a sort of "shortcut" to get to the front which enabled us to get in plenty of strides before the race began. A record 27,000 people laced up their shoes for the race. AND there was a simultaneous half marathon run in Baghdad-- the husband and dad of two of the runners at Disney signed up for the half but ended up being deployed to Iraq, so Disney decided to have cameras ready so he and many other soldiers could run the half at the same time as us halfway across the world! So, with a little extra inspiration, and a special countdown to the race by the one and only Mickey Mouse, we were on our way in the darkness that is 5:40 a.m. Race time temps were around 50 degrees - cold for Floridians, perfect for us Midwesterners!
I started out running about 5:50's for the first few miles, and then I kind of just ran by feel, I'll be honest! There were about 2-3 women ahead of me for the first half of the race, and then, at around mile 6.5, which just happens to be when you run through Cinderella's Castle, is right about the point where I took the lead for good. I felt very smooth the entire race-- only hitch came as my racing flat came untied with about 4 miles to go... but I never stopped to tie it and ended up no worse for the wear, finishing in 1:17:05! I accomplished my goal of sub-1:18 and won my debut as a professional! Best yet, I had an absolute blast. Who would've thought a race in complete darkness could be quite so much fun?!
It's so great to have a half under my belt-- there is definitely much to be learned from my experience! I know I still have SO much work to do-- but don't worry, I did indeed take time to soak in the thrill of victory! :) I got a hug from both Mickey and Donald Duck at the awards ceremony, and then I had an entire day at the parks after the race with my family! Doesn't get much better than that!
The win at the Happiest Place on Earth reminded me just how blessed I am, and how much faith has guided me throughout this amazing journey I'm on! I logged a couple of 90+ mile weeks in the past month and have worked harder than ever before. Lucky enough for me, I can now say that hard work has rewarded me as I am truly living a dream. Next week, as I make the move to Michigan, I will be given the opportunity to wake up every day and run... for a living. I am one lucky gal.
Thanks once again to my INCREDIBLE support system--my parents, brothers, grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, my boyfriend Steve, my former teammates at SNC, my Twitter friends, and now the Hansons and my Hanson-Brooks teammates-- who continue to post well wishes and notes of congratulations all over the place :) I am filled with more excitement than nervousness as I look towards the future, and a lot of that is thanks to all of you. I know I'll be able to get through whatever comes my way as I make this transition because of you and your support!
I can't wait to start training with such a talented group of women... can't wait to continue to work hard and set big goals... because "NOTHING is impossible to a willing mind."
You've got to Believe in the Power of Dreams.
After all, fittingly coming from Walt Disney himself, "All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them." :)
I hope you'll continue to join me as I take this step in to the professional running ranks. I'll continue to tweet furiously as @knightrunner22 and will try to update this blog as often as my schedule allows! Speaking of schedule, I'll be setting my racing schedule for 2011 very soon so I'll keep you all updated on that as well.
Couple of fun links on my Disney debut on Saturday...
- Orlando Sentinel Coverage (including a SWEET pic they captured with Minnie cheerin me on in the background!)
- Jezebel Blog feature:
- "Off the Couch" Blog Entry from Tom Held of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/lifestyle/113231814.html
Thanks again for ALL your support!
Till next time... Remember, It All Started With a Mouse! :)
Sending you smiles and a week, month, even year of good health & great running...courtesy of warm, sunny Disney World!
-Jenny (forever KnightRunner!)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Today I am blogging to Rally for Girls Sports. I am reflecting on what I've won through playing sports; how they've impacted my life. I'm not even sure words can fully describe how much sports have impacted my life, but I'll give it a shot, because I believe in this cause so much!
I'm going to start out this entry with a poem forwarded to me by my Mom and Aunt, written by an eighth grader. It eloquently describes my favorite sport and my passion... running!
You open the window and the sweet morning air gushes into the room.
The sunlight peers over the horizon and glistens on your face,
Embracing you, reminding you it is good to be alive.
As you crack open the front door the cold air enters the house.
You go for your morning run, bouncing off your toes as you skip down the sidewalk.
You are alone.
There is no one to judge you or tell you you’re not good enough.
It is only you and the road.
The road, hard and black, seems as though it is speaking to you. Complimenting your form and encouraging you to keep on running.
As your feet hit the pavement you thank God you are able to run.
It is truly a gift.
You thank Him for today, for waking up, for giving you a family that loves and cares for you,
And as you complete your run, you thank Him for giving you the energy to take that first step.
You thank Him because you know; you know in your heart that it is a treasure
I think what I love most about this is how it stretches beyond running. That's what I really love most about running, and all sports for that matter. The lessons they teach you beyond just the field of competition. It has taught me the values of hard work and dedication, perseverance, and teamwork. Running in particular gives me an opportunity to reflect on myself as a person. As was noted in the beautiful poem above, as you're pounding the pavement, finding that wonderful rhythm (although yes, of course there's those runs where the rhythm never comes!) there's time to think about the things you're most grateful for, time to reflect on anything and everything that pops in to your head.
Sports have provided me with self-confidence and a feeling of belonging--my teammates are my extended family!
Sports have given me SO many highs, and plenty of lows, too, teaching me to deal with the good and the bad, just like it is out in the "real" world.
Above all else, sports have always put a smile on my face. Both on and off the court/field of competition. Having just completed my collegiate running career, what will I take away most from having competed hard for 4 years? The team dinners, the after-Conference parties, training camp competitions, the Nationals banquets, and plenty of fun overnight hotel stays. I will most fondly remember the times I spent with my teammates-- again, my extended family. The camaraderie in sports is in my opinion, its greatest gift of all. It's why no girl should ever lose out on an opportunity to play sports. There's no better way to meet people and to learn to work together. And hey, one more great thing about sports? Its benefits to your health! Keeps you in tip top shape both physically AND mentally! Heck, running can even give you a NATURAL high! :) Doesn't get much better than that.
I guess I can't pinpoint an exact list of all that I've "won" through sports, but I do know without them, I simply wouldn't be ME! I wouldn't be living my joyful, highly content existence. Sports are my passion, and forever will be, and I sincerely hope every single girl in this country and even in this world can have a chance to participate in some sort of sport and experience the thrill of competition. Every girl most definitely deserves the opportunity to smile, laugh, be challenged, and be rewarded by the world of sports. I know I'm certainly incredibly grateful they're such a huge part of my life!
With Title IX, sports for girls has come a long way in the past 25 or so years. My generation of girls have so many more opportunities to be involved in sports than their Moms did. My mom has told me numerous times how much she wishes she would have been able to be a part of a real sports competition. (I want her to walk a 5K sometime soon so she truly can experience it!) For this, I think all of us women can and should be grateful. We've come very far, but we still have work to do; got to keep the momentum going! So, please visit the National Women's Law Center now to learn more about how you can help continue to expand the possibilities for women and girls in this great country!!!
Thanks to SPORTS for making me in to a happy-go-lucky, fiercely competitive, KnightRunner! :)
Monday, November 29, 2010
I recently wrote a pretty detailed recap of the Nationals race and some reflections from it for D3Sports.com. I think it sums up a lot of what I wanted to write in this entry, so please take a look at it HERE.
While I'm disappointed I didn't become St. Norbert's first Cross Country National Champion, I'm satisfied knowing I gave everything I had last Saturday. I ran until my legs were ready to give out. I was able to end with my best Nationals finish ever. It was a very fine finish to a spectacular 4 years. I am so, so incredibly happy I made the decision to come back for my final season of eligibility!
I want to take this opportunity to remember to thank some very special people that have helped to make this season extra special as well as those who have helped to make my entire college career the best 4 years of my life.
To my Coach: you know me inside and out, and you helped me reach higher and higher than I ever thought possible. You always had the right things to say to motivate me and strive to get better day in and day out. You dealt with my various idiosyncrasies and had faith in me through and through. I can't even begin to thank you enough for how much you've impacted my running... and most importantly, my life! And as I continue to pursue running, even though you may not officially be writing up my workouts, you'll always be my Coach. :)
To my Parents: My Number One Fans. Without a doubt. I think they maybe missed one or two meets TOTAL throughout my four years as a Green Knight. Heck, my Dad even made it to all my basketball games my freshman year when I sat on the bench! They're absolutely amazing, and I know I would never be where I am today without their unwavering support. I may be slightly biased, but I don't think there's better parents out there. :) Same thing goes for my two brothers. They're both football players at heart, so watching cross country and track is NOT very exciting for them, I know, but they come and have supported me no matter what, and for that I am incredibly thankful. (silly side note... watch the background of this video ... those are my 2 brothers acting ridiculous. totally sums up what I have to deal with on a regular basis ;) )
To my Teammates: I don't know what I'd do without you. I came to the team as a basketball player and was so nervous I'd never fit in. You made me feel welcome right away, and I became part of a family where we could all count on each other to pick one another up after tough races and to give huge hugs and congrats on those great, PR type of races. We've had so many good times... FINALLY bringing home a Midwest Conference Team Title...and what we'll probably remember most--the good times outside of running... the team "functions": the post-Conference parties, Ugly Christmas sweater parties, and many other amazing gatherings. It's going to be tough moving on without all of you, but I already look forward to stalking results of your incredible successes and to staying in touch... because just as Coach Augustine will always be my Coach, you will always be my teammates. :)
To my Twitter pals: Steve, who drove 20 hours to watch me race in Iowa, Amanda who I've looked forward to meeting since the moment I began talking with her in June -- it was amazing to FINALLY meet you both in person and I know in meeting you both that I have friends for life! There's also so many countless other runners who have provided and continue to provide me with support and kind words on basically a daily basis! It's been so much fun to be a part of such a great community of runners, to be able to share and relate to both the highs and lows that are associated with being a passionate runner.
Beyond the thank you's, I guess I just wanted to re-iterate how much FUN I have had the past four years. It's been a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but the smiles have FAR outnumbered the frowns! Because of the joy and contentment running has brought me, it has been solidified that it will continue to be a part of my life for years and years.
First, I'm going to pursue something I've dreamt about really since the first time I made it to Nationals. I'm going to try the world of post-collegiate running. I want to qualify for the Olympic Trials. I know it won't be easy, but hey, "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take"... so I'm not missing out on the opportunity that's in front of me. I'm going to go for it with all my heart while I still can. I've only been at this thing for about 3 years, so I'm confident the best is yet to come!
My blog will continue to be here to document my journey as a post-collegiate runner. I'll have to modify it a little bit as I'm no longer Knight Runner, but I can promise you that same passion will still be present in my writing (and in my tweets!). I'm looking forward to your continued support as I pursue this dream... and I again highly encourage all of you to take a chance of your own and chase your passions and dreams, no matter how big (or small!) they may seem!
I'm going to end by re-posting the quote in my D3sports.com article, because I just love it so much and think it captures exactly what Division III and competing for "the love of the game" is all about:
"It's not about getting a scholarship, getting drafted, or making SportsCenter. It's a deep need in us that comes from the heart. We need to practice, to play, to lift, to hustle, to sweat. We do it all for our teammates and for the student in our calculus class that we don't even know.
We don't practice with a future major league first baseman; we practice with a future sports agent. We don't lift weights with a future Olympic wrestler; we lift with a future doctor. We don't run with a future Wimbledon champion; we run with a future CEO. It's a bigger part of us than our friends and family can understand. Sometimes we play for 2,000 fans; sometimes 25. But we still play hard. You cheer for us because you know us. You know more than just our names. Like all of you, we are students first. We don't sign autographs. But we do sign graduate school applications, MCAT exams, and student body petitions. When we miss a kick or strike out, we don't let down an entire state. We only let down our teammates, coaches, and fans.
But the hurt is still the same. We train hard, lift, throw, run, kick, tackle, shoot, dribble, and lift some more, and in the morning we go to class. And in that class we are nothing more than students. It's about pride - in ourselves, in our school. It's about our love and passion for the game. And when it's over, when we walk off that court or field for the last time, our hearts crumble. Those tears are real. But deep down inside, we are very proud of ourselves. We will forever be what few can claim ... college athletes."
Till next time... Happy Running!
~(Forever) KnightRunner :)
** Quick note: for a complete photo gallery (courtesy of my wonderful Dad!) of Nationals, visit our Smugmug Site!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
It's certainly bittersweet, but at least for this week, I'm doing my very best to make it more sweet than bitter :) I'm absolutely focused on staying positive... and of course on all those little things - lots of rest, good nutrition, getting a massage, and taking time to mentally visualize my race plan.
I've decided I'm going to save the reflection time for after the big meet. I'll be more ready to look back on an amazing four years at that point. Right now, my sole focus is on having my best race... EVER... on Saturday.
I have put in the miles... 80 per week for most of this season. I have put in the strength work, I have pushed through tough workouts, I have gotten up early (6 am practices twice a week, baby!) I know I'm in the best shape I have ever been in. Now, with mental preparation, it's time to go out, run my race, and accomplish a goal that has been on my mind for so very long.
I am ready to push myself beyond where I ever have before. It's going to take that to reach my goal; and I guess, no matter what happens on Saturday, I want to be satisfied knowing I left absolutely everything I had out on the Max Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa... because there are no more NCAA races for me. This is it. It's now or never! A quote from one of my favorite Youtube videos (a little cheesy at times, but I love it!)) which, to me, represents the opportunity that lies before me this weekend:
There’s no second chances. There’s only this moment, and then the next one. A test you can only take ONE time. And ONLY one time. If you see an opening, TEAR in to it. If you get a shot at victory, make DAMN sure you take it. Seize that moment. That moment is a crossroads. Everything you want will collide with everything standing in your way. The only difference between making history and being history, the ONLY thing you can count on at any given moment is…. YOU. It’s You vs. Them. It’s You vs. No. You vs. Can’t. You vs. Last Year. You vs. Statistics, You vs. the Odds. You vs. History. You vs. 2nd Place. The clock is ticking… let’s see what you got.
Have I dealt with plenty of setbacks in my career? Sure. Was it tough losing last weekend's race by 5 measly seconds? Very. Do I still have plenty of doubters? Of course. But none of that matters now. This week is about focusing on the here and now. "Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted-One moment-would you capture it or just let it slip?" (thank you, Eminem)
"Life's battles don't always go to the stronger or faster woman, but sooner or later, the woman who wins, is the woman who thinks she can."
Here's to a phenomenal last week as a KnightRunner. There will be plenty of laughter, plenty of tears. I get to share it with an amazing coach, and an amazing teammate - Mandy Whipple - who qualified for the meet as a sophomore! My parents will be there to cheer me on no matter the outcome. My amazing friend, Steve, is even coming all the way from Boston, and I will finally get to meet SteeplCreepr. And I will walk (or maybe crawl?) away from the course in Iowa with a smile on my face.
Don't worry, Eminem, I plan on capturing this moment for all it's worth. I'm not gonna let this one slip.
"Sure I am as this day, we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not about over strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us." -Winston Churchill
“….I firmly believe that any man’s finest hours – his greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear – is that moment when he has worked his heart out in good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious.” –Vince Lombardi
Bring it on, Iowa. This KnightRunner is more than ready for ya. :)
Sunday, October 31, 2010
To be a part of a TEAM championship is something I have dreamed about since the moment I started running here at St. Norbert. Winning the team title yesterday meant so much more to me than anything I'll ever do individually. To watch this program build up and grow to where it is now is simply incredible. We continue to take ourselves to new heights, and I am just so grateful to be a part of it all!
Just about all of us PR'd on a course that was relatively fast but not super flat, so we continue to see just how much progress we've made even within this season! 4 out of our top 7 runners are freshmen, which also shows the poise we have within this team. To be able to step up the way they did at a meet they've never even been a part of before is phenomenal. I can't say enough about all my teammates' work ethics... we are one extremely hard workin bunch of ladies! :) And what's perhaps the best part about distance running? HARD WORK PAYS OFF! In the form of a Conference Championship - the year 2010 forever etched on our Schuldes Sports Center wall, the memories forever etched in our minds :)
My Coach was finally recognized as Coach of the Year, which to me, is a long time coming. He's been here 4 years now and has obviously taken this program to new heights. We're definitely not done climbing yet, either! I hope we crack the National Top 35 poll this next week as a result of our great showing within our Conference, something that has never happened in the history of SNC Cross Country. And although our Midwest Region is probably the toughest region in all of DIII Cross Country, we'll have a shot at making it to Nationals as a team, and that's something that hasn't even ever been talked about for us. That's the kind of changes that have been going on around here -- and again, I am just so very grateful to be able to be a part of it all. And even when I'm gone (wish it wasn't so very soon!), I have so much faith that this program will continue to head up and and up and up. The sky's truly the limit with this program under the reigns of Coach Augustine!
I am so, so proud of each and every one of my teammates... and have never been prouder to be a Green Knight! This season has been absolutely spectacular thus far... everything I've ever dreamed of - and MORE! And in two weeks, I know we'll be ready to put ourselves in a position to make even more SNC CC history at the Regional meet. Can't think of anything better than having my Green Knight family in a box of our own in Waverly, Iowa on November 20th. :)
I loved our fans, I loved our performances, I loved everything about the day. Forever an awesome, awesome memory. I can't wait to make even MORE memories within this final 3 week stretch of what has already been an amazing 2010 cross country season! It was a phenomenal feeling to go out on top of the Midwest Conference (being it was my LAST Conference meet ever!)... and now it's time to focus on an even greater goal. My 4+ year journey as a KnightRunner is nearing its completion... but don't worry, I'm saving the best for last.
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."
"A goal is a dream that has an ending. " -- Duke Ellington
"Sure I am this day that we are masters of our fate, that the task which has been set before us is not above our strength; that its pangs and toils are not beyond our endurance. As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win,
victory will not be denied us.” -Winston Churchill
WAY TO GO, GREEN KNIGHTS!!!!!!!!!
Click HERE to watch an interview from yesterday's meet with my coach, and then with me on winning the Championship! Especially love the beginning of my Coach's interview ;)
Please visit my Dad's SmugMug website to view more pictures from the Championship meet! I tried to upload several more to my blog but I think the pictures are too big in size as it wasn't quite working right!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
The aches and pains of training, though, got me thinking about the fine line I myself and most other runners (especially those w/ high mileage!) train/live/walk(run) on. Knowing how much is too much is something that has taken me so long to come to grips with. Finally, nearing the end of my collegiate career, I have *mostly* come to grasp the concept of being SMART about training and about life as a runner. At the beginning of my running career, overtraining was practically my middle name. I was seeing gains, so I just kept doing more and more and more. Finally, over time, I have learned that if you cross over that line, that is, if you start overtraining, it's going to come back and bite ya in the butt.
I'm not writing this entry today to dwell on my past. Plenty of things I did as a runner in the past couple of years were stupid, but is there anything I can do about that now? No. Live and learn and move on, and that's what I'm doing this season. I finally requested the help of our strength and conditioning coach to make sure I'm not doing too much in the weight room. I finally heeded my coach's suggestion to listen to my body. (I am SO thankful everyday for how patient he's been with me!) I asked my Mom to make me a cookbook of recipes to have on hand so I can continue to improve my nutrition- eat balanced/get enough of the fuel I need to perform at my best! I have stuck to a strict foam rolling regimen and try to get bi-weekly massages to help with recovery. I have learned that once you get to a certain level, it's paying attention to the little things that truly matters to ensure you can keep making gains.
So am I perfect? Have I learned it all as a runner? Psssh, not even CLOSE! But have I matured as a runner, and even as a person, within even the last few months? I certainly like to think so.
When I ran that race at Stanford, ran against Division I competition, ran a huge PR, and even witnessed Lisa Koll make history with that 10K, that fire inside of me, that passion for running, began to burn brighter inside of me than ever before. That passion for running is certainly brighter and more present than it's ever been, and I look forward to continuing to FUEL that passion. (Yes, Steph Perleberg, I'm following your advice! ;) ) I love the challenge running brings every single day. I love all the websites devoted to running and the community of runners on Twitter, on blogs, on Facebook, that can continue to be a part of my life and again, fuel that passion. I love my teammates and the way my final cross country season has gone thus far. (***Sidenote: St. Norbert Women's XC team is ranked in the USTFCCCA Midwest Regional Rankings for the first time EVER, debuting at #8!) I am blessed beyond belief to be able to have so many ways to fuel my passion for running, and as I previously stated, I cannot wait to continue on the path I stumbled upon 3 1/2 short years ago.
I've found myself thinking a lot about my future lately, but again, I am taking the advice of many wise folks and doing my very best to focus on the present, the here and now. As I stated in my last blog post (which sadly was a month ago!), I have a team very capable of winning Conference and going beyond that, to qualify for Nationals. We're making history this season, and that alone is more than enough to put my focus on this team, right here and right now, Fall 2010!
Back to the title of this post, that fine line, I guess I just wanted to express my continual battle with crossing that "fine line" -- that inner voice that tells me, "you need to do more to get ahead!" Even though I have matured in the past few months, it's still a battle I face and probably will continue to face forever more. It's just my nature! (the "if a little is good, a lot is better" mentality is sort of a family-inherited way of thinking :-/ ) BUT, by focusing my attention on things like my internship, on stretching more instead of doing more cardio, and on spending time with roommates and teammates instead of more time in the weight room, I have become smarter and believe that I can continue to stay on the right side of that "fine line." I know this feeling, this passion I have for running right now is a feeling I don't ever want to go away, and I believe a big part of this special feeling is because I have matured/gotten smarter as a runner and as a person.
Sorry if parts of this post have gotten redundant; I guess I just want to make it a point that I'm proud of how I've matured, especially in the past few months, and how it's been a long journey since I first began running but that I cannot wait to see where this journey continues to take me.
Till next time... Happy Running -- don't forget to heed @stephmperl 's (yes, please follow her on Twitter, she's amazing!) advice to FUEL THE PASSION ... and please, stay on the correct side of that "fine line". Listen to your body - it'll get you much farther in running, and in life!
Stay positive, my friends! Here's some quotes to go along with my post today :)
"Don't frown. You never know who may be falling in love with your smile!" :]
"Good things come slow - especially in distance running."
- Bill Dellinger, Oregon coach
"If someone says, 'Hey, I ran 100 miles this week. How far did you run?' ignore him! What the hell difference does it make?.... The magic is in the man, not the 100 miles." - Bill Bowerman
"I run because it's my passion, and not just a sport. Every time I walk out the door, I know why I'm going where I'm going and I'm already focused on that special place where I find my peace and solitude. Running, to me, is more than just a physical exercise...it's a consistent reward for victory!" -Sasha Azevedo
"You must listen to your body. Run through annoyance but not through pain." - Dr. George Sheehan
~Jenny... a.k.a. KnightRunner :)
Race Update: Private College Championship at our HOME COURSE in Green Bay this weekend!!! Should have a very good shot at sweeping the meet (as in, both men & women should take home the team titles!!!)