DyeStat IL Athletic Blogs - Nick Hess - Champaign St. Thomas More - February 2013

Published by Mike Newman
Feb 20th 2013, 3:19am | 2613 views
Nick Hess of Champaign St. Thomas More finishing at the 2012 Class 1A Boys State Cross Country Meet. (Photo Credit: Beth Scheid).

Hello everyone, my name is Nick Hess and I am currently a junior at the High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign IL. First off, I would like to thank Mr. Newman for giving me this opportunity to be a part of the new and improved DyeStat Illinois. I haven’t had any prior experience with blogging, so bear with me in these first couple blogs as I get the hang of it.


November 3rd marked the end to my junior cross country season filled with many memorable experiences both individually and with my teammates. It was a season that we had been waiting for a couples years, and we were ready to prove ourselves. Going into the season we were given the number one class 1A ranking in the state, returning 6 of the top 7 from the previous year where we placed fourth. We trained harder than we had ever trained, knowing that we had a huge target on our backs. We went through the year successful, winning most of the 1A invites we went to, and came into the post season ready to roll. We won both our regional and sectional, and came into the state meet as the favorite. Individually, I had won the regional and placed 3rd in the sectional behind Jake Brown and Jesse Hahne. With those two races out of the way, we had our eyes focused on what laid ahead of us the next weekend.


The state meet was finally upon us, and we were ready to accomplish what we had set out to do for years. The race went out as projected, with Jake and Grant putting a gap on the rest of the field early on in the race. I sat back and led that second pack for the majority of the race. First and second places were pretty much decided, and the race for third was on. Coming into the last straight away, I was right beside Jesse Hahne and Chad French, followed up by the rest of the strung out field. Chad made a strong move and pulled away from Jesse and me. I managed to catch him in the final meters to capture that third place spot in a time of 15:01. The second I crossed the line, I immediately turned to see where my teammates where finishing, wondering if we had that team title in the bag or not. I saw Jacob Helfrich come in all-state, followed by Sam Powers a couple packs behind. Before I could begin to wonder where our four and five were, they were barreling through the shoot side by side with huge PR’s. Just from counting heads of the other team, I knew we had easily placed five before any other team had even placed three or four. The feeling of knowing you’ve achieved such a monumental goal with your teammates and best friends is unreal. We ended up winning the team title 82-157 over a tough Elmwood squad, marking the schools first cross country championship in history. I still get chills when I walk past the trophy case at school and see our trophy. It is the ultimate symbol of a team coming together to achieve one goal. All the hard work and dedication was not to be wasted, but rather combined to conquer all odds.


The next weekend I competed in the NXN Midwest regional and placed 55th. I did not have high expectations going into it; I was just running it to see what I could do. I was pretty satisfied with the effort, plus it was a great course and atmosphere all around. It was a good experience, and hopefully next year I can come into it with some actual goals of competing. With that, I ended my junior cross country season. Although my individual time goals were not completely accomplished, the team goals had been demolished, so I left my junior season on a high note.

I took two weeks off after NXN to just recuperate and give my joints and muscles some time to rest. In that time off, though, swim team was starting off. I joined so I could get some cross training in during the winter offseason. Between running and swimming, I slowly built my mileage back up. I started it off really slow because all the swim workouts were taking a toll on my body. I have finally gotten my mileage above forty miles a week of just running. I usually swim five times a week, either before school or after. Along with swimming and running I have supplemented a lot more weight training and exercises into my regiment. We’re finally getting some workouts in, and attempting to shake some of the dust off. After not running any intervals for a couple months, it can be difficult to come out and run some shorter, speedier workouts. I will continue to raise the mileage as the weeks pass by, but making sure I do so very gradually.


We’ve been taking this off season very seriously and we’re putting in the hard work now, so when it comes May, we’ll be ready to go. For now, though, I’m really ready for some of the indoor meets to get rolling. We usually don’t compete in too many indoor meets, mainly because we want the best to come in May. However, they are still really fun and it gives some insight on what kind of shape you’re in.


Hopefully this season will bring many highs and few lows, just as the cross season did. I’m looking forward to seeing all this hard work pay off. Only time can tell what kind of shape I will be in, but I am putting in the work now so it won’t be left to chance in May. I want to put myself in a position where I can compete with most on any given day. And when I get that chance to do what I’ve been so focused on, I will seize the opportunity and leave it all out there on that track.

Thanks for tuning in to my first blog; I hope you enjoyed reading about my recent experiences. To any athletes reading, I hope all is well with your training and I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the track this year. You’ll be hearing from me soon, as the season begins to take off, but until then, see you all later!

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