Few Oklahoma cross-country courses challenge runners like the one at Holland Hall, yet Jacob and Caleb competed with some of Oklahoma’s elite on Saturday morning.
After the many scores of runners sped across practice football fields and around baseball fields made of grass saturated with the heavy dew of a crisp, mid-September morning, they prepared for the first of the legendary hills of Holland Hall.
Rather than only one long incline, Jacob and Caleb joined other high schoolers on Saturday morning by high-stepping their way up a series of a half-a-dozen inclines that comprise the first of the famous hills of Holland Hall, with some inclines so steep that they require runners to noticeably shorten their stride while quickening their steps (i.e., increasing their racing turnover).
After lengthening their strides down the long decline, Jacob, Caleb, and other competitors exited the first wooded area with 2000m of the 5k course behind them. Streaking past fellow runners, Jacob and Caleb ran across various terrains—including long-jump track strips, gravel, concrete, rubber mats, wooden railroad ties, dirt, and grass for another 800m. During this stretch, their currently injured teammates, ILCA’s Senior Leaders—Emily and Jackson—shouted encouragement and the times of their ILCA high school comrades. Soon afterwards, Jacob and Caleb then prepared for another section of hills that stretch three-quarters-of-a-mile.
While other runners faded due to the challenging course, Jacob and Caleb “dug deep” and endured the long climb up another series of inclines—never walking, always running, always climbing up the hill and further into the woods.
Once Jacob and Caleb broke out from the woods and returned into the view of their cheering ILCA teammates—including Meg, Ellie, and Lily—they sprinted down the declines and “gutted out” the final 1000m of the race across the soft, wet grass, finishing on Holland Hall’s picturesque, red track.
At Holland Hall, Jacob proved he could remain consistent by recording a time almost identical to his season-best 5k time that he accomplished last week at BA. During this solid run at Holland Hall, Jacob outpaced 120 runners.
Shortly thereafter, Caleb joined Jacob on Holland Hall’s track after his exceptional “kick” to finish the final 1000m of the race. Partially because of his strong effort to end the race, Caleb enabled himself to outdistance almost 50 runners.
To support ILCA’s Cross Country, join us at O’Brien Park in Tulsa for Booker T. Washington’s Meet on the afternoon and early evening of Thursday, September 24th when the Middle School runners rejoin their High School teammates in competition.
On the morning of Saturday, September 26th, ILCA’s Middle School runners will compete at Sand Springs at Case Community Center. Just as their Middle School teammates cheered for them at Holland Hall this past Saturday, Jacob and Caleb will join Emily, Jackson, and Ellie on the sidelines as they cheer for Meg, Ella, Lily, and Nick at the Sand Springs Meet next Saturday.
All the Best,