Hiller XC Teams Take TVL, Coaches Named "Coach of the Year!"

contribute's picture

"We did it!" said Coach Jen Fairbanks. Both the boys and girls' teams won the TVL League. Both coaches won Coach of the Year for the League. Shelby Aarden won MVP of the League. And, today both teams advance to All-States. The girls have done it many times, but this is the first time that the boys' team has advanced to states as a team. "We have advanced as individuals, but not as a team." So, the Hillers will travel to Northfield Mt. in Northfield, MA next Saturday for All-States.

"It was a tough week to practice with the Nor'Easter really on Wednesday and Thursday, but we got our speed workout in on the day off on Tuesday and got the best weather." The Hillers ran outside both days in the Nor'Easter because that is what they do. Fairbanks said, "We train through anything to prepare for everything." On Wednesday, the boys ran all the field perimeters to practice running on fields because that was what today would be at Wrentham. On Thursday, they ran the little hill at EMC playground to experience the little rolling hills at Wrentham, but not too hard to over do it close to States. Hiller #4 guy, Kyle Driscoll, got really sick after our last race last Saturday and was out the entire week. We are allowed to have 10 runners continue to practice with the idea that 7 will actually run at States and the other 3 are "understudies" and train all week with the team and come ready to run at States because you never know what might happen. So, Kyle stepped aside after working so hard all season to get to States and junior Sean Webster and sophomore Derek Winshman were able to step in and that they did. They placed 4th and 5th respectively. Derek just raced at Wrentham last Saturday and learned a lot from that race. He thought his first mile was too fast because he was too tired for the second mile, so he aimed to go out a little slower and it was the smart thing to do. He slowly worked his way up to 5th place for our team and had a better time than last week.

The Hillers are in Division 4 out of 6. They run Div 6,, 5, 4 in the morning and then 3, 2, 1 in the afternoon. Out of the morning divisions, each division will advance the top 4 teams. Then, there is one wild card spot available and that goes to the 5th team in one of the divisions (6-4) that has the best top 5 team time. "I saw the results posted for the other two divisions and knew we had to beat a time of 1 hour and 27 minutes flat. We were at the awards ceremony and still didn't know if maybe we placed 4th or did we get the wild card, or nothing?" They advance 4 teams and remove those people from the results so that the top 10 indivduals would move on. They announced that we had three moving on - Pat, Corey, and Evan. "So, we wondered, did that mean we didn't get the wild card." "Then, they finally announced our team time of 1 hour and 26 minutes and 46 seconds - we won by 14 seconds!" Turns out it was a good thing that Hiller #5 guy, Derek, ran so smart and took 7 seconds off last weeks time. "We were ecstatic both girls and boys were advancing."

To see more photos from the meet, Click Here.