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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : sports : local May 24, 2016

4/6/2014 1:36:00 PM
Aftershock runners devise own game plans, execute with precision
Allyson Arellano, Penny Fenn and Karen Arellano. Photo courtesy of Aftershock Distance Club
Allyson Arellano, Penny Fenn and Karen Arellano. Photo courtesy of Aftershock Distance Club
Micah Swenson
Aftershock DIstance Club Head Coach

This past weekend the Aftershock Distance Club competed in the Puma Outdoor Invitational at Paradise Valley Community College. The meet was spread out over a few days with distance events being run on Thursday night, March 27, and the remainder of the meet contested on Saturday, March 29.

Now that we're into the outdoor season, the quality of the race fields in each event is much stronger. We're getting the opportunity to run with older athletes who are very mature in their racing. It's providing our athletes with a great opportunity to improve their race times, as well as their understanding of racing. All of it has lead to some great discussions on racing. Recently, we've been watching some race videos to break down what other athletes are doing, why they are doing it and its effectiveness.

Leading into the weekend, I had the athletes write their own race plans. We discussed them for the purpose of clarity and so I'd know what to look for as their coach, but how they wanted to race was completely up to them. I was impressed with what they came up with. It was fun having them take a deeper look at the sport from an analytical and creative standpoint. All of them came up with good things. I was most impressed with Penny's plan for the 1,500-meter and how she was able to execute the plan she designed. We've already decided to have her use the same race plan again in the upcoming weeks to see what more she can do with it.

In the Thursday night session, Allyson Arellano led the way for the Aftershock girls. Her 5,000-meter time of 18:45.7 was good enough for fourth place, finishing behind three runners from Arizona State University. In the same race, Karen Arellano was able to run a track personal best of 20:08.5, the first of three PRs she would set over the weekend of racing.

In the men's division, Chris D'Angelo ran 16:29.2, a 16-second personal best over the 5K.

As Saturday rolled around, most of the Aftershock athletes doubled up with the 1,500-meter and 800-meter despite the short turnaround between events. In the women's 1,500m, Allyson once again led the way with a second place finish in 4:59.04. Penny Fenn was close behind, finishing third in 5:03.38, a season's best time. She had to fend off a hard surge from Central Arizona's Leticia Shaban in the final 100 meters. Also closing well in the final stages of the 1,500m was Karen, who posted a new PR with a time of 5:13.90. On the men's side, Chris D'Angelo was able to put together another strong race and finished in 4:29.60, a full 3 seconds better than his previous best.

With only about an hour between events, many of the athletes took back to the track for the 800m. Allyson was able to earn another second place finish with a 2:23.14, more than four seconds better than her previous best time. Karen was able to earn her third PR of the meet by finishing the half-mile in 2:27.36, two seconds better than her last PR, set two weeks ago at Occidental College in California. This was a great weekend for Karen. After running a very smart and controlled race on Thursday night, she put together two very tough and gutsy performances on Saturday.

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