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Revere girls cross country team looking to build on season

11/14/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

BATH — Revere girls cross country head coach Jason Milczewski said he is proud of the way his team improved throughout the 2013 season.

“We exceeded my expectations in the second half of the year for sure. We finished eighth out of eight at our first [Suburban League] meet at the beginning of the year, and by the end of the year we were sixth,” he said. “I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but for us it was a pretty good accomplishment. Every one of my girls pretty much finished the season faster than they started. So, I think we progressed nicely throughout the year.”

According to Milczewski, a number of factors played a part in the team’s season-long improvement.

“Of course, there is practice and training, but also, the girls tended to feed off of each other as the year went on,” he said. “As they got to know each other, there was a lot of energy that went into making sure that they boosted each other. It’s a nonathletic thing that has a lot to do with them getting better. At the end of the year, the team just gelled.”

Another factor, Milczewski said, was the team’s experience.

“I had 10 seniors, and four or five of them have been on the team for four years, and all of my seniors had been on the team for at least three years,” he stated. “We also had a new girl who came over from CVCA [Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy], and she had a ton of experience.”

The transfer from CVCA was junior Natalie Pasicznyk, who went to regionals this season.

“She had a great year. She came from CVCA, which is a Division II school, to Revere, which is a Division I school, and it took her a while to adjust,” the coach said. “But by the end of the year, she was running in the low 20s or high 19s, and she ended up finishing second at the Suburban League championship meet as an individual. She finished 10th at the district and made her way to regionals. She had a really great second-half push.”

Milczewski said the team’s most consistent runner this year was senior Cecilia Salem.

“She was a girl who would occasionally be in a certain range of times, and would occasionally hit the 22s,” he said. “This year, for about the last five or six meets in a row, she was running consistently in the low 22s the entire time. She did a great job of staying strong and learning how to run a race and do what it takes to be consistent.”

Overall, Milczewski said, this year’s senior class was extremely important in developing the Revere girls cross country program.

“There was a range of talent among the senior class, but they’re all super talented people. They are an amazing group that became particularly close, and what I can say about them is that they are a close-knit group and such a family sort of group,” he said. “When I first started four years ago, we had 15 girls on the team. This year, although we lost a couple to injury, at the beginning of the year we had 29, and I think that doubling the size of the team had a lot to do with this senior class. It had a lot to do with the way they showed the rest of the school how much they got out of cross country and how much fun it is. I think that’s the biggest compliment I can give that group.”

Milczewski said those new runners who have joined are up to the task of moving the program forward.

“We’re going to be down a couple of runners, but I actually had seven freshmen come out,” he said. “So even though I’m losing 10 seniors, I gained seven freshmen plus two runners who aren’t freshmen but weren’t on the team last year. So actually, I think we’re going to be OK, depending on how many new freshmen come out next year. But instead of 10 seniors next year, we’re only going to have three. Overall, they’re a great group, but we’re going to be a young team next year.”

And with the way his team improved this season, the coach said his team is ready to build upon that late-season success.

“This was the kind of year that I think anybody wants to see out of their team in that you’ve finished stronger than you started,” he said. “You’ve built something, as opposed to peaking and then having disappointments at the end of the year. This team was a team that finished on a high. It was inspiring to me the way that the team got better, and we didn’t want the season to end because we felt like we were going to continue to get better.”

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