S: HC Cross Country 2011
BC: "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
FC: Cross Country 2011 | Holland Christian High School
1: "...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagle they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31&32
2: The warm up | The start | Grand Haven Invitational Aug. 27, 2011 | The race | It was a hot, humid day even though it was only 10 a.m.. The coach told Zach to take it easy on the 1st mile and be around 20th and then speed up once they were in the shade of the woods. He did exactly that, zooming past people on the huge hill they had to run twice.
3: 7th out of 200 boys 17:30 | The finish
4: The start | September 10, 2011 Christian Schools Invite "Following a long two week layoff, Holland Christian's cross country teams headed to South Christian's Athletic Complex to take part in the annual Christian Schools Invitational. With a plethora or runners throughout the course, the maroon and white joined the mix sending out both of their teams on a nice morning for a run. Leading the boys team was senior Zach Ailes who once again paced the Maroons with a sixteenth place finish in a time of 17.26. He was the only Maroon in the top thirty but the team did receive strong runs from Nathan Mulder (19.19), Jordan Meyer (19.35), Nathan Vance (19.55) and Michael Sikorski (20.29) to round out the scoring five. Using those scores, the maroon and white boys team finished in eighth place." -Tyler Spalding | This was a tough field with Calvin Christian's state -winning team returning.
5: Zach and this runner pace off each other for a most of the race | The last few feet before the finish
6: The | f | The first conference win!! Hamilton duo with Zeeland West | Coach DeKruyter gives Zach some last minute directions. | The start | It was a very windy day and the course was very confusing causing many runners (including Zach) to make wrong turns. In spite of that, Zach pulled ahead right at the beginning and stayed there the whole race coming across the finish line 1st with a time of 18:14.
7: Here we go... | B-bye!
8: Lowell Invitational It was a beautiful day for a cross country race: 55 and sunny. Zach was in the lead pack right from the beginning (in7th here). Spencer is in 9th. | The first mile was really fast at 5:15
9: Spencer and Zach ran right behind Mitch from East the whole race, but made a move 1/2 mile from the finish and passed him. Unfortunately Zach's back spasmed and he couldn't get his legs to move through the last 1/4 mile finishing 7th overall with a time of 17:40. | Ouch!
10: The start | Johnson Park Wednesday, September 27 It was a really rainy day that cleared up for the race. The course was really muddy, but Zach lead the whole race finishing in 17:49 in front of John Sattler. | Coach Dekryter gives the team last minute instructions
11: Zach really pulled ahead coming down the big hill and held that lead through the finish. | Coming off the hill | John tried to stay with Zach the whole race.
12: Ridgepoint: Versus Hamilton and Wyoming Rogers "...As the starting gun sounded, the Maroons headed off hoping to take advantage of the perfect conditions. Despite a blazing time (17:46), and 2nd place finish from Zach Ailes, the boys' cross team found themselves in need of a strong finish from their pack in order to defeat Hamilton. Even though five of HC's runners crossed prior to Hamilton's fifth runner, the Hawkeye's top four earned enough points to allow them to narrowly defeat Holland Christian by a score of 28-29. The effort was good enough however for the maroon and white to defeat Rogers 23-28." -Tyler Spaulding
13: The Hamilton runner took off really fast for the first lap of the course. At the hill the first time up Zach and the Rogers runner passed him and ran neck and neck the rest of the race. It was a sprint for the finish and Zach was narrowly edged out for 1st by 1 second! | Ridgepoint is such a fun race for spectators since we can stand on top of the huge hill and watch the runners far on the other side of the lake winding their way to the hill, up and around the course a second time finishing 100 meters after the top of the hill.
14: PORTAGE "Despite the less than ideal temperatures, both Holland Christian teams seemed to adapt well with nearly sixty percent of the team running their personal best. The boys took to the line and Zach Ailes shot off the starting line and never looked back. The senior swept his way through the course en route to a time of 17:06 allowing the maroon and white runner to medal on the day." -Tyler Spaulding | Zach ran the most consistent race of his season; 3 miles, each around 5:30. | Zach was all the way on the left edge at the start, not the best place to be. | T H E
15: Zach, crossing the finish line, his best time this season! | 17:06 | The Portage Invite is so cool because of the number of runners: 275 in Zach's race, over 2,000 total for the day's races in boys alone! The ground actually shakes at the start. | S T A R T | Zach and Jordan Meyer after the race.
16: Johnson Park versus Zeeland East Chix "The boys' race was not close in score but the finish of the race was exciting as Zach Ailes battled with the Chix top runner for the top spot in the entire race. Closing in on the finish line, the Chix runner just edged out Zach for first by one second." | Mitch was first off the line, rabbiting out in front of Zach and Spencer, but we all knew it was anyone's race since each had beaten the other two at different meets. | As they neared the crowd for the first time Mitch was still out in front with Spencer close on his heels. It looked like Zach was unconcerned, running his own race.
17: Spencer cruises to the lead down the hill! | Zach followed, leading Mitch for the first time this race. | At the 2 mile marker it is Zach, Mitch, and then Spencer running a fast race. | Mitch then passes Zach! | Zach pulls ahead for a final run around the park with Mitch trailing a few steps behind. | Zach came around first the last corner for the dash to the finish, but Mitch closed the gap and at the last second passed Zach and finished first literally by a step! Zach said he didn't know he was that close; wow, what a race! Mr. "B" from ZCS came to cheer the boys on...they loved it!
18: "The Maroons excitedly took to the course with great familiarity as HC hosted the race. Byron Center and Zeeland East were named co-champions and HC finished the race in fifth place allowing the maroon and white to take the same spot in the final standings. Zach Ailes earned a medal for finishing in the top ten." | There were quite a few runners in the OK Green with similar personal best times, so we knew it was anyone's race. | Everyone was surprised when two of the Zeeland West runners took a big lead and kept it through the first mile. Zach, Spencer, Mitch, John Sattler, and Tyler from Wyoming Rogers ran in a pack.
19: Conference Championship | Zach finished 7th, qualifying for Regionals with a time of 17:33
20: The competition was stiff at a cold, misty Regionals this year. Zach did not have the race he hoped for, but finishing in the top 20% of the top runners in the region with a time of 17:28 was still impressive! | MHSAA
22: Awards time at the end of the year Cross Banquet | Zach, Mike, and Jordan get their letter pins. | Zach's good friend Dave lettered in the final meet.
23: From left to right: Michael, Kate, Dave, Heidi, Zach, Amy, and Erin