The conversation went something like this:
Nick Simpson points out a flock of birds and says they look cool.
Ben Withbroe explains how the scientific community is at odds about how birds are able to maneuver in unison.
Coach Eric DaSilva calls Withbroe a geek and asks Simpson if he has any goals for this season.
Simpson replies, "Usually you tell me my goals."
Withbroe tells Simpson, "Your goal is to win counties and I'll finish second."
As eccentric as the pair is, it is hard to imagine one without the other. Simpson has the undeniable strength and ability. Withbroe has the passion and competitive instinct. The dynamic duo that captured everyone's attention as freshmen three years ago is now staring senior year straight in the face. Well, Withbroe is, anyway. Simpson is staring at the birds.
It was a Thursday evening practice...boys only. DaSilva split up the boys and girls because it was the first day in the weight room. Splitting the squad allows each individual to become more acquainted with the sparse equipment.
Before hitting the weight room, there was a track workout to be done. The assignment for the top guys was two easy miles, 5k tempo run, and two easy miles.
"The purpose of the tempo is to be even," DaSilva emphasized to the younger runners. "There is no better place to learn how to pace yourself than the track. We are working on pacing today."
Withbroe and Simpson teamed up with former Einstein runners Sebi Devlin-Foltz and Andrew Ceruzzi to run a 5:40 target mile pace.
The quartet clocked 5:40, 5:44, 5:34, 0:41 for an overall time of 17:39.
Rising sophomore Lyle Wilson, who plays tennis in the spring, hammered out 86 second laps with DaSilva to complete the 5k in 17:55, faster than any of his freshman cross country 5k races.
Einstein's other talented sophomore, Rory Lewis, was not at practice, but DaSilva guarantees that the talented swimmer is in great shape.
"We have talented front-runners. Others are not exactly sure what they can do. If they can get over that we can be very good."
He added that he was just as excited for the Einstein girls team. Lead runner Lauren Logan clocked 23:00 in her morning 5k tempo run.
"The girls are very quietly making a lot of progress."
Although today's practice was on the track, almost every Einstein workout consists of hill accelerations.
"All I care about is finishing strong. All I care about is Hereford."
Withbroe and Simpson's 5k tempo lap splits