The past couple of weeks have shown a glimmer of excellence among the runners. They showed up to Manhattan and competed — earning personal records and setting great baselines to build upon. Emporia was . . . okay. It is a deceptively tough course and the weather was not necessarily favorable, but the runners gave it their all. Many improved over their previous years' time while others were able to bump themselves up a team.
Then we have Baldwin. All week we emphasized to the kids how important it was to embrace the hot, humid days because that is what Baldwin is going to feel like. Traditionally, Baldwin is our meet that we do the poorest at and it stems from the weather; hot and humid. This year was different though. In the days leading up to the meet, the weather forecast had showers predicted but as the hours went on, the cell moved farther and farther back, or weakened. What resulted was pure bliss.
At a meet that is traditionally a sweltering stew of thick atmosphere and body odor was cool-weathered and breezy. The wind gusts were a nice reprieve from the humidity and the light-to-moderate rainfall kept the runners' minds relaxed as they competed. Everyone was in good spirits as team after team turned out impressive times and finishing kicks. With the slight downhill finish and the wind at your back, many of the runners took advantage and crushed the final 200m with all that was left in the tank.
And that is another point of contention: sometimes it can be frustrating watching runners slow jog it home, but everyone turned and burned the final 250m on Saturday and I — personally — couldn't be happier. Now, some kids did stop short of the finish line and got passed . . . deep breath. But overall, the success that the teams had was phenomenal and a great step up the endless staircase of progress. The work isn't done, however. We have a month and some change to be prepared for Regionals and we will need to take every race as a valuable learning opportunity so we are as ready as we can be on October 26th.
It shouldn't be too hard; these kids are coachable and driven. Next up: the Rim Rock Classic . . . Gold Division!!!