Sunday, September 16, 2012

A day at the races

Yesterday is what they call a full rich day.  The Galion Invitational, one of the biggest invitationals in the season, was staged on a perfect near-fall day. It was sunny and cool with a slight breeze.  I had to arrive before 8:00 AM and wouldn't leave until almost 4:00 PM.   First up was my 8th grader, fresh from qualifying for the Varsity race.  There were some who didn't think he belonged, and being kids, made that clear.  Well, a personal record breaking race later, he had silenced all doubters, beating two others on the varsity team, and outrunning the students who had been bumped from the varsity lineup by over 10 seconds.  He scored for the team and helped kick them up a place for the overall performance.  Though he didn't reach his timed goal, it was the only thing he didn't do.  Now firmly in the varsity lineup, he is looking forward to using this stellar performance as a springboard.

Next up in the afternoon was my oldest.  Now he has struggled in high school cross country.  For reasons known only to the coach, our team does not compete against other schools on any one-on-one races.  He simply books every Saturday in the fall for one invitational after another.  My oldest, even when he was second on the team in middle school, never did as well in the overwhelming crowds at invitationals.  So an entire sports program that focuses on his weak spot has not helped him.  Nonetheless, he had his goals.  He had hoped to PR (personal record), but alas, it was not to be.  He did beat his previous time by a hefty margin, and given that he was coming off a bad virus that had kept him out of school for several days, that wasn't bad.  Still, he wasn't happy, and is already gearing up to come out swinging next Saturday.

All in all a great day.  We wrapped up the night eating pizza and watching the original Frankenstein with our youngest.  Then once he was in bed, we popped some corn, ate some caramel apples, drank some apple cider, and enjoyed 1982's Poltergeist.  With the crisp autumn-like air, and in fact Fall being around the corner, it got us in the mood for the festivities to come.

Moving toward the top of his team, our 8th grader contemplates the challenges ahead

And then troubles himself to pose for the camera

Moving from behind, he begins to overtake the others

And pulls ahead to maintain his position until breaking his personal record

The after-the-meet activities celebrating a triumphant day

Later our oldest prepares to PR at the Galion Invitational (he didn't make it, but still outdid the previous race's time)

Before the meet, my oldest and teammates take a knee to pray (where's the ACLU when you need them!)

Yes, I do exist, there intently watching the races with appropriate buttons on my jacket to celebrate my awesome boys

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