Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Running History, Part 2

Starting middle school was a big deal; no longer would I attend the school just down the street from my house. No longer would I be in one class with one teacher all day.  And no longer would I be guaranteed to see (my best friends) Jeremy and Darrell every day. On the first day of school, I met my new classmates.  One classmate (David C) I had already met on the soccer field, and we immediately became best friends. As we were walking upstairs one day that first week, we saw a sign advertising call-outs for the cross-country team.  David asked me, "Are you going to run cross-country?" I said, "Yes."  And we did.

Cross country practice on the first day consisted of me, wearing my clunky basketball high top shoes, running around the school yard.  I quickly realized that these were not the shoes to wear for long distance running!

My dad found me a pair of black Pony shoes (complete with orange stripe - my school colors) and I wore them proudly to top-ten finishes all year.  I think I still have the ribbons.  My proudest moments of sixth grade cross-country were finishing second to my teammate, the unbeatable Marc Dubbels and a fifth place finish in the city county meet.

Cross-country was never the big name or popular sport, but I loved running.  Practice was always just running around the school yard (which I always liked), and meets were fun.  Our team was good (we went 1-2-3-4-6 in the meet in which I placed 2nd), so I'm sure that helped. 

In the spring, I joined the track team. I got to run around that cinder track (again and again and again). We had a good team again - city meet winners (and I was a double winner, surprisingly taking the 400 and being on the winning 4x100 relay team).  During the season, I tried my hand at the 200m, 400m, 4x100 relay, 110m low hurdles, long jump, and shot put.  I was a terrible hurdler and shot-putter, and was OK in the long jump - though I never had a realistic chance to win, as Johnny Alsup was on my team, already jumping 18 feet), but I loved the running events (even the sprint relay!).

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