Milesplit had projected our girls a close third, two points behind host North Hardin. But those projected results didn't include the addition of our two girls fresh out of soccer season, junior Morgan J. and senior Emily B. I felt pretty sure we could sneak up and grab that runner-up trophy if we played our Cards (pun intended) right.
Then three of our top seven runners couldn't make the race, for various reasons. Disappointing. We've worked hard this season, and the addition of tougher races for us means the trophies have been few and far between. On the bus ride there, I even told our team captain Daniella basically, "we coulda got runner-up, but oh well, just focus on your individual race and stay close to Kayla." I even told Kayla to keep Dani close in the first 800 so they could work togther. "All of you," I said to the team, "are to stay in contact with the teammate ahead of you."
In typical fashion, Kayla tore off the line at the gun like some bat out of Hades, leading the first 800 and separating her and Dani by 6 or 8 spots. No worries: Dani's strength is her second half. Then I saw Bree was back with a vengeance, and what is that! Morgan is right with her! Emily was not far behind to close out our scorers, and Sabrina was cruising at PR pace not far behind.
When the dust cleared, Kayla and Dani were again neck-and-neck in third and fourth, this time both rolling to PRs. In fact, 7 of the 9 girls who ran PRed. NICE! And none was more stunning than Morgan, who three races ago clocked her first season time at 26:58. Tonight she finished third on the team with a 22:04. Yes, you read that right. Amazing efforts produced amazing results, and to my surprise, we pulled out the runner-up trophy after all. The girls were thrilled, and had every right to be. I'm glad Coach Eeyore didn't speak to anybody besides Dani on the bus ride there!
The boys race followed, and they proceeded to put on a clinic about how running with a teammate will make you better. First Morgan with Paden, then Will with Landon (who together actually caught up with Paden), then Winton with Jonathan, then Joseph with Sean, then Spencer with Patrick. I mean, literally every varsity boy was elbow-to-elbow with another, pushing the pace. Iron sharpening iron. Listening, reacting, pushing, and pulling, they looked like the disciplined, smart runners they are quickly turning into. Of the ten of them, half PRed, and the others were mighty close.
I want to thank the guys for always listening to me. I appreciate your trust, and sometimes you just flat make me feel like I know what I'm doing, which is a good feeling for a coach to have. You fellas looked great tonight.
Great kids. Great effort. Great night. It's enough to make a coach proud.
UPDATE, later that night... You know, the more I think about this the more I'm realizing that if we'd have had our three missing varsity girls, we would've won the whole meet. GRRR! after all.
Well, it was still a good night.