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Saturday, October 07, 2006

A Near Miss

As faithful readers of the blog know, I took up a high school XC coaching job this year. While I have a wonderful group of young men, success has not been easy to come by.

Today was our shot. Every year, the seven high schools in the Toledo City school district come together for a meet that we try to make a very big deal out of. I thought we had a good chance to win but we'd need the best each of our athletes had to give. A week ago we got pasted by Bowsher High School and I thought they were our main competition. Our #2 runner had pulled a muscle and had been out of action but looked and felt ready to go today. Rogers High School was a threat early on in the season, but some of their best runners had suffered injuries and I figured they were not going to be a factor.

Boy, was I wrong. They say that if you think you can win, it pays to keep that a secret for as long as possible. Well, Rogers took this lesson to heart. At the 2-mile mark I finally figured out that they had us in trouble. We were still winning there, but by only a single point. And our #2 runner, who we thought was back at full force, was our #7 man today.

At the finish, Rogers took 3-4-5-6...and then the waiting game began in earnest. Their fifth man came across the line in 18th and they topped us by five points. Our first runner met one of his season goals by winning the race, and seven of the nine boys on our team posted PRs while one of the other two ran his best time of the season by 87 seconds. Under these circumstances, you just have to say the other team deserved to win.

Understandably, the team was less than enthusiastic about getting the runner-up trophy. I figure they should consider it their finest hour.

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