Saturday, October 22, 2011

They're generation steam heat

The last few weeks I have been enjoying HS XC.  It has been a blast watching these kids lay it on the line and race.  You see the puff of white smoke and here they come.  I know a few kids and a few of the coaches which makes it a bit more fun.  I have been cheering for Waukesha South and today they took second at Sectionals so off to state they go.  I was so happy for them and the parents I know.  They should be strong next year as the top 6 runners are returning.  Good luck Blackshirts!

Before the girls race a boom box was blaring out The Ramones (Hey Ho, Let's Go!) and I have to tell you, I wasn't the only guy around 50 bopping my head.  There is one thing I learned all those years ago and it still holds water today; you have to have a wicked buck wild kick the last quarter.  I hear some people say, "He had too much left if he can do that."  Though this may be true in a few cases, I just think in HS XC this has to be part of the arsenal.  You have to be able to turn and burn.  The Omega gear you possess needs to come unfurled...blitzkrieg bop.  Though, in our day it was P-Funk, uncut the bomb.

Last night as I went to bed, I remembered my last dual meet in HS XC against Mohawk who was a local power.  The race was run on my home course and I so badly wanted to win.  In track I usually faired well in dual meets because teams spread the wealth over the distance races.  This race would be me versus their top 7 and they had a coach who knew he had to pack run me.  Basically, who ever was feeling good at the time would take turns pushing the pace in an effort to wear me down.  Before most meets, my Dad and I would discuss strategy.  Dad had a keen sense of my strengths.  He never missed races and had watched me for three years.  What he told me was simple, "These guys read the paper.  You've won 7-8 races.  Go out there on your course and run them into the ground." 

The day was pleasant.  Dad brought a good friend of the family to watch me for the first time.  Never think that just because you show up that kids don't notice...I did.  The race went off hot, but I expected that.  Guys would take off and I'd have to respond.  I waited, because my hot spot would come.  At half-way Murphy and Marvola shot out and I went with them.  When I caught them around the back pond it hit me that after the little rise there is a slight downhill grade for a couple hundred yards.  It was early, but that's where I took off.  I tore through the unsuspecting gaggle of geese and just kept churning.  With a half mile to go it was over and I breezed in with a comfortable win.  Though I was happy, I knew it would be my last meet in dual meet competition.  Turn out the lights the party is over.

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