Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I love Cross Country

They are lined up and ready to go!

A fashion statement!

And they are off - Isn't that a nice tree?

Some Team Unity

Kyle - I told you I would make your feet famous. Well maybe not but that's totally cool you are wearing Matt's Shoes.

These boys are dressed or maybe partially dressed to cheer on the girls. It's 29 degrees F or -1 C. That's Kyle with Matt's shoes in the Black pants and Jacket.

Saturday was the Illinois State Cross Country Championships in Detweiller Park - Peoria Illinois. I figured since I was in town I'd go watch. This was the 63rd year of the championship and the 39th year at the park. It's a great venue to watch and a tough course. If you win here, you earned it.

Cross Country is the best High School sport there is. It's full of individual drama and team drama. Sure the winners of these races will go on to run in college but their favorite moment will most likely be winning this race. As for the team, the fifth place runner on the team is just as important as the first runner on the team. For most in the race it's the team competition that counts.

When I was in Highschool Elmwood was this 5 house town with a football team. Brimfield had 6 houses and generally had a better football team. For Cross Country they band together to create Elmwood/Brimfield. Their team colors are Elmwood colors of black and orange. The boys team had won 5 state titles and were amoung the favorites to win a 6th. Midway through the race it looks like they are in charge of their destiny when one of their runners Jared Harkness is disqualified for throwing an elbow. A coach from another team saw the incident and said there was no foul but in Cross Country a call sticks. There is no turning back. Instantly Elmwood Brimfield goes from leader to 3rd place. It's all on 6th man Doug Vrchota now. Doug guts it out for a 64th placing in the race. He out sprinted a couple guys at the finish. Remember he's sprinting for 64th place. That sprint saved the team. His 64th place put the Elmwood/Brimfield top 5 runners in first place and team title #6 was in the bag. Who's the hero on this day? A kid nobody but team and family know, Doug Vrchota.
On the girls side the race was tight. There was not a clear favorite amoung the teams and there were 6 teams who had a shot at the title. Remember Elmwood/Brimfield wears Black and Orange. The Orange is their top and it stands out. For a little trickery, the Elwood girls all agree to wear Black on Black. They did not want other runners or other teams keying on thier bright orange tops. The trickery worked. They finished a surprizing third place in the team competition.

Cross Country Rules!

It's a good life....

PS, Thanks to everyone who asked about my mother. My sister Cyndi and I got a great deal done on her behalf last week. She will be in a good happy place fairly soon.

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