Tri-City Classic @ ZB:
All week, the predicted weather was garbage for this meet, but when I woke up, I felt optimistic. As I drove to school, the sun was shining, and I thought perhaps the weather gods would smile upon the Zee-Bees for a second time this season. As the coaches and I set up the meet, it felt decent--cold, but sunny and manageable. But as teams started to arrive, the clouds rolled in and the temperatures felt more menacing. We pushed forward, honoring our awesome seniors (Audrey, Riley, Estrella, Katelin, Jade, Taylor, and Bri)! As that ceremony unfolded, rain started spitting upon us, rudely. That passed, and then some mini-hail started to fall, covering our hair and track with tiny snowballs. The head coaches met and agreed to try to get through a few events to see if it was manageable. And it was for a bit...
We had fun watching co-ed races as well as the "old heads" competing in the medley relay. And we cheered on Tati and Jose, the lone hurdlers for the day, before we got to the 800 where Estrella, Aniya, and Emily all earned PRs. Nice work, women!
And then the snow came. Not some flurries or small flakes. This was a big-flaked bombardment, chilling the runners and quieting the fans. The coaches decided to run the 4X200, the 4X400 and call it a (cold) day. The relays did great, with seniors Eric, Jared, Riley, and Audrey getting the chance to shine together!
A few takeaways from this meet:
Shout out to Katelin, Lauren, Alex and a few others (forgive me--it was a blur!) who helped clean up the field, take down the tent, and disassemble the bull pen.That kind of leadership means the world to me--I appreciate you all!
Just plain shouting at people who left all their stuff. We need to work on being more mindful as a group. Your uniform, warm ups, big coats, and the track itself exist thanks to the taxpayers of Zion. We cannot take that support lightly by treating these items without care. Period.
Finally, the point of this meet is to celebrate our three communities which USED to be the powerhouses of track & field in Lake County. We want to encourage a comeback! Honestly, our program is on its way back to that level of greatness. Let's keep that history in mind as we practice and compete. We collected donations at the door to give to Abiding Love Food Pantry. Stay tuned for our donation total soon!
Later that evening, Riley and Audrey had the special opportunity to compete at Distance Night in Palatine. Riley qualified in the 800, while Audrey chose to compete in the 1600 (she was eligible for all three distance races). This meet has grown over the years, ad races are super competitive! Riley's heat of the 800 only had 2 seconds separating the first and last seed times. Whew! This was a great experience for Riley, as she is used to moving to the front and staying clear of the pack's messiness. She got out well and quickly figured out how to get out of the box she found herself in (that means that she was stuck on the line with people on all sides of her, making a move difficult). The 800 is undoubtedly the toughest race on the track, and figuring out racing tactics now is valuable as we head into championship season! I was really proud of the way Riley managed the nerves of a big meet like this as well as how she managed the actual race. Her time was within tenths of her PR which is simply crazy considering the week she has had. Running a huge PR in the 400 the day before takes some pop out of her legs, and it's tough to get back up emotionally the next day! Racing Friday and Saturday is great practice for the prelims and finals of State! Audrey had a great race, too. She had the luxury of experiencing the meet the year before, so she was more ready for the tight pack. She also did a great job of managing that, putting herself in the front of the pack and pushing the pace with a few other girls. Like Riley, she was within tenths of her lifetime best and ran a very smart race. I know she was disappointed that night, but I could not be prouder. After going to Europe and fighting back from a rude respiratory illness, this was her first race where she looked really sharp. I'm proud of her for her tenacity!
Great work, seniors! Way to represent us at this meet with ZB PRIDE! We are proud of you!