Last season, I was honestly just happy that track & field wasn't cancelled. After a difficult Covid winter and spring, it felt great to be together with our small team and competing. Now that we have started a more "real" season, complete with indoor, I am starting to get greedy. As the coaches and I started to build our line up for this meet, a common theme kept emerging: The team has been working hard, and we have so many diamonds in the rough!
When we showed up at Wheeling, I knew that we were asking a lot of newbees to step into uncomfortable territory. Trying a new event at a meet is a big ask, and our newcomers stepped up to the challenge. First, big shout out to Aniya C., Destiny, and Asiah for their courage in the jumps. After one practice with Coach Lee on Friday, these three were like sponges over by the sand pit--they were soaking up knowledge from the Wheeling coach as well as other jumpers. Destiny and Aniya both got into the sand with measured marks--12' 1" and 11' 9" respectively. Way to go, bees! And while we kept Asiah out of the triple until she can get more practice, she was the perfect teammate for the long jumpers--supporting them and learning the whole time.
Kudos are in order for Baakir and Aysia, too. After limited hurdle training, these two bravely stepped into the blocks for the 55 hurdles and looked FANTASTIC. With some more technique work and time, they are going to represent us well!
Other newbees who looked great and learned a lot today: Sofia, Aniya B., and Liz in the 4X800, all with huge PRs; Treazure and Baakir in the 4X100; Aniya C. in the 400; Kennilyn in the 200; Lauren and Cheyenne in the 1600, also both with huge PRs and gritty races; and Sofia in the 4X400. That is A LOT of newness in a lot of events. Despite the nerves, what I loved was that every single one of these athletes stepped up with the support of their teammates. It was great to see!
Shout out to Trynity and Bri with great starts to the season in the shot. Throwing on the South Deck without a ring is very different than stepping into the ring with crowds all around. These two threw right where they have been in practice, showing that the pressure of competition didn't phase them at all! Great work you two! Even more impressively, once they were done, they were on the curve of the track cheering on their running teammates (even though Tryn kept questioning why people run ;0). Love that energy! I'm sure Charlotte from Schaumburg would like to thank you for your cheers during the 3200 run, too.
Shout out to our veteran runners, too. Audrey had people whispering and turning heads during her lightning fast opening leg of the 4X800, smoothly running a speedy 2:27 split, and then coming back to run our fastest split (65) in the 4X400. Riley and Raven were a powerful duo in the 4X1 lap relay, looking composed during hectic handoffs on a small track. Riley came back and ran lights out in the anchor of the 4X400, destroying any hope that other teams may have had of catching us. Aubrianna looked strong in her season 800 debut, and she was a great leader for our new distance bees! Marisa blew out the cobwebs in her debut 400 of the season, looking SO smooth in the last lap! They came back for a great open leg in the 4X400, looking more aggressive and confident, which helped our freshie Sofia in the second leg. Latavia was so hyped for her 200 season debut, looking smooth despite those tight turns. Seeing her high-fiving people post-race is just the energy we need, and it shows just how much she has grown as an athlete since her freshman year.
On the bus, I said that I wanted us to have fun and learn a lot at this first meet. Mission accomplished! This week, we will continue to work on building fitness and speed while getting to know each other better! Your job this week is to work on SLEEP. Getting 8 hours of sleep consistently helps your immune system. It also allows your body to properly recover from hard workouts, so it helps prevent injuries! Make a consistent bedtime a non-negotiable! Want more information? Check out "Sleep, Athletic Performance, and Recovery" from the Sleep Foundation, or check out the video below (He makes one awkward sunglasses joke, but the rest of the information is legit!). Let's have a great week, bees!
Special thanks to Illyana and Blanca for getting splits and pictures today. Once I get my phone fixed, I will get more pics. Photo credit to Mrs. Johnson for the team pic on the main page. Go to our IG to check out more pics: zionbentonxc.
FYI, on Thursday, we have concussion baseline testing for any freshmen or juniors who have not yet done it this year, plus all newbees. You will need your chromebook for the testing. I'll let you know about location on Wednesday.