Saturday, May 23, 2015

Track and Field

As if we didn't have enough sports to do, we added track and field for 3 of the girls this summer.

We went to our first track meet last weekend. I had been warned to be prepared for organized chaos, but I'm not sure one can be fully prepared for the craziness that is a track meet.



Sassy was the first one to have an event - as soon as the meet started, she competed at long jump. The jump pit was in the infield of the football field, and it was next to impossible to see it well from where I was. Plus I was trying to keep an eye on the other 2 girls, even though neither of them had events until the afternoon.

After long jump, Sassy had javelin. Robb was helping with the javelin event so he got to be down there with her. (Parents aren't allowed on the field, only coaches and helpers.) She did really well and came in 5th place in her age group.

Sassy's last event was 400m dash. She started in lane 8. For anyone unfamiliar with track (like I was before this season), that means she started in the outside lane. For the 400m, they stagger the starting places to make up for the circumference of the track lanes. Lane 8 starts the farthest ahead, but is the easiest to be overtaken. Before the gun went off, I could see her doing the "potty dance" so I was really worried about how she would do. Apparently she should run every race needing to go to the bathroom because she took off like a lightning bolt as soon as the gun went off. She came in 2nd in her heat and 11th overall for her age group.

Little Red only competed in 2 events at the meet - high jump and shot put. She's also training for 1600m race walk, but last week's meet didn't offer that event. She did really well at high jump, going over at 3ft 2in and placing 5th for her age group. She came in 7th at shot put in her age group, just outside the cutoff to earn a ribbon, but still very good for her first meet.

Soccer Girl had by far the craziest day. Before the meet, we had been instructed that running events take priority so if a running event was called while they were competing at a field event, they were to tell the judge of their field event that they needed to go run and then come back and finish competing after running. I was concerned that would happen and a little worried about how the girls would handle it if it did because they had to be responsible for it on their own. Well, it happened to Soccer Girl - not just 2 events being called at the same time, but ALL 3 of her events were called overlapping each other.

She already had checked in to get her heat and lane number for her 400m dash before she was called for javelin, which was good since that was one less thing she would have to do when her heat was called. So she went to compete at javelin and got in her 3 practice throws before being called for the 400m. She went and ran her heat and got a personal record (pr) for her time. Then she went back to finish javelin. While she was at javelin the 2nd time, her high jump event was called. No one had told us that high jump also takes priority so her track coach went to get her and send her to her high jump. She was finishing her final competing throw for javelin and then ran over to high jump.

By the time she got to the high jump event, the bar was already at 3ft 6in. She had never jumped higher than 3ft 5in at practice, so I was nervous for her. Her first attempt, her feet knocked the bar off and my heart sank. Her 2nd attempt at 3ft 6in, she cleared the bar, and I think I cheered louder than I ever have in my life. Then they moved the bar up to 3ft 8in., and she cleared that too! She wasn't able to clear 3ft 10in so she didn't place high enough to get a ribbon, but that didn't matter. She had another personal record.

I've learned (am learning) many things about track and field. I'm learning about events I know nothing about, and I love watching my girls enjoy themselves. The main thing I've learned is that - although they compete against other runners, jumpers, and throwers at each event - it's more important that they compete against themselves. I was proud of Sassy and Little Red for placing and earning ribbons, but I was even more excited for Soccer Girl getting 2 pr's that day. She may never come in 1st (or even 6th), but she's improving and that's the most important thing.
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