Saturday, April 22, 2006

Nick's 5:36

Who knew? Nick’s first track meet – three middle schools, including high-powered Odyssey. He’d blown away everyone on his team at the mile and half-mile distances, but how would he do against real competition? His coach gave him the mile to run. At the gun, he tucked in behind another willowy kid from Odyssey who looked pretty fast and Nick stayed on his shoulder for the first lap. Then he makes a move, and I’m thinking, Oh no too fast too soon – but immediately puts some space between him and Odyssey kid. Halfway through the second quarter, he’s on his own and I keep looking for that spacing to shrink. But nope, second lap stays smooth. His strategy on the third lap was to run easy, and he did, and actually adds spacing, now the gap is about 75 yards and holding steady. The fourth quarter he starts to push again and opens up an even bigger gap and the Odessey kid is now fighting for second and cramping. This race is all Nick’s…unless….unless….those stupid little Omni shorts he’s wearing halfway down his underwear suddenly slip to his ankles, trip him like a potato sack and we end up with dental bills. But the pants stay up and he shifts into another gear over the last straight-away….yes, there was sprint left….and he wins by 100 yards. 5:36 mile. Of course he said he had more if he’d had anyone to race against.

Omni boys win the meet – beating the Odyssey team by 1 point – the boy’s first win in something like 5-6 years….

A real Dad day.

Now I've tried to find the significance of the 5:35 in Florida. They don't seem to keep all-time middle school records. But you can find major meets and championships in the 1600 meter, just slightly shorter than the mile. Basically, Nick's 5:36 is within 15-20 of being a top 10 in the state of Florida at last year's Middle School Championships. The best time seem to run around 5:00 to 5:15.

No comments: