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Raptors pick up two first place medals at "Running Rebels" meet

posted May 4, 2014, 6:27 PM by Richard Holtzman   [ updated May 4, 2014, 7:02 PM ]
Well, okay, it wasn't Raptors, more like one Raptor but it's still. . . awesome!

But first, a supreme shout-out to out newish Raptor Pria who showed up and ran (well!) at what must be one of the biggest, most intimidating meets of the year. Entering a runner this new in a meet like Running Rebels is surely akin to throwing him or her in with the sharks. But Pria swam with said sharks and came out unscathed! This will have a few benefits: first probably no meet Pria ever runs in what we hope will be long career will be scarier than this one! In fact, after this Pria may be surprised at how laid-back and low-key many meets are. Picture Pria showing up at the Raptor's fave meets at College of Marin and seeing what? Thirty people? She will spend half the meet wondering "Where is everybody?"

Also, Pria was not only tossed in with sharks, she was swimming with the fast ones! She finished a bit behind and that's never fun but, painful as it can be, it is so valuable. Every runner (esp. new ones) has a huge fear of finishing last. I know because I hear it from kids I coach at MLK all the time. Often that fear keeps runners from turning in the their best races simply because they keep too much in reserve so they will for sure have enough energy left not to finish at the tail of the pack. So, I actually like it when a kid finishes last early-on. That way it tends to dispel the fear. . .  they learn that it is far from the end of the world and nowhere near as horrible as they expected. No one is mean, everyone is supportive, your race leaves the track and the next one starts. Other than one's team/clubmates (who already like you and will comfort you in defeat and cheer you in success), NO ONE NOTICES OR CARES!

Also, it makes a great story further on in the running career. I have heard so many runners over the years cracking up fellow runners with stories about how badly they were beaten in their first races! And it is generally REALLY good runners telling these tales. It's almost like you have to have a non-winning first race to be good/great later on!

So, again, kudos to Pria for having the bravery to run that 200! We are all very proud of her.

In the race directly after Pria's was 'Belle, who, being a distance runner, was also thrown in with the nasty fishies! But she persevered and ran a quite good #2 sec. 200! Fernando and I were impressed enough that we are going to have her run it again at the MLK meet this Thursday! 'Belle also long-jumped, leaping a very respectable 12' 8". I'm not sure where she finished but I'm hoping top three. 'Belle's sis, Lily, after jumping twelve feet in practice late last week, had an off day (it happens) only achieved a mark of a bit over nine feet. But Lily is a tiger, so she will be back!

'Belle leaps in her COOL new shoes!

Jumping with Lily was another tiger, Rosie. I unfortunately overslept (it happens!) and missed her jumps but heard she she was around the high elevens. . .

Alright, so who was this double winner?

KATY!!!

On Saturday, in the high jump,  Katy cleared every height, from starting height all the way up to a new PR of 4'10" without a miss. In other words, every time the bar was raised, Katy was over on the first try (out of three allowed), thus putting the pressure squarely on her competition, who cracked one-by-one until only Katy was left! Afterwards, the winner (and only the winner) is traditionally allowed to try for the next height. So Katy took three cracks at a rather astounding 4' 11' inches and barely missed on her first attempt.


A couple of Katy's successful jumps. She was massively over the bar virtually every time.

Katy and Fernando. It's REALLY nice to have a USATF Level-Two jump coach in our club (well, it's HIS club too!)

Okay, so that would be a good place to quit for the weekend, right? First place in a huge, prestigious meet? Time for some rest and time to enjoy the glow of victory. But instead, Katy crawled out of bed early for the second morning in a row and returned to the meet to run the 1500 meters. And how did she do there? She won it!

Katy at the start of the 1500. I got so caught up in the race I forgot to take any more pictures.

And she didn't win it easily. she won it after doggedly (and with methodical coolness) running down the leader, who had a large lead. But on the last lap, Katy had closed the gap to about twenty feet on the backstretch. By the final curve she had caught the leader. They ran together until the final straight. At that point the other girl attempted her "kick." Katy shot her a quick glance that seemed to say, "Oh, we're running fast now, are we?" And off she went, absolutely crushing the former leader to win by perhaps ten yards! Her time for the 1500 was 5:23 which roughly translated to a 5:42 miles, a huge PR!

AND, let's not forget our older runners. Daveon got two second place medals, one in the 3000 and one in the 1500, in which he overcame a very painful hamstring pull.

Daveon, already in some pain in the 1500.


Nikhil running the meet more as an "remembering 0ld times" thing since he is caught up in the AHS track team and competing there, ran a great 800 and then had start the hurdles literally minutes after finishing the 800. That he didn't crash through every hurdle from pure fatigue (most hurdlers DO NOT use a fully-competitive 800 as a warm up!) was amazing. That he actually did well in the race is outrageous!

Nikhil. looking strong in the 800 meters.

So, a small team but an intrepid and talented one! A really fun meet!
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