Raptors debut new uniforms at Albany Classic

Post date: Apr 6, 2013 9:44:39 PM

So I leave the house in the red Mazda, with two boxes in the back. One small one with jerseys and one huge one with jackets. I had just picked them up the day before at Alliance Graphics. I thought they looked fabulous and EO and Karen agreed. In fact Karen told me: "You may pick up some new members from the new uniforms alone." She was right. No sooner had Corina tried one of the new jackets on then she asked her dad if she could join Raptors and he wrote Laura a check right on the spot. YEAH!

So the new uniforms/jackets were a hit! Thanks to all who worked on this project, and to Kim and Max for the now-famous "#3" design which Alliance translated perfectly onto tricot!

Only one of our members chose to actually run in his new jersey. That was Daveon, who ran an excellent mile (about 5:30?) and won his heat of the 100 meters with what we think was the fastest time of the day (I know it was in the 12s--I'll have more precise times later). How did the uniform look in motion? Well, judge for yourselves:

Looks good!

Cool as the uniforms are, the jackets may be even better. Here are a few of our girls sporting them:

Esme and Corina stylin'.

And from the front with Emilie handstanding and Eileen and Shira adding drama!

So, the club was off-the-charts sartorially. How did they run?

Really well!

Virtually all of our "MLK Raptors" were in the same heat of the mile. First MLK finisher was Corina in a new PR of 6:21! Next in was (hopefully) another new Raptor, Shira, in 6:26, followed by Esme also in a new PR of 6:33. Emilie was right in the hunt until she got a cramp and had breathing problems. This all hit at about 1 1/2 laps and even so, she held on for a very gutty 6:39 in what was easily the bravest race of the day. Fate almost immediately repaid Emilie for toughness and valor: she won the raffle for a $25 Transports gift card! Wouldn't it be great if life was always so fair?

I hope I'm right on this (this meet was very much "old home day" for me as a former Albany coach. Every time I turned around there was another face from the past, all of whom I was very happy to see. But all this socializing didn't exactly lead to a laser focus on the events) but I seem to remember that Daveon and Annabel were in the same race. Well, regardless, they both flew. Daveon came in in the low 5:oos and Annabel, who has been laying low and recovering from injuries came back to the scene with a vengeance! Her time was an incredible 5:35, which is only five seconds off her PR. What makes that so remarkable is that she is, by her own estimation way out of shape because of her layoff. So to come back and go that fast? She was happy! We were all happy! Beyond that, she looked. . . well, I hate to overuse it but. . . awesome, for the whole race. Her form, which in the past was quirky and fun but maybe not all that efficient is all fixed. She has shortened her stride a bit and figured out the arms and now she looks downright scary, every bit like the elite runner she is.

Annabel! She not only runs fast, she has perfect color-coordination.

And what about Annabel's mom, Laura, who came back from an excellent "master's mile" and then ran a great (and hard) leg of the 4x400? I think the Driussi family will eat and sleep well tonight.

Laura in the mile!

Another great part of the meet for moi was having my very first great runner, from way back twelve years ago come to the race. Her name is Jackie Quinn and she was the star runner on my very first XC team at AMS. Yeah, that team. . .the one with a grand total of fourteen runners, girls and boys combined, that, brand new to the league won both the 7/8 girls and 7/8 boys championships in 2003, beginning a five year Albany rout of the league!

So yes, there was some sentiment there and it was a thrill to be able to introduce Jackie to all our current middle school runners. Annabel, as is her fashion made Jackie's day. As she (Annabel) jogged by to get to the start of her mile race, I yelled to her, "Come over and meet Jackie." Annabel paused for a second, then got this amazed look on her face. "Do you mean Jackie Quinn? she asked, if not in awe, certainly doing a very convincing imitation of genuflection! A great interchange between two of my fave runners of all time.

Jackie. Um. . . did I mention that she recently graduated from Harvard?

Another interesting (at least to me!) Jackie fact. She has recently fallen in love with motorcycles and is in the process of buying a bike from me! In fact, EO and I are going on what looks to be an epic 50+ person ride up to Oregon in early June and Jackie is going too!

So, all in all that was a tremendously fun meet. I think next year word-of-mouth will "grow" the meet to the size it deserves. I know it will have a permanent place on the Raptor's calendar.