Raptors journey to Chabot College for Cross-Country "under the lights."

Post date: Jan 21, 2013 7:02:53 AM

November 14, 2012

Night races always seem to be fun and they are relatively rare so a few of the Raptors decided that even though the time and location were not the most convenient, they would would make the effort. The meet was at Chabot College in Hayward. We had been there before; last summer for a small and low-key all-comers track meet. At that time I was impressed by how nice the campus and the track were. The whole setup was really beautiful and it had declined not one bit since our initial visit although it was hard to tell for sure since it was dark!

I came with Krisna and one of our MLK runners, Ernest, who is actually from France! His dad is doing a guest professorship at Cal. This is fairly common at King and a plus for our program. We also have an XC runner from Madrid!

Krisna pointed me to Gary's "secret" parking area, which is nice and close to the track. At first we wondered if there even was a meet or if I'd gotten it horribly wrong! As we crested the rim of the track stadium there was no meet, potential or otherwise, to be seen. Just a few kids kicking a soccer ball around and a few adult joggers. But then we saw the meet director, Jim Sorenson from Bancroft MS in San Leandro spraying direction arrows on the asphalt paths. Whew! He assured us the "crowd" would be along soon and he was right. Bodies began pouring in out of the shadows and soon a large school bus disgorged what looked like half the Bancroft student body!

By now our Raptors/MLK contingent had arrived. In the boys race we had Krisna, Jared and the aforementioned Ernest. In the girl's race were sometime Raptors Emilie and Chaia and full-time Raptors 'Belle and (yes, she decided to race!) Lily!

The boy's race went off first and ended with Ernest sixth, Jared in ninth and Krisna is fourteenth. Jared was second 6th grader by only two seconds and he and the 6th grade winner obliterated the former 6th grade record for the course (6:21) with times of 6:05 and 6:07! Wow!

The start. Raptors/MLK had possibly the tallest girl (Emilie, dark blue shirt) and for sure the tiniest (Lily, in purple, next to Emilie)!

The girls were launched next and Emilie simply rocketed out in the lead. Eventually, a few girls reeled her in and she finished a fine fourth. Ahead of her in first was Erin from Piedmont whom we attempted to recruit for Raptors after the race! Next was a girl from Hyde MS in Cupertino, then Chaia. The next Raptor was 'Belle, who was the first 5th grader and herself only missed breaking the 5th grade course record by a miniscule eight seconds. Next across the line for the club was Lily in 29th. This caused some confusion! As Fernando wrote: "Lily is a second grader and the scene at the Finish Table was something for the movies as no one knew what to do with her tag and how is it possible, etc. So the Coach came over and laughed out loud and said that everything was fine but only 6, 7 and 8 graders qualify for trophies."

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The team. Second from left is Ernest, On right is race winner Erin (only a 6th grader!)

So, we all departed happy! In fact Emilie was so pleased with the course, the meet and her performance that she declared it the "best day of mylife." That's unequivocal, huh?