Monday, May 16, 2016

S7s- May 15: Hexed?

1) Yesterday was the Regional Track meet at AC Reynolds. We had one qualifier, Odyssey Gaines in the 200m Dash. She's our first stat qualifier in three season. She tried to get out of running the 200, but I made her run. She was in the slow heat and won. Better yet, her time was good enough to be second overall. I told her after her run that I was proud of her effort and she gave herself a good chance to qualify (finish in the top 4). After the fast heat, I told her she'd be close. I was surprised she was second, I would have been thrilled with third or fourth. 

We had some bad luck yesterday. Our 4x200 ran phenomenal. They went 1:49 and was the third team to cross the finish line. Then someone said there was a zone violation. Being the referee, I hustled to see what it was. It was lane 6, our lane. Heartbreaking. It would have been disappointing if we finished 6th and got DQed, but it was devastating because they went from being state qualifiers to being disqualified. As their coach, what can you say? Most of them were running again in the 4x100, so I told them to rally and be ready for their next event.

In the 4x100, we were running well and in the mix and the second handoff got dropped. I didn't even see it happen. It looked good and when I was looking for the third exchange, there was no North Henderson. Their spacing was good, they just dropped the baton. The thing is, these were what I consider my two most reliable athletes in terms of handoffs. If I had to pick two to do an exchange, it would be these two.

I'm proud of my kids. We were 5th in the 4x400 and 6th in the 300 hurdles. Some good efforts in the field events. Despite not qualifying our relays, I'm proud of their effort. There's a reason this happened. We were hit twice with really unfortunate luck in two of our best events-- the events we had the best chance to qualify in. I don't know why things work the way they do, but I'm confident we're all better people after this. Even if we're not happy people at the moment.

2) The 4x100 gave me flashbacks to last year's state championship tournament. Mitchel Langford loses an improbable match in the finals. I truly believe that if Mitchel and Mainz wrestled 100 times, Mitch would win 98 or 99 times. Mainz wrestled a good match and earned that victory but I don't doubt that Mitchel was the better wrestler. The same way that Dan Gable was better than Larry Owings. If my two girls do 100 handoffs, 95% of them are great.

I had a friend tell me that you've got to strive for 100%. 1% is bad. If 1% of parachutes failed, that would be terrible. In Mitchel's case and in the 4x100, we fell victim to that 1%.

3) North Henderson will be host for next year's track regionals. Why do I do this to myself?

4) Went out to dinner with the coaches after the meet. Had my bike. Headed over to Bent Creek to get a ride in. Towards the end, I lose a pedal. It comes off the spindle but is still clipped into my shoes. This is my fifth pair of Crank Brothers pedals and the newest. The first to fail. I slowly and awkwardly pedaled back to the car, just about a mile. It was hard with only one good pedal and trying to keep the other foot on the spindle. I was convinced someone had a voodoo doll of me or put some sort of curse on me.

I took a picture and posted it to Instagram. Also tagged Crank Brothers. They messaged me back and it looks like they're going to replace the pedal. That's good customer service!

 5) Spent the evening at the Grove Park for the WNC Sports Banquet presented by the Mountain Amateur Athletic Club. North Henderson was well represented, especially wrestling! Josh Blatt was a finalist for the 3A/4A Male Athlete in an Olympic Sport (Connor Fenn of Asheville School won), the team was a finalist for 3A/4A Male Team- Olympic Sport (won by Enka Wrestling) and Pete Willingham won a $1000 scholarship. Caroline Marsh, a volleyball player, was a finalist for 3A/4A Female Athlete- Major Sport.

6) "Are you interested or committed?" -Jerry Moore, former Appalachian State Football Coach and WNC Sports Hall of Fame inductee.

7) I'm really bummed out about the Spurs losing. I wanted Tim Duncan to win and retire. It will be an interesting off season for this team. Who do they sign? Who retires?

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