Sarah’s Junior year of Cross Country is only 2.5 weeks from being over and I haven’t blogged anything about it! I’ve kept quick updates on Facebook, but it’s time for a few extra stories…
Meet #1 @Lynden Christian: Second Place
No, Sarah does not always smile like this while running her races. I knew what she was about to see, so I zoomed in to get her reaction:
This was what she saw as she came around the corner up the hill:
That is the LC Boys’ XC team, lined up along the course to cheer on their girls. I love Cross Country kids.
In between Meet 1 & Meet 2, this came out in the local paper:
A high school girl could take this as a lot of pressure, or as motivation, or as no big deal. My girl pretty much saw it as a little bit of everything, but also an honor. She handled it well. You can read the article online here: Consistency, confidence, key to Ball's success
BTW, the pictures of her are from last year’s track season.
Meet #2 @Civic Stadium, Sehome Invitational, 4th place in the Junior Race
This was a big meet on a beautiful warm Saturday. We spent pretty much the whole day watching all our LC kids race (9 different races over the course of the morning/early afternoon) and it was so much fun!
Sarah was interviewed after her race by the same reporter who wrote the article above.
Getting her ribbon – she looks pretty happy, don’t you think?
Meet #3 @Blaine, Third place!
I don’t have any pictures from this meet…but it was an early race, and my dad went.
Meet #4 @Salt Creek, Fourth Place, PR!
I didn’t go to this meet…it’s an overnight trip, which includes a ferry ride and tenting on the shores of the ocean…and it was the same weekend as our church women’s retreat. A good friend from church did go, however, and he texted me some cool pictures.
Meet #5 @Burlington, First Place
I did get to watch this one and while she had little competition at this race, it was fun to watch her win!
Meet #6 @Silver Lake, Third Place
The Silver Lake Invite is always a super fun race. Lots of schools, great “true” cross-country course, mud, etc. My brothers remember running there and I remember watching my older brother run there. This one was the sunniest Silver Lake meet I have ever been to, that’s for sure!
The start of the Varsity girls’ race
Somehow I don’t have any other good photos from this race, but I did manage to take a video of Sarah running the gully…she comes in as the 4th runner, but as you watch her head out of the gully, she passes that girl and finished in 3rd.
Getting a hug from the first place runner, Amy Jo, who has become a friend over the years. She has had a stand-out, stellar season. We are excited to race against her again 3 times in the next 3 weeks! (Notice how I said ‘we’ there? As if I were the one racing…)
The greatest part of this meet was that the girls placed SECOND as a team…they were expecting third, but edged out one other team by ONE point! Phenomenal. The boys team took third!
Meet #7 @Anacortes, First Place, PR!
I have to just document a really cool event here, and this isn’t to brag…it’s simply to record for myself what happened at this meet. Sarah has made some friends from other schools while running XC & track. They have friendly competition and it’s awesome. At the meet in Blaine, Sarah & a competitor were running together most of the way. The other girl started to drop back and Sarah said, “No, stay with me.” Sarah wanted to keep running against the girl because she knew if they stayed together they would both do better. Sarah ended up winning and beating the other girl by 1 second. A few weeks later we received a letter in the mail from Sarah’s principal with an email printout from the other girl’s father. He wanted to commend our school, coaches, athletes, and particularly Sarah for their sportsmanship and leadership. The other girl told her father that it was because of Sarah’s encouragement to stay with her that she improved her time by 40 seconds and went from being #26 on the 2A state list to being #14. This past weekend, the local newspaper featured this Blaine runner and she & her coach both recounted what happened between her & Sarah in that meet. You can read that article here: Kiele’s Leadership Second to None. I’m so proud of my daughter, but I’m also so thankful to the coaches who have encouraged this friendly competition and leadership and sportsmanship. The coaches and their attitudes make a HUGE difference in the way a team competes and in their relationships on and off the course. We have seen this in positive ways with our school and many schools that we compete against. We have also seen it in negative ways, so we know it is true.
Meet #8 @Lakewood, FORTY-SECOND PLACE!
Yes, that’s right. 42nd place. Out of over 200 runners in a Varsity race with a certain maximum time. It was a HUGE meet. Close to 3000 runners overall. It’s called the Hole in the Wall invite…perhaps because the runners start out like this:
…in a mad sprint to get through a small gate on a hairpin turn and then run on the track…
Sheesh, that was amazing. Can you find my Sarah?
She ran a great race against runners from all kinds of gigantic schools that she had never run against before. Great experience!
Meet #9 @Lake Padden, First Place!
Sarah won this race last year as well, and the boys’ and girls’ teams both won the meet both last year and this year! It’3s apparently mostly a JV race, but not totally, and it’s pretty cool for them to win another plaque for their sport!
Tomorrow is the NWC Championship meet with all the Whatcom County Schools – should be a great race! Next week is bi-districts. The top 3 teams and the top 20 individuals will advance to the state meet which will take place in Pasco, WA on November 8. We are super excited to see what God will do with this team of girls who run and compete and have fun together. They’re just so awesome.
Here they are at my house last week when they had breakfast & devotions together before school on a late-start day. It was also ‘hipster day” for spirit week at school…hence the beanies and headbands. I just love them all.