Saturday, September 17, 2016

AEP Cross Country 2016

So I'll never forget the first time I took Preston to a Cross Country practice.  It was the year he did his "warm up" Kindergarten year at Choudrant.  He LITERALLY stopped in the middle of the timed mile to look at the fish in the pond at Lincoln Parish Park.  Needless to say we did not join the Cross Country team :))

Then, of course, P started attending AEP.  Kindergarten does not officially participate in Cross Country at AEP--although sometimes Coach Tyler lets K siblings run and I'm SURE John Cole will want to do that--but Preston didn't run at 6 eiither.

I missed Preston's first meet last year because I was OOT.  He ran the mile in over 11 minutes...he just didn't know really what to do I think.  He improved through the season but never even broke the top 20.  I was very proud of his improvements, but had just about decided XC wasn't going to be his sport.

All Summer long Preston said he was going to get Top 10 in an XC meet this season.  I just kind of smiled and told him I was proud he had a goal and really thought nothing of it.  I love the "team spirit" of this sport and love--LOVE--the exercise they get but really had no clue this little guy had his sights set so HIGH.

At the first meet of the season last week, I was standing at the bottom of the hill before the last 200 yards of the course.  When Preston's good friend Davis appeared--he's always out front--I was not at all surprised. Then there was a runner from Quitman.  Then.....wait for it ...there was PRESTON!  In third place.  Of 86 boys.  I literally couldn't believe it. I don't think he could either.  Literally the whole town was there and I think he got a little distracted and got a little winded on the hill but he finished 8th!  I was crying I was so proud of him. I honestly didn't know he had it in him.  His team EASILY won 1st place...and for the first time ever he was a part of the winning score.  He was SO EXCITED to go to the little assembly where they recognized the winners at school.

This morning he said he wanted to be in the Top 5.  I knew the kids that didn't do so well last week would be hungry to do better.  And, honestly, I thought last week could have been some sort of fluke.  And although he was as far back as 7th around the 1/2 mile.....that baby pulled it out and finished 4th place!!!!!!!  I can't wait to get his time ....

Why am I making such a long post about this?  Preston Parker this morning you showed SO MUCH GRIT AND DETERMINATION!  You were tired but you passed up those boys going up that hill and never looked back.  And the BEST part--your teammates all love you.  I won't ever forget these last two meets, and will be happy for you Preston if these are your lifetime best finishes...but I just don't think they will be.  More later....