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April 17, 2008 - Steve Murch
Running is a solitary sport. You can have all the company you want on runs, race against people in meets and road races and win medals and ribbons, but it ultimately comes down to yourself.
Track and cross country at the high school level are team sports, but ask any runner what his or her personal time is in a given event and they can tell you. Ask them what the score of their last meet was and it might not be as clear. Yes, they’ll know whether the team won or lost, but sometimes the score gets lost.
That’s not to say runners don’t care about the team, they do. It’s just that unlike the spectator sports, track athletes are very limited in what they can do. There is a limit in the number of events they can compete in, so they can only help the team in those particular events. With team sports like football and basketball, players can do certain things to help the team even when they are limited in their playing time.
The runner is left to push himself or herself. While there are other runners on the track, it still comes down to a stopwatch.
That’s why I enjoy the honor roll track meet we sponsor at the paper every year. All those runners chasing their times, and the times of others, so they get a shot at proving they are the fastest/strongest/etc. in their event.
With track results rolling in on a daily basis, it’s time to watch which athletes will participate in the meet. The first four were terrific (although the third one was cut short by inclement weather). This year’s should continue that trend.
The meet is May 27 at Alcona High School.
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