Prospect Relays, 4.10.15

Post date: Jun 17, 2015 10:21:49 PM

Some of the best advice on competing I’ve ever heard came in Minooka’s Central Campus library in 2008. Both the boys and girls cross-country teams had just qualified for state for the first time in many years, and one day after practice, we had a guest speaker come to talk to them about how to prepare.

This former state cross-country champion, now a father of two distance runners, proposed the following: “Dedicate your race to someone.” He explained it was often easier to run for someone else rather than yourself.

That advice is why I love relays, and especially relay meets. In individual events, it’s easy to be caught up in your performance and how it affects you; you might forget you are also trying to score points for the team. In a relay, it is crystal clear that you are running for someone else. There are three others who will hold that baton in your race, and you are undoubtedly part of a team.

We talk a lot about the power of the baton. It’s a mentality that can take you long way and help you accomplish things you might not have without. It’s how being part of that team — running for that team — seems to elevate your performance.

Several performances were elevated for Minooka last night at Prospect Relays. In our first appearance at this meet, we battled some cool conditions, a lot of wind, a little rain, and even a lightning delay. We also ran against some fierce competition from northern schools — one of the reasons we chose this meet. In the end, we came away with a victory, a total team effort that owed a lot to the power of the baton.

We established some school records in races we had never run before (1600m Sprint Medley and 2000m Sprint Medley) and some meet records in races Prospect had never had before (JV 4x100m Relay, JV 4x200m Relay, and JV 4x400m Relay).

We also broke a 13-year-old Minooka school record in the 800m Medley Relay. This old record was set at the 2002 Plainfield Central Sectional meet by a group of unforgettable girls who exemplified the theory of the power of the baton. They were good runners who became great when they ran together. That 2002 performance at sectionals qualified them for state. For a program that had existed for more than 20 years, it was the first time a Minooka girls relay had ever qualified.

Go Indians.

– Coach Thomas