Prospect Relays, 4.8.16

Post date: Apr 9, 2016 3:09:59 AM

The mochila was their baton.

They carried it through all types of weather, across prairies, over mountains.

They carried it more than 1,500 miles at about 10-mile increments, 10 miles being about as far as a horse could ride at a gallop.

From 1860 to 1861, the riders of the Pony Express carried a mochila, a Spanish word for pouch, full of letters and newspapers and packages. They did so relay-style, with more than 150 stations every 10 miles so the riders could switch horses. From St. Joseph, Mo., across the west to California, the Pony Express took pride protecting the mochila. It was said that the horse and rider should perish before the mochila did.

The Minooka girls track and field team headed north to Prospect Relays Friday night, and, like the Pony Express, they delivered.

The baton drove their speed in this relay meet, and the Indians fared well against a strong nine-school field. Of the 17 events, Minooka won five (discus, varsity 4x800, JV 4x200, 6400-meter team race, and JV 4x400). The girls finished second in two more (varsity 4x200, and JV 4x800).

They did this in cold weather with gusty winds. Wind chills hovered in the high 20s. In fact, with the forecast so ghastly and meets across the state being canceled, Prospect decided ahead of time to eliminate five races originally on the schedule to make the meet more bearable for the athletes.

By looking at the MInooka athletes, you would have thought it was sunny and 75. There were smiles before and after races, and it was clear the girls were excited for their first (finally!) outdoor meet of the season. When they lined the infield during the final race of the night, the 4x400, they were easily the most energetic squad cheering on their teammates.

When it was all over, they had finished second to the host school. The trophy was a nice memento to put in their pouch for the ride home.

Go Indians.

– Coach Thomas