SPC Championship, 5.5.16

Post date: May 8, 2016 1:56:33 AM

Thursday marked the 55th anniversary of a landmark in American space travel. Fifty-five years ago the United States was in the midst of the Cold War, where America and the Soviet Union battled it out to see who would be the dominant superpower in the world.

That battle would continue outside the Earth’s atmosphere. It was called the Space Race, and the Soviets took an early lead when they launched Sputnik, the first satellite, in 1957. They would continue by putting the first person in space on April 12, 1961.

Less than a month later, the U.S. followed. On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space. His suborbital flight lasted 15 minutes.

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase: “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” It’s a bit overused, and it’s not my favorite. But its roots are in goal-setting and positive thinking.

The Americans weren’t first to launch a satellite or first to put a person in space. But that was the goal.

Fifty-five years to the day that Shepard went into space, Minooka arrived at Romeoville to compete in the SPC Championship.

From the start of the season, the goal was to be first. It’s an overstatement to say we shot for the moon. The goal was indeed difficult, but it wasn’t the moon. We knew Oswego East was very good, and they were. We knew we would need a near-perfect night in order to have a chance. We didn’t. Oswego East won the varsity championship by a good margin.

And despite Minooka’s second-place finish, there were stars out there.

Minooka won the 1600-meter run, the 800-meter run, and the 3200-meter run.

School records were set in the 800-meter run and the pole vault. It’s possible we would have set one in the 3200-meter run, but our runners — who finished first and second — are team players and had specific race instructions.

All-Conference status was accomplished 12 different times. Personal records were set by most. The 4x100 and 4x200 relays were set up to run season’s best. They did. And let’s not forget, the JV won their SPC Championship. No easy feat.

Alan Shepard wasn’t the first person in space. America got beat there. But the U.S. was the first to go to the moon in 1969. And Shepard himself set foot there in 1971.

From the beginning of the Space Race, the United States shot for the moon. Eventually, they landed there.

Sectionals is next week. Then state.

Go Indians.

— Coach Thomas