I can’t begin to explain the feelings rushing through my brain at the moment.
CIF Southern California Championships were today and it was beyond words.
The competition was fierce with girls finishing at 15:49 (Claudia Lane). I am so overwhelmed by how amazing every single runner there was and I only hope that our small but mighty team will continue to qualify for this competition for the rest of my years in high school.
The course was a flat, dusty dirt course, with hundreds of spectators cheering you on on the side and helping you push yourself that extra mile in order to achieve your goal.
A gun was shot into the air symbolizing the start of the race, and everyone on the starting line sprung into action and begun sprinting their way to the front of the pack, including myself. We resembled salmon in a hatchery, all swimming against the current, piled against each other, pushing ourselves to the limit.
After everyone settled down, paces were found and the true part of the race began. Normally being in the top ten in the races, it was strange for Ojai Valley School to settle into the middle of the pack with fifty, sixty, or seventy people in front and behind you. It was nerve-racking for everyone, but comforting knowing every runner felt the same pain in your lungs as you.
Adrenaline kicked into the runners as we made our way onto the third mile of the race. Strides lengthened, breathing became harder, and you began to pass people you never thought you would pass. Suddenly, you saw the finish line, the symbol of relief. The last quarter mile- a straight-away to the finish line- flew by as the runner zoomed down the dirt path, and the tracker-chips woven into their shoes crossed the finish line.
Tears were shed, and hugs were given knowing that we gave it our all. The overwhelming excitement hit us all at once knowing that we had completed our first CIF Championship meet. And even though we did not qualify, all the underclassmen are determined to return to the course next year and try, try, try again.
I can not begin to thank the coaches enough for an amazing season and helping me push myself to times I believed were unachievable. Having never run before and to come out of the gates increasing my PR (personal record) by over three minutes was groundbreaking for me, and I could not have done it without Mr. Alvarez and Ms. Stevens.