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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

We did it!!!

My kids have been on the track team at Our Lady of Mercy for 7 years.  They joined the team our first year there.  Sarah was in 2nd grade and Peter was in 3rd.  Denise, the coach (who was also a new family to the school was in her first year of coaching at Mercy) asked for parent volunteers because almost half of the kids in school participate and you need a lot of help managing that many kids.

I volunteered my time that first year helping with K-4 and basically just wrangled kids - lined them up, told them to listen to the coach, took them to the bathroom, etc.  At the end of that first year, Denise told me her main assistant was leaving because her son was heading to high school and asked me to help her with all the administrative duties.

She loved to coach, she said, but hated emails, and spreadsheets and keeping track of minutiae.  I told her I would be glad to help her as those were things I didn't mind.  In fact, I would rather email 95 families about something than try to get 95 kids in a circle to do warm-ups.

So the next year I helped keep track of fees, forms, spreadsheets, tee-shirt sizes for uniform orders, etc.  and have been doing that ever since.

Denise is originally from Trinidad and came to the US on a track scholarship. Because Denis is a track pro, our school is the one that typically organizes the two regular season track meets for the other catholic schools in the area.  You really need to have a good understanding of track in order to pull off a smooth track meet because it's a lot of work and requires a lot of help and Denise is the woman for the job.

Each year we  head into the conference championships knowing that we have a strong team but each year we get beaten by St. Pius X.  Their school is twice as big as ours and it always felt like a David and Goliath situation. (I would like to add here that the other schools in the conference are our size but because Denise is so dynamic and so outgoing and willing to go from grade to grade asking everyone to participate, our team is as big as the Pius team.  So even though our school is smaller and the talent pool isn't as deep, Denise manages to put together a very competitive team each year.)

Denise approaches every year with so much excitement for the new track season and always with the thought that "this might be the year".  But each year we came up short.  Until this year.

Our school was the host for the conference championships and we hired a timing company instead of the normal Dads with stop watches.  Because Dads with stopwatches aren't precise and there are always so many races that end in a photo finish and parents of track runners like to argue with the dads with stopwatches and even though it's a bunch of catholic schools, it can still get very heated.
The timing company was worth every penny because they had film of who crossed the finish line first.   If there was a question, all you had to do was check the film.

At the end of the meet, K-4 standings were announced from worst to best.  Out of the 7 teams, we were second and Pius was 1st.  5-8 standings were then announced from worst to best.  Out of the 7 teams, we were first and Pius was second.

And literally, we ALL held our breaths as the overall winner was announced.

And when they announced Pius was SECOND cheers erupted all over the track because that meant WE WON!  And these cheers weren't just from our team but from the others as well because Pius wins everything every year (not just track but all the other sports as well - so annoying.)

It was  such a great moment.  And as happy as I was for the kids, I was twice as happy for our coach.

And to make things even more exciting, Peter was working this track meet as the flag guy at the start line so he was able to celebrate with us even though he wasn't officially on the winning team.

Here are a few pictures from the day:

My girl getting it!


Denise with the 8th graders.

Denise kissing the trophy! This might be my favorite picture from the day!


Madeline said...

What a way to go out!! Congratulations to you and Sarah and the entire team!! How exciting to finally beat Goliath!

Colleen said...

I literally have chills from reading this. So happy for your school, the coaches, and those kids!!

Gigi said...

Congrats! Victory that took such a long time coming is oh so sweet.

Mari said...

Hooray! I love that picture of Denise too!

Busy Bee Suz said...

That is so darn awesome!!! Sweet victory! Congratulations to your kiddos and the entire team and coach.