“There’s a hole in the bridge, Coach Irving, Coach Irving,
There’s a hole in the bridge, Coach Irving a hole.”
I had actually completely forgot that I watched Elisha lose a foot through the bridge at the last meet until Alexis pointed it out yesterday. No big deal, buy decking, bring my homeroom down, and fix it. Of course, 7th-graders...managed to break another board, while discovering that what I thought was a hole in one board was actually a hole in two. So...3 boards replaced an hour before the meet, but...there was another one that would not survive the meet! My wife came to the rescue, and with the construction expertise of Nicky and Maddy, the bridge was restored just before the first course walkers came into view. Yay! Meanwhile, Sandu managed to mark the entire course and my trustworthy chute officials had arrived and were ready to go. The first race was won, the race to competently host a meet!
Anyhow, it was a wonderful day to race, cool and dry, and the runners were instructed to run or race however they felt. Some chose to tempo, some chose to race, while most of the boys team chose to HAMMER! Plymouth, Windham, John Stark, and Souhegan’s JV team were on the docket for the day (Souhegan never runs their varsity at this meet, they come and run a workout instead).
For the girls race, Sophia took it out quick, although around the halfway mark I asked what percentage she was running at - 80, 90, or 100? She looked at me like I was joking and said “neither”. When asked later, she said she was running at “55%”. This from a girl who won by 66 seconds and moved up to 5th in the All-Time Ravine Home Course List. Maddy was the next across, fully racing to make up for her DNF on Sunday. Clearly recovered, she came three seconds from her all-time PR! The next two in the race were Emma and mini Emma, aka Samantha. Running to plan, they cruised easily past probably 20 girls over the last two miles, making things look a lot better for the team score than it looked at the mile mark (although a team win was certainly not in the list of goals at the start). With elder Sophia absent, a new 5th place runner was needed to secure the team score for MV. And that place went to...Violet! Almost breaking 24, it was a great race for her, and a huge improvement from Sunday. Behind Violet, most of the girls ran season bests - it was just that kind of a day! The team win did go to MV after all, putting a cherry on top of a great day. Surprisingly, the scores added up to the fourth best team time on the current course (since 2012), about 30 seconds better than the last meet.
The boys had decided as a team to take advantage of the good weather and make a race of it. After a fast start that saw things pretty evenly balanced between Windham and MV, things settled down with a Windham trio leading with Ethan stuck on behind, trailed by Mark. Ethan continued his fantastic fall, running his best time on the course and scoring a 9th spot on the course All-Time list. Congratulations to him! Mark raced a great last mile, breaking 19, very impressive for a freshman. Isaac continued to lower his time as well, while Marshall broke the great 20 minute barrier for the first time, tying Coach Irving’s 9th grade PR. Although Marshall, you really have to do it at Manchester for it to count! Wrapping up the scoring was the one guy with specific instructions, Christian, who for the record followed the instructions perfectly. When the dust settled, Windham had rather destroyed the field with 17 points, but MV was next with 57, defeating Plymouth, John Stark, and Souhegan’s JV (phew).