Tuesday, April 25, 2006

GIRLS TRACK, MOLLY'S LEG

MOLLY AND BEN DAVIS. Molly's a freshman member of the Ben Davis High School girls varsity track team. She runs the second leg of the 4 x 800 meter relay, the 800 m, and a leg of the 4 x 400 m. After warm temperatures over the past two weeks, today it turned considerably colder with rain and wind. Temps dipped into the forties by track meet time and even though it stopped raining, the wind whipped up to 35 mph in the runners' faces on the back stretch. Times weren't good. The student athletes were freezing; the parents and friends were, too. It was the only home meet for BD girls this season. They easily defeated Warren Central. But both teams were holding their best back in preparation for the MIC Conference meet on Friday. Molly ran a good leg for BD's 4 x 800 winning effort.

GIRLS TRACK IN ILLINOIS. I covered girls track as my spring beat when I wrote sports for the Kankakee Daily Journal. I grew to like the sport and enjoyed that beat as I criss-crossed northeastern Illinois following south suburban Chicago high school track squads in 1982 and 1983. I became somewhat familiar with some of the subtleties of the track. The 800, 1,600, and 3,200 meter runs were my favorite events to cover. Believe it or not, there were young women who took these events and their performance against well-known area competitors quite seriously. I've watched them shove and try to trip each other, curse at each other, and cry over narrow losses. These were disciplined and high-caliber athletes, tough and tender. So, given that backdrop, it's been especially fun to support Abby and Molly as they have pursued the sport here in Indianapolis.

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