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Dublin High School Varsity Boys Cross Country Team Qualifies for CIF State Championships

November 22, 2014

Dublin High School Varsity Boys Cross Country Division II NCS Finals 2014The headline is “Dublin High School Varsity Boys Cross Country Team Qualifies for CIF State Championships” which will be held on Saturday November 29 in Fresno. The team qualified after placing second at the NCS Finals event in Hayward earlier today. The girls team had a respectable showing that bodes well for future wins.

The theme of this post is, however, “and yet they run”. Today’s NCS Cross Country Finals saw both the Dublin High School varsity boys and girls compete for the Division II title in conditions that would postpone a baseball game. The rain started early as a fine mist and built into a healthy downpour with umbrella unravelling bursts of wind. Yes we are in a brutal drought but couldn’t, perhaps, the rain delay it’s entrance for a few hours? No, and yet they run.

Today’s drenched race was balanced by conditions at the other end of the spectrum earlier in the season – triple-digit heat with the student athletes seeking shelter from the sun (not rain). Heat, cold, rain, fog – and yet they run. And if the Bay Area were home to snow, I’d bet they’d be running still.

Evelyn Morehead NCS Cross Country Finals 2014Our daughter Evelyn was introduced to cross country by Joy Sherratt at Fallon Middle School. Evelyn quickly fell in love with the sport which basically involves being in pain a lot of the time and talking about how the latest workout ‘almost killed you’.

And yet they run, these cross country crazies, loving the challenge, conquering the pain and buzzing on the thrill of competition day. As National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (and long distance hiker) Jennifer Pharr Davis shared in a recent OneDublin.org interview, “In our society we have a tendency to flatline our existence through creature comforts and sometimes through medication. We’re always supposed to feel a certain way, or be entitled to a certain level of comfort. As humans I feel like our spirit is more in tune with nature and that at times we need to endure highs and lows, get through the valleys to appreciate the mountain tops even more.”

If you haven’t watched a cross country race before, which was the case for my wife and I before Evelyn introduced us to the sport, it is both intensely competitive and refreshingly congenial. The lead runner invariably gets boisterous recognition from all spectators, regardless of school affiliation, in acknowledgement of that student’s achievement.

Dublin High School Varsity Boys and Girls Cross Country 2014 Big HeadsAt the same time prepare your ears to be ringing from coaches willing their athletes forward, parents preening and screaming when their child rushes past, and peer athletes sharing team spirit while waiting for their turn at the starting line. Cross country spectators have to be quick on their feet and savvy, sprinting from vantage point to vantage point to catch a glimpse of the 2-3 mile races that are largely run out of view.

And for the volunteers at the finish line be prepared for student athletes that have left every ounce of energy on the course, and sometimes leave a little bit of lunch on the ground, in anguished gasps as they collapse into outstretched arms. And yet they run.

With our freshman runner only at the beginning of her cross country journey we as parents are still very much novices to the sport. What we’ve learned so far, however, is what a positive impact this insane athletic endeavor can have on a child’s spirit and the community of cheering parent spectators.

Dublin High School Varsity Girls Cross Country Team 2014

Dublin High School Varsity Girls Cross Country Team 2014

Dublin High School Varsity Boys Cross Country Team 2014

Dublin High School Varsity Boys Cross Country Team 2014

Dublin High School Varsity Girls Cross Country NCS Finals 2014 Race Animated

And yet they run…

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