Monday night was the 4A Conference Track Meet at Des Moines East High School, and last night was the 4A District Track Meet at Johnston High School. So we have been busy this week attending track meets. Districts determines who gets to go on to participate in the State Track Meet next weekend at Drake University. The top two finishers in every event qualify for the State Track Meet from each District meet. So Alexa went into the meet with desire and nerves.
Nerves? She has only run the 100 meter dash one time this season and broke a meet record while doing it. The coaches wanted her to run it at the Districts yesterday - so she was nervous and wanted to do well. She ran the event in Middle School and was top 2 in the state for two years, so after not being in track during 9th, 10, and 11th grades due to a dislocated knee and the subsequent rehab to tackle that, had set her back and got her into soccer and cross country instead - it is really fun to see her run sprints again and excel in an event she was so good at back in Middle School.
Here she is running pre-lims at State in 2008 (taking it easy, running just hard enough to be in the top 4 to qualify for finals, but not so hard that she would drain the tank and not be at her best for the finals)
All smiles and braces back in 2008 after running so well...
Sorry there are no pictures from last night. I will have my camera back next week for State so I can get some new ones!
There were 2 heats of the 100 meter dash and Alexa was in the 2nd heat (the fastest heat). She gave it her all and really wanted it badly as she poured it on - especially in the final 20 meters and took 2nd place about a stride behind 1st place to qualify for State!! She and her coaches (and parents) were excited to say the least. She thinks she could have warmed up better as she said she felt faster in her later events. She runs at State on Thursday morning at 9 am in this event, so we'll be up early getting her breakfast and she will do a proper warm-up to be ready to go that early in the morning.
Next up was the 4 x 200 and Alexa was running anchor for the relay team. The 1st handoff of the baton was terrible as the 2nd girl had to actually stop, stand and wait for the baton as adrenaline had her taking off so fast the 1st girl couldn't catch her before the elimination line. The 2nd handoff was smooth. Alexa suffered the same fate of adrenaline forcing her to have to slow down and wait for the baton to take it in the allowed zone. But once she had it, she ran her best 200mm segment of the year shaving off a full 2 seconds from her best 200m time. Wow! Way to go! She took the team from 4th place when she got the baton and about 5 meters from the finish line passed the 2nd place girl (from Valley) and just as Alexa passed her, the girl from Valley leaned forward to lengthen her stride and fell face fist to the track not crossing the line. Her baton bounced off the surface and flew right in front of Alexa's face (Alexa had to swivel to avoid getting hit) and the 1st place girl fell across the line to the ground. Alexa remained upright, in her lane and snagged 2nd place - qualifying for State!! Quite an exciting finish to that race that had the crowd to its feet and hushed in silence with the 2 girls falling at or near the line.
Her 3rd event was the Sprint Medley (she runs one of the 100m segments). Great baton handoffs on all exchanges and both Emma and Alexa ran their 100m segments like the wind (they were actually running their segments against a stiff wind) and had us in 2nd place going into the 200mm segment. The final handoff was clean and the girls crossed the line and qualified for State!!
The final event Alexa was in would be the 4 x 100 relay. It's usually the most exciting event to see 4 full out 100 meter dashes in a row with perfectly timed handoffs. If you blink, you miss it. They were DQ'd on Monday at the Conference meet for a bad handoff that crossed the line, so they were careful at Districts not to make that mistake. Alexa was the anchor running the final segment and she had a bit of distance to make up when she got the baton to close the gap and get us into contention. Again, she poured it on and passed 2 girls grabbing 2nd place and qualifying for State!!
Wow - 4 out of her 4 events qualified! Tara made the comment that she wondered what would have happened if Alexa had been running track the past 3 years instead of playing soccer. I said, it doesn't matter. She did well in spite of it.
On to State...
You are only allowed to run in 4 events at State - so she is doing the maximum number of events allowed for an athlete. Based on her excellent 200m run, I wouldn't be surprised if they switch her in the Sprint Medley from the 100m to the 200m segment as that is where our relay lost a bit of time. But we shall see. The good news is that it was a great night that we will not forget. She was on Cloud 9 afterwards and Tara and I are very proud of her accomplishment - no matter what happens at State.