Her First Track Meet

Anna loves to run. From the time she could put one foot in front of another and keep her balance, she’s been trying to go as fast as she can. She’s fast enough now that people are starting to notice.

Her coach at our local after-school fitness program noticed. Anna started winning sprints and steeplechases, and her team won a relay. So we looked into local track clubs and found one holding an open meet last Saturday.

Her coach thinks she’ll be a great hurdler someday, but she’s too young to run hurdles at a track meet. Instead we focused on what seem to be her strengths—running fast and jumping. We signed her up for the 100 and 200 meter races and for the long jump.

The long jump was first. The kids compete in age groups—from youngest to oldest—and Anna was in the “8 and Under” group, so she went first.

She’s never tried a long jump before and has no real technique, so she fouled all three times. It was pretty upsetting. We almost had to leave, but once she calmed down, she decided she wanted to stay and try running.

Then we waited and waited (and waited). They were running behind schedule and a meet we thought would only last the morning looked like it might go all day. Being our first track meet, we had no idea how long it would last. We watched some of the other races and caught glimpses of the field events. Then around 11 am, they called the 100 meter competitors over.

The kids got their lane assignments and lined up in rows. Once again, the races were schedule by age—from youngest to oldest—and alternated between girls and boys. Anna’s race was first.

She was briefly confused by the curved lines on the track, but once she figured out her lane, she was all set.

The starting pistol fired and they were off. I was at the start of the race so I couldn’t see what place she was in, but despite a slow start she seemed to be keeping up with the other kids. I walked down to the finish line where Julia was and asked how she did.

“Fifth place.”

She got a ribbon and was very happy with her finish. For her first track meet ever, it was an excellent result. We are so proud of her.

By this point it was about 11:40 a.m. and there were several more races until the 200 meter sprint. Anna had a Brownie meeting at 1 p.m. so we had to pull her out of the last race and leave.

She was okay with that. She earned her first ribbon.

Fifth Place

And hung it up as soon as she got home.

Now it’s time to start looking into track clubs.

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