Today, Taylor ran her last meet of the year in rain and wind at the Gratiot Country Club. The flu (and you know which one I mean) has hit Shepherd and every other school in the area, so the kids are in the middle of a mini vacation. Mt. Pleasant schools closed from Wed through Friday, but Shepherd held out for two days longer. They are closed Friday through Tuesday. They still had their meet today, but there were only 15 runners from the middle school, on a team that normally has 37. The coach warned them to just run for fun since they wouldn't have a chance of winning. Little did he know that most other schools would have the same problem. Only a small portion of the schools that signed up for the meet arrived. In the end, the Shepherd girls took 1st place and got a plaque for it, and each runner earned a medal. This was great for the girls that usually don't get medals! Sorry for the sideways pics, but I couldn't get them to switch on my computer, and once I tried to edit them, I couldn't delete individual pictures. Anyway, look closely at the mud on the back of Tay's legs. This is from all of the mud bogs that she ran through. It dried on her legs and this is what they still looked like after she got home.
Crossing the 2 mile finish line at 14:29.
Some of my favorite cross country quotes as seen on the backs of shirts from other teams:
"Our sport is your sport's punishment."
"Cross country. Finally, a good use of golf courses!"
This is Taylor's last year to play soccer since the program in Shepherd ends at 8th grade. When someone plays the same position the whole game, you'd think that for one half or the other, they would be playing near you. Not so with Tay. She is always far away from where I am sitting, no matter WHERE I sit! Just so you know how COLD this was (especially those of you down in Florida), I sat at this game with a thermal shirt, t shirt, hoodie sweatshirt, winter coat, Danielle made knit hat and mittens. Then I wrapped a blanket around my legs. I think that it was in the 30's. Taylor, on the other hand, didn't even pack a pair of pants to wear! Lucky for her, one of the guys from her cross country team came to the game after cross practice (yes, it is an old boyfriend), and he had his mom get a spare pair of sweats out of their van for Taylor to wear. That is why her pants say "Davis" down the side.
Taylor's face is behind this ball!
On a side note, at the next game, we played the team coached by Nate Walters of the Walters family that had a certain Mr. Walters who was our principal at Kinney School (or Skinney School if you were Carol). Contrary to my typical nature, I made myself go over to him and "say hi to my favorite elementary principal." He wanted to know all about everybody, so I gave him a quick update. He can cross check the update with his wife, whom I had worked out with earlier that morning (along with Debbie Dell). Yes everyone, I work out several mornings a week with a bunch of retired ladies and it is a riot!
This guy is an ANIMAL on the field! He covers every square inch and with the speed of the wind! Speaking of wind, check out his hair in the 2nd to last picture. This is what it looks like most of the game, except it changes directions based upon whether he is jumping, diving, spinning, rolling, or running! If you want to watch him play, you have to be focused, or you will lose track of where he is. He says that he has a "position", but I haven't figured it out yet!
Back at the beginning of October, Tay had a meet in Carson City. She wasn't feeling well, so her coach told her that she only had to run a mile (now if anyone told me that I had to run ONLY a mile, I might die, as I never raced for any distance beyond 200M. The race picture is the only documentation that I have of her run(#3247), since she did not finish the race, but she did get her personal record on that mile (I think that she ran harder, knowing that she didn't have to finish).
Here's a nice story. One of the Shepherd bus drivers has "adopted" the high school cross country team. He has designated himself as their driver, and goes to all of their meets. He doesn't hang out with the bus or drive off to Walmart, he moves around the course taking pictures of the kids for them. At Carson City, he worked with several mothers to plan a tailgate and we all brought food. While the kids ran (the course went by the bus) he grilled burgers and hotdogs for the team and their families.