Wednesday, January 1, 2014

My running life in pictures: Middle School and High School

The only picture I could find of me in my middle school track uniform.  I guess that was my "game face."

Me and my uncle Mike after my first half-marathon when I was 14.  I look pretty proud of myself.  It's funny because all I remember about after that race is being in the fetal position in the back of my parents' minivan.

I'm the little guy in the background - this was probably one of my first cross-country races in high school.  It's on our home course at Ann Arbor Pioneer.
Here we are walking the state meet cross-country course my freshman year.  Where am I?  You can just see my head poking over the right shoulder of the assistant coach on the right side of the photo.  I was tiny.
This is the 3200m at the state meet my sophomore year.  Todd is in front in this picture - I'm the one in the Oakley's two places back of Todd.  I still wasn't used to losing to Todd - I would need to learn to get used to it.
Don, Todd, and I running at the front in our conference race my Junior year.
Picture from the Detroit News after we won our first state championship.  We were ranked 3rd best XC in the country by USA Today.
4X800 my Junior year.  We won the state meet and had the 3rd fastest 4X800 in the country with a 7:48.  I was 3rd leg (the slow leg).  Luckily everybody else had a large drop off from their 3rd to 4th best guy - so, I looked much faster than I actually was.  We were in first by the time I handed off the baton. 
The four of us struggling to all stand on the top step at the ceremony for the 4X800.
We also got second place overall in Track that year thanks to the 4X800, Todd's first 3200 championship, the high jump state champion, an incredible day by Don in three events etc . . .
First place went to Detroit Cass Tech.  Nobody was going to beat them that year.  Their 4X200 relay was a tenth of a second off the national record. 
Steffan, Todd, Don, and me.  I haven't written much about Steffan - but he was a 1:52 800 runner.  He was a year older than me and went to Loyola.  If he hadn't gone to Loyola I wouldn't have ended up there - for which I am grateful.  It was the right place for me.

From left to right - Mike Humes, Ethan Conn, Me, Keith Braxton, and Todd.  Mike was a sophomore in this picture - by his senior year he was one of the top two runners in the state.  He ended up going to Wisconsin.  Ethan was the same year as me and Todd.  He ran for Eastern Michigan. 
I've known Keith since middle school.  We met at the first day of wrestling practice at Slauson.  He thought he was faster than me - he was wrong.  Eventually though he did get faster than me.  He was second in the state for XC is senior year.  He ended up at Loyola as well.  The most impressive accomplishment that Keith had, in my opinion, was helping us to the state XC championship his sophomore year just days after having emergency surgery on an abscessed tooth.

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