Every year people head to the state meet as athletes, coaches, parents, and spectators. One thing they all have in common is they all have a particular race or event they look forward to. Monday night the following was posted in to the forums under the name "THE race to watch."
It's Friday, May 3rd, 2013. The sun is beating down hot on the track, and Gulf Shores is caked in the dead of humidity. Two men are in a dire sweat to finish the hardest race of their life. As their batons hit, the roar of the crowd brings them around the final turn; the resonating shout of "Rudy! Rudy!" is heard from the corner. In response to the growing excitement, the television commentators take heed, "And these kids are at almost a flat sprint now, this is a close race. And Scottsboro holds the lead! It's gonna come down to the final 100 meters... Fort Payne is pulling hard. They're gonna get it!!!"
Last year in the 5A 4x800 meter finals, Scottsboro's team, led by Madison Estes, held first place for 3150 meters. Fort Payne's impressive kick won them the state championship by 1.7 seconds. For Scottsboro, it was the end to a heartfelt season. For Alabama, it was the beginning of a fierce competition.
This year, the Scottsboro-Fort Payne rivalry is only part of the story. At the 2014 Indoor championships, Scottsboro beat Fort Payne, falling to the first place finishers by a heavy margin. Since then, Fort Payne has beaten Scottsboro head-to-head three times in outdoor. The defending champions have retained all but one of last year's members.
Even with these two, one giant stands to be beaten: the Homewood Patriots. Homewood is the defending Indoor state champion. They put together one of the most elite cross country teams in 5A history, overcoming one of the strongest Scottsboro teams of the last decade with ease. They have produced four sub- 2:01 800 runners and currently hold the season's best time of 8:17.80, winning the Mountain Brook Invitational. Their closest competitor in 5A: Scottsboro with a time of 8:19.21.
This Friday's race will be the last for a number of seniors on these three teams. The 4x800 will undoubtedly be a race of wills, one where effort will supersede the crazy athleticism of other tight 6A races. Fort Payne is the #1 seed, with Arab, Scottsboro, and Homewood filling the next three slots. For the sake of rivalry, and the love of sports, I encourage everyone to cheer on the 5A 4x800, and may the best team win.
As always, good look to everyone competing this weekend!!!
Senior, Scottsboro High Schoool
This got me thinking about what I was most looking forward to this year. As a coach I typically look forward to watching my athletes compete in the events I work with them in. While that is true, I also tend to look forward to competitive races. I am sure we all remember watching the Hoover and Mountain Brook girl's 4x400 a few year ago that decided the state champion. That still goes down as one of the best races I have ever seen. This year I am looking forward to a few events. Here are mine:
- 5A Boys 4x800 - that one was already on my radar.
- 6A Girls 4x800 - the 2nd - 5th place teams are pretty tight.
- Jaalen Jones vs Travis Johnson
So in the comments section, let's hear what even you are looking forward to and why?