People were annoying on the bus. Maybe that’s why I always sat in the back, near Jacob. He was really, fast always getting top five. We had always joked who he had to know where he was going, because he was that fast. The yelling continued and so did my annoyance level. Instead of listening to these idiots, I slipped my headphones in. Turning my iPod on, my fingers swiped the unlock button and pressed in my number lock. My fingers met the 8-Tracks button. The previous track I was listening to started up, and I tilted my head back, to sleep.
When I woke, no music was coming through my headphones. We were now in Wautoma, Wisconsin where the meet was being held. When I said it was a big meet, I wasn’t kidding. About eleven teams were here. We all boarded off the bus, which took forever. As I got off, I could see the lines of the porta-potties. They weren’t, thank god, so I raced to get in line before the rest of the team finally came to take a potty break.
After the whole team took their potty breaks, and just chatted for a bit, Coach called us over.
“You guys have a half and hour ‘till race. JV girls and boys will be running together. Start warm-up and then others can cheer on JV,” Coach yelled clearly, making sure the 46 of us could hear.
Captain of the team, Claire, had stepped up with her best friends, Laurel and Haley.
“Ten rocket jumps, toe touches to Haley, a-skips to Laurel, and then acceleration to me,” Claire announced. This lasted about fifteen minutes, then we ran some of the course.
We all listened for the announcer, “Ten minutes ‘till JV boys and girls run.” My legs were bouncing up and down. I was really ready for this. Obviously, I would much prefer for boys and girls to be separate, but I couldn’t do anything about it.
“Golden Eagles team,” Coach started, “go to the start!”
We all walked to the start as Coach wanted us to do. As we huddled at the start, Claire start a speech on how it was our mind stopping us, not our body. Putting our hands in, we counted down to three and screamed, “GOLDEN EAGLES!”
The spaces for the teams were small. Team voted that Jacob, Riley, and I were in front. We all made sure our bodies kept warm by jogging slowly in place.
“Ten, nine, eight, seven,” the announcer counted down, “six, five.” The rest was counted silently, until we heard the blank shot go off. My legs took me far away from the crowd of runners. Only a few were next to me, Jacob, Riley, and a tall, lanky blonde from Westfield.
The lanky blonde was just a few inches ahead of me. Not for long, though, I picked up my pace just a bit. His breathy voice spoke to me, “Good job, keep it up.”
I smiled a bit, “Thanks, Westfield, you too.” His pace was similar to mine, so for most of the race, he was right there beside me. After awhile, I could spot the chute, and after the last flag, I could hear my coach yelling at me to kick it.
The blonde must have caught on also because he was kicking it also. I tried to go faster, and faster. Just to get there before him, but his strides were longer as were his legs. Chute was just inches ahead.
In the end, he made it before me. My place was eight, his seven. There was a big smile on his face, which was opposite of mine. I never really like anyone beating me at the kick. Of course, I knew it would happen at points. You could say I liked showing that girls were as great, or better than boys. Boys just get more credit than us.
Awards started in five minutes. Top ten JV boys and girls get awards. At least I made the cut. While we were waiting, most just stretched and did our cool down, as did I. Lots of ‘good jobs’ and ‘you did well’s were thrown among our team.
Coach got our attention, “Everyone sit down, awards are starting soon.”
As every team sat down, the announcers were standing next to a table filled with medals, and plaques.
“Thank you for coming the Wautoma Invitational 2014,” the announcer started, “first we will be awarding the top ten JV boys and girls.”
Another announcer stood up, “Number ten, Quinn Stikins of Westfield,” the Westfield team whoo’d as well as the blonde. “Number nine, Regan Scott of Wautoma,” the announcer hugged her along with giving the medal. “Number eight, Indie Morgan, of Mauston,” I walked up, got my medal and stood next to the others. “Number seven, Luke Hemmings, of Westfield,” his team whoo’d once more, he smirked as he walked up, received his medal, and stood next to me.
As the awards went on, he spoke to me, “Indie, nice name.”
“I could say the same to you, Lucas,” I smiled up to him, because he was literally a tower.
His pout looked so cute on him, “My name is not Lucas, it’s Luke.”
I roll my eyes, “Sure, Lucas Hemmings, say what you like.”
They all were awarded so we sat down, Luke and I shared a quick glance, but not for long. Then we left quickly, before it got jam-packed. I looked back once more, because I knew I would never see the kid who beat me in the goddamn race.
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