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Stride Toward Glory This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   "Write an essay to help the Admissions Office gain a more complete impression of you and what you can contribute to our university."

The feeling of competition at track meets gets my adrenaline pumping. As I prepared for my race, the 300-meter intermediate hurdles at the Class M championships, the excited crowd gave me energy and relieved any tension. Once I heard "Runners, take your mark," I got into my starting blocks and I concentrated on crossing the finish line before my opponents. Once I heard the official yell "Set," I closed my eyes and anticipated the gun. In that brief interval, I thought of all my accomplishments that made my presence at this competitive event possible.

I thought of the applauding crowd arid those two important faces, my mother and father, who had cheered enthusiastically at my induction ceremony into the National Honor Society. As a member, I have managed to budget my time for homework, along with sports and school activities. My academic goal is to be ranked number twenty in my class of 168.

BANG! I pushed off my blocks to obtain an advantage over the other runners. One by one, I cleared each hurdle, trying to keep a constant rhythm. At the last 100 meters, I sprinted as hard as I could toward the finish line. When it was over I relaxed, knowing that I had done my best. Although I tried my hardest, I wanted to improve.

I have been a member of the outdoor track team for three years. I most likely will be the team captain. If I am chosen, my determination and leadership should inspire the underclassmen to do as well. Last season, I was able to take five seconds off my time, which qualified me to compete at the Class M championships. For my fourth consecutive (and final) year, my goal is to break forty-two seconds in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles and to win a medal at the Class M championships.

In order to achieve this, I plan to improve my speed, endurance, and my hurdle form. I know that the only way to improve my endurance is by running long distances, which is why I joined cross-country. Each day we run an average of five miles. The beginning of the season was challenging, but I knew if I did not give up, I could improve. Throughout the season I was determined to do better at meets and fortunately I did. My endurance has improved greatly and this will pay off in the spring during the Outdoor track season.

To enhance my speed I will run many 400-meter sprints, which takes endurance. I have obtained from running all of those miles. I will also be participating at indoor track during the winter, where I can run the 4x400 meter relay. I will also run the 55-meter hurdles, which will allow me to work on my hurdle form. After completing these steps, I will be fully prepared to achieve my goals. Once I do reach them I will remember the hard work and determination that made it possible. -

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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