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Thoughts of the Winner

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When most people think about Track, they think of quick sprints and photo finishes. When I think of Track, I rarely have either of those things in mind; however, that's exactly what happened at my school's Conference in Maroa. I'd already run the mile in the cold and wind, so I wasn't looking forward to the 800--which is another half-mile.


After taking off my warm-ups and Pikachu hoodie, I stood shivering at the Start-Finish line. With the shot of a gun, I was off: around the corner, cutting in, hearing bystanders cheering other runners on. Turning the next corner, the wind began buffeting me. My eyes became slits and my hair whipped around in its pony-tail. I'd gotten through lap one, but the bystanders' cheers told me the fight for first wasn't over.


"Come on, Carson! You can get her!" Someone from another school shouted. I could recognize the name. It was the same name shouted at the girl that had beaten me in the mile. Knowing that I didn't have much time before she tried to overtake me, I pushed my legs to run faster.


This was the 800. This was my race. I wasn't going to let my team down.


I came around the last turn. My thoughts were only on getting to the finish line first, but I could feel Carson gaining. From the sidelines, onlookers cheered, yelling at both of us to beat the other.


Everything dissolved into ragged breaths and beating hearts. Mentally I was yelling to my burning legs: Go! Go! Come On! Just Do It! Don't let her get you now! Sprint! Come on, she's coming!


50 meters and I could feel her moving right, trying to pass me.

 

Pushing hard as my lungs screamed their protest, I didn't slow down to let her take it. I would not lose. Not so close.


20 meters and I felt her fall back. Crossing the finish line, the only coherent thought was a single word of jubilation: Yes!


I stumbled my way to the man holding numbered popsicle sticks. With an exhausted and exhilarated smile, I received a little stick marked with a one. I had never had such an intense ending before, and coming out victorious left me excited the whole drive back home.






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