Thursday - October 22, 2009
On the road again and this time I'm heading to the Mt. Sac Invitationals in Walnut California. Probably the biggest meet in the country with over 20,000 runners and approximately 571 teams (yes, I counted them all).
Normally I am out the door by 5:30 AM trying to beat the traffic jams and the hot Arizona sun but this morning I had my oldest son (remember Ryan, 23, the dancer) driving with me and he is not a morning person so we decided to leave around 9 AM. I knew he would not be up by 9 so I took my time getting ready and knocking on his bedroom door overytime I passed by. I started getting worried we were going to have a late morning departure when all of a sudden he came bounding up the stairs wondering what was taking me so long.
He had been sitting outside waiting for me since 8:30 while I was puttering around upstairs. So we were off by 10 with music blaring and a cooler of water and gatorade!
Here is a photo of Ryan (far right) with his friend Brandon from "So You Think You Can Dance."
And remember those flashes of light I talked about during my drive to the California CC State Meet last November (just in case you forgot the link is below). The flashes that turned out to be photo radar?!!! Well, it is a little tougher to see flashes of light during the day so I had to drive with extra caution. My son kept pushing me, "Mom, we are not going to get there until tomorrow if you keep driving like this." This is the same child who told me two weeks ago on my birthday that I was getting so old……..dust would probably fly off my body if he slapped me on the back! Aren't kids fun?!
We got to the Hotel by 4:00 and are ready for the big event. After hours of going over the racing schedule we are ready to go!
See you all tomorrow and Saturday on the course! Have a great race and enjoy the moment.
Saturday - November 29, 2008
FRESNO, CA - The Callifornia State Meet was amazing! The morning started out pretty cold and foggy and when the gun went off for the first race of the day (Boys division 1) no one could see the runners for a few seconds and then all of a sudden they started to slowly appear through the fog. It was a great visual moment and one of my favorite memories.
Every race was uniquely different. Elias Gedyon (SO, Loyola) and Garrett Rowe (JR, Mountain View) were neck and neck throughout the division II race until the final 100 meters when Gedyon separated from Lowe; Alex Dunne (SR, San Clemente) did not miss a beat when she lost a shoe somewhere between the first and second mile in the division 1 race; Jake Jeanson (SR, Woodcrest), did not take the lead until late in the second mile when he kicked into another gear and did not stop until the finish; the Dana Hills - Buchanan boys match-up; the Suagus girls historical run; Jordan Hasay's (SR, Mission College Prep) last prep race and the applause she received along the course throughout her entire race; I could go on and on.
There were also some tough races to watch. Running second for the team and in the top 20 of the division 5 race, Junior Amber Collier (Woodcrest Christian) came into view near the finish line looking as though she had fallen. In obvious pain and with mud on her knees she kept pushing herself to the finish as a volunteer watched her pass and then walked along side of her in case she needed help. Collier ended up finishing in 32nd place.
As the crowd watched, Katie Nast (Sr, Saratoga) struggled though the final stretched of her race. With every step she took, onlookers held their breath and with 50 meters to go she looked into the crowd and found her dad and said, "I can do it." Determination took her to the finish line with the help of the announcer and to the loud cheers and applause of everyone watching. The will to finish what was started was stronger than anything else for Amber and Katie.
I also met many parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, uncles, aunts and fans cheering on their favorite team or athlete. One young girl I met, holding a sign and rooting for Chino Hills, was Aliya Rojas-Garcia (pictured right). She had a great time and so did we!
Later in the day during the awards ceremony for the division 5 girls race I met a women who brought her 11 year old granddaughter to watch Jordan Hasay run. The young girl, also a runner, was hoping to get an autograph from her favorite runner and as Jordan Hasay left the awards stand and headed out of the tent, the three of us followed. Within just a few seconds Jordan had not only given an autograph but posed with the tiny blonde girl for a photo. I was so touched by the scene................I forgot to get a photo.....darn!
With the meet over, I headed to Sacramento to visit with family.
Monday - December 1, 2008
It's off to Salt Lake City to visit my oldest son and to spend a little time with the Utah Milesplit webmaster, Aron Taylor, and the Alta High School boys cross country team.
Fresh off a second place win at the Nike Cross Country South West Regionals Aron Taylor wanted to interview the team and their coach and took me along to take photos. We spent about an hour with the team and I must say, It was a joy to be around such a great group of runners and their coach (pictured left). I took photos while Aron talked with everyone and then we headed back to Salt Lake City.
My oldest son just graduated from the University of Arizona and is now dancing for Odyssey Dance Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah. They were performing the stage adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life." Everyone did an amazing job. My favorite scene was the high school dance. Very entertaining! It was so good.......I decided I needed to see it again......... just so I could see the angel jump off the bridge and actually land in water. (Note to self: don't sit in the front row.)
After the show my son introduced me to many of the dancers (pictured right) and their family members, the director and the costume designer. Eldon, (far right) played George and he was incredible. My son, Ryan (far left) played Harry and he was just so-so. Just kidding! He did great!
For all you "So You Think You Can Dance Fans" you might recognize a few people. Brandon (standing next to Ryan above with scarf) was the final boy cut from the Las Vegas Auditions. They picked Gev instead. Good for Gev, not so good for Brandon. And remember Katie's roommate Natalie. She dances at Odyssey too and is very fun to watch.
Then there is Matt (8 foot guy in green standing next to me.....ok he's only 6'4). He was on the show "So You Think You Can Dance" and in my opinion......the best male dancer.
After I saw the second show I was sad to leave but looking forward to returning in the spring for "Shut up and dance." The ushers at the theatre were raving about last years show! I can hardly wait!
Wednesday - December 3, 2008
So it's back to Sacramento for a day before heading south to Walnut California.
Thursday - December 4, 2008
On the way to Walnut California I took a quick detour to Pleasanton to have my new laptop looked at. Hard drive failure can really make you break out in a cold sweat. Uh oh.......the two words you do not want to hear when you call technical support. Since Pleasanton was once home it was a great place to stop and have lunch with a friend while the computer was being brought back to life (if that was at all possible).
It was great to be back home. It's funny what you think of while driving through familiar places. I remember the image of the Mona Lisa etched into the grass on a hillside along 680 in Alamo. Every year for three years the image would appear as the grass turned from gold to green.
I forgot how colorful the leaves got this time of year. It's a nice change from looking at cactus every day.
I also noticed a new street sign in Pleasanton named after Tom Burnett, the 911 victim from flight '93' who said, "Let's Roll." A very nice tribute to a great hero.
Well the laptop issue took a lot longer than expected and I had to change my plans and stay in Pleasanton for the night. But the next morning I was up early and on the road to Walnut California.
Friday - December 5, 2008
I love Mt. Sac! I walked around taking in the excitement and enjoying the weather.
Then I ran into some parents I knew (including my husband) and decided to walk the course. It is even tough walking it but the views are unbelievable.
And there were runners everywhere!
We headed to the tent to see who would be picking up their packets and we ran into #2 seed Jessica Tonn and a few boys from the Los Alamos Team in New Mexico (pictured right). It turned out they were all on the same flight coming to Walnut.
After another hour of walking around and taking photos we headed to the Hotel.
After dinner, I hung out in the lobby of the Hotel trying to work and saw a huge bus pull up and unload about 900 girls from Utah. Well, maybe not that many! I also ran into Brian Shrader's (AZ) Coach, met a few moms and met Cody Helbling (ID).
Saturday - December 6, 2008
What a day! The races went out a little differently than expected. The girls race was slower as Jordan Hasay stayed back with the lead changing a few times in the first mile and a half. The boys race went out fast and the lead kept changing from the beginning until the very end. Two new races were added; the freshman/sophomore All West Regional Races.
Girls Top 10
Boys Top 10
Remember those two boys I met in the lobby the night before? Yup, top ten. Brian Shrader (2nd from left in white) came in second and Cody Hebling (in green) came in seventh.
When the awards were over and everyone left. My husband headed to the airport to go back home and I headed to San Diego to work and get ready for Footlocker Nationals.
December 9, 2008
This is the view from my Hotel window!