Two separate occasions just lately confirmed as soon as once more how extremely spectacular our younger girls in American can be-one an occasion of pure sportsmanship at its greatest, and the opposite an occasion of pure need, dedication and substance.
The first occasion occurred on the Washington Class 4A State Girls Track & Field Championship Meet at Pasco, and the operating of the three,200-meter race with Nicole Cochran, Bellarmine Prep’s excellent center distance runner.
Cochran received the occasion in 10:36, beating Shadle Park’s Andrea Nelson by Three seconds. Thirty minutes later, race officers disqualified Cochran, ruling that the Harvard-bound runner ran Three consecutive steps contained in the lane adjoining to hers. Bellarmine Prep Coach Matt Ellis appealed the infraction, however his attraction was denied.
The infraction occurred on the primary day of the meet, and Cochran was visibly upset as a result of she knew she didn’t commit the infraction. In addition, Cochran was the defending state champion, having received each the 1,600 and 3,200 titles as a junior.
She by no means appeared herself after the crushing information, and the pure injustice of all of it. On the second day of competitors, Cochran led the 1,600 and was gunned down within the ultimate lap when Oak Harbor’s Mietra Smollack out-kicked her on the ultimate flip to win in 4:56.44. Cochran completed 4th.
Later within the afternoon, Cochran ran the 800 meters and completed lifeless final in 2:24.40. “I just didn’t hang with them, and kind of gave up after 450 meters,” stated a dejected Cochran.
Despite shedding Cochran’s factors, her teammates have been rightfully incensed and rose to the event by successful the group title with 76.5 factors to second-place Gig Harbor’s 65.
“I gave a lot of effort in the 3,200,” stated Cochran, “and then there was the emotional toll afterward, sitting here for a whole hour while they got the 3,200 figured out, which was unfortunate because I know I wasn’t in the wrong and I got penalized for it.”
In a present of pure sportsmanship, when the official 3,200 race winner Andrea Nelson was awarded her first place metallic on the podium, she moments later gave her first place medal to Cochran. Redmond’s Sarah Lord adopted by giving Nelson her second-place medal, and the opposite medal winners adopted go well with.
“It gave me the chills,” Cochran stated. “It shows how much respect distance runners have for each other.”
And now the story after the story: Ten days after that eventful afternoon, the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association reinstated Cochran because the rightful winner, reversing a guidelines infraction cost made by race officers.
Mike Colbrese, govt director of the WIAA, reviewed video of the race that confirmed it was Cochran’s teammate who ran out of the lane, and that the officers’ report additionally incorrectly recognized the lap in query as Lap 7 when the infraction truly occurred on Lap 6. So a lot for that bungled officiating effort.
The officers have been lifeless improper on race day, however in addition they have been completely certain they have been proper and additionally in cost on race day. The cat will mew and the canine can have its day (from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, Act 5, Scene 1, which means “any given person’s moment of glory is inevitable), or, as I like to say: “proper will out”.
The second event happened at the Texas 1A Girls State Track & Field Championship Meet in Austin, where Rochelle High School won the team title. So what is so unusual, you ask? Just this: Rochelle qualified exactly one athlete for the state meet, and she won the state title for her team by herself.
Meet Bonnie Richardson, a study in desire, determination and substance like no other girl track and field athlete in Texas high school history.
Richardson, whose middle name just might be talent, spent Friday winning the high jump at 5 foot 5 inches, placed 2nd in the long jump at 18-7, and third in the discus at 121-0.
On Saturday, Richardson ambled over to the track in the sweltering high-90-degree Texas heat and promptly won the 200-meter dash in 25.03 and followed up the effort by nearly pulling off a huge upset in the 100 before finishing 2nd in 12.19 to defending champion Kendra Coleman of Santa Ana.
“Kendra and I’ve been battling all 12 months,” said Richardson. “I used to be amazed I stayed along with her. I did not assume I used to be that quick.” Yes, Bonnie Richardson, you ARE apparently THAT fast.
So did Richardson steal the show in Texas? Nah, she just earned her team the state title by herself. University Interscholastic League officials could not remember a girl ever winning a state team title by herself.
It did happen before in the state boys championship meet when former Balyor Bear and Pittsburgh Steeler Frank Pollard did it for Meridian Highs School in the 1970s, said UIL Athletics Director Charles Breithaupt.
Many outstanding girl athletes have dominated state meets, but few ever cross over from the sprints to the field events with Richardson’s success, said Beithaupt. “The approach she did it’s actually spectacular.” That is, of course, what everyone thought who was there to see it happen.
And the kicker? It turns out that Rochelle High School does not even have a track to practice on. When Richardson was asked how does she train, she jokingly replied, “Watch out for potholes,” adding, “We have a monitor about 10 miles down the street and practice there often.”
Richardson’s coach, Jym Dennis, suspected she could do something special at the state meet, but wisely stayed quiet, not wanting to put any pressure on his prize athlete.
Last year, Richardson won the state long jump title, but did not medal in the high jump and discus.
And the additional great fortune for Rochelle High School? Bonnie Richardson is a junior.
Richardson also competes on Rochelle’s tennis team, and led Rochelle’s basketball team to the state semifinals last season.
“I’d play soccer if my dad and mom would let me,” said Richarson, adding “Not quarterback. Defense.” Sounds like my kind of girl-spunky, competitive and willing to settle all issues on the field of battle.
Lou Holtz, one of college football’s legendary coaches, was famous for many quotes, including this one: “When all is claimed and performed, extra is claimed than performed.” Somehow, I believe Lou Holtz would have been an incredible admirer of Bonnie Richardson, and her extraordinary effort on that sizzling Texas afternoon when she single-handedly delivered a state title to Rochelle High School.
And there you’ve got it: Nicole Cochran, each lady on the medal stand for the three,200-meter ceremony, Cochran’s teammates, and Bonnie Richardson, all extraordinary younger girls who did extraordinary issues as a result of they might and would.
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley