My first experience with high school track was in 1974, my sophomore year in high school. A couple dozens girls met every day on the track at Pompano Beach High School to form the school’s first girls’ track team. We were an enthusiastic group, even if our coach was reluctant. Coach Brewer was accustomed to blowing his whistle and shouting commands to boys on the varsity football team so he struggled to figure out what to do with a bunch of girls. (Although at the end of the year banquet he remarked that coaching girls was a piece of cake…no arguments and dedicated to both practice and meets.)
We practiced daily and competed rather poorly. But only the second week of the season, my role changed from athlete to volunteer after I was hit by a car and found myself sporting a cast on my left arm. This early training has been used for more than a dozen years. Far longer than the two years I called myself a runner.
From 1999-2008, while we had daughters on the Forest High track team, John and I were team drivers, cheerleaders, snack providers, timers, announcer, scorekeeper, presenters of awards and clerk of the course.
These duties continued a few more years after all our daughters graduated, and then after a short hiatus, we’re back. John at the starting line while I enjoy the warmth of the press box.
It’s February. It’s cold. Hundreds of high school athletes are competing in the first meet of the year. It’s track season.