This weekend, as I perused the sidelines of the Mountain West
Conference indoor track and field championships, a number of
moments captured my intention. Here’s my best attempt at allowing
you to see what I saw.
Like a pack of wild horses being led to the edge of a ravine,
hordes of beautiful co-eds lined the periwinkle track in the Cadet
With the MWC men’s overall title on the line, all eyes focused
on the crouched spandex-clad sprinters. A momentary hush fell
across the couple hundred fans and competitors as the runners
arched their backs waited to explode. Then with the BANG of the
pistol the adrenaline poured over the crowd and vocal chords
vibrated with intensity.
Steady shrieks of “C-S-U” bounded off the walls and pushed the
stampeding hooves toward their awaiting teammates. With bulls-eye
perfection the batons changed between sweaty palms.
CSU ran out of room to catch the frontrunners, but the sensual
imprints don’t stop at the 4×440.
With his chest steadily pounding and gasping between sentences
for thin oxygen senior Austin Vigil changed his shoes and slowly
expressed the joy of ending his MWC indoor career with victories.
The salty smell of sweaty success stuck to my mind as I tried to
jot down his thoughts.
“I had been training throughout the meets this year,” said
Vigil, sweat drops falling from his hairline and crashing against
the turf beneath him. “I rested this week and tried to run as hard
as I could.”
His hardest was good enough to break two records.
I watched a few events from the stands, sitting on the backrest
of chilled metallic bleachers. I watched the triple jumpers sprawl
into the freshly raked sand trap. They raced down the runway toward
the pit accompanied by a constantly increasing round of applause,
which climaxed as they lifted off. I’ll remember the gasp from the
green and gold as Jacob Benson’s hamstring gave out – his final
jump of the day.
He still left the Springs with a title.
I’ll remember hearing the slight slurping of lukewarm yogurt,
from injured track star Sarah MacKay who privileged me with her
company, and the attempts to shovel it out with a fork. I’ll
remember that track and field is made up of beautiful people.
Ninety-eight percent of the people there were gorgeous; the other 2
percent were media types, dang it.
Yeah, I suppose I just used column space to hit on some track
girls, but I’m OK with hiding behind my keyboard, all right.
I never knew coach Del Hessel had such fire. His face
firecracker-red and his voice exploding as his athletes blazed past
his corner of the track. Once they passed his hands slid back deep
into his pockets and his crimson quickly faded – that is, until
they passed him on the next lap.
You see, I don’t know him that well, but Hessel has always
seemed like more of a Zen-like Phil Jackson than an inspiring Bobby
Knight. I guess I’m wrong sometimes.
To most fully sum it up… It was rad.