Feb 292004
Authors: John Teten

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

Field House.

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.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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