Some people enjoy spending their Saturdays on the couch watching TV, or maybe on their Phones. However, for people like Ainsleigh Patten, Thomas Orcutt, and Eddie Hastings, a day spent at a track meet is certainly more appealing than any TV show. Before beginning her warm-up lap, Ainsleigh says “The environment here is so friendly, and inviting”
On Saturday, May 20th, these three had traveled roughly 45 miles to participate in Massachusetts Last Chance to Qualify Meet. Hosted by Notre Dame Academy in Hingham Massachusetts, at least 500 competitors gather to race. Here, athletes who are close to the qualifying standards for the State meet, have a final chance to meet those requirements before entries close. However, Eddie comments “I have already qualified for my events, but I’ve always wanted to try the 100m and 200m. In this meeting, it means nothing if you don’t do very well, and the competition is great. So it’s one of the best places to try new events.”
Thomas and Ainsleigh, however, had come for a final chance to qualify for the State Meet. Thomas was so close to qualifying a week before in the grueling 800m but missed the standard by a mere 1.3 seconds. Ainsleigh was 0.30 seconds away from qualifying the 200m and a 0.20 in the 100m. They both were nervous but excited to compete.
By the end of the day, Thomas had successfully qualified in the 800m, running a full 2.5 seconds faster than his previous times, 2:06.37. The standard was 2:07.60. “It was the best feeling! I was pushing so hard the last 200m, and I could see the clock as I came down the final stretch, and I knew I could make it. It was close but I did it!” Thomas exclaimed with joy, but still trying to catch his breath. Ainsleigh and Eddie, unfortunately, did not have the same luck as Thomas, as both did not meet their goal of qualifying. “I mean, it’s good experience. It just wasn’t my day.” Ainsleigh said. Eddie added “Yeah, for me, it’s for fun. These aren’t even my main races, so I don’t mind not doing too well.”
All in all, the three had a fun day. Meeting new people, talking to friends, and partaking in good competition. (Written by Riley Patten.)