Go out hard while you still ain’t got no sense
Scary sight - Imagine 300 middle school boys running fast across a field, all funneling down to a path leading into the woods. A magnificent and colorful sight. A metaphor for the unbridled enthusiasm of youth. Plus, they ain’t got no sense. I’m used to human stampedes running at my camera, so I always map out an escape route. So far, I haven’t been trampled. Runners unleashed from a narrow chute tend to fan out, while the super-wide starts of cross country races all funnel down. Most middle school runners go out too fast – they are not cautious, because that comes with experience, and reading about lactic acid and oxygen debt.
Flashback 40 - Bill McCartan, a University of Delaware senior 40 years ago, ran through the cold November rain to win the 1979 Lewes Marathon in 2:29:04. Doug White, who won the inaugural 1978 Lewes Marathon, was second in 2:36. Steve “Heidi” Heidenrich, who came in to use the flatlands of Lewes as an Olympic qualifier, retired from the race at the 17-mile mark due to a foot injury. Seven runners finished with times of 2:40 or better, 38 runners ran under three hours, and 15 qualified for the Boston Marathon. The Lewes Marathon ran for 10 years, beginning in 1978 and ending in 1987.
Volleyball yaw - The Cape Henlopen school board passed a proposal to start boys’ volleyball as a club sport beginning in spring 2020. Dion Lamb and Tyler Coupe are heading up the effort. The only other teams in Sussex County will be Indian River and Delmarva Christian. Upstate schools that have teams are Salesianum, Dickinson, Concord, Conrad, Saint Mark’s, A.I. du Pont, Mount Pleasant, Brandywine, Newark and Charter School. The Indian River team played a 10-game schedule last season and finished 10-0, beating everyone 3-0 except Charter, who they beat 3-1. DIAA does not conduct a state tournament for boys’ volleyball in the spring. Jim Barnes and Jay Clark coached the 2019 Indian River volleyball team, which listed 14 players on the roster.
Fall weather - The weather predicted Saturday afternoon at Killens Pond for the Henlopen Conference Cross Country Championships is temperatures in the high 50s with light and variable winds. Perfect weather for watching hundreds of teenagers run over five kilometers pushing themselves to the pain barrier. The Caesar Rodney boys and Smyrna girls are team favorites until somebody beats them. The Cape boys lost to the Riders 33-23 Sept. 18. The Riders boys won the Kent County team championship with 23 points with three runners under 17 minutes and the next two under 17:30. The Smyrna girls were Kent County champions. The top 5 runners were all under 21:50. Cross country is all about running your best in the biggest meets.
Karma Chameleon - During Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, fans booed the presence of President Trump. Not all of them, but it sounded like most of them. Inside the stadium, it got downright rude and ignorant on purpose, but all in a night’s fun, as the game was a bummer as the Nationals lost their third straight home game to go down 3-2 and back to Houston for the final smackdown. But cue up Boy George’s “Karma Chameleon.” The curse of the Boo Birds would not be a storyline of the 2019 World Series. Karma does come and go, and it’s impossible to capture because it’s not real, just a concept that connects actions and results. Nats fans may be all about the boo, but this Halloween is just good karma.
Creatures of habitat - Grandparents in silly folding chairs populate the late-afternoon sidelines of middle school sports. Anyone smart enough to reach older age isn’t heading out to some endless game that begins at 7 p.m. But catching the grandkids in action before the slow cooker turns automatically to off is fun for everybody. The crowd at the Central Delaware Middle School Cross Country Championships at Browns Branch County Park Oct. 30 looked like the Tour de France. Everyone was cheering for anyone. There were no boos because no politicos were spotted.
Snippets - Vicki Windsor, 49, is a filly from Dover who ran the Sea Witch 5K Oct. 27 in the pouring rain in 31:57 and placed fourth in the 150-pounds-plus Filly division. Her “I Heart the 80s” T-shirt was simply boss. There were 15 women who weighed in as fillies. That category was won by Molly Serfass, 27, of Selbyville in 29:23. The Eagles are three-point favorites at home Sunday versus the Beers. Correction: the Bears. Go on now, git!