Warrior runner Paige Teal raises fist to own her moment

September 12, 2023

I am the warrior - Paige Teal of Wilmington Christian ran the JV girls’ race at the Sept. 9  Lake Forest Invitational, placing last in 52 minutes. Thirty minutes or less after the start of the girls’ race, the JV boys took off in hot pursuit. The front half of the boys’ pack of runners caught and passed Paige. But as she rounded the bend heading down the final long straightaway, the crowd cheered her on and she owned the moment, raising a fist. Don't anyone tell me that kids aren't as tough as they used to be. You can tell someone else, but don't tell me, because I know better.

Carter Gibbons - Last week, I used a photo of cross country runner Carter Gibbons charging up the hill at Fort Miles as part of an evening workout. Evidently hard work is paying off for the sophomore, as he was Cape’s second runner in the JV race at the Lake Forest Invitational, running 20:12. A slight problem not with the photo but with me as I identified Carter Gibbons as Mattox Rineer in the published photo. Carter’s dad Matt gave me a friendly heads up so I could redeem myself like a coupon in my column. I tried to get a fresh photo of Carter during Saturday's JV race, but as he rounded the bend he was tucked between two runners and I couldn't see him – but I did get Mattox Rineer. Man, it is tough out there. 

Anthony Pipiro - Anthony Papiro is a senior cross country runner for John Dickinson High School. Anthony is a visually impaired athlete, and so on occasion Sean Gilligan volunteers as a sighted guide. “I’m looking forward to running with him this cross country season," Sean said. “He’s a great kid.” Anthony ran 26:24 in the boys’ JV race, which is 8:31 mile pace.

Celebration time get gone - It ain’t cool to hang with the gang of winners who are celebrating a big victory and you and your team are the ones who got beat. Coco Gauff won the U.S. Open over Aryna Sabalenka Sept. 9, and the staged celebration and speeches lasted longer than a 40-ounce Slurpee. Sabalenka had to endure inane questions in front of an Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, most of whom couldn’t pronounce, let alone spell, her name. She cried on a couple of occasions. But if you leave early, you are perceived as an ungracious and sore loser. The flip side is pulling off an upset win on the opponent’s turf then hanging around way too long to celebrate. I’m thinking of the Texas football win at Alabama. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian stayed on the field  too long in celebration. The Roll Tide crowd also got a good dose of Matthew McConaughey, who has been playing cool so long it's evolving into lame.

Braves clinch - The Phillies don’t emanate team toughness and on a Sunday when the Braves clinched the division and led the Phillies by 14 games, the Phillies went belly up against the Marlins losing 5-4 as they await the Braves’ arrival for a four-game series. The wild card berths have become the Dollar General of playoff teams. 

Snippets - Eagles fans know the Birds’ 25-20 win over the Patriots was ugly while the Cowboys’ dominance over the Giants 40-0 was concerning.  The Steelers losing 30-7 to the 49ers was unexpected, while the Commanders’ 20-16 win over the Cardinals had Redskins fans clamoring, “Can we please have our name back?” Penn State football, ranked No. 7 in the AP Top 25, put a 63-7 beatdown on visiting Delaware Sept. 9. This Saturday, Delaware hosts the Red Flash of St. Francis of Loretto (with mascot Frankie the Friar), who are coming off a 31-21 loss to Robert Morris. Delaware State lost at Army 57-0, as the Black Knights ground out 287 yards rushing and broke the bone for 238 passing yards. On Sunday morning, I was sitting in my blue chair at the finish line at the Cannonball 5K wearing my Firehouse 5K blue shirt taking finish-line photos. Mike Sheerin, 38, of Pelham, N.Y., was the race winner in 17:54. Later, we talked about the New York City Marathon, then Mike honestly and innocently knocked me out of my chair. “Are you a marathoner?” he asked. Good people are gracious and see good things, and we are all grateful for that. My no-training regimen continues. Go on now, git!


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