So, I didn’t make the final at USAs. I was in a good position with a lap to go in my heat–at one point the stadium announcer even mentioned me as someone ready to contend for a top spot–but the wheels just started to fall off in the end, with a couple ugly hurdles, an ugly last water, and, well, the fact that I was just freaking tired.
Do I think I’d have had a better shot if I’d shot around Cabral to make contact with the group ahead of us when it felt like he was trying to conserve maximum energy (or make it so his teammate, Travis Mahoney, who came storming from the back to nab the last autoqualifier, was able to stay in touch)? Yeah. Do I think I could have run a couple seconds faster by virtue of better hurdling and waters in the last two laps? Probably. But neither of those things are guarantees, and I stuck my nose in it as best I could.
Honestly, with a seventh-place finish, I had an over 50% chance of getting through to the final going into the second heat, but Andy Bayer–what a douche–laid down nice 68s the whole way for the second heat and they got 9 guys through. So it goes.
After the race, some little girls (they were pretty shy about it and it was adorable) asked for my autograph and whatever advice I could give them on their track careers. I said something along the lines of, “have fun, and measure yourself by your own efforts. There are things you can’t control like times, talent, and distinctions that are largely arbitrary, like making finals or world teams. Just make sure you enjoy your time in the sport and can be proud of each effort you put out on the track. If you can do that, you’ll have a career that’s incredibly rewarding to you as a human being.”
That’s my outlook on yesterday’s race. Maybe a bit philosophical for some 12-year olds, but whatever.
On to Letterkenny. Anything can happen there.