A Rain Filled Weekend
The only time I've been to the Hardin Valley Invitational was in 2014. At the time I coached for Beech High School and woke up at 4AM to pick up a couple of athletes and drive from Hendersonville to Knoxville. On the way, the rain was sporadic. When we arrived, it never stopped. The meet went on as scheduled since it was only rain. Athletes were checked in at a gate on the backstretch not allowed to bring any items in except the attire they were racing in. As the heats went before them they just stood at midfield getting drench in torrential downpours. Needless to say, no one PR'd that Saturday. I distinctly recall an athlete getting last place in the high hurdles and his parents berating him after about wasting their time. All around, it wasn't the ideal racing experience but it isn't a feeling that is unique to us. I have no doubt that the HVA Invitational is one of the premier meets the state has annually but for whatever reason, the faucet turns on every time Coach Brown tries to put this meet on except for last year:
And it was beautiful weather last year but unfortunately
there was no meet. My intent this weekend was to go from Early Bird Endurance
on Friday to Hardin Valley on Saturday. Now, as you may be reading this today,
Hardin Valley will be holding their meet free of precipitation. The highlights
following in this article are from whatever meets occurred prior to publishing.
But while that Saturday in 2014 wasn't the best experience for my athletes I believe the long term benefit from overcoming the adversity of the conditions was immeasurable. The Boys Team went on to win several meets in a row after that weekend and as a program we qualified for the most events to the state meet in a single season in school history capped off by a title run by Julia Rizor in the 800m. And as for the hurdler, a sophomore at the time, went on the become District Champion as a Senior in the event he got last in two years prior in Knoxville. So while this weekend was a wash out just remember the next time you're scheduled to line up, every race no matter the weather conditions is an opportunity for growth.
Now let's get to some highlights.