by Jeff McSweeney
Quincy – my daughter, a sophomore in high school, an artist, interested in biology and boys. Quincy, my track star.
Quincy found her interest in running in middle school. At the end of her 6th grade year a clip board was being passed around class and she moved it right along, the next person in line handed it back to Quincy and told her to sign up for the first year of cross country. Without really thinking about it she signed up. With summer over she returned to school and began an adventure.
In middle school cross country she learned her talent and love for running. She excelled. Her confidence grew and she got better. Between 8th grade and freshman year she ran in the voluntary runs. Hitting high school was emotionally traumatic in her personal and social life but she found comfort in running. As a freshman she was in varsity, which is the top 7 runners in the school, and contributed to the team’s success. In the Spring she joined the track team and through the mentoring of Coaches Heider and Samford excelled in mid-distance running in the 800 meters, 4x400 and 4x800 relay. She went to the girls state track meet in two of three of those events and her team medaled in the 4x400.
With Freshman year over she ran the voluntary cross country training again over the summer. My relatively insecure little girl matured greatly, her body and mind came closer together while she began to better understand her abilities and responsibilities. Cross country was better this year and while she did not participate in state her confidence in future opportunities grew.
2013 track began with a new head coach, Radar, who was her head coach in middle school. Combined with her respect for Coach Heider she turned herself over to them and followed their training and vision. As a result of this relationship my little girl became a young woman in front of my eyes.
On to state. As I witness my daughter growing up I am filled with awe. This year she qualified to participate in the 4x800 relay, the 4x400 relay and the open 800. Preliminaries were on Thursday at which the 4x800 did not qualify and the 4x400 was within split seconds of qualifying. In the 800 she qualified and placed 5th going into finals – WOW!
Finals were held on Saturday. Quincy was the only Eureka athlete to participate on this day. The parade of athletes took place at 9:15 am. Her event took place at 2:00 pm.
As dad I am very engaged in my daughter’s success. And while I would love to be a part of that success she has made it clear my contributions are to be quite limited – darn. As a result I have learned to trust and love her coaches – Heider & Radar. As mentioned before Radar is the head coach while Heider is her primary event coach. She trusts Heider so much and will do anything he says. To his credit he knows my daughter, what inspires her and how she likes to be trained.
Going into this final race I had no idea what the strategy was or even where they expected her to finish.
After a long day in the warm sun the 800 final began. They ran out on the track were introduced, lined up than BANG the race began. Quincy shot out stronger than I had ever seen her. She led the first lap by as much as 10 paces and I lost it. I was screaming so loud I had to apologize to the people around me. She led the whole lap. Was this the assigned strategy or was this Quincy on her own? Right at the finish line of the first lap the two strongest girls took off like they were starting the race. Quincy was left in solid third for that remaining lap. My pride was burst, she was so strong, so confident, such a young woman. I was proud.
Quincy finished the race improving her personal record by two full seconds, 2:18.79.
I just received an e-mail noting the first voluntary cross country practice that begins June 3 at 8 am. She has two full seasons in her high school career remaining.