We have a very busy sports week ahead – weather permitting – and my plan was to hold off on another kid sports update. But it turned out to be a fairly significant sports weekend, so I’ll go ahead and share our girls’ latest accomplishments on the fields of athletic battle.

Friday was M’s first-ever tennis match. I had not seen her hit a tennis ball since last September, when we went to a local court to hit together. That day she complained that my soft hits back to her weren’t how her instructor hit the ball, and thus she would just stand there and refuse to return them back to me. As you might imagine this did not go well and ended in yelling from dad and tears from daughter. I’ve refused to hit with her since then.

Despite that, with six months of lessons in between, I was cautiously optimistic.

She was slated to play doubles with another sophomore who was also in her first-ever match. When their time to play came, I set up shop with my mother-in-law behind their court. I talked to a friend while they were warming up so I didn’t obsess over how she was hitting the ball. But when I glanced over, she seemed to be doing well.

She had the first service game of the match. She got her first serve in and won the point. It took her two serves to get one in from the Ad side, but they won that point. Then they won the third point. She lost her second Ad-side serve, but she closed out the game from the Deuce side to go up 1–0.

Pretty good start!

Then they broke in the second game to go up 2–0. Her teammate lost her first service game but they broke again to go up 3–1.

This was outstanding!

Because there were so many matches, all the JV contests were a single set, winner being the side that won eight games first. I started doing the math. If they could just break even on service games they would win the match!

Stupid dad.

M lost her second service game without winning a point. By the time she served again they were down 3–5. She got up 40–15 but couldn’t close it out and they lost that game, and then the next two to lose the match 8–3.

A very promising start but disappointing ending. It seemed like she got tired, because she was hitting her later serves from shoulder-height and away from her body rather than above her head and straight up. Both she and her partner put a ton of balls into the net.

But the result wasn’t really about how they played. Once their opponents settled in, they started ripping winners all over the place. They were just better and deserved to win.

It was fun to see the four girls get along. M, her teammate, and their two opponents thanked each other when they threw balls across the net, got together to discuss close calls or scoring questions, and were laughing most of the time. They banged racquets with smiles on their faces after the match. Apparently some of the other matches weren’t nearly as friendly.

A few of M’s friends lost their matches 0–8, so she was pleased they at least won a few games.

All-in-all, it was a good start. Because of the size of the team we’re not sure how often she will get to play. While most schools are keeping extra girls this year, there’s no guarantee that every duo of sophomores will get a match each time CHS plays. She’s having a lot of fun both playing and being part of the team.

Plus, she thinks the uniforms are super cute, which is a bonus.[1]

Sunday was C’s and L’s first track meet of the year. Which meant it was L’s first-ever track meet.

They got a perfect day to run: sunny, in the low 60s, no wind. And they were running on a good high school track so it was an ideal setting.

L ran the 50, 200, 100, and the opening leg of the medley relay. She won all three of her individual heats and her foursome won their relay. She didn’t just win, she won all of her heats fairly easily.

Although the heats were unseeded, she always ran in heat #1, and was usually against girls that were much taller than her. In the 50 she got a great start and was never threatened. In the 200, she was in third place coming out of the turn and then blew everyone away in the second 100. And in the 100, she was tight with two other girls in the opening 40–50 meters and then pulled away at the end.

It was impressive. She had been telling me how good she ran at practice, and I knew she was fast. But I wanted to reserve judgement until I saw her race other girls. She confirmed that she has some wheels.

Since the heats were unseeded, not every school had their best runner in the first heat. Her teammate A – one of her best friends – always ran in the second heat, and she won each of them. L is usually faster than A but it would have been fun to see them run against each other. Although this way they both got wins.[2] And there was a girl who won her heats in the 100 and 200 very easily. It’s obvious she was fast, but since she was running against slower girls it was hard to know if she was faster than L. They will run against each other eventually and we’ll find out, I guess.

After she won the 200, as I was walking down to the tent to find her, St P’s parents were coming over and tapping fists and congratulating me. Safe to say homegirl made an impression on folks. Which will do wonders for her ego. Her between-race strut got more pronounced after each win. She’s one of those kids who doesn’t just enjoy competing but also the attention that comes with it.

Oh, and L’s relay has a chance to be special. L ran the opening 100, A ran the 200, and a girl who knocked 45 seconds off the school record in the mile ran the anchor 400. The fourth girl who ran the second 100 has good speed, too. We had a lead through the first 150 meters, but were down about five seconds going into the anchor. No worries, our girl rocked it out and we won by 10 seconds. With three weeks to practice handoffs and maybe tweak the order a little, those girls could be a menace by the time City rolls around.

C has missed a ton of track practice because of kickball and soccer, so she only ran one individual race and in one relay. She ran the 200, which she finished second in at City two years ago, but was in a slow heat since she didn’t have a preliminary time from practice. She won it easily. Then she ran the 200 leg of the medley relay. She looked good in the opening 150, passing two girls in the turn, but faded in the last 50 and handed off in second. Her anchor bailed her out with a dominant 400 so C was perfect on the day, too. She’s still fast, she just needs to get in better track shape so she can sustain her speed more than running first-to-home in kickball.

Pretty good weekend for the B girls! L has a kickball game tonight that will likely determine who wins their division, then two more later in the week. C has two kickball games this week. There is a chance of snow – that’s right, snow! – in Indy tomorrow so we’ll see if the two games scheduled for that night get postponed to warmer days.

  1. I would laugh at her but I’m the kind of idiot who complains all season when KU has bad uniforms (like the past two years) and texts friends when I see a team wearing sweet duds.  ↩
  2. Looks like there are no official results, but the St P’s coaches are manually putting together results that compare times across heats that they will share later this week.  ↩