After six weeks of action, we are done with spring sports. At least at the middle school level.

We had a little scare before the week’s events began. L had knee issues last fall and winter, a combination of growing pains and Osgood-Schlatter disease. They largely went away after the winter basketball season ended and never popped up again this spring.

Until Monday, when she could barely walk.

We got her a crash physical therapy course (thanks to a pediatrician she knows well and some Googling), a heavy regimen of Ibuprofen, and a lot of Icy-Hot before activity. Tuesday she was better and it didn’t seem to affect her performance, which was a huge relief. It did make me want to puke for awhile, though.


L’s team played their City kickball semifinal. They faced a team from a school, St N’s, that is known for being kick ass at kickball, but we thought it was the weaker of their two teams. That got confirmed pretty quickly. St N’s kicked first, and their lead-off kicker got on base and scored. I knew their team was mostly fifth graders but this was not a good start.

Thankfully they didn’t score again for three innings as we run-ruled them 27–2 in five innings. L went 5–5 with two home runs and four runs scored. She and her teammates played their best defensive game of the year.


City track finals. L ran the 50, 100, and 200, and C the 100 plus a medley relay.

The good news for L was that she ran her fastest times of the year in all three races. The bad news was the defending champion in all three races ran faster. L finished second in both the 50 and 100 and fourth in the 200. We were hoping L could push the champ, but the margins were fairly comfortable.

L beat a girl from St S for second in both the 50 and 100. In the 100 they were just 0.04 apart and it took a long, long time for the judges to look at the video and post the times. After both races the girls ran to each other with big grins on their faces and slapped hands. I loved that they were pushing each other hard but their first thought after the finish was to congratulate each other

I wanted to hate the girl who won each race. She’s from Terre Haute so I made a few quiet, sarcastic comments about how L was the real City champ in the 50 and 100. But afterwards L said the girl is super nice and goofed around with them before and after races. You can’t hate a nice kid, even when they beat yours.

L racked up 16 very important points for St P’s in the team competition. A pretty solid season for a kid who had never ran track before. She’s already making plans for what she will run in high school.

C qualified sixth for the 100. In the final she started slow and struggled to keep up. Where every other finalist ran faster than Saturday’s prelims, she was a hair slower and finished 8th. She was not happy afterward. I reminded her A) she was a finalist and B) there were something like 30 other girls who would have loved to finish last in the championship heat, but instead were in the stands watching her. I don’t know if that helped in the moment but it will sink in eventually.

Fortunately she shook it off and ran a really nice second 100 in the medley relay. She got the baton with a narrow lead and passed it off with a bigger lead. I didn’t clock it but it looked like the best she ran all year.

Sadly our 400 runner was going against the girl who finished second in both the 800 and 1600. She caught and passed us quickly. There were two heats and our girls’ time was only good enough for fourth overall.

I think C was disappointed in her year. She was a 2x City finalist two years ago and blew away her competitors in the 200 leg of the medley relay. She’s aware enough to see other girls her age have gone through physical changes and run slower and/or differently than they did two years ago. But it was still frustrating for her to not be as successful as she was as a sixth grader.

I’m not sure exactly how all the team titles shake out. Team scores are posted for each age group, but not for an overall champion. I’ve seen other schools wear shirts that say City Track Champions and have all grades on them, though.

We for sure know that L and her 5th–6th grade teammates won the girls title. It was close for a good portion of the night but all their field points from Friday and two great relays allowed them to win by 20 points over the second-place squad. Along with three race ribbons, L will get a City Champs t-shirt.

The coaches said all the St P’s girls – fourth through eighth grades – combined to score more points than any other collective girls team. We don’t know if that’s an official championship or not. I think we should just claim it so that C can end her CYO career with a City Champs shirt of her own.


Back to the diamond for the last kickball game of the year. This time we were playing the better team from St N. Ironically, this was exactly two years to the day since we lost to them for the fourth grade City championship. Our girls have all gotten bigger, but they look like sixth graders. St N had three girls that were bigger than anyone on C’s team. Seriously, one girl could have posted me up and scored at will. And probably tell me how soft I am the whole time.

We somehow got out of the first inning only down 8–3 but never got closer. They were an incredible team, catching everything, always making the right throw, and had a perfect blend of strong kickers, bunters, and aggressive base running on offense. Our girls held on as long as they could but eventually got run-ruled 36–9 in six innings. We did not help our cause by playing one of our worst defensive games of the year. That just meant we missed out on losing by slightly fewer runs in seven innings.

None of our girls were super upset. I think they realized pretty quickly that as good as they were, St N’s was at a different level.

L went 2–3. She crushed two balls. One was right at a girl who somehow held onto it for a very loud out. Another was to deep right, but St N’s made a great throw and got the ball back in just before L hit the hash mark between third and home and was sent back. She was piiiiiiiiised, which made me laugh. It was a good call although she insisted the umps missed it.[1]

The ending aside, a terrific season for our girls, finishing 8–1. Because I kept score at every game this year I was able to run some stats for L. She kicked 47–57 with 22 home runs. Pretty sure she would make first team All City if there was such a thing.

The loss made our family 0–4 in kickball City championship games. Throw in semifinals and we are 1–5. L’s team needs to arrange for a series of rainouts if they make it again and claim a split title like M’s team did in seventh grade.

Now the girls can rest a little and we can get back to not eating out 3–4 times a week because we’re constantly running around. I probably just jinxed us and M will make the travel list for three tennis meets next week.

  1. For you kickball neophytes, there are hash marks halfway between each base. If a runner is past that line when the pitcher gets control of the ball in the middle circle, they are awarded the next base. If they are short, they are sent back. Tons of umps miss this call which causes a lot of complaining, but the call was correct last night: she was one step short of getting to the line.  ↩