written by Jalen Snaza (April, 2008)

          I was nervous. The thought never left my mind. I was only four seconds away.


          It was the spring of 2007 at a junior high track meet in Watertown and the atmosphere was great, it was gorgeous running weather. Everybody was saying good luck to me because they knew I was only about 4-5 seconds away from the seventh grade mile record held by Brent Wherry with a time of 5:19. I had a paper that said how I needed to run the race and how fast I needed to run each lap that the coaches had made for me. I was studying the paper and planning my race. I was trying to find someone to videotape the race in case I would break it so I could go back and watch it.


          When I got to the shoot, they told us our lanes we needed to start in. They told us we were running the eighth grade and seventh grade races together. I was going to try and beat all the eighth graders as well as the seventh graders. All the seventh graders had to wear yellow pennies so everybody would know who is in what grade.


          When we got to our lanes we were told our instructions for the gun and how the race was going to start. Then we got lined up in our lanes and the gun was shot. We were off. I had an awesome start, the exact way I wanted it to begin. At the end of the home stretch there is a scoreboard that has the clock running. I was watching it as I ran by it everytime. I was going around the corner to get onto the homestretch on my second lap. I was accompanied by two Milbank runners who were Jordon Redmond and Jordan Jungers, and there was a Watertown runner who was in eighth grade. Then, I took off to start my third lap. I was in the lead by about half a lap.  I had to run fast in the third lap because it always kills me. The fourth lap wasn’t as fast but it was the second fastest ever for me. I was now about a lap ahead of all of the seventh graders and a half-lap on the eighth graders.


          Going down the home stretch for the final time I looked at the clock.  It was at 5:10 and I still had about 20 yards to go so I started to kick it in. Everybody was going crazy, especially my mom. When I crossed the finish line the time was at 5:15.9 and I had beaten the record by four seconds. When I got up to the stands everybody was congratulating me. It felt so good.


          I had run my fastest 800m run, the 2 fastest 400m runs, and my fastest mile. This was my best race ever.