I love the moments just before a race when the runners set up their blocks and get into the proverbial “zone.” Then an official’s voice is heard and states, in a voice like a NASA rocket launch countdown, “Runners warm up… sweats off… runners on your marks,” and finally, “Good luck ladies/gentlemen.” It’s a voice that heightens the suspense of the moment, luring the audience into silent observation as they sit anxiously waiting for this momentous event to erupt at the pull of a trigger. It’s an incredibly tense and dramatic moment that, when violently terminated, causes even the most seasoned fan to admit, “Get’s me every time.”
It’s the calm before the storm. That may be a little cliché, but it’s true. Recently this nervous tranquility has been increasingly palpable around Hayward as the track & field team gears up for their next big event – the West Preliminary Rounds of the NCAA Championships, held in Austin, Texas, starting May 23rd.
This weekend marks the first time all season the team has not competed in some invitational, relay, or dual. Instead, many of the athletes can be seen getting their muscles worked on in the trainer’s office while others, such as Mac Fleet and Jordan Hassay, simply run quick laps around campus. In other words, for once this season the track & field team is not doing a whole lot of anything. Instead, the name of the game here is rest, focus, and preparation as the nerves and tension slowly build in anticipation for the first big step of the post season this Thursday.