Finishing with a bang!
In the Apolito household the track season finished with a bang not a whimper
(Apologies for the late post.)
From my point of view, most of the summer track season was fairly predicable and at times somewhat disappointing. That all changed in the last week as the season came to a climatic and surprising end for both me and Emily.
It started with the club championships. Emily had a clean sweep of the J13 girls events. No surprises there. She's a year older and a lot stronger than Anna especially at the shorter stuff and all their races were short. So three gold medals to Emily. The Apolito's are on the board!
Far more surprising was my silver medal in the Master's Men Sprints. I'd always hoped to be able to qualify in fourth place but then to have Mick Thomas disqualified in our semi final was a shock. Would he have won anyway? Who knows. It was going to be a very close finish. A big disappointment for Mick but good luck for me even though I felt a little flat afterwards. The surprises continued when I won the first set against Richard Hurley. Crikey I was now one win away from gold. But order was restored when Richard won the next two races to deservedly take gold.
The forthcoming week was all about preparing Emily for the J13 State Titles on Saturday and myself for the final round of the Trek Summer Sprint Series on Sunday. It didn't start well for me when my bottom bracket blew up while training with Pat and Emily early on Tuesday morning. Nathan fixed it same day but I missed a big day's training. Then training at DISC for Emily on the day the hurricane hit Melbourne and wind trainer for me before we both taper off for the weekend.
Watching Emily at the state titles was simply awesome. She was a bundle of nerves and so was I. Her first event, the 500mm ITT was nearly a disaster. She totally fluffs the start and ends up right off the duckboards and onto the concrete. She recovers, grits her teeth and sets a PB (46.330) by nearly 5 seconds to not only win the Gold medal but also beat many of the boys as well. The poor start probably cost her a second to boot.
The timed flying 200 was even better. Thanks to Carl, Emily knew the line to take and was confident. She sets 16.164 to easily be the fastest girl with only four out of 17 boys faster than her.
Two gold medals and unless she totally mucks up the scratch race she will be the overall champion as well. One of the girls in the race knows what to do to sprinters and is constantly attacking Emily. By the end Emily doesn't have much left in the tank but still manages a strong second place with the "attacker" an excellent third.
So, two gold medals as state champion in the ITT and sprint, a silver medal for the scratch race and the overall title as well. We're all relieved and celebrate with pizza. Then I have to somehow switch from proud dad to competitor as I prepare for the last round of the TSSS.
What can I say about the Trek Series that Carl hasn't already said?
Well about all that is left to say is that I rode out of my skin. Setting a PB in the F200, beating A graders in the heats, hanging on in that tense final.... it was all marvelous and I'm proud of how it all finished. I ended up equal with Jeremy on points and take pride in the fact that I pushed him to the last race of the last round before he could claim the bike! Now if I can just improve by another 100% before next season I might have a new bike this time next year!
The surprises continued into the next week. The local paper calls and wants to do a story on Emily with an angle on me as well. And today, I find that our smiling faces are not only in the paper, but on the FRONT PAGE!
Thank God they don't use newspapers for fish and chips anymore!