The HLA Track and Field Team displayed more than athletic ability at yesterday’s meet in Breckenridge. Thirteen athletes (three girls and ten boys) brought home 16 top six finishes on this cold and blustery day. But most noteworthy were the attitudes this small, young team exhibited before, during, and after competing.

The 4x800 relay team (comprised of 4 juniors: Hans Holzner, Luke Bowman, Toby Simonson, and Tommy Thompson) remains undefeated for the season as they flew past all contenders. Two boys tried three new events and ribboned in all three. The whole team celebrated every victory as they cheered wildly from the sidelines. Some athletes pushed themselves and achieved personal records. One athlete was forced to abandon her event and the athletic trainer had to be called onto the field. Her teammates gathered around to offer support, water, and warm blankets. In this sport, though everyone competes against their own record, students win as a team and lose as a team with equal grace. Words of encouragement were shouted from teammates. High fives, hugs, and fist bumps abounded--regardless of the outcome of the event.

Commemorative Champion t-shirts were awarded to the winners of each event. One runner received three such shirts for his three wins. On the bus ride home, he handed one of his shirts to a Jr High student who had run two personal best times without winning a ribbon. He praised her for her effort and felt she deserved a shirt. Another of his shirts, along with words of affirmation, went to the runner who had to drop out of her event. If awards had been given for character, generosity, and teamwork, HLA students could have filled a trophy case.

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