“Turner buses are ready to load. I repeat, Turner buses are ready to load,” boomed the voice over the loud speaker. “Okay guys,” Mr. Bell beckoned. “Go up to the dugout and somebody will be there to show you the course, and don’t forget your water bottles!” Mr. Bell particularly emphasized the last part.

As we headed to the dugout I grabbed a Gatorade water bottle and filled it at the little water cooler in Mr. Bell’s room. After I headed up to the dugout to find that the group had left with out me, but I was not alone. Some other people had also come up from getting a water bottle in the school. “Three minutes until the start of the boys race!” boomed the announcer’s voice into the megaphone. “Go to the starting line and arrange yourself by who you think is the fastest to slowest,” ordered Mr. Bell. The start of the race took me off guard because of what Mr. Bell calls “first race jitters.” Every time somebody yelled, “Come on Tripp!,” or “Let’s Go Caleb,” or anything along that line, it gave me a nice big power boost so I would shoot right by them. I also found that experience coming around the finishing stretch. A woman gave me a popsicle stick bearing the number 76 down the side.

At the end of the meet the results were given to everyone over a megaphone. “In fourth place is Auburn Middle school, in third place Tripp…” the announcer’s voice was cut off for a second time. “In second place, is the Brunswick Vikings! Mount Ararat has won first places for both the Boys and Girls Cross Country Meet for today!” finished the announcer. Not only did Mount Ararat applaud, but so did everyone else. When we went down to Mr. Bell’s room from that point on I knew nothing was going to ruin my day.

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