On Saturday, October 29th, The Village School’s cross country team competed in the TAPPS State Championship Meet in Waco, TX. This meet was the culmination of a three month season, packed with eight Saturday meets, and 5:30am daily practices that were both on and off campus. Varsity runners logged over 50 miles per week in an effort to set new personal records (PR’s) and better the team. After a top 3 District Championship finish, the boys team was peaking at the right time heading into the State Championship meet.
Time is a precious thing for a runner. They spend an inordinate amount of time training in order to shave it during the competition. Seconds are valuable as it determines placing and the potential outcome of a meet. When a runner is in a competition, they have a complete understanding of time, pace, splits, positioning on the course, and positioning among the field of fellow competitors.
When Eduardo G. suffered from dehydration and was at the point of collapse, his teammate, Marco S., made an instinctual decision. For Marco, time no longer mattered. Personal records, splits, positioning, 5:30 AM practices, 50 miles per week, Saturday meets, the importance of the State Meet- all went out the window. What mattered was his teammate’s well-being. What mattered was that his teammate, who experienced all of the pain and sacrificed alongside him throughout the season, crossed the Finish Line with him.
In an incredible display of brotherhood, Marco Symington carried his teammate, Eduardo Gonzalez, over the Finish Line.
What makes a person do what he did in that moment? Was his character shaped by the culture that Coach Mastro has instilled into the cross country program? Was it shaped by our athletic service learning projects to soup kitchens, food banks, and elementary schools? No time to think. No time to plan. At that moment, an instinctual decision to help his fallen teammate revealed the highest level of character a person can witness- sacrifice for his fellow man. Marco Symington and Eduardo Gonzalez defined “Culture of Champions” for us. It isn’t about personal records, glory, or State Championships. It is about a set of attitudes, beliefs, and ideas that develop character within us. That is what makes us “Champions.” Thank you for teaching us that.