Black High Top Chuck Taylors, cuffed up long black sweatpants and a black t-shirt to fill out the ensemble of a 7th graders running attire. Group 1 readied itself like they were lining up for they Olympic Trials or so I imagined in my head. The gun sounded Black High Top Chuck Taylors was off like a shot leading by 20 yards at the 200 meter mark, being an old time runner and track person myself he peaked my curiosity so I walked on over to the school yard fence wondering if this young man was going to fold or amaze me. Two young ladies picked up their pace and nearly caught Black High Top but he was not going to be denied being the front runner (he reminded me of an American Top Runner) as they turned for what I thought was going to be a quick quarter mile, the girls had faded, most of the flight 1 by this time was walking but Black High Tops crossed the 400 finish line and continued to stride forward, he was fluid, relaxed and virtually in control of his running. Flight 2 had started and Black High Tops was running this group down like they were standing still ignoring everyone, he was in his element, zoned in on his breathing and stride, as he passed other kids they would look and just start walking as he flew past them. Flight 3 was at the first 200 meter mark as Black High Tops was finishing his 800 meters. At this point I wish I had clocked this young man’s time, fluid, fluid, fluid easy running, great stride, heels almost kicking his gluteal muscles running as if not a care in the world. He had lapped most of his classmates by the time he had finished 1200 meters but those he had not lapped they were his target to run down as if hunting for rabbits as he made his final turn for home……the sun was shining, the crown was on their feet screaming PRE-PRE-PRE- Hayward Field was alive and well…….STEVE PREFONTAINE had not died he has been reborn in a young man, in a very small town in Klechiv, Belarus to hardworking farming parents.
Thank you Black High Top Chuck Taylors for bringing me back to high school.