Insert 'Glory Days', by Bruce Springsteen...
After relying on memory of this event for over 25 years, I've finally had the chance to view the long rumoured 8 mm film footage of the most exciting race of my life! A recent digital conversion of the 8 mm film footage is now available for sharing. What follows, is the story of the F.J. Brennan High School Open Boys 4 X 400 m relay team. The 'play by play' of the 1982 OFSAA Regional Track & Field Championship Race is punctuated by recently converted archival video.
1st leg: Brian Latouf takes provides a slight lead at the 400 metre mark, but remember, we had a 'three turn stagger' from lane 5. (0:00-0:52 seconds)
2nd leg: Todd Lucier sped through the first 100 m allowing him to cut unhindered to lane one at the 120 metre mark. He battled to hold off 2 athletes who would pass, even though they would be forced to do so on the outside of the far curve. (0:52-1:40)
3rd leg: Rodd Lucier had to follow the eventual provincial 400 m champion, and in the wake of superior athletes, broke the 50 second barrier for the only time in his life! Passing the baton to our anchor runner, I was just hoping for a top 5 finish which would qualify us for the provincial championship OFSAA meet. (1:40-2:10)
4th leg: Paul Boots made the key move of the race on the final curve. With Laurier running away, the 2nd and 3rd place teams fought for second. The second place team pushed wide on the curve, to keep the third place team at bay, allowing 'Booter' to nimbly pass both of them on the inside with under 100m to go. (Tragically, footage of this move is blocked by cheering fans!) With 25 metres to go, we were almost 10 metres behind; but with the Laurier anchor runner unable to see or hear anyone approaching, Paul's amazing lean took the team to the regional title only centimetres from the finish line. (2:10-2:50)
Don't miss the finish from 2:45 to the end!
To add context to the post-race celebration, you may be interested to know that our Open Girls 4 X 400m relay team, won the same event in the penultimate race of the meet! An audio reflection on this event, including a reflection on Big Brown's historic Triple Crown bid, is now available on the Teacher 2.0 Podcast.
Note: The most memorable event of my high school athletic career had to be when my team lost of the city basketball championship... on a 52 foot shot at the buzzer! But that's another story...