- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Cross-country is a reservoir of memory and sensation. It is the sound of labored breathing, the smell of analgesic, crude jokes, bright autumn mornings, teammates, laughter, sweat and spit, pain, disappointment, the devotion of a coach. This is the story of one season.
Sept. 14, 1974. Vanderbilt University, Nashville. This morning we run the first meet of our college season. The weather is still summery, but the freshly cut grass in the park is brown and the leaves on the trees are beginning to bleed yellow. It is early Saturday morning and the park is out of town, so coaches, timers and a couple of girl friends are the only spectators. We jog part of the course together—the seven of us—to loosen up.
"So this Roach guy is good. How good?"
"Eighth in Peachtree this summer."
"Hey, Caldwell, do you know Roach?"
"I saw him at Peachtree."
"Which one is he?"
"The chubby one, with the blond hair."
"The chubby one. He doesn't look very fast."
Caldwell laughs. "Well then, Les, you go out with him. He was leading Peachtree at five miles."