Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeA+, September 1996

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My heart beating loudly in my chest is the only sound I can here. The air, whipping past my face, tries to curb my inertia but I just press on harder and harder. As I make my turn to go into the straight-away, the next man in the relay team comes into sight. I push my legs harder and harder, but I cannot make them move any faster. There is only one hundred meters left to go before the instant I have to pass the baton the next runner. As I am speeding down the lane like a jet about to lift off, I see the fans cheering in my peripheral vision but I remain focused on my objective ahead of me. I move closer and closer to the red zone, now counting my steps and pacing off the distance in my mind to the sprinter ahead of me. I ready myself and keep telling myself 'be patient, wait' then .....'Go,'

I yell as he harnesses his adrenaline for a good start. I again have to make another critical, split second decision. When should I give him the baton? There can be no mistakes on the hand off. If I miscalculate my steps, it could be disastrous for the team. As I sprint at his newly energized heels, I yell 'Stick!' He reaches his arm back in a robotic-like manner and I slam the baton in his hand, so he will not lose a handle on it. It is a successful hand-off and my body jars, as I try to bring myself to a quick stop. My journey is over but the next runner's has just begun.

Track is a big part of my life and it holds much more significance to me than just running. I would not even...