Right Around the Corner, Up the Hill to the Left Behind that Oak Tree...
A True Champion
Our neighbors' boy won the 1600 meter high school state track title on June fourth. Jantzen Oshier ran this race in 4:00:83, making him the fastest high school miler ever in our county. His time was the second fastest automatic-timed speed of any high school boy in California history. His time was the fastest run by a high schooler in the nation this year.
He and his parents, Liane and Jud, live across the street and one house over, which on our little canyon street is around the fork to the left, up the hill beyond the oak tree. They're kind people, though I can't claim them as close friends. We socialize together at neighborhood parties, stop and chat in front of their house occasionally, greet one another in grocery store encounters. They rescued my dog Doc when he escaped from the yard while we were at church one day. They're good neighbors.
Jantzen's athletic achievement is impressive. But what makes him a champion is what he's had to say about this experience:
"This was something that I wanted all my life and I was thinking that I had to give this everything I got," Oshier said. "This was such an amazing experience and I'm blessed to be here."I'm blessed to be here. It was an honor to win against him. Hearing a teen on the cusp of adulthood responding with such humility in the afterglow of such an accomplishment lightens my heart and fills me with hope. The headline on the article above reads: Oshier makes history, takes state title in 1,600. And the kid's talking about blessings and being honored.
Oshier and Loyola senior Elias Gedyon, who tied for the best qualifying time entering the finals, were locked in a close battle throughout much of the race before Oshier found another gear in the final 400. Running to a 57-second final lap split, Oshier pulled away from Gedyon (4:04.04) down the final straight away for the record-setting victory.
"Elias (Gedyon) has such an amazing kick and that was the only way to get through him and try to break him," Oshier said. "It was an honor to win against him."
(From OCVarsity.com; my italics.)
I'm thinking that if I listen carefully, I'll hear more young people speaking of blessings and honor, even if their dream-come-true is not one that makes the headlines.
I'm thinking I need to hear that. And the kids need us to listen.
My blogging friend Charity Singleton wrote about attending her nephew's high school graduation and how she "rediscovered that 18-year-old girl somewhere deep inside me. She had forgotten what it felt like to be inspired, to have the world by the tail." Her words are filled with hope. Please read them here.
I've provided video of Jantzen's impressive race below. I must warn you, though, that while you'll see Jantzen running a good bit of that amazing fourth-lap 57-second split (!!!), you won't see him cross the finish line, as this video was recorded by the dad of another competitor who finished farther back in the pack. And naturally that proud dad was focused on his son.
12 Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NASB)
I'm going There and Back Again with Charity Singleton over at Wide Open Spaces. Her post, Commencing, led me to write this one. Thanks for the inspiration, Charity! If you'd like to go There and Back Again, too, click here for her instructions.