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Brandon Marquez - Greatest Time of the Year

Published by
DistancePreps.com - The Future Runs Now   on Nov 15 2012, 04:30 AM

Brandon Marquez is a Freshman at Timber Creek HS in Orlando, Florida.  He is presently the fastest Freshman in the State and has recorded the 10th fastest time regardless of year or classification posting a 15:38.90 at the Metro East Conference Championships.

This is the greatest time of the year.

The greatest time of the year consists of team practices, pasta dinners, warm baths, and cross country races. However, this cross country season is extra special compared to the previous. Finally, after all these years, I am a freshman in high school. With that being said, I’m finally able to run high school cross country!

 


The summer coming into this season, I was able to practice with Timber Creek High School’s cross country team. As the summer went on, and many miles were ran, I became very close with many of my teammates and began preparing for this upcoming cross country season. I felt by the time August came around, I’d be in great shape to start the season, and then the unexpected happened. I became victim to a lower quad injury, which would sit me out for my first three scheduled high school races. (Ted Benz Jamboree, Astronaut-Rotary Invitational, and the Jim Ryun Invitational). This put me in a similar situation I had during my eighth grade track season, where I suffered a hip flexor injury, and was not able to run at the Middle School State meet. However, I wasn’t going to allow anything, not even an injury,  prevent me from participating in my freshman cross country season. I quickly began my recovery by doing activities like aqua jogging, swimming and more to keep my cardio up and hope that the base I built up in the summer would be there to keep me from losing any edge. By the time mid-September came around, I was ready to run, and even more ready to race!

 

When I was able to run with no pain, the next race on the team schedule was the Overbay Monte-Carlo Invitational in Winter Springs. Going into the race, it would be a tight individual race. I also knew ahead of time that the team battle would be very close, between Oviedo and us (Timber Creek). As the weekend approached, my coach and I decided that for my first meet that I should not try to do too much, and keep it safe (being my first race back from injury). Coach Gardner wanted me to run 16:30 being the fastest, nothing faster. As I stepped on the line before the gun went off, my only goal was to throw a low point down to help the team win. As the gun went off, the race went out at a modest pace, as the lead pack went through conservative for the first mile. Then I started to string out the pack from there. For my first race being back, I felt great, and crossed the line in 16:31. It was a great race from everyone, and I’m glad that my first high school race was a victory. What made this Saturday even better was that Timber Creek took the team title at this meet, going 1-10-11-16-17, and that led us to earning a Race of Champions bid for the following weekend at the Flrunners Invitational!

 

This week was a strong week for all of the team. We knew that to be in this race, was an honor, knowing that we were recognized as a strong team. Going into the race, I knew I would just have to stay within myself, and not try to do too much. This race would just be a nice test of what I can do, not try to run myself into the ground.

As the 19 teams toed the line, I felt not one ounce of nervousness, which was a first. As the race went on, I found myself 25th at the mile marker, crossing at 4:55, that’s a fast start for the entire field!

I felt pretty comfortable throughout the race, going through the last mile I felt great, and I was happy the way I ended. I crossed the line in 15:47 and my team pulled out a great 17:08 team average. It was a great race and made me feel like I am ready for the rest of the season.

 

I was not able to run Pre-State which was disappointing. I had to take one more week off due to another injury, but I made the trip up to Tallahassee to get a feel for the course and support the team. The course looks like a true cross country course and I cannot wait to run on it the day of States. Even as a spectator, race day was exciting. The races were fun to watch. The team had a good showing, and we were all excited to be able to run two Elite races in consecutive weeks.

Photo Credit smykwb - FLrunners.com

Manasota Track Club Invitational - Going into this meet, I knew the outstanding duo of Tyler Bennett and Ace Brown would be here along with their Fort Myers team and a bunch of other powerhouse 3A schools. This was tough territory for a 4A school. In this meet I had a pretty off day. The course was muddy and ran slow, but I kind of aggravated the injury I encountered the week before. Even with the setback, and not performing to my expectations, the team still pulled a strong 4th place finish. The even brighter side to this meet was the team took advantage of Sarasota’s beaches and went out towards the shore for the rest of the Saturday evening to enjoy the weather before it started to get cold again.

West Orange Invitational - Most of the team’s Varsity squad got to take this meet off in order to rest for the Metro East Championship which was the following Wednesday. A few Varsity runners ran, while most of the JV team made up the Varsity squad.

Again, I was a spectator, but this time it was not due to an injury but to cheer my teammates on!

All of our runners ran spectacular times. This was our last regular season meet as the latter part of the season approached.

Metro East has always proven to be a tough conference. When you have four teams with the potential to make States, in one conference, it makes things tough.

 

Photo Credit Dlaxton - FLrunners.com

The race started with two big surprises, the top two seeded runners (Andres Arroyo and Connor Ferrentino) would not be racing. As the gun went off, I took the lead early and the race and would not let go of it. I crossed in a school record time of 15:38, and Timber Creek placed 2nd as a team, the highest in team conference history, only behind the defending 4A state champions  Colonial HS!

 

My favorite thing from Districts was being able to run on a golf course... and cross the line in 14:38. This race was one weird race, when I crossed the line in 14:38, I knew something was up. Turned out the course was short, but I was still happy from the effort from myself and from the team. The team pulled off another 2nd place finish (behind Colonial) and brought home a nice trophy, the first cross country district trophy of any kind in our school’s brief 12 year history!

 

4A Regional 1 - This race proved to be competitive, very very competitive. The race went out fast, and I found myself a little further back than usual at the half mile. But, as the race went on, and the hills of Santa Fe Community College sank in, I found myself third as I crossed the finish line in a solid time. The team got 6th place, advancing to States! The team race was so close, 6 more points and we would have jumped from 6th to 4th! But we made it and we're ready for a good showing at States!

 Good job to everyone who ran this cross country season. Good luck for those running in States. See you there!


Thank you DistancePreps for letting me share my season with you all!

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1 comment(s)  
DrBob
Good luck to you and the team at States Brandon !
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