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By: Coach Gray Yates, Upper School Science Teacher and Football/Track Coach // MDS Musings Blog

Coach Yates

The MDS track program has a “thought of the week” and this week our theme focused on dreams and goals. If your dream or goal isn’t so big that it scares you, then you’re dreaming too small. Young athletes are always looking for motivation. What if you chase dreams so impossible that victory demands you face your fears, defy the odds, and hold tight to God?  Only then are you growing. Only then are you chasing a lion.

Track and field is a sport with goals written in numbers.  Athletes always have a record they can strive to surpass.  The first is a personal record (PR), which constantly shifts throughout one’s career. Next, there is the school record. Athletes get their name enshrined as the best to ever participate in that specific event at Mount de Sales. Then, of course, there are the state and national records.

Agnes Pare, Class of 2018

Senior Agnes Pare has pursued a PR of a 100-foot discus throw for a long time. On Friday, March 2, 2018, Agnes caught that lion. The look on her face as she celebrated with her coaches and teammates was something I hope she remembers for a long time. As her coach, after I finished celebrating with her, it was important for me to remind her that the school record was the next to fall, her next lion to conquer. I asked Agnes if she knew the school record. With the utmost certainty, she replied, “102.5 feet” So now Agnes will chase the second oldest MDS track record. Christy Gaspar set that record in 1987. This big old lion will be the next chase for Agnes!

Agnes will graduate in May as one of the best throwers in school history, no matter what the rest of the season holds. It will be fun to watch her compete at the State Meet, as she has the past few seasons.

As a coach, I teach my athletes that meaning is found in pursuit of goals. The more difficult the goal is to reach, the more meaningful that experience will be. I hope Agnes and her teammates learn that it is ultimately the pursuit where you really grow. Pursuit dictates your training. Pursuit causes you to correct mistakes. Pursuit means you lift more weight, run one more lap, and stay for a few extra minutes. I hope to post Agnes’ new school record at the end of the track season, but watching her chase this lion will be just as enjoyable.