Editor's Note: Mike Carpenter is a senior at Perkiomen Valley High School in Collegeville, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. In the fall of 2004, he answered our call for volunteer writers, as a way of expanding the voice and the coverage of PennTrackXC.com. While he has contributed meet summaries along with flash results before meet results are available, he has now added the narrative piece to his repertoire. We thank Mike for his contributions to the site, and to the sport he obviously loves. Anc congratulations on the 35.89 300m at the Bishop Loughlin Games on 12/18!
"There is no feeling in the world that could compare with the feeling I got standing on the starting line for each race I ran at the Armory. People screaming and cheering, lights flashing, people running out of their minds..."
The feeling started with my first trip to the Armory in New York City, and it just got better each time I went. Each trip that we made, I told each athlete on my team how lucky they were to be competing on the fastest track in the world. I'm not quite sure it means the same to them as it does to me. From the first time I stepped out on that track, and every single time after it, the feeling I got was indescribable. But I'll try.
Although every race for me is extremely important, races at the Armory require a little something extra. I always tell my guys to do 'Whatever It Takes.' My coach, Dean Wright, even had that phrase put on the backs of our team shirts during my junior year. Perkiomen Valley runners are seen in their bright orange shirts displaying those words which mean so much to me. The Armory track offers runners a chance to compete with some of the best competition in the country and prove what they are truly capable of. I always tell the runners on my team that it is disrespectful to give anything less than their best when competing at the Armory. Perk Valley's best Armory showing was at the 2003 Holiday Classic when our girls won the 4x800 and took 2nd in the Championship DMR. On that day, I was especially proud to be a member of Perkiomen Valley High School