Part 5 - “Four Anchors” anchor Natalie Deacon wanted to see CB South set the record. She did more.

The “Four Anchors” anchor Natalie Deacon wanted to witness
Central Bucks South re-set the record.
But she did much more.


After the awards, and seemingness endless interviews, and more congratulations than they have ever received, the girls finally left the track.

Parents, teammates, coaches and friends had been waiting forever to share in the win, the record, and the joy that comes from helping four very special girls achieve a goal that will always belong just to them.

The anchor of the former record-holding Henderson 4x800 - Natalie Deacon - was waiting for the celebration to subside, and found her way to the girls outside the track. They exchanged hugs, and Deacon talked about how she had been nervous for them because she wanted them to get the record. 

She then handed the girls a sealed envelope which contained a letter she had written before the event. 

They didn’t open the letter until two hours after the race when they were in a quiet place.

It was four pages long and hand-written. Deacon had obviously put a lot of thought and effort into her personal congratulations for the girls in anticipation that they would indeed, break Henderson’s record.

“It was one of the most inspiring things I have ever read,” said Kaitlin. 

Amber had a similar take… “it was the nicest thing we could all have received. It put it in perspective.”

Alexa said Deacon described her team’s journey and how they accomplished what they did.

“You can never let this go,” Amber quotes. “It will inspire you do do so many things.”

The content of that letter are between the Central Bucks South girls and Deacon. 

But Natalie did respond to PennTrackXC when we asked to share a few impressions of CB South and the record, she went above and beyond with the following thoughts. (THANK YOU NATALIE!)


"Although I may be slightly biased, I truly believe that the PA girls 4x800 state record is a special one. It is a record that cannot be broken on talent and hard work alone. Janie always said “our key to success is how much we love each other”, and I believe that is true of the CB South girls as well. It is that very love that pushed us (both Henderson and CB South) to work harder than we ever thought possible, that made us eager to sacrifice individual glory, that made us dream a whole lot bigger, and that allowed our wildest dreams to become a reality. It brings a smile to my face knowing Janie, Michelle, Sue, and I get to pass down the record to a group of girls that resemble a family more than a team. After all, it is not the record that changes the way you dream and live, but the moments and relationships you experience along the way.

Relays are just one big puzzle piece. You need to have four pieces with very different strengths and weaknesses, on and off the track, in order to succeed. For us at the time, Janie was the most experienced runner. She was a perfect lead-off leg because she is reliable, patient, and loves pressure. Michelle always runs her best races when she has someone to trail after and then out-kick in the end. She has always been the girl who tries to race during striders in practice, so this worked out well. Sue had only been running the 800m for 8 weeks, so it was important that we put her in a position where she was being pushed mentally, yet was out of traffic. My best times have always come when I get to run and not race. Normally by the time you get to the fourth leg the competition is more spread out and there is not too much to think about except running fast."

June 29, 2014
Natalie Deacon



As for next year…

Strath Haven is always there, but the loss of two star seniors will be difficult to replace.

On the other hand, Great Valley returns all four girls, two will be seniors and two will be juniors - exactly the makeup of the 2014 CB South team. 

Both Kaitlin and Alexa know the the Stratz’s will be on the prowl for two others to help keep their relay near the top of the state. 

Kaitlin, for one, is “really looking forward to seeing how the two girls do in the open events.”

Alexa wishes them nothing but the best. “I hope they find two more people, but just not too fast.” (She’s kidding, of course.)

“It really was an incredible season,” concludes Coach Poiesz. “We challenged them to dream big. And winning a state title was that dream.”

“Getting faster every time they raced and getting the state record on top of that, was what can happen when you don’t put limits, or pressure on yourselves. Do your job, Support each other. And, most of all, have fun.”  




NEXT: Part 6 - The Race-by-Race Journal by Paul Poiesz…
plus the thinking outside-of-the-box training that went in the 8:51.49 -
and overview by Phil Grove.



Click here for the entire 6-part series