I once wore this with great pride. It is thinner now, though I am fatter, and so it remains in storage, taken out just so I could scan it here.
The Crete-Monee Pow-wow cross-country race was legendary in Illinois. 70 teams, seven flights. As it says, it was (is it still?) the largest high school invitational in the USA.
A high school cross-country team fields seven runners in a race. Usually, the top five score by adding up their respective places: If the top five of a team finishes in 8th, 12th, 15th, 23rd, and 50th place, then their score is 108. Best case scenario = 1-5th place, a score of 15.
With flights, however, each runner scores. Unlike a regular race in which every runner races the rest, flights organize each runner by his or her respective position on their team. Each best runner of each team race the other number one runner. The second best runners race each other, and so on, down to the seventh position.
The course was short and fast. Maybe it was 2.95 miles? I'm not sure anymore. I think they've upped it to 3.1 miles these days, but this was 1983. I started fast, maybe 4:55 or 4:58. My second mile was, if I'm remembering right, 5:05 or 5:07. The finish, I don't know, but it added up to a 15:37. Clearly, I slowed down in the finish, but in all, it was a fun, speedy event.
It was here where I felt like I established myself on our team. While I had been running well, here, I ran harder and faster than my teammates, and the long summer before of training paid off.
Dick Pond was there with his shoe van. At that time, he was selling the stuff out of his home in Chicago's western burbs, and was known for having whatever a runner needed.