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Old September 8th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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Andrew Prequel Chapter 14: Track and Field Day

Since I post on this forum so infrequently, it seems best to follow other author's examples and add links to the previous chapters of my story so readers can catch up before they read the most recent chapter.

Andrew Prequel Chapter 1:

Andrew Prequel Chapter 2:

Andrew Prequel Chapter 3:

Chapter 4:

Chapter 5:

Chapter 6:

Chapter 7:

Chapter 8:

Chapter 9:

Chapter 10:

Chapter 11:

Chapter 12:

ChApter 13:

CHAPTER 14: In May of 1999, Track and Field Day had arrived, which Andrew and his friends had prepared for in Andrew?s weight room and outside.

?Are you ready for your first Track and Field Day Andrew?? Chad asked.

?It?s not my first one Dad; that was last year,? Andrew corrected him. ?But it is my last Track and Field Day in the Junior Boys Category. Next year I will compete in the Intermediate Boys Category.?

?I have today off from work Andrew; would you like me to attend??

?That?s not necessary Dad,? Andrew assured him. ?My friend Mike is a video buff and he?ll be recording the day?s events with help from Ralph. They?ll give me the tape and I can show it to you later.? When Chad nodded, Andrew added, ?Besides Dad, it?s not like in the States, where even public school sports draw large crowds. But make sure you come to all my Youth League Football games and practices starting next fall.?

?I won?t forget Andrew, and we?ll focus your summer?s training on football techniques,? Chad decided.

?Is it okay if Mike joins us??

?Sure Andrew,? Chad agreed him as he helped Andrew pack his school bag. ?I notice that you?re using a gym bag instead of a backpack.?

?Hey, I?m a jock thanks to you Dad, so I have to look the part!? Andrew reminded him. ?That?s why I?m wearing my Abercrombie t-shirt from Christmas.?

?Which you?re filling out a lot more than you did at Christmas,? Chad realized. He opened the front door to let Andrew out and asked, ?How much do you weigh now Andrew??

?165 pounds of solid muscle!? Andrew shouted in excitement, flexing his biceps. ?I wonder if they?re going to move me up to the Senior Boys Category so that I have more competition. None of the other athletes my age weigh more than 100 pounds, so it will be no contest for me to win against them today!?

?Don?t get too cocky about that Andrew,? Chad cautioned him, as they sat down on the porch bench to wait for the bus. ?You don?t want to show off too much today, or you?ll make your fellow athletes feel bad. Some of them may want to be football players as well, and if they?re discouraged now, they may not be motivated to follow their dreams.?

?That?s a good point Dad,? Andrew agreed, as he looked across the street at Carrie's house. ?I see Carrie waiting for the school bus; have a good day Dad!?

?You too,? Chad said. Andrew bounded down the porch steps to meet Carrie at the bus stop across the street, right in front of her house. He realized that even though Andrew's school was only a couple of blocks to the east, the position of their house on the inner loop in the Gracie Drive Subdivision made it necessary for Andrew to take the bus to school. "I should have bought a house on the outer loop street, Orma Drive, instead, but our family wanted privacy. At least our house, inside the loop, is the one closest to the road that leads to Fittons Road, so it's easier to get into town. And we have a corner lot too." He looked across the street at Carrie's house and added, "We had a pool at our old house near the Zellars Mall, but we don't have one here. So Andrew has to go over to Carrie's house to enjoy one."

"Well, when we moved here this summer, you decided to buy a more modest house to set a good example for Andrew," his wife Susan said.

"Oh hi dear, I didn't hear you come up behind me," Chad said, turning around to give his wife a hug and kiss.

"Obviously; you were talking to yourself out here," Susan teased him. "Let's go inside now, before we embarrass Andrew and Carrie."

Chad smiled and joined his wife inside the house, so that they could spend the day together.

At the bus stop, Andrew held Carrie?s hand until the bus pulled up in front of them. Then he dropped her hand and led the way onto the bus, changing his facial expression to a confident smirk.

?Hey Andrew; what?s up?? Ralph asked, as Andrew and Carrie sat down in the seat behind him.

?Not much man, just looking forward to winning lots of ribbons and a medal at Track and Field Day,? Andrew predicted with a cocky smirk on his face.

?I?m sure you?ll do that Andrew,? Ralph agreed, staring up at his hero in awe. He held up his video camera and added, ?I?ll be taping every one of your victories and interviewing you afterwards.?

?That?s great man, just make sure you gets lots of shots of these babies,? Andrew said, flexing his massive bicep in Ralph?s face.

?Wow Andrew, how big are your biceps?? Ralph asked with an amazed look.

?14.5 inches man; I just measured them last night,? Andrew replied.

?Yeah that?s what Andrew does now: works out, measures his muscles and admires himself in the mirror,? Carrie chuckled. ?If I didn?t know better, I?d think he loves himself more than he loves me!?

?You?ll always be number one for me Carrie,? Andrew assured her, putting a big arm over her shoulders. He dropped the Cocky Jock Act for a moment and whispered in here ear, ?If it wasn?t for you encouraging me when my dad?s not around, I wouldn?t have become the man I am today.?

?Thanks Andrew,? Carrie said with a smile. ?I?m glad to see that you haven?t forgotten the people who have helped you become the jock you are today.?

?This is just the beginning Carrie,? Andrew smirked, sliding quickly back into Jock Mode. ?Wait until you see how big I am when we enter high school a little over three years from now!?

As the bus pulled into the Couchiching Heights parking lot, Ralph asked Mike how he felt about the upcoming Track and Field events that day.

"I'm a little nervous, but not as much as I was last year," Mike replied. "I know that I don't have a chance of competing with Andrew for any ribbons, but that's why I'm helping you tape his exploits today."

"Oh thanks a lot Mike!" Ralph laughed. "You're only hanging out with me because you're not at Andrew's level yet!"

"Hey, if you worked out with us, then you'd gain more muscle like I have," Mike informed him.

"Maybe in a few years," Ralph decided. "Right now I want to focus more on math and science."

As they got off the bus, Andrew said, "Well don't worry Little Buddy, Mike and I will protect you until you can protect yourself. And when you're ready to weight train with us, just let me know." He bent down and picked Ralph up carefully until he was at eye level. "Just make sure that you keep documenting our progress with your video camera or things will go very badly for you!"

"Very funny Andrew!" Ralph laughed as Andrew winked at him. "You can't scare me, not even if you grew to over 6 feet and 200 pounds!"

"That day could only be a couple of years away Ralph," Andrew predicted quite seriously. He set Ralph down and then led the way into the school. "That's quite scary when I think about it: I could be 6 feet tall by the time I'm done Grade Seven!"

"What about Steve?" Carrie asked him suddenly, as they stopped by their lockers. "He's been working out quite a bit at home and he might get as big as you one day."

"Even if he does, he'll be nothing but a big waste of space, so forget about him Carrie," Andrew assured her. "I'll be the Gold Medal God this year, not him!"

"That's a great line Andrew, can I use that for the video title?" Ralph asked, as they put their bags into their lockers.

"Sure man," Andrew said, looking down at his little friend with a reassuring smile. "As long as you only take videos of me, you can give them any titles you want."

"How about sharing some of that limelight with me Andrew?" Mike asked him, as they took their textbooks and notebooks out of their lockers.

"The limelight is like power Mike; no one's going to share it with you," Andrew informed him as they walked into class. As Mike sat down beside him, Andrew leaned over and added, "If you want true power and publicity, you're going to have to take it!"

"From Steve I hope," Mike said, glaring over at the other side of the classroom. "Look at him arrogantly showing off his biceps to Darrel! He's such a big jerk!"

"How come you never say the same thing when I show off my biceps in front of you guys?" Andrew asked, glancing up at the clock.

"You use your big muscles to protect and mentor people Andrew," Mike informed him. "Steve just shows off his muscles to boost his massive ego."

"You're right about that Mike," Andrew agreed. "As you know, that's why I'm not friends with him anymore: he insulted you and Mark by calling you runts!"

"Yeah I meant to ask you about that Andrew," Mike said, looking at his watch. "How did you keep working out after your dad took away your weights over Christmas?"

"I did lots of sit-ups, push-ups and chin-ups," Andrew informed him proudly. "Those exercises took away any fat I had and exposed my rock hard muscles! See for yourself Mike!"

Andrew flexed his massive bicep in front of Mike's face and Mike laughed as he poked it gently. "That feels as hard as a rock Andrew, and it never gets old watching you flex your big muscles!" Mike thought about what Andrew had just said and suddenly realized something. "Wait a minute Andrew: your dad took away your chin-up bar. So how did you manage to do chin-ups without it?"

"I used the frame of my closet door," Andrew replied, as their teacher stepped into the classroom. "I'll tell you more later Mike, but now it's time to listen to what our teacher has to tell us about Track and Field Day."

Mike nodded, and they listened to the teacher giving them instructions for the morning?s activities. Mike realized that using a door frame for chin-ups was much more difficult than using a chin-up bar, so his admiration for Andrew grew even further.

?The morning?s activities will consist of Shot Put, Triple Jump and Long Jump for the boys,? Mr. Aiken said. He noticed Andrew smirking and said, ?Yes Andrew, you?ll be able to show off your great strength and athletic ability in front of everyone.? He looked over at the video camera on Ralph?s desk. ?And it looks like the Andrew Pearson Fan Club is ready to capture your athletic exploits for posterity.? All the boys in class clapped and cheered for Andrew, prompting him to stand up and flex his massive biceps for them. ?Okay, calm down everyone,? Mr. Aiken begged the class, once it was clear that the applause for Andrew wouldn?t die down on its own. ?Go to the locker rooms, get changed for this morning?s athletic activities, and see you on the back field in half an hour.?

Andrew and his crowd of admirers, which consisted of all the boys except for Steve and Darrel, walked down the hall to the locker rooms. There, the crowd separated into boys and girls, but Andrew?s crowd of admirers didn?t get any smaller. Andrew grinned confidently because his fans expected it, but he actually felt slightly nervous at all the attention. It didn?t help matters when he took off his t-shirt in the locker room, drawing gasps of amazement and fear from everyone around him.

?Wow Andrew, you look like a Greek God!? Mike marvelled, once he got over his fear of Andrew?s muscular frame.

?Thanks man; I should go to the next Halloween Party dressed as one,? Andrew said, as he took off his jeans. He slipped his gym shorts on over his boxers and then put on his running shoes. ?Well, I guess I?m ready to go out onto the field now.?

?Uh, I think you forgot something Andrew,? Ralph said, holding up Andrew?s t-shirt.

?Oh yeah, I forgot,? Andrew realized, shrugging his massive shoulders innocently. ?Sorry about that guys,? he apologized as he put on his t-shirt.

?Yeah right Andrew; you 'forgot' your t-shirt just to show off your muscles some more!? Mark teased him.

?Okay, you?ve got me on that one Mark,? Andrew admitted, as he led the way out of the locker room. ?That?s why you?re smarter than me.?

?And don?t you forget it Big Man!? Mark teased him.

Andrew turned back to him with a grin and flexed his massive bicep in Mark?s face. ?You look like you?ve been missing a few meals Little Man; how would you like a knuckle sandwich??

?Don?t try acting tough Andrew; I can see right through you,? Mark informed him with a big smile. ?I know that despite your tough jock exterior, you?re actually a gentle giant.?

?Just don?t tell anyone Mark,? Andrew begged him, as they turned the corner into the hall that led to the back doors of the school. ?I don?t want to ruin my tough image by acting gentle with too many people.?

?Don?t worry Andrew; you?ll have lots of opportunities to show off how tough you are this morning,? Mike said, as he opened the back doors. He and Mark stepped to either side of the doors and shouted, ?Make way for Andrew the Muscle God everyone!?

?Stop that guys!? Andrew yelled in frustration, even as he waved to his cheering fans outside. ?You?re embarrassing me!?

?This is just the beginning Andrew,? Mark informed him, turning on his video camera. He pointed it at Andrew and signalled Ralph to start speaking.

?Hello sports fans of the Orillia Area,? Ralph said as an opening line. ?Welcome to the 1999 Edition of the Couchiching Heights Public School Track and Field Day. With us right now is last year?s Bronze Medallist and this year?s Gold Medallist hopeful Andrew Pearson. Tell us Andrew: how do you feel about your chances at actually winning the Junior Boys Gold Medal today??

?Pretty good because of these muscles,? Andrew said with a cocky smirk. He flexed his massive biceps in his tight t-shirt and added, ?I don?t think I?ll have any trouble winning First Place Ribbons and then a Gold Medal today.?

?Well that?s good to hear Andrew, but what how do you think you?ll do in the events that use your legs: like the Long Jump, Triple Jump, High Jump and the races??

?Check out these massive thighs and you?ll see why I?ll have no trouble with the lower body events,? Andrew bragged, pointing to his muscular legs.

?Well thanks a lot for the interview Andrew and good luck today,? Ralph said, stepping forward to shake his hand.

?In my experience there?s no such thing as luck,? Andrew responded, borrowing a line from Obi-Wan Kenobi. ?But there is such a thing as good results, coming from hard work and perseverance.?

?I understand,? Ralph said, as Mark stopped filming. ?We?ll be watching your events Andrew and providing commentary for our viewers along the way.?

?I look forward to it,? Andrew said. ?See you guys later.?

He waved to his friends and headed for the registration table where the parking lot met the back field. There, he picked up the list of events he would be participating in that day. He noticed that Shot-put was his first event, so he headed for that line. As Andrew approached the Shot-Put table, he felt a strange sense of anticipation. He compared that feeling to the year before, when he had felt nervous about participating in Track and Field Day. But when he looked up the line, he felt a surge of anger when he noticed Steve standing ahead of him.

?Hey Andrew,? Phil said from behind him, hoping to divert Andrew?s attention from the two bullies in line ahead of them.

?Hey Phil,? Andrew replied, his angry look fading into a smug grin as he turned to face his good friend Phil. ?Do you think you?ll win a medal today like you did last year??

?Yeah man,? Phil replied with a cocky smirk.

?But not the gold one; it?s mine!? Andrew shouted loudly.

?Not if I have anything to say about it!? Steve snapped at them.

?Shut up Steve!? Andrew shouted at him in fury, turning to face his nemesis.

?What did you just say to me?? Steve snarled in rage, stepping forward menacingly.

?I said ?shut up Steve?!? Andrew repeated. ?Are you deaf or just stupid??

?You?re going to regret saying that!? Steve warned him.

?No he?s not,? Phil replied, stepping forward to join Andrew. ?But you will regret it if you keep talking.?

?Yes you will Mr. Peterson, because it?s your turn for the Shot-put and you don?t want to be disqualified,? the Shot-put Coordinator said.

Steve nodded his head obediently while glaring at Phil for getting the last word. Andrew grinned as Steve picked up the shot-put ball, looking forward to beating whatever result Steve got. Andrew?s hopes were bolstered by the fact that Steve only managed to throw the ball 10 meters.

?Too bad Steve!? Andrew laughed.

?That?s enough Mr. Pearson; save your energy for your turn up here,? the Shot-put Coordinator ordered him.

?Yes sir,? Andrew said, letting the cocky grin fall from his face. He turned to Phil and said, "I'm sure you'll beat your twin brother in this event."

"We'll find out Andrew, but first it's your turn to beat Steve," Phil said, as the Shot-put Coordinator handed Andrew the ball.

Andrew grinned confidently and brought his arm up beside his ear. Then he tossed the Shot-put ball forward as hard as he could.

"A new record Andrew: 20 meters," the Shot-put Coordinator said. "Congratulations: you're now in first place, ahead of Steve."

Andrew smiled and stepped back to let Phil take a shot at the Shot-put event. His smile became a laugh as Phil threw the ball further than Steve and so did Darrel.

"Too bad Mr. Peterson: you've been knocked out of this afternoon's Junior Boys Shot-put final," the Shot-put Coordinator said. "Better luck next year: in the Intermediate Boys Category."

"Yeah too bad Steve," Andrew gloated. "You have managed to become a complete failure! I can't believe it!"

Andrew and Phil laughed loudly and walked away, celebrating the fact that they had both made it into the Shot-put Final that afternoon. Darrel tagged along behind them, leaving Steve alone to stew in silence. Steve thought about hurling the shot-put ball into the back of Andrew's head, but he couldn't do anything with the Shot-Put Coordinator standing right there. So he decided to beat Andrew at the rest of the day's events so that he could at least win a medal.

"Steve Peterson: how does it feel to be beaten by Andrew in the first event and knocked out of the Shot-Put Final?" Ralph asked him.

"The day's not over yet Ralph," Steve declared through clenched teeth. He glared at Mike holding the camera and growled, "I'm just getting warmed up, so you haven't seen anything yet!"

"Do you think you'll do any better once you are warmed up?" Ralph asked him.

"Maybe I should throw you ten meters like I did that Shot-Put ball and we'll find out!" Steve snapped, stepping forward menacingly.

But he was suddenly stopped by the iron grip of Mr. Aiken on his shoulder.

"Threatening people Mr. Peterson?" Mr. Aiken asked Steve, turning him around.

"It's not a threat; it's a promise!" Steve snapped back.

"Not at this school, it isn't!" Mr. Aiken roared. "Apologize to Ralph right now or you're banned from the rest of the day's events!"

"The only thing I have to apologize for is that I didn't knock Andrew out with the Shot-Put ball when I had the chance!" Steve snapped back.

"Well you're not getting the chance now; you're suspended for the day," Mr Aiken informed him. "Come with me to the Principal's Office and I'll call your parents."

"You think you can make me?" Steve sneered in his face. "My father's already going to hear about how you put your hands on me, and by the time he's through with you, you won't be able to get a job as a public school janitor!"

"Is that right?" Steve's dad asked from behind him.

Steve turned around quickly, tearing free from Mr. Aiken's grip. "Dad! What are you doing here?"

"I came to support you during your events today, but now I see that it wasn't worth the effort!" Ron snapped. "You didn't learn a thing when I grounded you for the Christmas Break, did you? You've just turned into a bully like Darrel because you're jealous of Andrew! Well, I'll straighten you out, one way or another, even if I have to send you away to boarding school!" Steve's face showed fear at the prospect of being separated from all his friends. "Get in the car: NOW!!"

Steve ran for the car, terrified of his dad's fury and Ron turned back to Mr. Aiken. "I'm sorry about my son sir; I don't know what I'm going to do with him! He's become just like Darrel used to be before Andrew took care of him!"

"Corporal punishment from parents, while still legal, is frowned upon these days," Mr Aiken said. "But if Steve shows jealously like that to Andrew's face, I wouldn't be surprised if Andrew took care of him for you!"

"And he'll be all alone to face Andrew, because his friend Darrel isn't even here to stick up for him," Ron realized. "See you later."

Mr. Aiken nodded in agreement and then went to find out which event Andrew would be participating in next. He found Andrew standing near the High jump mat, being interviewed by Ralph and surrounded by adoring fans. He even noticed Andrew accept Darrel's outstretched hand for a congratulatory handshake and he was pleased to see that Andrew's former enemy was slowly becoming a fan.

The rest of the morning's events went smoothly, with Andrew, Darrel and Phil taking the top three spots in the high jump, triple jump and long jump. those results ensured their places in the finals in the afternoon. For the races, the events and the finals were both in the afternoon.

It was soon lunchtime, which was served by volunteers outside at long tables bordering the back field. Andrew and Phil ate the most, getting their fuel reserves topped up for the races and final events that afternoon, and they even had some pleasant conversation with Darrel for the first time in years.

"Your results in this morning's events were very impressive Andrew; you took first place in every one!" Darrel congratulated him.

"Thanks Darrel," Andrew said, patting his new friend on the shoulder. "I'm glad that you're not jealous of my success this morning, especially since you, Phil and Steve took the top three places last year!"

"Yeah, now that Andrew's in the house, Steve's left outside in the cold!" Phil sneered, smirking in the direction of Steve, who was standing by himself near the garbage dumpster. "Look Andrew: Steve's standing near the garbage, where his hopes for beating you today ended up!"

"That's true, but let's not gloat about that anymore," Andrew warned him.

"No, let's gloat about it Andrew!" Phil laughed. "He deserves it after treating Mike and Ralph badly! Now he has to sit on the sidelines with them!"

"Yes he does, but with Mr. Aiken keeping an eye on him, he won't try anything," Andrew realized.

Mr. Aiken had realized that simply sending Steve home wouldn't teach him anything, so with Ron's permission, he let Steve stay at school that day, while banning him from participating in Track and Field Day. That way, Steve would suffer the maximum embarrassment possible: watching Andrew's continuing success from the sidelines. Mr. Aiken hoped that that generous helping of 'humble pie' would leave a bad taste in Steve's mouth that he would remember for a very long time.

For his part, Andrew mostly ignored Steve and just focused on doing his best in each race. He managed to pull ahead in the Junior Boys 200 meter race, and he was pleased that his good friend Phil was with him for each one in the top three and he was pleasantly surprised to see Darrel, Phil?s twin brother, join them to round out the top three.

As they approached the starting line for the final race: the Junior Boys 400 meters, Andrew looked over at Darrel and said, ?Are you hoping to beat me in this race Darrel? Neither you nor Phil have had any luck, unlike last year. You have both gone back and forth between second and third.?

?That may be true Andrew, but don?t get too cocky just because of all those first place ribbons on your chest,? Darrel warned him. ?Phil and I were cocky last year, but now we?re not the winners in each event anymore. And look at Steve: banned from the events because of his attitude and forced to help set-up each event.?

"Yeah, but don't say anything to him about that, or we could get kicked out of events like he was this morning," Phil warned him.

"Good point brother," Darrel said, the cocky grin leaving his face as he thought about that.

When everyone stepped up to the starting line for their race, Mr. Aiken had some advice for them. ?Set a good pace and keep it all the way around to the home stretch. When you round the last curve, start increasing your speed. When you reach the start line, give it everything you have until you cross the finish line a few dozen meters ahead. After you finish the race, do not sit down, do not squat down; walk.? He looked down the line of six racers and asked them, ?Is everyone ready?? All six boys nodded and Mr. Aiken raised his arm in the air. ?Okay: on your mark, get set, go!?

All the boys began running and Andrew pulled ahead once again on the inside as they rounded the first turn. Phil and Darrel kept up behind him, but couldn?t manage to make any headway on the back stretch. They tried to take Andrew on the inside lane as they curved around to the home stretch to finish Lap One, but Andrew?s lead was too great. As Andrew passed the finish line: the halfway point for the two lap race, he saw Ralph and Mike standing there, taping his race.

?Andrew Pearson, the winner of each race so far, has just passed us, starting Lap Two,? Ralph said. ?Once he has finished his race, we will interview him, since we missed catching him for one when he won the 200 meter race. After that, we will proceed to the High Jump area, where we will see how our fellow classmates do in the first final of the afternoon.?

So once Andrew finished his race, Ralph and Mike tried to chase him down for an interview, which Andrew finally consented to.

?Spectacular run,? Mike complimented Andrew. ?How do you feel??

?Fine,? Andrew replied, trying to catch his breath.

?Fine, he says. Are you tired??

?Kind of.?

?He?s kind of tired. Any comments you would like to make?? Andrew shook his head. ?Would you like to say hello to your parents??

?No,? Andrew replied, suddenly embarrassed.

?Is there anyone you?d like to thank??

?No,? Andrew replied, suddenly at a loss for words.

?He could thank himself: for winning the race,? Phil piped up, putting an arm around his good friend?s shoulders. ?But I came in second, so you won?t be the only one getting a medal today Andrew.?

Mike turned to the camera and said, ?This is Mike Stevenson, saying goodbye to all you sports fans for now. We?ll see you at the next event.?

A couple of minutes later, Mike and Ralph found out Andrew?s time from the judges and Mike reported it as follows: ?We just got word from the judges that Andrew Pearson came in at 1 minute 12 seconds in the Junior Boys 200 meter race.?

Then Mike and Ralph went over to the high jump finals: where Andrew, Darrel and Phil were getting ready to compete for some ribbons.

?Okay sports fans, we?re going to show you the Junior Boys High Jump Finals now,? Mike said into the camera, as he and Ralph stood on the grass near the high jump station.

?And this is Ralph Connors, capturing these events for future use,? Ralph said, having no idea how prophetic that statement would be.

Andrew went first in the high jump and cleared the bar with ease, even though it was higher than in the morning.

?Excellent jump!? Mike shouted in enthusiasm, applauding Andrew for his accomplishment.

Andrew jogged away from the mat and Darrel made his attempt. But he hit the bar and pounded his fist on the mat in frustration.

?That could have damaged his professional career,? Mike said sarcastically; not as ready as Andrew to believe that Darrel had changed.

?What career?? Ralph muttered under his breath; having also been bullied by Darrel like Andrew had been.

Darrel?s second and final attempt was unsuccessful, just like his first, but his brother Phil made the jump in his first attempt.

Then the video team heard Mr. Connors announce over his megaphone: ?Junior Boys 400 meter final starts in five minutes.?

?Do we want to film this race?? Ralph asked Mike.

?Yes we do,? Mike replied. ?Let?s go Ralph.?

So the two friends headed over to the track, which was basically marked by orange cones which had been put in place by Steve Peterson.

?Okay: we?re standing by the start line of the Junior Boys 400 meter final,? Mike said into the camera.

?And he?s racing by the camera, just to get on TV!? Steve shouted, as he ran into the shot, disrupting Ralph?s view of the field.

?Excuse me Mr. Pearson: could you apologize to Mike and Ralph please?? Mr. Aiken asked him.

Of course Steve wouldn?t comply, so Mr. Aiken made him stand in the middle of the track, well away from the crowds, so that he couldn?t bother any more people.

?Yes, Steve Peterson found out that showing off doesn?t get him anywhere,? Mike said with a satisfied smirk. ?That will teach him.? He cleared his throat as Mr. Aiken glared at him and said, ?But getting back to the race, let?s hear what Mr. Aiken has to tell the racers.?

Mr. Aiken nodded in satisfaction and turned to the three boys on the start line. ?This is the Final. Make sure, even if you?re in the lead, that you pour it on. Don?t waste time looking beside you or behind you: that slows you down. Once you start, set a good pace and keep it all the way around to the final curve on lap two. Once you round the last curve, start increasing your speed. When you get here, it?s just a dozen meters to the finish line, so give it everything you have. After you finish the race: do not sit down or squat; walk. Are you ready?? Everyone nodded and Mr. Aiken raised his arm. ?On your mark, get set, go!?

Mike and Ralph started walking towards the finish line: keeping the camera focussed on the racers as they rounded the first turn of the track. They noticed Andrew staying in the middle of the pack and correctly guessed that he was saving himself for Lap Two. They watched the racers head down the back stretch, round the far curve and come down the home stretch to complete Lap One. Andrew began pulling away from the rest of the pack.

?The Junior Boys have just completed Lap One of their 400 meter final and Andrew Pearson has taken the lead!? Mike shouted in excitement.

?And he is a very fast runner: look at how his lead is increasing along the back stretch!? Ralph added.

However, they soon noticed that Darrel Parker began making up ground as the runners rounded the final curve.

?Come on Andrew: pour it on!? Mike?s brother Mark yelled out from the crowd of fans.

Andrew did his best to pull away, but Darrel was right behind him as he crossed the finish line.

?Andrew Pearson crosses the finish line in first place, Darrel Parker is second and Phil Parker is last,? Mike said. ?Let?s go interview Darrel this time.?

Before they could get to Darrel, Andrew got another first place red ribbon pinned on his t-shirt and ordered Ralph to zoom in on the five ribbons he had won. Then they finally got to interview Darrel.

?You came in second in the race and won a blue ribbon,? Mike said. ?How did you feel about the race??


?And who did you think would win??


?But you didn?t,? Mike pointed out.

?No, Andrew did,? Darrel said. ?But I was right on his heels as he crossed the finish line.?

Mike thanked him for the interview and then Ralph reminded him that Andrew?s sister Carrie might be running in the girl?s track finals. They managed to track down Mr. Aiken?s wife, who ran the girl?s races, to see if she knew who was running in the finals.

?I don?t have any lists with me,? Mrs. Aiken said, looking flustered at the sudden interview.

?Well, can you give us your opinion on who?s in the 100 meter final??

?Well I don?t remember; the finalists qualified two hours ago!? Mrs. Aiken shouted in frustration.

?So you don?t know who the three finalists are in the girl?s 100 meters??
?No, but let me see if I can find out,? Mrs. Aiken sighed in exasperation. She turned to her fellow judges, but only one name, that of Carrie Pearson, came up. ?So that?s all the information I have, but thank you for the interview.?

Mike didn?t let her off the hook that easily. ?What do you think the best time?s going to be??

?Quick,? Mrs. Aiken replied through clenched teeth. Then she threw her hands up in the air and shouted, ?I don?t know!?

Mike turned to the camera and said, ?Well that?s all the information we could get for you sports fans on the make-up of the Junior Girls 100 meter final. You?ll just have to watch the race with us and see the results as they arrive.?

Mike and Ralph taped the race and were very happy when Andrew?s girlfriend Carrie Pearson won.

?Well, there you go sports fans: Carrie, like her good friend Andrew, has taken first place in all the events for her age group,? Mike said, once they arrived at the results table. ?These charts show the top three people in each event, in each division.? Andrew walked over and put his fingers around his name to highlight it for the camera. Mike and Ralph grinned at his lack of modesty, but were also very pleased at the success of their big friend that day. ?Andrew Pearson is just as modest as ever,? Mike said jokingly. ?But now it?s time to watch the awards ceremony and see if his confidence is justified.?

Mr. Connors, the school principal, officiated the Awards Ceremony for Track and Field Day 1999.

?First of all, I would like to thank the parent volunteers who helped set up the events today and cooked your hamburgers and hotdogs.? Everyone cheered and Mr. Connors smiled. ?Yes, they made a very good lunch. Now it?s time to congratulate another group of people: the winners of today?s events. We have special awards for those who have gone a little bit above and a little bit beyond some of the rest of us. I will call out their names one by one, and all the winners for each division will stay up here because we have a videographer in the crowd.? Everyone quieted down to wait for the first name to be called. ?The Junior Boys Bronze Medallion goes to Darrel Parker.? Darrel didn?t get much in the way of cheers, because everyone remembered how much he had bullied Andrew Pearson and others the year before. ?The Silver Medal goes to Phil Parker.? Everyone cheered loudly for Phil, since unlike his brother, he had never been a bully. Phil shook the hand of Mr. Aiken, who put the medal around his neck and stood just to the right of Darrel. ?And finally: the Gold Medal for the Junior Boys goes to?Andrew Pearson.?

The entire crowd erupted in excitement as Andrew walked across the pavement to shake Mr. Aiken?s hand. Mr. Aiken put the Gold Medal around Andrew?s neck and put his hand on Andrew?s shoulder as he congratulated him privately. Then Andrew walked behind the Parker brothers and took his place on Phil?s right. True to form, Andrew couldn?t help responding to the cheers of his fans, so he flexed his biceps and laughed in celebration.

Once the awards ceremony was complete, Andrew went back into the crowd with the other winners from each division and was congratulated by his friends Mark, Ralph and Mike.

?You did very well today Andrew; now you?re the top dog in sports at this school,? Mike said.

?At least in my division,? Andrew corrected him. ?But in a few years, I will be the Gold Medal winner in the Senior Boys Division and then your prediction will be accurate!? He looked around and noticed the crowds beginning to disperse. ?We?d better get ready to go home now.?

?Before everyone goes home, I just have one more thing to say!? Mr. Connors shouted through his megaphone. Everyone turned to look towards the principal. ?Behind me is a vast assortment of lost articles that have been lost today: mostly backpacks and coats. On your way into the school, if you see a lost item of yours, pick it up and take it with you. We basically have just enough time for you to go inside and get your things out of your classrooms before the busses arrive. Have a good evening, see you tomorrow and congratulations once again to all our winners today.?

Everyone clapped and cheered and then went into the school to pick up their coats and book bags for the bus ride home. Andrew smiled quietly to himself as he realized that his life would never be the same now that he had proven himself as an athlete.
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