Display of Character and Class from Desert Ridge Relay Team

We far too often hear about the negative things that come from athletes in sports. Whether it is something they shouldn’t have said in a press conference or in a tweet. For some odd reason, that is the type of thing which gets more attention, more clicks, goes more viral than a display of something great that people do.

I spent the day yesterday at the Sun Angel Track Meet on the campus of Arizona State. It has been around for years and the people that run it always do a fantastic job organizing it and keeping order of the over 1,500 kids that are present during the preliminary days. While the girls were running the 4X100 meter relays yesterday, there was a rare miscommunication in the paperwork that the track meet organizers dealt with and could have ultimately costed one high school relay team from the opportunity to compete for for a chance at the finals this weekend.

The Desert Ridge girls relay team, consisting of  Alivia Young, Keyshiana Fennicks, Jasmine Kirby and Jessica Young, was told in the morning that they were going to be in Heat 2, lane 9 of the relay. While all the girls relay teams gathered under the Sun Angel Stadium bleachers to get ready and organized for the races, the Desert Ridge girls were then told that there was a change and they would be running in heat 4, lane 4.

After the first heat finished their race, heat 2 took the blocks. The PA announcer was announcing schools represented and sure enough, in heat 2, lane 9 was Desert Ridge. At the time, the Girls were standing off the track waiting for race 4. The gun sounded and two of the girls from Desert Ridge walked over and asked what was going on and was checking to see if they just missed their race.

Here is what blew me away about these girls. Instead of freaking out that they could have been disqualified for missing their race, instead of causing a scene, tracking down a coach who could have caused a scene, the girls simply asked if there will be an open lane in heat 4 so that they could get the opportunity to run. By the time the meet officials got everything sorted out, the rest of the teams competing in heat 4 had already become situated in their lanes.

Eventually Desert Ridge was given the thumbs up to run. No excuses made, no attitude was given and they ran off to their positions. In the end, they won their heat by a landslide and will be one of the contenders to win the girls 4×100 on Saturday for the finals.

I want to make sure I reiterate that the people who put on the Sun Angel Classic do an incredible job and this is by no means a highlight of one mistake that was made in the middle of countless races that were run on Thursday. This is about the kids and their amazing display of respect, class and character when something out of their control could have costed them the opportunity to compete. It is an example that all kids no matter age, gender, sport or level should make note of and it should not go unnoticed.

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