June 8, 2007
Senior Jessica Gall is currently in Sacramento, Calif., with teammates Lorian Price, Vera Neuenswander and Blayne Burkholder to compete in the 2007 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The following journal entry is the third of Gall's trip at her final national meet as a Hoosier.
Journal Entry No. 3
The race I had been waiting for all year finally took place at 8:40 p.m. PST Thursday. I started off the day with a light "shake-out" run and then a big breakfast buffet. Then I sat in my room and watched part of "Gladiator" on DVD for a while, checked my email, tried to kill time. Eventually Coach Wilson, Sandy (Tecklenburg) and I had to get out of the hotel, so we took a driving tour of Old Sacramento and grabbed some lunch. They dropped me off at the hotel afterwards and then went to the track to watch the rest of the meet. At 7 p.m., they came back to pick me up, and it was show time! It was a beautiful day, 80 degrees with a nice breeze and low humidity. I felt pretty good warming up and Coach gave me a good pep talk. When the gun went off I made my way towards the front of the pack, but it was very difficult because people were stepping on each other's heels and elbowing a lot. Eventually I found a good rhythm and drafted behind some other girls to avoid the wind. At about two miles a front pack pulled away, and looking back on it I wish I had gone with them, but as assistant coach Tecklenburg says, "If 'Ifs' and 'Buts' were candy and nuts it'd be Christmas every day!" I was tough the whole race and came out with a personal best time of 33:46 and 9th place. Because there were three foreign girls in front of me, I was to be an All-American. I know I can run faster, though, and am looking forward to running the 10K at the USA National Championships in Indy on June 21.
I am so grateful to all my coaches, teammates, friends and family for all their love and support that helped me get to this race. Especially for Coach Wilson, because without her who knows if I would even still be running. She has helped me through so many ups and downs and has never given up on me. Now I am looking forward to hanging out for the rest of the weekend and enjoying watching my teammates Vera and Blayne do well in the pole vault today!