The boys had a great night at Athletics on Wednesday. Michael threw himself into it and competed in everything, while Marcus set new personal bests in triple jump and turbo javelin.
Last week Michael was very reluctant to even do the warm up properly, but this time he joined in the swarm of kids and looked really at home. He is very confident socially and is always happy to invite himself into a group he doesn't know. There is one boy in his age group that he knows from school, that probably helps. He competed in everything this week - I was delighted.
I now have to try to keep an eye on both of them as they compete. It was easy at first the other night as they were doing jumps in adjacent sandpits. Marcus's personal best for the triple jump was a little under 6 metres - all three of his jumps beat that easily. Meanwhile Michael was leaping amazing distances in the long jump - he came second and beat the qualifying distance for the state finals!
Michael went from there to the 70 meter sprint, which he won. He was still in his school uniform, and wearing a badge that said SPELLING LEADER. "Hmm - bit of a running leader too" said the man who handed him the timing tape (the 1st placegetter always takes the tape from the official timer to the official recorder).
Shortly after this, while Michael was running the 200 meters (2nd) Marcus was winning the turbo javelin - he improved his personal best from 10 to 13 metres. I missed seeing it but it must have been an impressive throw.
Marcus got his first ever qualifier a few weeks back, in the walking race. He is now much more aware of qualifying standards as something to aim for. He's about 2 metres short in the turbo javelin, but he feels like he's got the knack now, and it might be do-able.
He's been really encouraging to Michael, and thrilled with his early success. He is quite proud of Michael generally. One of Marcus's age group who is a bit of a loudmouth, saw Michael's badge, and sneered "Spelling Leader? Huh - can you spell 'idiot'?" Michael just replied " I D I O T". Marcus stepped in and said "Michael - can you spell 'windscreen wipers' backwards? Michael did, at about the usual speed I would recite the alphabet. The loudmouth was silent. "He could do that when he was FOUR!" crowed Marcus, triumphantly.