I thought I’d share some of the excitement we’re feeling at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory about Shannon Rowbury (class of 2002) not only qualifying for the 2008 Olympic team but winning the US Olympic Trials in the 1500 meters.
I was lucky enough to be a first year head coach at SHCP when Shannon came in as a freshmen. Almost 10 years later we are still very close. The last two months have just been filled with excitement. My wife, Malinda, and I got married last summer but didn’t take a honeymoon then, deciding to save money and vacation time for a big international trip should Shannon ever qualify for one. We realized in January of this year that we couldn’t wait for the Trials to be over and just pick-up and head over to Beijing. So we rolled the dice and booked our trip to the Olympics seven months ago. We figured at the worst, we had a great honeymoon to China, and at the best….well, you can guess what the best case scenario was!
The month leading up to the Trials, Shannon was back in San Francisco. Coach John Cook sent her workouts and I went out to the track with her to hold the stopwatch, write things down, and give her someone to talk to so she wasn’t talking to herself all afternoon.
The Trials in Eugene were superb! Everything everyone is saying about the atmosphere is correct. It was also very enjoyable to spend time with fellow coaches, Pete Brewer (Castro Valley), Tony Kauke (former City College SF), Chris Puppione (former UC Davis), and Chuck Woolridge (Campolindo).
As Shannon took her victory lap around Hayward Field, I held up a sign (see attached photo) that read:
Hotel in Beijing – 10,875 Yen
Tickets to the Olympic Track Meet – $520
WATCHING THE KID YOU COACHED IN HIGH SCHOOL RUN IN THE OLYMPICS – PRICELESS
That summarizes exactly how I feel.