Clean Sweep at Innsbrook

Last Sunday the QuarterMax and OctoMax triathlons were held at Innsbrook resort near Wright City. My family has a chalet there, which we visit often during the summer. No, I didn’t do either of these events – we were there to watch our two daughters, Mollie (12 yrs) and Madison (8 yrs), complete in the MiniMax aquathlon. Mollie competed in the 11-14 division, which was a 100 yd swim followed by a 1-mile run, while the distances in Maddie’s 7-8 division were half that.

Mollie has been a competitive swimmer on the YMCA and Village of Cherry Hills swim teams for the past two years now. She was the overall points winner on the VCH team both years (out of ~140 swimmers) and just made the Gold team during tryouts for the Rockwood Swim Team. She also does well in track activities at school. She’s a natural athlete and excels in sports that draw upon raw strength and endurance. As a result, we’ve gotten quite used to seeing her do well in competition.

Maddie, on the other hand, has never seemed to be much of an athlete, always seeming to prefer activities that require balance and coordination but not raw strength – dance, gymnastics, etc. Lately, however, she’s shown more interest in “harder” sports such as basketball (even though she’s short) and volleyball. We don’t expect her to excel at these things, but we’ve dutifully let her experimemt with different activities so she can find what she really likes. I really think she wanted to do MiniMax as much because her big sister was doing it as anything else.

So on race day, we expected Mollie would do well – probably win her division – and were prepared to be proud of Maddie’s effort regardless of how she did. Mollie went off in the first wave with both boys and girls 11-14, while Maddie went off in the second wave with the boys and girls 7-8 and 9-10 divisions combined. As expected, Mollie was the first girl to come in – winning the girls 11-14 division and coming in 3rd overall. Then we waited for Maddie, and it wasn’t long before we saw her running towards the finishing strait within a gaggle of kids. Since her wave contained two divisions, we couldn’t really tell how she was doing. Before the finish line, she was starting to slow, but then I saw a boy start to come around her and she gave it an extra kick – yeah, she’s got the competitive spirit alright! I commented to my wife, somewhat surprised, that Maddie didn’t do too badly at all – she wasn’t last!

We praised the girls for their efforts and hung around for the awards ceremony and Mollie’s certain trophy. But they gave out the awards for the younger kids first. When it was time for the girls 7-8, I found myself secretly hoping maybe Maddie had snuck onto the podium, but when other girl’s names were called for 3rd place, then 2nd place, I figured oh well. You can imagine my shock when the announcer said, “and in 1st place, from Wildwood, Missouri…” and I immediately knew it was Madison! I was so proud of that little girl – her first trophy. We knew Mollie was the winner for her division, and I let out another yell when they called her up to receive her 1st place trophy.

A clean sweep for the MacRae sisters!

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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