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Cross Country 1999

Foot Locker West

a Note to Sara Bei

by Doug Speck and followers---

Special Note to Sara Bei 

John Dye called it right when he came to Mt. SAC last Fall and saw Sara Bei for the first 

time as a person and runner-he referred to her as "Queen Sara."  During a magical first 

couple of years in the sports of Track and Cross-Country a top meet somehow seemed 

less that complete without the presence of the Montgomery (Santa Rosa) star up near the 

front of the race, pushing the pace, maybe not winning, but helping to create a special 

competitive situation.  The term "Queen" refers to much more than running speed, as the 

class with which this young lady carried herself added so much to our sport.  Her quick 

smile, openness in all communication, and friendly nature lent nicely to the royalty 

reference in many ways.  All who came in contact with her or read her responses to 

questions realized that she was a real person like all of the rest of us who happened to be 

able to run real fast!   There was no special magic, she had fears and fun times just like 

the rest of us, and she kind of added a little more determination to the act of all that she 

came in contact with as they sensed this "human side" to the young star, and she probably 

put on her running uniform just like the rest of us!   

The real tests of life come when all does not go your way.  This past weekend at the Foot 

Locker Western Regional Sara raced her usual aggressive style, taking the lead, then, out 

of character, faded to a non-qualifying position for the Foot Locker Nationals out of the 

top eight.  When you make more news losing than winning you know you really have 

arrived, with the response of athletes such as Felicia Guiliford and Abby Miller to Sara's 

non-qualifying performance one of real sadness.  They knew the Florida trip is made so 

much  more enjoyable with Bei's presence.  Sara is ever-gracious in victory or defeat, 

showing a ton of class Saturday in burying the frustration she had to feel and 

congratulating qualifiers, smiling for pictures, and patiently answering tough questions.  

Some days you have it, and some days you do not.  This was one of those where when 

Sara dug down, the final few percent were just not there-against a field of this quality 

that final few percentage points can make the difference between qualifying and not 

qualifying.  We will have a race in Florida next weekend and champions will be crowned.  

The class and competitive nature of Sara Bei will be missed there.  Again, the best 

lessons in life are learned when one is knocked down a bit, with few athletes going all 

four years of a high school career in magical, perfect style.  Bei hit her bump in the road 

this last weekend, and as frustrating as it was, we all know she will be back!  That's why 

they give you your senior year!!

Below is typical of some e-mail that I personally received after Saturday's race at the 

Foot Locker West.  The excerpt below is typical of the stature in which Sara Bei is held 

by many around the state and nation---

"Hey Mr. Speck, could you email Sara Bei and tell her that Saddleback high school's 

cross country team wishes her luck in the future, and to not let her dreams down?  We've 

always thought of her as someone to look up to, and we're all hoping she's ok, and not 

injured or sick, after regionals.  Tell her that, although she's probably never heard of us, 

we (the boys and girls teams) were always in awe of her at Mt. SAC.  And also, tell her 

we wish her a good track season

Thanks a lot, Mr. Speck.
Saddleback Roadrunners"      


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