There was a south wind blowing up the homestretch of the Cuyamaca College track last night as three runners settled into their blocks for a special 200-meter dash.  The 200 wasn’t originally on the schedule for this, the third of four all-comers meets in the popular Summer Nights T & F Series put on by the San Diego-Imperial Association of USATF.  But U.S. Paralympic coach Joaquim Cruz asked officials if they would squeeze three of his runners into the program, as one athlete in particular had a goal he needed to achieve under calendar constraints.

The Summer Nights Series was begun last year by former local stars Paul Greer and Thom Hunt, who also staged the 2008 and 2010 USATF National Cross Country Championships at Mission Bay Park. Their love for the sport and dedication to the Summer Nights Series mirrors many such local track series around the country.   Not the kind of meets which garner much media attention, they instead represent the kind of all-comers competitions which both introduce and sustain the sport at all levels, offering opportunities to any who seek to explore the excellence that lies within.  This special 200-meters was right up their alley. Continue reading