Thursday, December 29, 2011
"The Great One" -- Reid Wins FloTrack Gretsky Award
Here's the latest from the folks at FloTrack:
As we sat down and reflected on what were truly the greatest moments of the 2011 season one name kept coming up but we couldn't find a superlative that truly encompassed the greatness of this athlete. This athlete has consistently risen to the occasion and seems to have a quiet tenaciousness that combined with a race savvy like none else, produces an almost unbeatable package.
The athlete is Villanova Senior Sheila Reid. We knew we wanted to recognize her but didn't know what title to bestow upon her name. The first idea was to give her "Canadian of the Year" which, is a tremendous title especially when you consider how well Canucks have done this year. But that was too generic, bland and unFlotrack. So eventually we came to the idea of naming it after the Canadian Chuck Norris. Wayne Gretzky.
Who better to receive this award then a fellow Ontarioan ..Ontarianite ..(a person who is from Ontario). The two are just plain winners. Gretzky once said "A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be."
Sheila has been able to craft races into her own blueprint. Her keen race senses are unparalleled and in 2011 almost unbeatable.
Indoors she anchored her Villanova crew to a DMR crown and was barely edged out in the 3k by Hasay. (Fortunately for her, the last place finish in the pee test was went virtually unnoticed and did not effect her indoor stats- 4:00 into vid)
Then Came Outdoors and Sheila was all business as she tore up the Blue Oval in Des Moines. Battling through A 1500 prelim on the second day, Sheila came back the next night to pull away and win the 5k in 15:37. The long weekend continued as she still had a tough, 1500m final on her plate. It came down to the wire again, but as usual, Sheila timed it right, winning in 4:14.57.
Cross Country brought a lot of pressure for the reigning NCAA champion. Reid didn't have an easy road to the championship opening her season at the Wisconsin Invitational. It came down to scene we all know to well. With Jordan and Sheila stride for stride going into the home stretch, Reid set the tone for her season and pulled away with a signature kick.
Reid Continued to roll, and in November arrived in Terre Haute with an undefeated season on her hands. The women's race seemed as though it was scripted it was so dramatic. Fjortoft of SMU took the race out hard and did all she could to not let the race come down to a kick. But with 400m to go, in almost slow motion, a pack of about five women hugged the turn and darted for the barely visible finish line and for a second, it looked as though someone might take down the reigning champ. (I wanted to insert a nickname here, but i don't think she has one yet..lets work on that. Gretzky is "The great one"..just saying) With 200 meters to go the two titans of NCAA XC broke forth and it came down to none other than Sheila and Jordan. It was tight, each inching in front of the other with syncopated strides. Then the barrier was broken and Sheila powered away across the finish line to defended her title.
The NHL has officially retired Gretzky's #99 from ever being used again. Sheila Could leave her Collegiate career with 13 All American Awards so how can Coach Procaccio immortalize Sheila once she leaves Nova and is toeing the line in London next summer?
I will deliver this award to Sheila personally and I will be wearing my best Canadian Tuxedo (Denim Jacket, Denim Jeans, Denim Attitude.)