To say my senior year of high school was a difficult one, would be an understatement. Few things seemed to go well for me and worse yet, the stuff that went wrong seemed to be mostly of my doing.
One of those situations was to come out publicly against the track coaching staff, voicing my opposition to how they were treating another trackster. It all began after the Humboldt-Del Norte Conference finals.
Muneca Alcorn and Marcy Dennison were the best female distance runner in the conference. Their coach, Helen Caldwell had told them to “split the ticket,” meaning they were to divide the 440, the 880, the mile and two-mile
All went according to plan until the two-mile race. Marcy Dennison was having trouble maintaining pace and Muneca was doing her best to stay in second place as instructed.
In the end, Muneca beat Marcy by a wide margin and ended up with three first-place wins to Marcy’s one first-place. In response Muneca was told she was no longer on the team and to go sit on the bus for the duration of the meet.
Now, I knew that there was a strategy at work in the splitting of the races. But a dismissal from the team was in my estimation, unfair and I launched a stout protest to both Mrs. Caldwell and the boy’s coach, Brian Ferguson.
My protests, I believed, fell on deaf ears. So I decided to take it a step further.
If the coaches wouldn’t listen, maybe a little negative public attention would. I wrote a scathing letter to the editor of the Del Norte Triplicate.
As soon as it was published, I found myself kicked off the team as too. Mr. Ferguson only allowed me back on the team because our 440-relay had won a spot in the state championship finals, saying it wasn’t fair to punish my team mates because of my actions.
In the end, Muneca was reinstated and allowed to participate in the state championships as well.