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Finding Their Stride: A Team of Young Runners and Their Season of Triumph
by Sally Pont
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156011824, Paperback)There are certain staples in the canon of sports literature, and they're staples because they continue to work. One of the biggies is the tale of the disparate group molded into a winning team by a dedicated coach. In Finding Their Stride, the theme again hits its own.
Pont teaches English at a small, co-ed private school in Pennsylvania, where she also coaches the co-ed cross-country team. It's a quirky squad--Moravian Academy's strength is its brains, not its brawn--and the eclectic group that Pont takes on would just as soon burn the midnight oil, paint a picture, or perform on stage as cover a distance of ground. Naturally, they're the league doormats, wandering egos in search of cohesion. Over the course of one magnificent season, Pont finds ways to wake within them a dormant love of sport and competition, and they bloom, racing as a unit toward a Hollywood ending. After the season is over, after the accolades and prizes have been dispensed, after a long run of her own, Pont manages to supply an almost mystical meaning to what she--and they--have done: "I stop in front of my door, bend over, hands on knees, and breathe deep. My run over, I wonder, what does the Hindu desire after she has plunged into the Ganges? Hope to do it again." In the end, it's that simple. The humor, beauty, and depth that Pont puts into her stirring chronicle make the journey as rousing as its conclusion and its inevitability more renewing than trite. --Jeff Silverman
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:09:39 -0400)
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