The noise was deafening, surrounding me on all sides so that my eardrums rang with the sheer volume of it. Thirty girls – my thirty best friends in the world – jumped and cheered and hugged each other. Tears welled in each of our eyes, but the smiles on our faces were the brightest they had ever been.
By Saturday, as the meet’s end loomed, the scoreboard told us all we needed to know. We gathered around each other, celebrating a battle won. We didn’t need the final race to tell us what we had believed from the beginning: we were the champions.