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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

March 14, 2009

Houston Full of New Experiences

By Tyler Shaw

String rays
Tyler Shaw, Emily Churchman and Ben McKim pet string rays at the Houston Aquarium
I know I'm late but this trip has been so exciting. For me it has been a great experience. First off, I rode a plane for the first time in my life. How they got me on the plane I'm not going to explain but the point is I rode a plane. I must say I didn't enjoy it too much but I was relieved I made it here safely.

We arrived at the hotel and I was in complete shock. I figured we would be put in some little dinky hotel. When we arrived at the hotel I couldn't believe my eyes. The hotel was gigantic, I was speechless. It had 30 floors and there were people all over the place. You had track and field people, swimmers, and wrestlers all standing around smiling, joking, and enjoying every minute of it.

After we got settled in our rooms and got cleaned up we went to the ceremony they were throwing for all the coaches and athletes. The place was called the Aquarium and I wasn't too thrilled about that idea. I'm not the type that likes to go exploring. I'm afraid of heights, don't like to swim, and I'm not too much of a fan when it comes to wild animals. When I got there it all changed when I touched a sting ray, stared a white tiger in the face and sat underneath a fish tank while real live sharks swam over my head.

The next day I got the opportunity to show little kids what I do and enjoy at the "Yes" clinic. I enjoyed watching them wrestle and try to go over hurdles. They enjoyed themselves and so did I.

Although it's been one heck of a time I still realized what I was up here for. At practice I made sure I was working extra hard since my mother felt like I wasn't focused enough. So when Friday came it was finally my turn to run and put everything I learned out on the track. I made sure I didn't stress myself out too much since I haven't run well under stress and it paid off. I was fourth in my heat and I qualified for the finals Saturday.

I feel like I have accomplished a lot here and gained tons of experience. I know I still got work to do but I'm glad that I've made it this far. So hopefully I can come back to Northwest with a gold medal around my neck.

For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468