However, they were not any run-of-the-mill gloves. Much to the
runners' amazement, the accessories were used by the last Guards'
team that competed in the CIF-State Cross-Country Championships 13
And the presentation was significant, as well, because Morgan was
a member of the Bell-Jeff team that finished second in state in 1991.
The gloves will accompany Herkey and Pang Saturday when they
compete in the State Meet on the same Woodward Park course in Fresno.
The pair comprise the only area representatives to earn berths
into the competition.
"That is pretty cool," Herkey said after accepting the gloves. "I
didn't expect anything like this, but it is a nice surprise."
Both runners immediately put the gloves on for a fit.
"I'll wear them in the race if I need to," Pang said. "Maybe they
will give us some luck."
The story of the gloves is a tale that spans more than a decade.
In 1991, the Guards had a team packed with talent, as it earned a
trip to the State Meet.
However, the evening before the race, individuals with the team
were trying to prevent a possible problem in the competition.
"We were sitting at dinner the night before, and we figured it was
probably going to be cold the morning for the race," said Bell-Jeff
Coach Jim Couch, who still heads the program. "So, [one of the
parents] went out and bought gloves for all the runners, so their
hands wouldn't get cold."
The parent headed to a local Fresno hardware store and purchased
pares of inexpensive, stretchable and light work gloves. The parent
didn't buy expensive gloves just in case the runners didn't like them
and decided to chuck them aside during the race.
With their hands warm and toasty, the Guards went out and finished
second in state.
Since the race, the gloves were put away and have been stored by
Although the gloves were originally meant to be thrown away if
they weren't needed, Herkey said he has no intention of discarding
his pair if they don't suit them during the race.
"No way am I throwing these away," he said. "If I don't like how
they feel, I will just hold on to them for the whole race. I couldn't
throw these gloves away."