I have never been to Sauk Valley Community College and I have no clue what to expect in this meet.
I decided to write a preview regardless, because that’s what competent sportswriters do. When we don’t know, we make something up and try to pass it off as legitimate. This is how Skip Bayless made an entire career.
The Sauk people were in North America before any of our ancestors. They are also known as the “Sac”, which is the name the French gave this people group during the colonial period. The Sauk originated in the north but eventually migrated to Illinois, where they stayed for a while.
The most famous Sauk is definitely Black Hawk, who fought a famous war against the United States government in 1832. Black Hawk was kicked out of Illinois but repeatedly tried to reclaim his home. Eventually, one of those attempts ended in a battle with Illinois militia, triggering Black Hawk’s War.
The Sauk lost, but at least Black Hawk got an NHL team named after him. I’m sure that would come as great comfort to a man who saw his people evicted from their land, many of his friends killed, and lived through conflict with other Native Americans and the USA from 51 years.
Black Hawk somehow became an American cultural icon, with monuments and places named after him. A historian’s quote from about Black Hawk and his subsequent popularity amongst the American public goes as follows: “most of the reconstructed memory of the Black Hawk War has been designed to make white people feel good about themselves.”
In 1965, Sauk Valley Community College was formed. The Sauk Valley Skyhawks are part of the NJCAA, which is the National Junior College Athletic Association and easily the least-known of the college athletic associations. The Skyhawks compete in Division I of the NJCAA.
There appears to be no animal that is actually called a “Skyhawk”. Hawks exist. Skyhawks do not exist. The only real Skyhawk is one of the most successful military jets ever designed and was produced for 34 years, with regular modifications. If you’ve ever seen Top Gun, these planes appear in the movie. DANGER ZONE!!
Strangely enough, the US military also named a plane after Black Hawk.
They say American imperialism has vast effects on the world at large, but you can’t underestimate its effects on community colleges in the state of Illinois.
Anyhow, I have no idea why Sauk Valley Community College called themselves the Skyhawks. The name is shared by the University of Tennessee-Martin, Point University and Stonehill College. It is also a name of a minor league baseball team in Sussex, NJ, which I may or may not have seen when I was a child, especially considering their stadium is 20 minutes from my house.
The race itself should be good competition for the Northwestern Track Club. I think we might do significantly better than we did last week in terms of place, on both sides. For the women, that means getting a full scoring team. Infinite improvement! For the men, there won’t be as many teams, I hope, so that will help us. I expect the course will be totally flat again because this is Illinois.
I tried to find historical results for this meet, but they do not exist on the Internet. It’s very strange. I’ve done some serious Googling and I can’t find anything. I can assure you that people are going to extremely confused when they see Northwestern jerseys and logos at this meet. You may overhear statements like, “why is Northwestern here?”, “aren’t they a Division I school?”, “they came this far south” and “wow that jersey looks fresh”. Take these in stride.
What I did find was a large classifieds section on the USTFCCCA website advertising random cross-country meets. Next fall when Northwestern starts very late, I’m going to go to as many of these random cross-country meets in the TRI-STATE AREAAAAAA
as I possibly can. The entry fees are very cheap. I’m going to write a feature about it. It will be two parts funny, one part tragicomic, three parts existentialist and entirely postmodern.
In other news, I am officially van certified and can confirm that Northwestern club vehicles has more fines than your average bank. You can get basically get fined for doing anything in a Northwestern vehicle.