STEVE HANLON: It doesn't get much better than this

2014-06-06T19:30:00Z 2014-09-09T23:09:15Z STEVE HANLON: It doesn't get much better than thisSteve Hanlon Prep Beat nwitimes.com
June 06, 2014 7:30 pm  • 

BLOOMINGTON | Brad Lambert had to have a little chat with his daughter, Brooke, this week. At first it will seem like a story that Hallmark would never – ever – do a card on.

But it will make some sense. I promise.

“I had to get it in her head,” Brad said with a smile. “This is war. You have to want to destroy your opponent.”

Brooke Lambert is Lake Central's senior pole vaulter, who competed at Friday's IHSAA state championship at Indiana University's Robert C. Haugh Track & Field Complex in Bloomington.

She was recently named L.C.'s Female Athlete of the Year and she will jump at Michigan next year. But she has a “problem.”

She's too nice.

At the regional at Chesterton last week, Lambert was in the vaulting area cheering on her foes. Her pole-vaulting politics was like she was running for mayor, except she really meant it.

A fellow competitor from New Prairie fell and hurt her leg pretty badly. Lambert was the first one there. She picked her up and carried her across the track and gingerly sat her down.

It does not get any better than this ladies and gentlemen of America. This spirit of sportsmanship should be echoed from coast to coast.

Every day. 24/7.

“I did that because I know what it feels like,” Lambert said. “I have a motherly instinct, I guess. She was hurting and I wanted to help.”

Friday was Lambert's third trip to state. Last June, she was seeded No. 1 but missed on her first three jumps.

“It was over in 10 minutes,” Brad said. “It was pretty devestating.”

This week, dad and daughter were driving on U.S. 41 and Brooke saw a sign for a pet rabbit near a tractor store. Dad did not want the mess. Daughter did.

Guess who won?

“Thumper” entered the Lambert family and Brooke has held him like a newborn baby all week. But there is an issue.

“I don't know what gender (it) is,” Lambert said with a giggle. “So I call her Baby.”

Lambert finally medaled, finishing seventh with a jump of 11-09. But it does not matter if she had failed on her first three jumps again or had cleared 18 feet to win the state championship.

This young lady gets it. She understands what it's all about. Absolutely.

“I've learned something over the last four years,” she said. “It's not all about you. It's about all the people around you. Your coaches. Your family. Your friends.

“Compassion is so important.”

Maybe one day, ESPN's SportsCenter will put kids like this on their show instead of the abnormal stuff.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at steve.hanlon@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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