By Matthew Hubbard
The day of the Pathfinder Pinewood Derby was finally here. As I walked into the gym, I felt nervous and excited at the same time. I wondered if I would even come in third for my group. There were so many other cars that looked much better and faster than mine.
I had worked for many hours each day, shaping, sanding, painting, and gluing. I had painted my car a shiny black, adding a silver silhouette of a spearhead on the top. Then I painted my number, 309 and the name Spearhead on each side in silver . Next, I had hot-glued a black Lego™ plate onto the back and added another Lego™ on top for a license plate. After many hours of hard work, the Spearhead was ready.
Now, on race day, I sat down with my friends Ian and Lincoln and waited for the races to begin. Soon, the pastor began to talk for the morning worship. As the clock hands ticked nearer to the time for the race to start, my heart beat faster and faster. Finally, the pastor ended his sermon and the races began. Ian was called up and his car came in second place! I couldn’t wait for my turn! I looked at the scoreboard that told who was next. My name was listed for the next race! I walked up to the end of the track to get ready for my car to come down. Ryan, our Pathfinder leader, pulled a lever which released the cars. I held my breath as the cars sped down the track. The Spearhead came out in front! I couldn’t believe it! The next time the Spearhead came out in front too! And the next. All the five times the cars raced, my car came out in front! The final race was coming up. My heart was in my throat as Ryan and my dad lined the cars up on the track. Ryan pulled the lever and the cars sped down. A dark red car was in the lead. I watched in anticipation as the Spearhead slowly passed the red car and sailed across the finish line. The Spearhead had won!
After the races were over, the judges looked over all the cars. I wasn’t thinking about my car’s workmanship, which they were judging at the moment. I was thinking about that gold first place medal sitting on the judges’ desk. It was the prize for the fastest car in the entire race, the top prize! As I watched the judges, they seemed to have made a decision. One judge walked up in front of the crowd. The others were picking up medals and ribbons, ready to hand them to the winners.
Then the head judge began announcing the winners for workmanship. “Matthew Hubbard, Third Place!” he called.
“Me?!!” I thought. I walked up to receive my medal. As I walked back to my seat, I felt good that I had won a medal for all my hard work, but I had my eyes still on that gold first place medal. After the awards for workmanship, the judges started to announce the winners for speed. As the list was read, I listened closely, but my name was not called. My name was not called for third place. My friends, Ian and Lincoln, both got second place medals. My name was not called for second place. At last the judges came to the name of the first place medal winner. Ryan called out, “Matthew Hubbard, First Place!” I couldn’t believe it. I was so excited! I walked up and accepted the medal. As I walked back to my seat, people all around gave me high-fives. Later that day, as we drove home, I looked at my two medals and thought about how all my hard work on the Spearhead had paid off.