Darling’s Testing: A Saga
by Matthew Lebovitz on Friday, February 24th, 2012
At the end of sports’ season, while Milton’s sports teams are vying for ISL and New England titles, members of the Varsity Darling’s team aim for a more individual goal: a spot on the Wall.
All season, the athletes, ranging from gangly sophomores in Level 1 to muscular seniors in Level 2, train for the final week of Darling’s, known as Testing. This phenomenon occurs two times during the season, once during the opening week, and once again at the closing. The tests challenge one’s endurance, flexibility, stamina, athleticism, and strength. In order to make it onto the prestigious Wall, a male athlete must bench press, squat, and power clean a minimum of 750 pounds. A female athlete must reach 400 pounds.
The testing season has been ripe with drama, especially for the seniors who might not have any more opportunities to reach their potential, or as my fellow students in Mrs. DeBuhr’s Religions of Asia might call it, Moksha. Brooks English (I), a soon to be collegiate athlete, has always struggled to reach the wall. However, this year, he believes things to be different: “Through one day of testing, I’m already practically on the wall. But if I don’t make it, I’m going to jump off the top of the ACC.”
English was finally allowed in the more advanced Level 2 group this Darling’s season. To most in this level, even the thought of not making the wall would be viewed as an embarrassment.
However, it seems English’s confidence has lead to some impressive results, and a spot on the wall almost seems inevitable.
Darling’s Captain Harry Pearce (I) hopes to join the ranks of immortals by making the 850-pound section of the wall this winter. “Even a Level 1 could make the 750. Matt Lebovitz certainly has the strength to do it. But a spot on the 850…well, that’s just legendary,” Pearce stated.
As for the girls, every discussion of Darling’s athletes starts and ends with the mention of one name: Rena Ogura (I). This season, Ogura aims to reach the 500-pound section of the wall, a spot that would place her in very rare company. Sadly, testing and Darlings both end this Friday.
While not everyone will make the wall and live on forever in the weight room, all of the athletes improved over the course of the season.
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