Perspective. On Saturday, the Lakeview boys cross country team had its change during the course of the afternoon.
The Bulldogs huddled around the finish line - surrounded by coach Sean Voorhies, parents and friends of the program.
They were anxiously awaiting any news after the Division II district race at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds on whether or not Lakeview's team was heading to its fifth straight regional.
Then, an official approached Voorhies. Not a good sign if you're a coach. It concerned one of his runners, who was disqualified following his run.
"Our third man was going around one of the posts back in the wooded area," Voorhies said. "The rule is you can run on the white line. You can run outside of the white line. But when you come to a yellow post, it doesn't matter where you are - you got to get around it.
"He didn't have any room. He was crowded by the runners. He cut the corner and went by the yellow post. He didn't go to the inside. He went on the outside on them. It's a disqualification. It was a mistake, but what are you going to do?"
What Lakeview did was find out it wouldn't be going to regionals this season. Its third runner was disqualified, moving up the fourth through seventh runners up one place. The places of the top five runners for each team account for team scores. The Bulldogs ended up fifth with 107 points - 12 points behind fourth-place Ashtabula Edgewood. The top four teams advanced to regionals.
There's no blame of the third runner, or should there be. Frankly, I've seen the lead runner of a boys race become disoriented on a course - costing him about a minute or two off his time. At the end of another race, a runner did an instinctive swim move to jockey for position on another runner near the finish line. That, of course, was an instant disqualification. Things happen.
"I know we all did our best (Saturday)," Nick Tripi said. "It got us where we were. I know we all trained all this year. We worked hard for that. If that's the position we got us, then I'm proud of that position. I'm proud of all the runners that ran with us this year - ones that were in this race and the ones that were not top seven."
The thought process then takes a shift to Boardman for next week's regional. Tripi and Eric Harris advanced.
"Nick has had a goal to get on to regionals and get on to state since he was in eighth grade," Voorhies said. "He's finally come into his own as a runner. He's turned into one of the better runners around.
"I'm really proud of him. Those two, at the state (track and field) relay, last year became best friends. Ever since then, their goal has been to get to state."
It was a change of perspective.
"I was a little disappointed, but we'll come back next week and do it for the team," Harris said.
Harris and Tripi will be ready for the challenge.
"That's the most intense race of the year," Tripi said. "I'm looking for the excitement throughout the entire race. You have to rise to the occasion and try to move on to the next level.
"It'll be hard, but I think we can still do it."
After Saturday, I think Lakeview will be OK. They've got over the team not moving on to regionals, started to look ahead to Tripi and Harris representing the boys team at Boardman.
There's a bright future for Lakeview boys cross country.
Saturday will be soon forgotten and the 2011 season will be well within the Bulldogs sights because of their perspective.