Track practice for 2005 starts February 21st, I'll fill you in on this year's schedule later!
Track season is over for the summer, and I am proud to recognize banner performances by all my athletes, notably Ayan Jama, Emily Kunen and Chris Greene. All three athletes competed in the state meet; I'll upload photos soon from their performances at the district and state meets.
Ayan, a freshman high jumper, impressively placed in the top 12 in state despite being ranked at the bottom of a competitive group of seniors, clearing opening height (4'11") at her first attempt, the first jumper in the group.
Emily, a senior pole vaulter hoping for a PR at the district meet so she could qualify as a walk-on at the prestigious Brown University, did so with a beautiful 10' jump. Opening height at state was 10' - Emily, too, cleared the bar easily on her first jump for a nice showing.
Chris, a senior hurdler, was a hopeful in the 300H and the 110H but suffered a nasty fall in the short hurdles at districts. He went on to qualify for state in the intermediate hurdles and had a very fast race during prelims in Eugene.
Next year will be an amazing year for Cleveland's hurdlers and high jumpers, as we have a full slate of great women jumpers returning; we have three who have cleared at least 4'10" (two rising sophomores and one rising junior); a couple of 4'8 and 4'6 underclass jumpers who have potential to go much higher; and, as always, hope for the new freshman class. I predict a high jumping team so tough that many schools won't bother entering their athletes in varsity competition! ;)
With Grace Neal returning off her stress fracture in the 300 hurdles, rising sophomores Sierra Whitehill and Anna Sky improving in the 100 hurdles, and rising senior Kamala Ersson running an amazing race in the 300 hurdles to win JV districts, I predict a tough team in women's hurdles, as well.
In men's high jump and hurdles, I am counting on the return of future phenom AJ Frazier, whose grades will be so good next year that he will be competing for the athletic honor roll. We hope. His talent is such that he could go to state as a sophomore in both the 300 hurdles and the high jump, not to mention his other jumping and sprinting skills. Study hard AJ!
For the summer, you can look for me Wednesday mornings starting next week (June 23rd) at the weight room for summer workouts. All of you need to be doing lots of yoga, pilates and running to get flexible, strengthen your joints, and build that aerobic base. If you're strong now, we'll avoid injuries and not have to go through that difficult get-back-in-shape period at the beginning of the season next year.