June 22, 2007-Some thoughts on the Meet

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It is early afternoon, and the skies still seem a bit ominous here in Indy. I spent the morning interviewing Jenn Stuczynski and Rick Suhr, the athlete/coach team who have achieved two American records in the last three weeks. Jenn's enthusiasm is infectious-she loves her event, she is relaxed talking about her event and she is ready to roll.

So far, the junior women's 1,500 rounds have been cancelled, so Jordan Hasay, one of our top juniors, will move on to the final on Saturday. On the boy's junior side, AJ Acosta won his heat-he is the defending champ and a frosh redshirt at Oregon. Matt Centrowitz, Jr, slowed down at the finish, but moved on. Centrowitz, according to one fan, " looks effortless."

A few more comments about the distance races last night. A couple of coaches told me how much they enjoyed the men's 10,000, but the women's is the same race for the past three years. Deena went out hard, and she won. Kudos to Molly Huddle who let the artist part of her running, not the tactician part push her last night. She ran a spirited race, but did not make the team. Her new coach, Ray Treacy, should be able to help her with her tactics.

Abdi ran a smart, consistent first half, then cut the pace down to make it impactful, and he hurt his competitors so much that it was all about surviving. About thirty years ago, in an interview, Frank Shorter described a the pain from a good effort in a distance race
as being slowly cut by a very sharp knife. After a period of time, the pain is excruciating. That was the field in the 10,000 Men's race last night after Abdi made the 10k his race.

One final thought here. As David Frank and I were driving into town, we were contemplating all of the supplemental work that goes into being a great track athlete. Its not just the miles, but the medicine ball, the weight work, the plyometrics, the exercises that promote hip flexibility and posture.

All of this goes into a race that helps make the victor the victor. In those last few seconds before the final rush to the finish begins, or the gentle roll back of torso and arms avoid the vault standard as vaulter clears the height, or the control of the shot putter, to leave the ring legally and not foul on a great throw. This is why some run 4000 miles a year, throw the shot 10,000 times a year or finish that last set of pull ups at the end of the day. Simple actions, simple steps build, and if nurtured, will develop the complete track & field athlete.

Great session tonight! Watch it on TV!

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