The NYC Armory announced an upcoming indoor T&F camp, with a fine group of athletes and coaches! If you can make it, be there!
Queen Harrison and Will Claye will be two of the many VIP track & field instructors for the November 17 Armory Indoor Track & Field Camp.
NEW YORK, November 8, 2018 – Olympians Queen Harrison and Will Claye will be two of the many guest instructors at The Armory on Saturday,November 17 who will provide invaluable training information to high school student-athletes during the 2nd Annual Armory Indoor Track & Field Camp.
Harrison, the only athlete to win both the long and short hurdles at the NCAA Championships, is recognized as one of track & field’s premier technicians. In the 2012 London Olympics, Claye captured the silver medal in the triple jump and bronze medal in the long jump to become the first athlete since 1936 to medal in both events. He also captured the silver medal in the triple jump in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Harrison and Claye were recently married and join a list of Who’s Who of track & field instructors attending the camp including Asha Ruth (anchor on the 2018 American record setting 4×200 relay team), Donn Cabral (2-time Olympian in the 3000m Steeplechase), Priscilla Frederick (2016 Olympian and Pan Am Silver medalist), Kyle Merber (Ivy League indoor mile record holder and member of World Record Distance Medley Relay team) and Maria Michta-Coffey (two-time Olympian and owner of four consecutive USATF Championship Mile Race Walk titles).
They’ll also be joined by the region’s most recognized coaches in track & field who will work alongside high school student-athletes in this unique interactive camp. Included among those award-winning coaches will be: Lisa Morgan (current head track & field coach at Bloomfield College, N.J.), Andy Capellan (head track & field coach at New Rochelle High School), Dwayne Evans (track & field coach for Team Jamaica), Bart Sessa, (who from 1996-2006 guided the Syosset boys team to 10 consecutive Section 8 cross country championships), Dominic Zanot (track & field coach at Harrison High School), Scott Menin, (the current head throw coach for AOC, an AAU club team in Pennsylvania and coaches at Cheltenhwam High School), Tim St. Lawrence, (Director of acclaimed Hudson Valley Flying Circus in Orange County), Brian Leggett (who is a former MAAC Pole Vault champion for Rider University and current coach at Hudson Valley Flying Circus), and Matt Ellis (owner of Primal Athlete Training Center and Elite Throws Coaching in Rhode Island).
Recently, The Armory Track caught up with Harrison and Claye and asked both to discuss their upcoming visit to the Armory Indoor Track & Field Camp:
QUESTION: As a teenager, what how did you improve your speed and strength?
QUEEN: “Doing what my coach told me to do helped improve my speed and strength. I came from a background that we didn’t lift weights in high school and I was truly introduced to them in college so my strength trajectory was very high and quick because I went from playing around in the weight room to an organized lifting program with a D1 weight coach. I believe I got quicker by being more intentional in every movement I did and just doing a LOT of reps. The great thing about youth is the energy and the ability to recover really quickly so my college coach taking advantage of that while I was young was very helpful. (There’s a thin line so being careful not to overexert your athletes too young!).”
WILL: “As I look back now I realized the way to improve in speed and strength was to put myself in different athletic situation which helped me as an all-around athlete. I played every sport and that made me stronger and faster without having to even pick up a weight. It just made me a pure all-around athlete.”
QUESTION: How important is good nutrition for high school kids who want to excel in track & field and how were your nutritional habits growing up?
QUEEN: “Nutrition is very important for growing individuals, period, regardless of athletic aspirations. I was blessed to live in a household that my mother truly cared about what we put into our bodies so I was offered a diet full of nutrients. However, when I went to school I definitely had my share of French fries and fried foods due to lack of truly healthy options at school. At the end of the day, you wouldn’t put regular unleaded 87 gas in a high-end luxury vehicle because it won’t run correctly. The same thing applies with the “fuel” food you put in your body. Premium, nutritious foods for premium results!”
WILL: “Nutrition is the basis of our whole being, so that’s the most important thing because the body needs fuel, recovery and just simple nourishment.”
QUESTION: How important do you see something like the Armory Indoor Camp for high school athletes to be a part of, especially for those who want to pursue track & field on the college level and perhaps further?
QUEEN: “I believe that getting different, reputable perspectives is great as you develop as an athlete because there is a wealth of knowledge out there about track and field. So being exposed to it can only be a good thing. The added element of having elite, Olympic athletes such as myself and William there, makes the experience that much more special because not only do the student-athletes get knowledge and tips about their specific events, they also have the ability to get key insight into what it’s like to compete at the highest level of track and field from people who have been and are currently still there. Representation matters and I would have loved to be able to meet those people who are where I aspire to be one day.”
WILL: “It’s an opportunity to bypass a lot of unnecessary ‘fluff’ that we went through as athletes because we didn’t have anyone to guide us or give us professional tips. The camp gives athletes the chance to learn from pros and incorporate that back into their level of competition which will definitely give them an edge.”
QUESTION: Are kids today more competitive than when you were in high school? If so, why and if not, is it because there could be more distractions – say excessive iphone use, social media, that type of thing?
QUEEN: “I believe the competition is stiffer nowadays not necessarily because the talent level has gotten better over the years but because with social media and the ability to reach so many people, many high school coaches and young athletes are striving to be the BEST right now. There are middle school children doing high level hurdle drills I wasn’t introduced to until my sophomore year in college which is amazing because it’s entertaining and they’re running fast and high school records are being broken all the time. However, the trajectory for success may be more limited because after a while there will be a limit. A limit both physically and mentally that any person can endure in any sport so I truly believe it’s important to error on the side of caution and less than overtraining at a young age.”
WILL: “Athletes today are a bit less competitive than we were in high school. Definitely because of more distractions, but they have much more access to getting the best training techniques and they can get noticed easier so I think that’s why they are less competitive.”
QUESTION: Who did you look up to as track & field heroes when you were growing up and why?
QUEEN: “Besides Flo Jo, who was more of a myth and a “glamazon” for me than an attainable hero, I didn’t know too much about track and field legends. I grew up in a basketball centric household in upstate New York who didn’t even know besides the Olympics, that track and field could take you anywhere besides high school participation. My heroes were my family especially my sisters and siblings who were academic and athletes themselves.”
WILL: “My track and field hero was my older brother who was a state champion in the decathlon, 110 hurdles and the long jump in high school. I just wanted to follow his footsteps as a kid and just was in awe when I watched him train and compete.”
QUESTION: For Queen, in what areas of track & field do you think high school girls are excelling in more so today than 5-10 years ago?
QUEEN: “High school girls are better technically than a couple years ago, I believe: hurdling, sprint technique, jumping, etc. There was more just running on pure talent and developing other technical skills along the way whereas now I’m so amazed when I see such great running form and technique in our youth.”
QUESTION: What is the toughest thing about learning the hurdles – is it timing or confidence?
QUEEN: “The toughest thing about learning the hurdles for me was learning to be comfortable with falling or failing. The hurdles is a great comparison to life, where there will be pitfalls and life hurdles that can throw you off track but you must be comfortable in both overcoming the hurdles and when you fall over them. Both instances were learning experiences for me on and off the track but particularly on the track and learning to be a fearless competitor.”
QUESTION: For Will, how did you learn as a teenager to triple jump and long jump? Did you have someone who specialized in these two events teach you or did you learn on your own or both?
WILL: “I was introduced to the long jump at 11 and the triple jump at 14. I didn’t have a specialized coach until my freshman year at 14 and that definitely put me on the right track. When I was really introduced to jumping I found myself starting to research the events myself and watching all the greats and their technique. I think my coach gave me the spark and that made me dive in head first because I wanted to be great at whatever I was doing.”
NEW AT THIS YEAR’S ARMORY INDOOR TRACK & FIELD CAMP will be both a morning and afternoon session. High school student-athletes can sign up for one or both sessions where they have an opportunity to train alongside track & field athletes who have excelled around the world in their respective fields.
Cost for the camp is $135 for either morning or afternoon session and includes instruction, camp shirt, bag and access to digital instructional information provided by camp coaches.
For more information about The Armory Indoor Track & Field camp including registration, go to www.armorycamp.org.
About The Armory Foundation
The Armory is a New York City non-profit institution, with the mission of “Keeping Kids on Track.” Each season The Armory — the proud home of the NYRR Millrose Games — hosts more than 100 track & field meets and welcomes more than 220,000 athlete visits. Among its many youth sports and educational programs, including the acclaimed Armory College Prep program, The Armory runs the leading collegiate indoor track meet with the Dr. Sander Invitational, and hosts the largest high school indoor track meets with this year’s 25th Hispanic Games, The New Balance Games, and the New Balance Nationals Indoors. The Armory also runs the NewYork – Presbyterian ColumbiaDoctors Indoor Marathon presented by New York Road Runners, which is the world’s largest indoor marathon relay. The Armory is also the home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and dozens of very large education-focused events. For more: Please visit Armory.NYC and ArmoryTra