February 19, 2003
Nike Sprint Summit offers athletes an opportunity to
The presenters of the Nike Indoor Championships
In making the announcement, Clinic Coordinator, Cedric
Giles Norton, Director of Corporate Communication at
Following the initial demonstration, Norton and
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January 25, 2003
The man with 9 Olympic gold medals will join the spectacular team of coaches at the inaugural Nike Sprint Summit being held in conjunction with the Nike Indoor Championships this March.
Carl Lewis, the legendary sprinter, holder of nine Olympic gold medals and two current world relay records returns to the track on March 14th at the Prince George Sports and Learning Center in Landover, Maryland for the Nike Sprint Summit.
This is the first year that the Nike Indoor Championships will feature the Sprint Summit as part of its activities. The meet, which is scheduled for March 15-16th will showcase the best in America’s high school track and field talent. Already the fields are filling with the nation’s finest.
Lewis will join 2004 Olympic staff member, Coach Orin Richburg and Colorado Flyers coach Tony Wells who along with Houston Westbury girls coach Rose Brimmer and New Jersey’s Winslow Township High School’s Russell Bates will present what is being described as the “Sprint Clinic of the Future,” a nuts and bolts presentation combined with a hi-tech component featuring reaction time testing.
“Carl brings that added dimension to the Summit,” Summit Co-coordinator, Joy Kamani declared. “Who better to speak to young athletes about the sprints than Carl Lewis. He is the sprints! He’s the prototype- tested and proven over an enduring career. As an athlete, he is the sprinting authority. And who better to speak to other athletes from an athlete’s perspective than an athlete.”
Carl recalls his own high school career, “It was a big deal to go these kinds of meets,” he said referring to the Nike Indoor Championships.
“King Carl” as he is often affectionately known, is looking forward to the venture. “We need to do more for kids, building kids in the sport and letting them know that track is fun, and here’s how you do it,” he stated. “Doing this goes a long way toward solving the long-term growth problems in our sport.”
This sentiment is echoed by Sprint Summit Co-coordinator, Cedric Walker, “We want kids to come back to the sport we used to have such a world domination over. This is one way we can help that process along.”
“It is tremendous for me to come to this event,” Carl continued. “It’s just like me meeting the old class of athletes prior to me. I still recall those times. Bridging the gap is what it’s about… we have to bridge the gap. I’m happy to see these kids and its good for them to see and speak with athletes like myself who have competed, who can give them insight into the sport.”
Some of our young athletes may wonder just why we make such a big deal over Carl Lewis and why is he so significant in track and field history. Perhaps its difficult to imagine capturing nine Olympic gold medals, including four consecutive gold medals in the long jump, when your own concern is making it to a national meet like the NIC or making the finals in your event.
But, Carl knows about that end of it as well. He comes from a track family. While most are familiar with his sister Carol’s early exploits in the track world as a long jumper few realize that his mother, Evelyn Lawler, made the 1951 Pan Am team as a hurdler. Carl’s career spanned nearly 20 years from age 7 until he retired after the 1996 Olympics. He was a member of just about every type of team this country has fielded- Junior teams, World Championship teams, Pan Am teams and, of course, Olympic teams.
Although he holds personal bests of 9.86 in the 100 meters, 19.75 in the 200 meters, 47.01 for the 400 and 29’-1.25” (28’-10.25” indoors) in the long jump it may be his 1988 9.78 wind-aided mark in the 100 meters which arguably gets the most attention today. If 9.78 sounds familiar its because it equals the current world record mark set by Tim Montgommery just last year running with a 2.0 legal wind!
In the 1992 Olympics Carl, Michael Marsh, Leroy Burrell and Dennis Mitchell set the World record in the 4x100 meter relay at 37.40. It was equaled a year later in Germany by Marsh, Burrell, Andre Cason and Jon Drummond. Two years later in 1994 Floyd Heard joined Carl, Burrell and Marsh to set the world 4x200 meter record at 1:18.68. Both records stand today.
The trip to Landover will be somewhat of a homecoming for Carl who has east coast roots having grown up in Willingboro, New Jersey. His old high school will be competing at the meet as well. Willingboro is making its own statements this year. The school’s premier high jumper, Mike Morrison leads the nation in both the high jump and long jump at 7’3” and 23-8.25 respectively, while the 4x4 and 4x8 relay teams occupy the number 3 and number 2 spots in those events. Willingboro has run 3:25 on the flat track and 8:02.50 on the banked Armory track.
The Nike Sprint Summit will be held on Friday evening, March 14th from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on the track at the Prince George facility. It will be free to all athletes registered for the Nike Indoor Championships. Coaches, parents and others wanting to attend will pay only $10.00. The meet kicks off at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and athletes will have an opportunity to put to use the knowledge they’ve learned from the King of Sprints.
As Nike representative, Josh Rowe, said, “We want to be certain that everyone who leaves the Summit leaves with something they did not already know. The more high level information we’re able to provide, the better. We’ll make it worth their while.” With King Carl on hand to teach, not merely as a spectator, Rowe’s words are a sure bet.
The National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF) is pleased to announce the latest addition to its 2003 Nike Indoor Championship (NIC) scheduled for March 15-16, 2003 at the Prince George Sports and Education Facility in Landover, Maryland. The new Nike Sprint Summit will present an unequaled opportunity for young sprinters to hone their skills with expert advise and tips from some of the nation’s foremost elite coaches and athletes together with high school coaches from traditional powerhouse programs.
The Nike Sprint Summit will be held on Friday evening, March 14th from 7:30 to 10:00 p.m. on the track at the Prince George facility. It will be free to all athletes registered for the NIC. Coaches, parents and others wanting to attend will pay only $10.00.
Sprint Summit Coordinators, Joy Kamani and Cedric Walker are both excited about the event which is clearly in concert with the commitment of the NSSF to provide not just quality competition for high school athletes but also to strive forward in its mission to be the vanguard of the development of our future Olympic athletes. It also reflects Nike’s commitment to the sport as reiterated by Nike representative Josh Rowe, “Nike is proud to be a part of the Sprint Summit. We at Nike are dedicated to helping all runners, from high school competitors to elite Olympians, achieve their personal best.”
Clinic Coordinator Coach Walker is one of the country’s leading high school coaches and has been a member of several national coaching staffs. Most recently, he was the women’s sprint and relays coach for the 2002 IAAF Junior National Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. He is also a member of the NSSF Board.
“When Joy first approached me with the idea, I immediately saw the potential impact it can have on our up and coming athletes,” Walker stated. “This opportunity for athletes with a desire to be better than good, to learn additional skills and race technique from experts is unparalleled.”
So just what is the Nike Sprint Summit? “It’s the cutting edge in sprint clinics,” Kamani described. “We’re breaking the old mold and replacing it with an innovative hands-on presentation which will include analysis and demonstration of race phases, reaction time testing, drills for speed and sprint mechanics along with an extensive question and answer session, all knowledgeably presented by super-qualified coaches and elite athletes.”
“Our presenters will include such notable coaches as Orin Richburg who has had several national coaching appointments, and Tony Wells, known for his development of emerging sprinters such as Alesha Latimer, the current holder of the national 60 meter high school record, and Alexis Joyce whose 7.29 remains the NIC meet record.. They will be joined by at least two other coaches yet to be named as well as some of Nike’s elite sprint athletes.”
“Unfortunately, “ Kamani continued, “we can’t disclose the names of the elite athletes at this time because, although we have received tentative commitments, particularly from several Nike sponsored HSI athletes, many of them are hinged upon plans for the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham England which are the same weekend as the Sprint Summit.”
“We are very fortunate to have snagged Coach Richburg,” Walker stated. “He agreed to forego the World Indoor Championships just so he could do this which says volumes about his commitment to youth track and field.”
For those unfamiliar with his name, Coach Richburg brings with him an incredible coaching resume. He was the Head Men’s coach for the 2001 World Indoor Championships, 1997 Assistant coach at the World Championships in Athens, as well as a member of the staff of the 1994 USA/Great Britain dual meet in Birmingham, England and the 1998 Junior World team. His most recent appointment is to the 2004 Olympic team staff.
“Coach Richburg is well-qualified to speak specifically to the sprints,” Walker said. “He is currently the Chair of the USA Track & Field Men’s Development Committee for the 200 meters, and a member of the USATF High Performance Committee for national relay team development. In this latter role, this year alone, he was instrumental in national team performances at the Tri-meet in Glasgow, Scotland between the USA, Great Britain and Russia, the Under 25 meet in San Antonio, Texas, the World Cup in Madrid, Spain and, most important to us, the 2002 Junior Worlds in Jamaica. It was there that the USA team set a new world record of 38.92 in the 4x100 meter relay!”
Walker continued, “To his own credit coach Richburg has coached several Olympians including Aretha Hill and the bronze medallist in the 200 meters, Thomas Jefferson. He retired in June from the University of Washington where he coached for over 17 years and currently coaches such elite sprint athletes as Ja’Warren Hooker.”
The Sprint Summit has grabbed the attention of other athletic sponsors besides its title sponsor, Nike. “We’re happy to welcome M-F Athletics who will provide all of the equipment for the Summit as well as items for give-aways, and Daktronics who will provide electronic starting equipment,” said A. J. Holzherr, Director of Business Development for the NSSF and the National Boys Recruiter for the meet. “Many of the items provided by M-F may be available at extremely discounted prices after the Summit and others may be raffled. There is also the strong probability of other sponsors coming on board for the Summit,” he continued.
“Both Coach Walker and I see the importance of the Daktronics’ electronic starting system in that it’s the method for starting at international competitions,” Kamani stated. “I’ve been on the staff of both the 1999 and 2001 World Youth Championships and have seen the reaction and initial disadvantage our young athletes had being unaccustomed to the difference in the sound of the electronic gun.”
Negotiations are being finalized with additional Summit sponsors. Negotiations are underway with one sponsor who may make their start reaction equipment and software available for the Summit. “We really hope this comes through,” Walker stated. “This technology is an integral part of what was formerly considered “high-tech” coaching but is the standard today. Reaction time analysis is critical in formulating workouts to correct problems out of the blocks.”
“We’re also bringing focus on one of the hottest topics currently being researched in track and field,” Kamani added. “The use of drugs to enhance performance in our sport has been an issue. Because of the legal and health implications the recent trend is veering more toward getting athletes to tune into how they treat their bodies and on those things they can better control to improve their performance. Obviously nutrition plays a major role there.
“For that reason we’re delighted to welcome Dr. Robert Portman of Pacific Health Laboratories to the Summit. Dr. Portland will lead a very informative discussion on “Getting An Edge: How Recovery and Muscle Restoration Can Improve Track and Field Performance.”
Pacific Labs is the developer of Accellerade, the first sports drink that shifts the energy dynamic during exercise to improve performance. They are previous NIC sponsors. Summit participants will also receive a goodie bag from PHL which will include a sample of Accellerade as well as educational materials.
Finally, as an added inducement for athletes to attend the Nike Sprint Summit, any athlete registered for the meet may drop their name into a drawing when they pick up their registration package on Friday for a chance to be on the track with the coaches and athletes during the Summit. “We’ll pick only two,” Kamani said.
“The Nike Sprint Summit will set the standard for future sprint clinics,” Kamani predicted. “We look forward to packing the bleachers with every athlete and coach registered for the Nike Indoor Championships.”