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dave devine | recovery lap

 >> Dave Devine ARCHIVES
06 . 11 . 09
We look at a lot of meet results here at DyeStat.  We process performances and attend meets and write about them on deadline.  Somewhere around the middle of the week, I'm always looking for a breather, a little break, a short recovery before the next onslaught of invites and mega-meets. Maybe watch a few videos. Surf the web. Find a good story or two. As a runner and a coach, I learned the value of rest between hard efforts. As an editor, I'm planning to bring you along.  Let's go run a lap.

Got something for the 'Lap? Send it HERE.
the top shot

Battle of the Bubniaks: Dan comes from behind to nip diving brother Joey at the line for a 4:14.64 - 4:14.85 win at the CT CIAC State Open Champs - Photo by John Nepolitan  

beach bandwagon

It occurred to me this week, in the wake of Curtis Beach's astonishing string of performances at the Great Southwest Classic, that he's like the high school track and field equivalent of football star Brett Favre (minus all the I'm-in-I'm-out-I'm in-again retirement waffling).  The thing I loved (will love again this year?) about watching Favre play football was the sheer joy and wide-eyed excitement he seemed to bring to the game. You had the sense he'd be playing football even if it was in a backyard with buddies, and he played the pro game with that same passion. Always taking chances, going for it, having a kid-like energy about things.  As we learned in SteveU's Interval Session with Curtis, that mindset is something Beach has had to reconnect with this year, but he sure has it in spades now.

  Curtis Beach fans at the Great Southwest Classic
  Photo by Donna Dye

Take last weekend, for instance.

What can you do as an encore after setting a USR in the decathlon with international implements, thus cementing your status as the best male HS decathlete in history?  What comes next after you wrap up a two-day affair in which you also competed with the high school implements, thus contesting 13 events instead of the typical 10 due to differences in the shot put, discus and 110m hurdles? 

How about running a 1:50 anchor on New Mexico's 4x800 relay to lead your homestate to victory in that event?


Ready to call it a weekend?

Cool, then you can hang out in the stands and watch the big 4x400 showdown between New Bern NC and the USA All-Stars.  But wait-- the All-Stars need an extra leg for their relay.  You ready to go out and take on your fifteenth event of the weekend?

You bet, and here's what I'll do-- go out and split a 46.45 for second fastest of the 8 legs and quicker than anybody on the completely fresh New Bern squad.  Man, isn't track and field great?

I'm fairly certain there is not a better all-around track athlete in the US high school ranks at the moment than Curtis Beach.  He's that good.  Unreal, is what many people were saying after last weekend's cascade of performances.  Last weekend also got me wondering (not for the first time) how many high school track teams in the US could beat Beach in a decathlon?  Not many, I would think.  So I'm starting this thread on the message boards:

Can your high school TEAM beat Beach in a decathlon?

Check it out and see if you can come up with any Beach Beaters.  I've only found one so far.

Finally, how many track athletes get major face-time on the sports segment of the local news two nights in a row?  Beach did last weekend, as featured in the two videos below. 



firsthand witness

This is the handwritten scorecard for Nick Vena's US#1, sophomore class record and =#4 all-time shot put mark at the New Jersey Meet of Champions (thanks TrackTalk poster Reuben Frank).

It's a craaaaazzy series:

the next chapter

One of the first stories I wrote for DyeStat when I started with the site in 2007 was about a sprinter from McKay HS in Oregon named Ryan Bailey who had been stabbed the previous year, and returned to set a then-US#1 in the indoor 200 that winter.  Called 21 Seconds, it opened like this:

In twenty-one seconds, everything will change.

In twenty-one seconds, Ryan Bailey’s life will be different. Twenty-one seconds from now, the senior from Douglas McKay High School in Salem, Oregon—a city not exactly renowned for national-class sprinters—will have exploded from the starting blocks at the University of Washington’s Dempsey Indoor Track and covered the distance between two lines, exactly 200 meters apart, faster than any schoolboy in the country this winter.

Tomorrow morning, the people who keep track of these sorts of things will find the result in the newspaper, or see it posted on the internet, and draw a blank. They’ll want to verify the accuracy, and dig into the archives, and type the name into search engines, and scrutinize the previous year’s state meet results, and the year before that, and they’ll come up with very little, and wonder where in the world this kid came from.

In the two short years since that story appeared, everything has changed.  After electrifying the Oregon State Meet later that spring with his sprint prowess, Bailey (above, in photo by Robert Rosenberg from last weekend's Pre Classic) continued training under Coach John Parks and most recently ran for Rend Lake College.  Earlier this spring he ran 10.06 and 10.05 in the 100, winning national junior college titles for Rend Lake.  And last weekend he became a professional track athlete, signing with agent Mark Wetmore, president of Global Athletics & Marketing, who represents many top track athletes including Tyson Gay.  It's been a headspinning journey for Bailey, from relative obscurity and poverty in Salem to one of the hottest sprint prospects in US track and field, but there is a sense that the next chapter is really just beginning.

Here's wishing Ryan luck in his professional career.

czech-ing in with jakub

One of the most pleasant surprises of last fall's cross country season was the emergence from obscurity to national prominence of exchange student Jakub Zivec.  Hailing from Litomerice, Czech Republic, a small town near Prague, Zivec arrived in the US this fall to live for a semester with his uncle, Vladimir Cervenka, in Grand Rapids MN.  Although he met the eligibility requirements for competing as a high schooler--meaning he could race in post-season events like NXN and Foot Locker--he was not part of an official foreign exchange program, which meant that according to Minnesota state association rules he was ineligible to compete for the varsity team at Grand Rapids High. Resigned to JV races, Zivec won by large margins and threw down some of the fastest 5k cross country times Minnesotans have ever seen.  When he finally had a chance to race in some big meets, he ran like he'd never get another chance-- winning NXN Heartland and Foot Locker Midwest, and then finishing second at NXN Finals and fifth at Foot Locker Nationals, the last of these on a sore ankle.  While the results were impressive, it was Jakub's contagious joy and gregarious nature that won over everyone from Portland to San Diego (far right, photo above by Donna Dye).

When he returned to Litomerice in January to continue his schooling, Jakub was sorely missed on the US scene, but now comes word from his Uncle Vlad (via email) that "Kuba" as he calls him, has continued to put up impressive numbers on the track.  Last Saturday in a 1500m in Prague, Jakub ran 3:46.36, qualifying for the European Championships U-19. He also ran a 14:30 5k and 8:10 3k earlier this spring.  Jakub is still hoping to earn a scholarship to a US university, so we likely haven't seen the last of this engaging young man.

1500 m/Muži Běh1
poř. jméno roč. oddíl/stát výkon vítr reg.výkon vítr body
1 Kocourek Milan 871206 Hvězda SKP Pardubice 3:43.89       11.00
2 Živec Jakub 901123 ASK Slavia Praha 3:46.36

3 Ngimba Ezekiel Jafari 850817 AK Kroměříž 3:46.85       8.00
4 Tsikalo Vasyl 800302 VSK Univerzita Brno 3:47.29       7.00
5 Pelikán Jozef 840729 A. C. TEPO Kladno 3:48.01       6.00
6 Marco Marco Joseph 890812 AK Kroměříž 3:49.73       5.00
7 Flídr Jan 890325 A. C. TEPO Kladno 3:50.75       4.00
8 Odvárka Jaromír 820703 ASK Slavia Praha 3:51.09       3.00
9 Doubravský Petr 841104 PSK Olymp Praha 3:51.25       2.00
10 Jalový Filip 900504 TJ Dukla Praha 3:53.40       1.00

 a shade over 14 feet

Last Saturday at the Great Southwest Classic, senior pole vaulter Shade Weygandt (Mansfield TX) soared over 14-0 on her first try for a GSW meet record, US#1 mark and a new PR. 

According to John Dye, who was on-site:

Shade jumped for joy on the mat and wiped away tears of joy, exclaiming, "I've been trying for this for 2 years." The national class record holder as a freshman, sophomore and junior, Weygandt has had a down year as a senior until now.  Now she wants the national HS record (14-1.25 by Tori Anthony in 2007) before reporting to Texas Tech in the fall.  Weygandt missed three times today at 14-2.75.   She will have two more shots at the record at Nike Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro 2 weeks from now, and the US Junior Nationals in Eugene OR the week after. She moves into a tie for 2nd best HS girl ever, tied with Tiffany Maskulinski NY in 2005 and Rachel Laurent LA in 2008.

Here's an ESPN RISE story which includes a segment about Shade's decision to graduate early from high school, but put off her move to Texas Tech until next fall, and below is a video of that 14-0 clearance.

 andrews' acceleration

The Portland Track Festival Mile is this weekend, featuring a stacked field that includes Mac Fleet, Trevor Dunbar, Nathan Mathabane, Shane Moskowitz and the young fellow below, who has some decent wheels in the final 200 meters of a race, as evidenced by this highlight video of his US#1 800 at the New Jersey Meet of Champions:

Meet of Champions: Robby Andrews runs a record 800