The Internet Home of Track & Field

dave devine | recovery lap

 >> Dave Devine ARCHIVES
05 . 13 . 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

Georgia State Meet boys high jump - Photo by Walter Pinion

love for hs track from usa today

How great was it to open up the Sports section of last Wednesday's USA Today newspaper and see Albuquerque Academy multi-star Curtis Beach on the front page?  In an impressively in-depth article, track scribe Dick Patrick took a look at this enormously promising decathlete who is also a national elite in multiple individual events.  Of course, we all remember when Curtis absolutely crushed the national decathlon record for high school implements at the Arcadia Invitational, and we spent a day following him around during his #2 all-time pentathlon triumph at the National Scholastic Indoor Champs, but did you know he was fourth overall in the NSIC 800, crashing the party from an earlier heat with a 1:52.72 clocking which would have won the Nike Indoor Nationals 800 the same weekend.  Yup, dude's got wheels. Look for him to put up some big marks at the Great Southwest Classic in a few short weeks.

The attention to high school track by USA Today didn't stop there, as new US 2k Steeple recordholder Shelby Greany also received some love from the McPaper, with a nice write-up about her record-setting effort.

high altitude ups

Oklahoma pole vaulter Jack Whitt had to be finding it lonely at the top, with his US leading 18-00.25 more than a foot better than any other vaulter in the country.  Last week that all changed, as Smoky Hill CO senior Chase Cooper soared over 17-04.75 at the Centennial League Championship meet to close the gap on Whitt and join the exclusive 17-foot high school club.  The Air Force Academy-bound Cooper comes from a family of vaulters, as his grandfather, Don Cooper, was the first collegian to break 15-feet while at the University of Nebraska.  Chase's dad Mark was also an elite vaulter and decathlete in his own right, and has been the head boys coach at Smoky Hill for more than 30 years.

Here's the video of Chase clearing that 17-04.75 bar:



My wife is going to be so psyched I included an item about Oprah in this week's 'Lap.  She's a big fan of Her Oprahness.  I might become one too, after Oprah helped orchestrate college scholarships for four high school track athletes from single-parent families who were facing the prospect of not being able to afford the colleges to which they'd been accepted.  The benefactor was actually Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am, who said in an article on Oprah's website that "without the love and support of his single mother, he may have fallen into the negative influences of the housing project they lived in—which is why he wants to make these teens' futures even brighter...The boys will be the first recipients of will.i.am's i am scholarship—which will cover tuition, books and fees for four years."

Three of the student athletes-- Jaiquann Beckham and twins Barien and Darien White-- are from Christiana High in Newark DE, and their story is told here.

8 laps up north

You have to love the internet.  When Alaskan distance stud Don Clary ran his state 2 Mile record of 9:04.4 back in the 1970's, it likely took a few days for anyone in the Lower 48 to hear about it, and even longer for news to spread to high school track fans via available media like Harrier Magazine or Track and Field News.  When Kodiak AK senior Trevor Dunbar vanquished Clary's all-time record for 8-lap prowess with an 8:51.5 3200 last Friday night on his home track, word spread within the hour.  Dunbar blogged about it on Flotrack later that night, and he already knew about Jeff Thode's superior 8:51.3 in Illinois the same day:

My splits went 66.0, 66.3, 66.8, 67.0 (4:26.1), 66.8, 66.9, 67.1, 64.6. 8:51.4!!!!!!!!! The last two laps were hell. I just saw on the dyestat boards that Jeff Thode ran a 8:51.3 tonight, wow! All I can say is I'm coming after you, haha.

A YouTube video of the effort was posted by the next day, so everyone could watch Dunbar click off his metronomic splits from the comfort of their own laptops.

Although this video of Dunbar's race hasn't quite exploded into internet virality like his 9:01 3200 in the snow, it's well worth a watch.

inspiration pt 1

  Alyssa Rossi - Photo by Dustin Snipes for ESPN RISE
Our ESPN RISE site has a great story right now about Alyssa Rossi (left), a senior who wanted to run for the Royal (Simi Valley, Calif.) track team despite being born blind, and Royal sophomore Nicole Todd, who has made incredible sacrifices to make it happen.  The two have been training together this year, with Todd guiding Rossi around the track using a short tether between them and a series of agreed upon voice commands. 

RISE writer Ryan Canner-O'Mealy reports that the "first event of the season was the March 14 Royal Twilight Invitational. Alyssa and Nicole competed together in the 1,600 meters.

By the time they approached the finish line, the top runners had been done for several minutes. But all the competitors and spectators remained glued to the race."

"For that last 100, everyone stopped what they were doing and just started clapping and cheering," Royal coach Jay Sramek says. "Alyssa's shoulders lifted and her fatigue just evaporated. She was smiling ear to ear as she crossed the finish line."

inspiration pt 2

Of course, Alyssa Rossi isn't the only athlete with blindness competing in high school track and field in the US.  Last week, Oregonian writer Doug Binder brought forward the story of Glencoe OR freshman Alfredo Castaneda, a track athlete who is blind and unable to hear without the assistance of hearing aids.  Despite these apparent obstacles, Castaneda runs the 100m dash and throws discus for the Glencoe squad.  At 5-foot-4 and 100 pounds, he is undoubtedly one of the smallest guys in the discus ring, but there's nothing small about the effort he puts forth. 

"Whenever I look at athletes, I don't necessarily want to see the fastest or strongest," Glencoe Coach Adam Guenther told Binder. "I want to see who's the most courageous. I want to see who's got enough guts. That's Alfredo."

Check out the video below, courtesy of oregonlive.com, then read Binder's follow-up here

Alfredo Castaneda, Glencoe track and field

non track-related guilty pleasure

Simply can't get enough of this YouTube video of five college roommates hitting ridiculous basketball shots, using everything from lawn chairs to moving cars.  Someone needs to make one for track and field, using a shot and a discus and a javelin and-- wait, on second thought...