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Interval Session #105 - Bryce Lamb

By SteveU - March 26, 2009

One year ago, going into their huge home track showcase, the Chandler Rotary Invitational, Bryce Lamb was facing some stiff challenges.  He was just a month removed from an emergency appendectomy and here he was, facing one of the nation’s best long and triple jumpers in fellow Arizonian Will Claye.  The Chandler junior, however, showed he was more than up to the challenge.  He leapt 24-09 and 50-00 in the LJ and TJ, edging Claye both times and putting up nation-leading marks.

A year later, things are different going into the same meet.  There is no such medical situation to bounce back from and Claye finished school early and is competing for University of Oklahoma, where he just finished a monster indoor season.  But even without his friendly rival making him work even for state supremacy, Lamb has big goals for this year as the nation’s top returning triple jumper.  With a PR of 52-02, he’s less than a foot away from the event’s all-time top ten.  In the long jump, his most eye-popping mark was a windy 25-09A at Great Southwest – and he’s already gone 24-05 indoors in a sojourn east two weeks ago to win National Scholastics.

The 2007 U.S. World Youth member took time to talk with DyeStat’s SteveU before he jumps before the home fans this weekend.

At NSIC in March. Photo John Nepolitan
1)  Bryce – thanks for taking the time to talk with us and congrats on your NSIC victory.  Can you tell us about what that competition was like for you?  What were your expectations?  How mentally and physically prepared did you feel?  And what was it like being in NYC and jumping indoors at The Armory?

The competition was tough and it was a different experience jumping indoors.  My expectations were met and I felt I was prepared to perform well in both jumps.  It was my first time being in NY City, however I jumped in Buffalo a couple years ago.  Overall it was a great experience.  I wish I could do it again.
2)  Looking at the season ahead – and considering both the high points of your season last year and what’s happened so far this year – what kind of goals and expectations do you have overall?  Do you have certain distances, records or championships in mind?

My goals for the jumps this year are 54 feet in the triple and 26 feet in the long … and I feel that both of these goals are realistic and attainable.  Last year I was state champion in the long jump at 24'8" and state runnerup in the TJ at 52'2".

3)  Last season, you and Will Claye had a great rivalry and some outstanding battles.  Obviously, he finished HS early, went to Oklahoma, and had quite an indoor season.  What are your thoughts on the rivalry you had with him – and if you’re going to miss that this year – and what has been your reaction to his huge success in college so far?

Will is great friend and competitor and I will miss him.  However, we will be in the same conference next year and we will renew our rivalry.  His success was expected, but the extreme distance improvement was devastating to my competitive spirit.  All I can do is jump as far as I can this year and wait until next year.

4)  I’ve read that you have also been an outstanding defensive back and running back in football for Chandler, and that you were recruited by a number of schools for football.  But I also heard that in signing for Texas Tech, you are mainly focusing on track and not the gridiron.  Can you tell us about that whole process for you and what led you to make the decision you ultimately did?

In one word, it was DIFFICULT.  It was the hardest decision of my young life.  While I love football and was very successful at it, I live and die for the emotional rush of track.  It is hard for me to sleep at night before a meet.

   At USATF Juniors in 2008.
Photo John Nepolitan
5)  What got you started in track and then ultimately focused on the horizontal jumps?  With the different technical requirements for the triple and long jumps, what have you found you enjoy the most?  What are some of the fine differences in training for the two events and how do you break down your workouts for them?

My older sister and brother were great track athletes.  I was motivated by watching them and wanted to match their success.  I love the feeling of oneness on the runway.  There are eight lanes on a track and everyone watches those lanes or individual competitors, but in the jumps it’s just you, the runway and the sand.

6)  Looking even deeper at the technical aspect of those events, what areas do you feel are your greatest strengths, and what are the areas or phases of the jumps that you feel need the most improvement?  What are you doing differently, if anything, this year to improve in those areas?

My greatest strength is my overall speed, strength and power.  I bench press 325 lbs and take great pride in our strength and condition program at the school.  The area where I need the most improvement is in my overall technique,  especially in the triple jump.  Oftentimes, I think I rely on my strength too much.

7) I understand that late last winter you had to have an emergency appendectomy.  What was that ordeal like, how did it affect your training, and what did it take to bounce back from that?

It was a horrible experience.  I was in really good shape and was training really hard and it set me back for about a month.  I think that my overall discipline and determination got me back sooner than expected.  A lot of prayers from my mom and her prayer-warrior friends didn't hurt either.

8)  Can you tell us about the program at Chandler and the coaches who work with you (as well as club coaches, if any), and what they’ve contributed to your success?
The program here is very family oriented and everyone looks out for each other.  It starts with the club team, the Arizona Cheetahs, and just folds right into the high school.  The coaches are just like another parent; they have assisted me in most all of my decision-making processes over the years.

9)  What are your areas of greatest academic interest (and maybe a possible major at Texas Tech), and what will we likely find Bryce Lamb having fun doing when your not practicing or studying?
Academically, I feel that I am a very good student, I have  3.10 GPA, but that doesn't scratch the surface with regards to my educational discipline.  My GPA should be better, but my schedule gets to be pretty hectic sometimes.  I will definitely fight to do better in college.  I am a workaholic; I really do enjoy working out, trying to get better.

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