|Coach Kedge |
by Adam Kedge
Highlights of the championship weekend
About a month ago I wrote my first NTN blog. I am overwhelmed by the positive response to
the 5 previous entries. It sure has been a pleasure to give a little insight to my program and what
high school cross country is all about through the eyes of a coach. It was nice to have so many
people come up to me and comment on the blogs, letting me know how much they enjoyed
reading the entries. Blog #5, “The Secret Race Plan”, by far, received the most comments. I
hate to disappoint, but that was my one attempt at poking fun at myself and being humorous.
This entry, my final entry, gets back to the serious side of things.
John Dye asked for one last entry as a summary of the weekend. I feel, much of that you can get
from talking with the athletes and coaches that attended or from insight that has been shared on
the “talk” section of dyestat. So, I’ll keep my impressions short.
Below are a few things that stick out from this past weekend.
It's 11 pm and not a creature is stirring
Every team tried to put their best foot forward. As I roamed the hallway at 11:00PM the night
before the race, not a creature was stirring. No athletes, no coaches to chat with in order to pass
some time before race day. Instead, I had to revert to hearing from the security guard about two
subjects. One, how a flashlight can legally be used as a night stick, and two, about his athletic
career of 20 years past. 9.6 in the 100! In high school no less. The older we get the faster we
Back up at 4:30AM and out in the halls I did not even see the security guard. I had my alone
time to think back on the journey and to say a little prayer for the day to come; my wish was not
for a win, but for the kids to feel good about their day.
By 6:00AM on the day of the race there were 3 or 4 teams that hit the neighborhood streets for
an early morning shake-out. It was great to see. Being the early-bird that I am, I either need to
start up a bagel shop or become an NTN course marshal. The dedicated people that made up the
course marshals were some of the first out the door Saturday. If any of you are reading - thank
Katie Flood and Chris Derrick will do well in San Diego
I know that things still need to be settled next week in San Diego but I am convinced that Katie
Flood and Chris Derrick will be right in the hunt. Flood’s hard charging running style will suit
her well in a big race like Foot Locker. Look for her to hang right up there and put some pressure
On Derrick, one of my college coaching buddies and I were talking last night and the two of us
agree that his future at the next level is very bright. He reminds me of Batman with a belt full
of tools at his arsenal. Smooth, smart racer, with a powerful stride, relaxed upper body, great
arm carriage, relentless mid-race tempo, and a deadly late race move. Some big-dog team near
the top of the D-I heap will have a lot to work with. On a related note, the girls say his semi-shy
awards ceremony smile and post race dance moves make him a top recruit in another realm.
I was also very impressed with Colby Lowe. If Derrick is the Batman then Lowe is Boy-
Wonder. Watching him go through “the lake” it looked like his feet never even made a splash. I
happened to get a chance to meet him and his parents and was very impressed. He was one of
the nicest of the many super-nice kids you’ll meet when you go to a cross country meet.
| Katie Flood|| Chris Derrick||Colby Lowe leads Derrick through the lake at 2 miles -- with splashes.|
photos by John Dye
and John Nepolitan
| || |
Meeting the elite runners
Abdi Abdirahman made three plates of chicken and ribs evaporate into thin air. He may be the
Kobayashi (competitive eater) of the running world.
My kids and their chaperon were lucky enough to have breakfast with Alberto Salazar. They
stated that hearing Alberto talk about the epic battles waged between him and the great Henry
Rono made for a special morning.
Another person from Nike that was especially gracious with his time was Brett Schoolmeester.
Brett is a former Colorado University distance runner who took it upon himself to shuffle the
Albuquerque XC Club around to a couple special events like the Salazar breakfast. Brett told the
kids about his Foot Locker experience years ago. To make a long story short; enjoy the star
treatment, but stay away from eating too much bacon on FL weekend.
Kids will still be kids
And from the chapter of kids will be kids… our team was on a bus with another team that
finished real high in the final standings. That group of boys spent the whole ride from the hotel
to Nike Headquarters calling each other “retarded”. It ended up being settled by the final
statement, “How tall are you? Because anyone over 6’ is retarded!”.
The next time the teams were on the bus the conversation was from a successful girls team that
was talking about their wacko pediatricians and make weird body noises. We all had a good
laugh back to the hotel after the race.
and now, let's get ready for NTN 5
I hope that Mr. Dye makes the NTN blog an annual thing. With his approval, I’d love to pass the
torch along to another coach. I hope that one of you would be willing to take the challenge and
tell us all about NTN 5. It would be great to hear another perspective on things and learn more
about one of my fellow coaches, his or her program, and their team’s experiences during the
course of the season.
My hope is to be back in Portland 12 months from now and more importantly to have a group of
8 runners back there ready to take on the country. Lots of work needs to be done between now
and then. I know that Albuquerque XC Club has 6 guys with NTN 4 experience and one more
with NTN 3 experience coming back next fall. To me that may still not be enough and we need
to find a few more kids willing to commitment to 11 good months of preparation, track, summer,
and all fall in order to have a chance. I know many of you our around the country will do the
same. Hopefully, come December of 2008, old friends will run into each other.
For me, I'm a high school teacher and a coach. My blogging days are over. Besides, I have a
stack of papers to grade from last week that I need to attend to.
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