A thought or two from this weekend's meet at the USAFA

Daniel Wheeler was Castle View's lone contestant from Castle View High School at this week's Air Force High School Open at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

In Daniel's first attempt at running a 60m he ran a 7.35. He beat his seed time (one I arbitrarily made up--way to make me look good Daniel!), and finished second in his heat, and 12th overall in a field of over 40 athletes. Great stuff!
Here's video, shot by his brother (not the best video quality but not bad for an iPod Touch. Thanks, Matt. DW is in lane 1)

You might notice Daniel's new, sweet start. One day of working with Coach Pfeiffer on starts worked out some major kinks. Wish Pfeiff was working with our sprinters full time...oh well...

I have attended this meet for about the last 4-5 years, and I always have such mixed emotions about it. I love it, because it helps focus my mind on the upcoming track season; yet I also have problems with it because the venue makes it seem like it's either really late at night or really early in the morning. Not that any of my young readers would know, but it's kind of like Vegas that way (that's how they get you). It also feels like the acoustics carry anything you say to the ears of anyone within 50ft of you, but that also makes it hard to hear anything in particular. I also have mixed emotions about the athletes I see there, because I always want to see more of our athletes, but wonder how they stack up against the athletes that are members track clubs that train all year round.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this meet is the entry fee. Then entry fee per event for this meet has gone up at least 300% since I've been involved with coaching. This year's entry fee was $20 per event. Per event! That is extraordinary, and I don't know if it's because of increased cost of security measures, but I really hope Colorado USATF finds a way to get that price down. I get the feeling that this charge targets the track clubs whose coiffeurs I'm sure (sometimes) overflow with money, so meet directors know they will pay it. The unfortunate result is that many other athletes, not members of track clubs, are unable to pay the steep entry fees.

Also at the AFA...
Perhaps the meet I am looking forward to the most is the Glenn Peterson Invitational, hosted my Air Academy HS, at the Air Force Academy. The Academy, in the past, has been known to have an old, beat up track that is subject to blustery winds. Well, not much can be done about the weather, but they have laid down a whole new track and it looks awesome! Can't wait for our athletes to run there. Our meet at the AFA is on April 14, and I can't wait to see the following sights then.

Look at that layout...just for track & field. B-E-A-Utiful
Hoping we have the throws in the infield, like at Olympic-style meets

Coach Nack


This World Record holder picked on a girl and now has no shoes

Photo from Wikipedia via http://www.erki.nl/pics/main.php?g2_itemId=33718
Fellas, I'm always telling you to not pick on girls. Not very cool, and not at all tough. It will end up costing you, like it did this clown.

Read here:  Asics cancels contract with triple jumper Tamgho

Well put, Teddy. Well put.


I have a feeling this might be a frequently viewed post...
Photo courtesy of Howard Schatz, http://www.aimeemullins.com/gallery/index.php

When I first started Nack for Track I had the vision of it being a resource for both the athletes on my track team, but also a resource for track coaches that happened to be scouring the internet looking for content. This vision, by and large, has fallen by the wayside. For the most part the site lays dormant when track season is not in full swing, and the majority of posts that are made center on administrative issues for the CV track team.

In order to get back to the original vision, for the next few months I would like to create the occasional post that involves something about coaching or, in the case of tonight's post, deals with members of the track and field community.

Photo courtesy of Lynn Johnson
What I have to offer tonight is actually for your listening pleasure. Take a listen to the following podcast by Aimee Mullins which was featured on the Moth Podcast. I heard this story a week ago and wanted to share it because it details, not only a life of profound track and field accomplishments, but because her story is quite incredible. I cannot say it better than Tom Brokaw, who discussed Aimee on the USA Characters Unite page, so I will leave it to him...
"Disabled. What does that word mean? Aimee Mullins doesn’t feel disabled. Born without fibulae in both legs, Aimee was told she would never walk. Twenty years later, she had accomplished more than most people ever dream. 
Academically, she had thrived, graduating high school with honors and becoming one of three students in the United States chosen for a full academic scholarship from the Department of Defense, as well as becoming the youngest person to hold top-secret security clearance at the Pentagon. 
Athletically, Aimee flourished. While a student at the prestigious school of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, she became a member of Georgetown's nationally-ranked Division I track team and, using her prosthetic legs, was the first woman with a "disability" to compete in the NCAA. She went on to set world records in the 100 meter, 200 meter and long jump. A Life magazine profile of her at the Atlanta Paralympic games in 1996 sparked a frenzy over Aimee and her prototype sprinting legs, and soon she was walking the runway at fashion shows, acting in films and appearing in magazines throughout the world. 
And yet, no matter how much Aimee achieved, she was followed by this word: disabled. It seemed that by labeling her, society was putting limitations on how she could look, think and feel, and marginalizing her value to the community. 
It was time to change the conversation. Using her newfound exposure as a platform, Aimee explored our concepts of disability, beauty and opportunity. In the process, she has opened people’s eyes about their notions of humanity. 
Today, Aimee is an influential voice in our culture. She has been named one of Esquire's "Women We Love," one of Jane magazine's "10 Gutsiest Women," one of Sports Illustrated's "Coolest Girls in Sport," and was celebrated as the "Hottest Muse" in Rolling Stone's annual Hot List. In addition, Aimee serves on numerous boards and spends much of her time assisting various nonprofit organizations, all while continuing to encourage new ways of thinking about how we can all embrace and accept our differences to create a better future.
If you are anything like me I'm sure you are filled with all kinds of questions about how she accomplished what she did in track and field. I think that is the purpose of her message--to get people thinking about paralympic athletes, female athletes, and how they are regarded. What strikes me the most about her is her drive. I love that at one point she said I want to have the fastest legs in the world, and then at another point she wanted to become a world famous runway model, and at another point she earned prestigious degrees from Georgetown University, and be an actress, and be a sought after public speaker, and on, and on, and on.

Wouldn't it be great if we all had that drive?

Interested in more about Aimee Mullins? Check out her website and TED talks


(the line at around 7:45 in the above video is something I could imagine Sepp saying, but with a New England accent)

Coach Nack


For your track calendars: Air Force High School Open

There are quite a few indoor track meets this winter. If you are wanting to go and have some decent training in your recent history you should think about going.

A list of the winter track meets available locally can be found here.

As discussed previously it us up to each athlete to provide transportation, food, water, and other preparation when attending these meets. I will attend a few of these meets if I know we have athletes competing, but will not attend all of them, and recommend you do not either. The first one I will attend is next Sunday, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Information for this meet can be found here. (notice that this sheet is outdated--so there are some changes)

Each athlete must pay $20, not $15, for each event they want to enter. This price is a little high (and seems to increase every year!), so please choose an event or two wisely.
You must tell me by Tuesday 1/10 at 4pm that you are interested in attending, and have your $20 entry fee.

Supposing that the schedule stays the same it will look like this...
Meet Schedule:

Field Events
10:00 am Boys Pole Vault (start: 11’0”)
10:00 am Girls Long Jump
10:00 am Boys Long Jump
10:00 am Girls High Jump (start: 4’4”)
11:00 am Boys Shot Put
12:30 pm Girls Triple Jump
12:30 pm Boys Triple Jump
12:30 pm Boys High Jump (start: 5’6”)
1:00 pm Girls Shot Put
1:00 pm Girls Pole Vault (start: 8’6”)

Track Events
9:55 am National Anthem
10:30 am Girls 60m (33”) Hurdles Prelims
10:50 am Boys 60m (39”) Hurdles Prelims
11:10 am Girls 60m Dash Prelims
11:25 am Boys 60m Dash Prelims
11:50 am Girls 60m (33”) Hurdles Final
12:00 pm Boys 60m (39”) Hurdles Final
12:10 pm Girls 60m Dash Final
12:15 pm Boys 60m Dash Final
12:25 pm Girls Mile Run Sections
12:45 pm Boys Mile Run Sections
1:05 pm Girls 400m Dash Sections
1:30 pm Boys 400m Dash Sections
1:50 pm Girls 800m Run Sections
2:10 pm Boys 800m Run Sections
2:30 pm Girls 200m Dash Sections
2:55 pm Boys 200m Dash Sections
3:20 pm Girls 2‐Mile Run Final
3:40 pm Boys 2‐Mile Run Final
3:55 pm Girls Mile Relay Sections
4:10 pm Boys Mile Relay Sections

Keep in mind that, because this meet is on a Sunday, coaches are restricted from having contact with their athlete's in any sort of coaching capacity. So when you see a coach they are there as fans, and not as coaches--as difficult as it may be for them.

Coach Nack