January is almost in the rear view mirror and that means we
are quickly approaching the start of the spring season of Track &
Field. Most coaches are deep into the
planning phases of their upcoming season, setting meet schedules, finding dates
when they want to host a meet and crossing their fingers that those top
athletes still plan to come out for track in their senior seasons! Yea, you know the feeling... And of course, athletes are ramping up their
training so they can roll into the spring season in shape and ready to
compete... Well, maybe!!
And no, I won't forget we still have several indoor meets in TN to look forward to, including the Vanderbilt HS classic and the TN State Indoor championships. I haven't really looked over the exact numbers, but it certainly feels like there are a lot more athletes running indoor meets this season than in the past. Maybe it's the KYA effort to establish a State Indoor Championships or the fact that the Vanderbilt indoor facility and high school meet there brings in competition from all across the country. Or maybe it's the thought that getting some competition early will help you by the time the end of May rolls around. Whatever the case, Track and Field is really seeing a growth spurt! It's flowing over into the indoor season as well!
Looking at the rankings for the indoor season so far we really are seeing some very strong performances. But there is one event that I'm always amazed to see how some athletes can be so good during the winter season. That's the pole vault. For instance, take a look at the top girl in the event, Brittany Bishop. Brittany is 2017 state champ in the vault and is less than 6 inches from her outdoor PR last season with the vault she made to win at the KYA indoor. She vaulted 11-6.25!
And if the girls aren't impressive enough, the guys are hitting heights that might be considered nosebleed level! If I were to guess, I'll bet Brentwood high would love to enter a pole vault relay at some point this year... starting out this indoor season, they have four guys with vaults coming in the top 6 in the state for indoor. With 11-11.75 being the low end of the group - ok, that was by Kyle Costner and a PR by a few inches and by no means low! Getting a PR in the indoor season is quite the accomplishment. Garrett Lee, yes of Brentwood, is tied at the top with Cole Shea of Mt. Juliet. Jet Kinder (Brentwood) and Nikhil Jogal (Houston High) are neck and neck behind them at 13-11.25. I'm telling you, these are some major jumps this early.
I wasn't planning on looking at all the events just yet, but it always impresses me at how vaulters handle the winter! That shovel in the trunk of the pole vault coach out here was always a mystery to me, except when I saw the snow the other day!! Yep, someone has to clear off the runway and empty out the box.
We know we are right in the middle of the indoor season and the competition is just getting better and better as the season goes along. So what about the coaches.... If you don't know about it already, you should.... The 1st annual conference and clinic for Track and Field Coaches is just around the bend. Friday and Saturday (Jan 26th and 27th) is the date for this event and is sure to fill up by this Friday. I believe there still is time to get in, but you'll need to hurry to get a spot. Go to the site soon if you want to register!
The list of talent headlining the clinics include Todd Williams (2 time US Olympic 10K runner and UT All American), Tim Mack (2000 Olympic Pole Vault champion), Gabor Mate (3-time Olympic Discus Thrower), Gary Kinder (US Olympic Decathlete, 9-time state championships at Brentwood), and several others. The list of clinic topics range from the Value of Goal setting for young runners, Strength Training, High Jump, Discus, Long Jump, Vaulting, Blocks/short sprints, and a ton more that are all topics any coach would want to learn about or just review for new ideas. I hope to see you there!
I'm curious to see who will be competing in the state indoor this year. With this being a fairly new meet, the opportunity to set some state records is a bit enticing to say the least. The chance to compete and go into the outdoor season competitively sharp is also another convincing reason to run and qualify for this meet.
I may have made it sound easy, but getting a record at the state indoor isn't exactly going to be easygoing. With times for the guys like 6.96 for the 60M, 22.03 for the 200M, sub 50 in the 400, a couple of 4:14's in the mile, 17.77 meters in the shot (over 58 ft)... and girls at 10:24.87 for the 2 mile, 2:16 for the 800, 200M set at 24.71, and 12 feet for the vault... bottom line, this may be a meet in it's infancy, but the competition is by no means baby like! Qualify for this meet and be prepared to meet up with some very good competition - likely the ones you may just meet up with in late May. Of course, the one difference you can add to this State championship... it's really a state championship. No divisions or classifications to muddy the waters, just everyone against the best in the state.
And so, that's it for now and looking forward to another start of the Track & Field season!
See you on the track,