Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Track time

Tis' the season when boys and girls run, jump, and throw their way across thousands of outdoor track and field facilities across the United States. The collegiate and high school indoor track and field season is done and it's time for some fun in the sun.

Here in sunny Southwest Florida the outdoor meets have been going for a few weeks now. I'm pondering a trip to Gainesville in a couple of weeks to the Florida Relays. Save for a trip last year to cover the state high school outdoor in Orlando for the local rag, I haven't been to any meets. The local newspapers do bare bones coverage of high school track and field and the website that handles the Florida preps is a pay site.

The best coach in the area lives in my neighborhood and he's got a real stud on his team. Erick Montoya is a junior at Estero High School. Last year he nearly captured the 3200 at state missing out by a step when he ran 9:23. He also finished second last fall in cross country at state. I see him at some of the local road races and I've interviewed him before. He's a smart kid who's just started scratching his potential.

I'm also looking forward to keeping track of my favorite athletes back in my home state of Kansas. I'm really hoping that Lawrence High junior Roy Wedge shows the potential on the track that he's shown the last three years in cross country. I really think Roy could be a sub 9:20 3200 runner. He's another intelligent young man who's never really piled on the miles.

Nationally I'm wanting to see what Jordan Hasay does. I'd love to see her break 9:50 in the 3200 and run 4:32 in the 1600. And who knows, maybe we'll have some surprises from some of the up and coming boy distance runners like Mac Fleet and Elijah Greer. Afterall, it's been eight whole years since a prep has broken four minutes in the mile.

On the collegiate level it should be interesting to see whether Oregon's Galen Rupp can continue his outstanding runner. He really let it rip indoors. It would be nice to see an American born runner take down some collegiate records. And watch out for Colorado's Jenny Barringer, I won't be surprised if she takes down as many as three collegiate marks this spring.

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