A decathlete with a distance runner’s mentality In April, Curtis Beach clocked 1:47.99 to win the open 800m at the Duke Invitational. But Beach isn’t primarily an 800m runner. The Duke redshirt sophomore is one of the country’s premier college decathletes. Beach’s distance speed is a rare and tremendous advantage in this event where most competitors simply try to survive the 1500m finale.
“Traditionally, you would say that the better the decathlete, the worse their 1500,” says Duke’s multi-events coach, Shawn Wilbourn. “Curtis is just a different beast. He looks forward to the 1500, which is very unusual for a decathlete.”
Last year at the 2011 NCAA outdoor championships, Beach ran 3:59.12 in the 1500m, winning it easily, and finished second overall in the decathlon. To put that time in perspective, Bryan Clay, Trey Hardee and Ashton Eaton, arguably the three best decathletes in the world, have 1500m personal bests of 4:38, 4:42 and 4:18, respectively While these three are superior to Beach in the throws and jumps, Beach is gaining ground. “Curtis has the distance runner mentality where he knows how to push through that pain, whereas I think other decathletes mentally check out before the 1500,” says Wilbourn. “It is going to help him make that big jump to becoming one of the best in the world because most decathletes only focus on nine events. Curtis will have a true 10 events once his throws catch up.” more
SZCZCIN, Poland–University of Washington alum Brad Walker (left/photo courtesy US Olympic Committee) vaulted to a second place finish at Saturday’s Janusz Kusocinski Memorial meeting in the Polish city.
Walker cleared 18-9 1/4 (5.72m) as Great Britain’s Steve Lewis cleared a personal best and national record 19-1 (5.82m) to take the victory.
Defending Olympic champion Steve Hooker of Australia was third behind Walker, also clearing a 2012 season best of 18-9 1/4.
On his Facebook fan page, Walker said, “Cold night with some cross winds. Passed to .92 after one attempt at .82. Ended on the same stick as the .90 jump in Chula so I’m pleased. That stick is worth 6m so to get on it today is a good take away.”
Walker moves on to Jockgrim, Germany for the annual street vault meet next week, an event that he’s won before. more
Dr. Rob Bell Ball State University–There are instances within all of sports where everything is perfect. These are times when there are no thoughts, movements are effortless, and time is transcended. Csíkszentmihályi (1990) characterized this state as “flow,” although it has become popularized by the more common name of being “in the zone.” It is essentially losing oneself in the moment of our activity.
Throughout the history of sports, there have been numerous examples of athletes being in the zone. A perfect illustration of this state was Michael Jordan during the 1992 NBA championship series against the Portland Trailblazers, hitting seven 3-pointers in a row and scoring 35 points in the first half. Jordan was so shocked by his performance that after his seventh 3-pointer, he just threw up his hands as to say “I can’t explain it.”David Toms also epitomized the “zone” or “flow” during the 2005 Accenture match play. During the week, he hit 74% of greens in regulation, made 37 birdies, two eagles, and only four bogeys throughout six matches and 118 holes of play. During the final 36-hole match against Chris Dimarco, Dimarco played the match 3-under par despite losing the match being 6 holes down with 5 to play. In fact, Toms at one point held a 9-up lead with 10 holes to play. Toms play epitomized losing oneself in the moment; “I can’t explain why I felt like I did all week,” Toms said “I just felt very, very comfortable with myself and the golf that was in front of me. I don’t know that I’ve ever really felt like that in an event.” (LA Times, Feb 28, 2005) Continue reading
When Trey Hardee was just a few months old, a fellow church member told his mother Jan DiCesare she’d had a dream about her son.In it, she saw the baby who had been dedicated in church a few days before as an adult holding a big stick. Jan didn’t know what to think of it at the time, but now it all makes perfect sense.Trey will compete in the 2012 Olympics decathlon Aug. 8-9 with Team USA. This will be his second time to compete in the Olympics, and many suspect the 2002 Vestavia Hills High School graduate will take home the gold this year, which would officially make him the World’s Greatest Athlete.“Who would of thunk it?” said Trey, laughing, during a recent phone interview from his home in Texas before heading to Germany for some grueling practices leading up to the London Olympics. “It’s interesting. It’s just the title that comes along with winning (the decathlon gold medal). I don’t really consider myself … I wouldn’t say I was the best in the world.”The decathlon gold medalist is given the title of World’s Greatest Athlete because of the grueling two-day Continue reading
This is one of our weekly workouts, normally go through it a few times…
EC Glass Pole Vaulting Drills at All N2 Air Gymnastics
The Tokyo Games in 1964 saw the Olympic debut of pole vaulting poles made of fiberglass instead of aluminum, which in turn had replaced bamboo.The flexibility of fiberglass poles allowed athletes to translate the energy of their run-ups into vaulting height more effectively.”You still had to have pretty good speed, but you could hold the pole higher up and get the pole to help you,” said Robert Vigars, professor of kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario.As a result, the Olympic record set in 1960 jumped from 15 feet, 3 inches to 16 8-3/4 in 1964.”That was the single greatest increase in Olympic records ever recorded in the pole vault,” stated J. Russell VerSteeg, a professor at the New England School of Law, in a written report. more
At the very first Olympic Games, in 1896, an American won a gold medal in the pole vault event after jumping 3.30 meters using a wooden pole.
Four years ago in Beijing, an Australian won gold in the same event with a 5.96-meter jump. The pole he used was lighter and stronger and made from carbon fibers.
When the 2012 Olympic games begin later this month in London, athletes will not only be better-trained than ever before, but also better-equipped.
“What we have seen really is nothing short of a revolution, particularly in the use of advanced materials, integrated with engineering design,” says Michael Caine, a professor of sports technology at Loughborough University in England. more
In men’s competition, the United States has dominated several events — generally involving track races over short distances and field events of the jumping variety — over different stretches of time in the 112-year history of the modern Olympics (i.e., dating from the 1896 revival of the Games). One such streak is relatively recent and still ongoing:
- 7 straight golds in the 400 meters (1984-2008).
Three streaks occurred in roughly the middle portion of the 112-year history of the modern Games.
- 9 straight golds in the 110-meter hurdles (1932-1972, no Games in 1940 and 1944).
- 8 straight golds in the 4 x 100 relay (1920-1956).
- 8 straight golds in the long jump (1924-1960).
Finally, two streaks began with the 1896 revival and lasted from 32 to 72 years.
- 8 straight golds in the high jump (1896-1928; no Games in 1916).
- 16 straight golds in pole vault (1896-1968; 1908 featured a tie of two Americans).Interestingly, the long U.S. run of success in the pole vault was followed by 6 Olympiad (excluding the U.S. boycott year of 1980) without an American vaulter winning. Nick Hysong finally put the U.S. back atop the medal stand in the pole vault, winning in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. more
1 Nicole Trenchard 15 f 10-06 3.20m
2 Karli Dugas 16 f 9-00 2.74m
2 Kelsey Drain 18 f 9-00 2.74m
4 Sierra Gracia 16 f 7-06 2.29m
4 Marissa Tobin 17 f 7-06 2.29m
5 Giulia Colella 10 f 5-06 1.68m
1 Jake David 16 m 14-00 4.27m
2 Paris Pijuan 16 m 12-06 3.81m
3 Victor Berezovskiy 52 m 12-06 3.81m
4 Lorenzo Rodriguez 35 m 11-00 3.35m
5 Travis Doop 20 m 10-06 3.20m
6 Gavin Koehn 17 m 10-00 3.05m
7 Justin Holmquist 15 m 9-00 2.74m
7 Donovan Rosellini 16 m 9-00 2.74m
9 Terence Ayala 16 m 9-00 2.74m
10 Matthew Oatis 18 m 8-00 2.44m