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Youth Track & Field – Where You Can Learn the Best Times Among Middle School Track Athletes

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Youth Track & Field – Where You Can Learn the Best Times Among Middle School Track Athletes

Youth Track & Field – Where You Can Learn the Best Times Among Middle School Track Athletes


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Home Page > Hobbies > Youth Track & Field – Where You Can Learn the Best Times Among Middle School Track Athletes

Youth Track & Field – Where You Can Learn the Best Times Among Middle School Track Athletes

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Posted: May 27, 2009 |Comments: 0
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Copyright © 2009 Ed Bagley

I recently received an email asking this question: Is there an Internet site that lists the best times in Washington for youth track and field performances other than high school?

Bill White of Kalama (WA) then added, “I am currently coaching my 14-year-old grandson and at his first school meet he ran 11.7 for 100 meters and 54.8 for 400 meters.”

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I immediately thought of dyestat.com as it is the best resource for tracking high school track & field and cross-country performances nationally. Dyestat.com offers a storehouse of information that it monitors very closely for accuracy and completeness. To submit an event result to dyestat.com you must be a recognized high school coach.

Because dyestat.com does not cover pre-high school performances it is not a useful site for learning what is happening among middle school athletes. To know what is happening at the middle school level, you can access eliteyouth.com. Eliteyouth.com publishes results for athletes Under 9 to 17-18, both boys and girls.

It is really very early in the track season, but the National Elite Youth Ranking System shows that for the Youth 13-14 section, the fastest time as of 4-25-09 in the 100-Meter Dash belongs to Vincent Saucer at 11.21.

Bill White’s 14-year-old grandson would rank in a tie for the 7th best time nationally with Michael Adkins. Clearly, his grandson would be an elite runner nationally for his age group. Even comparing his 11.7 time to the Intermediate 15-16 section, his time would still rank in the Top 20 nationally, tied with Chris Walden at 19th.

His 54.8 time in the 400-Meter Dash would currently rank 10th nationally in the Youth 13-14 section, and 20th nationally in the Intermediate 15-16 section.

In my experience as a competitive runner at the high school and college levels, and in masters (40+) and seniors (50+) competition, I have learned that speed is a God-given gift. However fast you can run with sufficient training in a time trial is how fast you can go all out. If you can’t break 12 flat for a 100-meter dash, you are not going to run 10 flat with the best coaching in the world.

Arthur Lydiard, arguably the best distance running coach in the world, has some interesting thoughts on the subject of speed. No less a coach than Bill Bowerman has said that “there is no better distance coach in the world” than Lydiard. In Lydiard’s book, Running ? The Lydiard Way, the grand master of coaching says this:

“Your basic speed?not your build, leg length, or weight?should determine what distance you run. If you can’t run the 200 faster than 26 seconds, for instance, forget all about half-miling. All the training in the world won’t make you a champion at it.

“(Murray) Halberg’s best 200 was about 25 seconds. To run 800 in 1:52, he ran flat out all the way, and near his best sprinting speed. He just couldn’t run any faster. However, his stamina was such that, soon after running one 800 that fast, he could run another just as fast again.

“A man who can run 22.5 for 200 is basically fast enough to become an Olympic 800-meter champion, if he has the stamina.

“If you can barely break a minute for 400 meters, you can’t hope to succeed (in) 800 meters, no matter what you do. If you can’t run a 400 in 51 seconds, you can’t run an 800 in 1:50. And if you can’t do that, you don’t have a chance in today’s racing circles.

“Athletes and coaches often do not appreciate the significance and permanence of basic speed. As a result, many runners are given distances they’ll never master, and running soon sours on them.” (Take note of the fact that Lydiard’s book was published in 1978, more than 30 years ago.)

Having foot speed (quicker leg turnover) will do more than anything else to put you on top faster. And the faster, the better.

Bill White’s 14-year-old grandson clearly has the potential to grow into even faster speed as he matures, and with good coaching to develop stamina training, he would have a future in running worth watching.

I would suggest that Bill White contact Bryan Hoddle at bryanhoddle.com. He lives in the Olympia (WA) area and was the Head Coach for the 2004 USA Paralympic Track & Field Team that competed in the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He has some great resource materials for runners of all ages.

Hoddle has coached the two fastest paralympic sprinters ever?Tony Volpentest, the 1996 Paralympic 100-meter and 200-meter champion, and Marion Shirley, a triple world record holder, the world’s fastest amputee, and the Paralympic 100-meter champion in the 2000 and 2004 Games. At the high school level, Hoddle has coached 26 state champions.

Among his other motivational speaking engagements, seminars and personal coaching of athletes both famous and just getting started, Hoddle is currently coaching 2012 Olympic candidate Jenny Brogdon, the former University of Oregon star high jumper who was the Pac-10 runner-up.

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