Wednesday, March 5, 2014

2014 Camp Lineup Announced; Registration Is Now Open


Registration is now open for the 4th annual Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy to be held June 11-14, 2014, on the campus of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. 


Sharrieffa Barksdale
Sharrieffa Barksdale will be with us again this year leading our group sessions, and helping our clinicians as needed. She has been very instrumental in helping us put together our lineup of clinicians. Barksdale was a competitor in 400m hurdles in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and was an Assistant Manager to both the 2008, and 2012 US Olympic teams. She is the former American record holder in the 400m hurdles.

Lauryn Williams

Lauryn Williams
will be working with our sprinters this year. Williams has been one of the top US sprinters over the past decade winning a silver medal in the 100m at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and a gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2012 Olympics in London. Williams'  PR's are 10.88 in the 100m, and 22.27 in the 200m. At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Williams became only the 5th person in history to win medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympics by taking home the silver medal in bobsled. 

Aries Merritt

In what is sure to be a treat for our hurdlers, we will have the current world record holder in both the 110m hurdles, and the 400m hurdles.

Aries Merritt will be working with our 100/110m hurdlers. Merritt won the gold medal in the 110m hurdles at the 2012 Olympics in London. Later that year, Merritt broke the world record in the 110m hurdles at a Diamond League meet in Belgium with a time of 12.80 seconds.


Kevin Young
Kevin Young will be working with our 300/400m hurdlers again this year. This will be his third year as a clinician. Young won the gold medal in the 400m hurdles at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona with a new world record of 46.78. He is still the only person to ever run sub 47 seconds in the 400m hurdles.




Jamie Nieto
Jamie Nieto will be joining us again to work with our high jumpers. This will be his 3rd time in 4 years as a clinician. Nieto is a 2-time Olympian, and a 4-time US champion in the high jump. His PR is 7' 8".

Hazel Clark-Riley

Hazel Clark-Riley will be working with our middle distance runners this year. Clark-Riley is a 3-time Olympian, and has won 7 US titles in the 800m. Her PR's are 1:57 in the 800m, and 4:16 in the 1500m.


Jeff Hartwig
Jeff Hartwig will be with us again to work with our pole vaulters. This will be his 4th year as a clinician.  Hartwig is a 2-time Olympian, and a 6-time US national champion. He is the former American record holder both indoors, and outdoors for the pole vault. Hartwig's PR is 19' 9 1/4".



Dwight Phillips
Dwight Phillips will be working with our long and triple jumpers. Phillips won the gold medal in the long jump at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. He is a 2-time Olympian, and 5-time world champion in the long jump. His PR's are 28' 8 1/4" in the long jump, and 53' 10 1/4" in the triple jump.


Stephanie Brown-Trafton
Stephanie Brown-Trafton will be working with our throwers this year. Brown-Trafton is a 3-time Olympian. She won the gold medal in the discus at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. She is also the current American record holder in the discus with a throw of 222' 3". Brown-Trafton is also an accomplished shot putter, competing in the 2004 US Olympic Trials.

To register with a credit card, please go to our "Online Registration" page, and choose the correct category. If you prefer to pay by check, you can obtain a form on our "Printable Registration Form" page. If you have any questions, you can contact Lisa Owens, Camp Director, by e-mail lisa.owens@centre.edu or by phone (859) 238-5494.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 CAMP DATES ANNOUNCED

While we're still working to finalize all of the details for camp this year, we are pleased to announce the 4th annual MAXIMUM VELOCITY TRACK AND FIELD ACADEMY will be held June 11-14, 2014, at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.

Please keep checking back for full details, and mark your calendars to be with us in June.

Friday, June 28, 2013

2013 Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy Wrap Up


When we started the Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy 3 years ago, our vision was to help rejuvenate the sport of track and field by bringing in some of the best athletes in the world to work with our campers. Our campers not only learn the technical aspects of their event by working hands on with our clinicians, they also learn how to mentally prepare themselves to be the best they can be, because our clinicians have competed on the biggest stages in our sport. There is no other camp like us in the nation.

The 2013 Academy was our most successful to date, and we would like to take this opportunity to say thanks to all of those who helped us make it possible.

Campers

We would like to say a big thank you to our campers, and their parents for choosing our camp. Without you, there would not be a Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy. This year our campers were 59% female, 41% male, and came to us from 13 states! We hope you looked over your shoulder as you left campus thinking you had a great time, and that you want to come back next year.

Clinicians

Thank you for your willingness to give back to the sport by coming to our camp, and working with our young athletes.This is an amazing opportunity for them to learn, and we hope it is a rewarding experience for you as well.

Bluegrass State Games

Thanks to the Bluegrass State Games for your partnership with our camp. This was an amazing way to conclude camp, and we hope to continue this partnership in the future.

Sponsors

A special thanks to our sponsors, Adidas and the  KTCCCA, for helping us offer this one-of-a-kind opportunity for our campers. We appreciate your trust in us to provide an experience for young track and field athletes that we hope you are proud to put your name on.

Centre College

Thank you to Centre College for allowing us to use your amazing facilities.

Media

A special thanks to Larry Vaught at the Advocate Messenger in Danville for all of the publicity you do for our camp. We would also like to thank Alex Risen from ABC36  News in Lexington for your spots on the camp.

We are currently wrapping up the loose ends of the 2013 Academy. Please continue to check back with us to see pictures that we will be posting over the next few weeks, and to get information on the 2014 Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy as it becomes available.

Sincerely,


Lisa H. Owens
Camp Director









Monday, June 17, 2013

From Centre College News: Centre hosts Olympians and Bluegrass State Games

        
Centre College
Ato Boldon, four-time Olympic medal winner and broadcast analyst
for NBC and CBS track and field, leads a session on relay racing.
 
Centre College
This year's camp will culminate with the Bluegrass State Games meet.
 June 13, 2013 By Elizabeth Trollinger

Centre is the place to be for athletes this summer, as the College hosts its annual Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy in conjunction with the track and field portion of the Bluegrass State Games (BGSG) on June 12-15.
High school students from across the state will put their best feet forward during both events—and will have the chance to work with some of the most notable names in the sport.
"It is very exciting to me for us to be able to host these events at Centre," says Lisa Owens, head track coach at the College. "My own children will be participating [in the BGSG] and I am looking forward to putting on the best track meet possible and showing off our facility."
The BGSG was established by former Kentucky governor Martha Layne Collins in 1985. Kentuckians of all ages are encouraged to participate in the Games, with different sports hosted at other institutions across the Commonwealth. Owens is no stranger to the BGSG.
"I participated in the BGSG many years when I was younger," Owens says. "It is like the Olympics of Kentucky."
That's an understatement—especially this year, with a bevy of well-known Olympians traveling to Centre to participate in the BGSG.
Eight Olympic athletes will serve as clinicians for the camp: Sharrieffa Barksdale; Rose Monday; Jamie Nieto, the 2012 U.S. High Jump Champion, who finished sixth in the London Olympics last summer; Ato Boldon, 4-time Olympic medal winner and broadcast analyst for CBS and NBC track and field; Reedus Thurmond; Jeff Hartwig; Walter Davis; and Kevin Young, who still holds the world record in the 400 meter hurdles.
Young enjoys participating in the Academy for multiple reasons.
"This event gives us Olympians an opportunity to be relevant both to our organization [USA Track and Field] and to the up-and-coming athletes in our sport," he says.
"I get to see Olympians here that I haven't seen in years," he adds. "I try to stay as connected as I can with fellow Olympians, and this camp is a perfect way to do it. I also love seeing the youngsters that were here last year—the ones that are back for more because of their dedication to the sport."
Sharrieffa Barksdale, an Olympic 400 meter hurdler and one of the founders of the Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy, enjoys working with young athletes as well.
"It's great seeing kids' faces light up when they're learning something and knowing that they dedicated three and a half days to learn from the best of the best," she says.
"I'm grateful that I have Olympian friends who believe in me enough to accept my invitation to participate in this," she adds. "Anybody who knows me knows that you cannot say no to Sharrieffa!"
Olympians have worked as clinicians at Maximum Velocity in the past, which has been highly popular—and Owens volunteered Centre to host the track and field portion of the BGSG as a capstone to the camp.
"At the end our camp the past two years we have always had a mock track meet for the campers. I thought that an actual track & field competition for medals against other competitors besides just campers would be a great way to finish our camp," Owens says. "The BGSG organization liked the idea and we decided to partner to make this happen. I think that this will be a great thing for our camp and for the BGSG.
"Centre College and Danville are the perfect places to host this event," Owens continues. "We have wonderful facilities here at Centre, and Danville is a great central location for the Games."


For more information on the Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy, click here.

For more about the Bluegrass State Games, click here.

From ABC 36 News WTVQ in Lexington

From the Advocate Messenger: Olympian Walter Davis enjoys helping kids



Walter Davis is a two-time world champion and 2004 Olympian who finished third in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials and then announced his retirement from competitive triple jumping after the meet.

He left with a personal best of 27 feet, 5 1/2 inches in the long jump and 58-2 in the triple jump.

He was a three-time USA outdoor triple champion and also a long jump champion. He was a two-time USA indoor triple jump champion and went 54-9 1/4 in his final meet at the U.S. Trials last year.

He worked at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College last week and shared these insights on the camp, himself and more.

Question: What persuaded you to be part of this camp?
Davis: “I like showing kids different stuff to be better than they are now. A lot of coaches now are just stuck on one thing that they know from years ago. Some kids can’t do things right. It is good to show them how to do things. Just helping them with their drills should make them a better sprinter or jumper just showing them the correct way to do drill.”

Question: Did you grow up going to track camps?
Davis: “No, and that’s why I came, too. I know growing up I liked basketball and always wanted to play basketball. We never had anyone from the area come and put on camps and stuff like that. I know kids probably saw me on TV or the other Olympians (here) on TV. It was like, ‘Wow.’ So why not come and do a camp and meet the kids because growing up I never had that. I always said if I did well, I would always go back and do camps and speak to kids and stuff like that.”

Question: Are you well received by kids or are they in awe of you a bit?
Davis: “It is cool. It takes time. They are shy. They don’t want to ask questions. No one wants to go first. If I am showing them a drill, no one wants to go first and think I am going to be mad or something. We were doing jump drills and nobody wanted to go. Finally one kid went, but they were still bashful like if they did wrong it was a problem. I had to tell them there is not a problem and that we were just working on things to make them better. If you can’t do it, it’s okay. Just practice and it will be better.”

Question: Do you miss competitive jumping and how do you fill that void now?
Davis: “I don’t ever get that competitiveness out of my system. Now I am done with track. I don’t do track. I play basketball. I am in this little YMCA league, and I am competitive. I want to make sure my man don’t score a basket or I am trying to score. I still have it in me. Then my girl (28-year-old Ebonie Floyd), she is running at USA (Trials) next week and I work out with her and try to keep the competitiveness in me. She runs the 400 and I run with her and I will be talking trash to her trying to make her better. Sometimes she is cool with the trash talking, but sometimes I take it overboard and she gets a little upset. But she knows it is out of love and trying to help her get better. She had a child and wasn’t able to compete last year in the Olympic Trials. This year she is post-baby and she is training. She won Indoor Nationals in the 400.”

Question: What made you such an effective jumper and is it hard to teach others how to succeed?
Davis: “Growing up I always wanted to jump. I used to put chairs out in the yard and jump over them. I had little cousins and I would jump over them. In high school, I would jump in the gym and I just kept jumping. When I played basketball in high school, I jumped over a couple of people trying to take a charge and dunked. Jumping over my little cousins helped that. I was fortunate to have good coaches in high school, junior college and LSU. I had three really good coaches. Without those three guys, I would not have done what I did.”

Question: How did you go from all-state basketball player to track star?
Davis: “The school (Barton County Community College in Kansas)I went to, I was told I could do both. When I got there, it was something you could have only so many out of state players. My junior college coach (Lance Brauman), who coaches Tyson Gay now, asked me how many 6-2 point guards in the league (NBA) right now and I told him a lot. He then asked how many 6-2 triple jumpers can go 56 feet. I was like, ‘Not that many.’ Then when I went to the Olympics, basketball was out of here.”

Question: What do you remember best about your Olympic experiences?
Davis: “It is just everything. Just walking through the opening ceremony was crazy. Going to Olympics was my first time going overseas. Imagine getting on a plane for 12 or 14 hours from California to (Sydney) Australia. That was my first time on a plane that long. I was like 20, 21. Then the stadium was like a big football stadium and was packed. It was unreal.”

Question: What was it like to be part of the LSU national championship team and get to visit the White House and present Bush with a LSU warmup?
Davis: “That was a big moment, too. I was coming from Europe or somewhere and my coach called to say we were going to the White House. I wasn’t going to be back in time. I did make it in time, but the bus was gone to the airport. I had to drive an hour just to meet up with them so I could go and present the award. It was awesome to meet the president. Not that many people can say they have met the president. It is something I can show my daughter when she is older that dad did make the president. It shows you can be from anywhere and make it. It’s not just one thing. You can become whatever you want to be. My picture was in the paper all over Louisiana and everybody in my family was calling me.”

Question: Do you remember competing against Kentucky while at LSU?
Davis: “I don’t even remember. I just remember coming and jumping at the indoor (Southeastern) conference meet. I remember that. I don’t remember any of the Kentucky guys. I just remember jumping against the wall indoors, and it was weird. I had not jumped like that in a while and it was difficult.”

Question: Any chance you pay attention to Kentucky basketball and John Calipari now?
Davis: “I watch basketball. I watched the whole NCAA and was pulling for Florida Atlantic. Louisville had a real good team and the coach (Rick Pitino) they’ve got, he is a guru. They put up a real good performance. I know a little bit about Kentucky, but not much. I watch then some. It’s crazy how Kentucky won it one year and then Louisville the next year.”

Question: Do you ever get back to LSU now?
Davis: “I go every now and then, but coaches that were there then are not there. I don’t go back that much. I am in Houston now. I work a 9-5 to now. I go to work, get off, go work out with my girl and help her get ready for her meets. Then I have the baby, and she is work as well. I go play basketball. Working 9-5 and working out with girl and playing basketball, that is a lot of stuff. I work at Exon plant. I am a technician. It’s not hard work.”

Question: Looking back on your career, what are you most proud of?
Davis: “Just being humble. I have won titles and stuff, but I have never denied anyone a chance to take a picture or get an autograph. I am cool with that. When I started, I used to see people take a couple of pictures and then it was like, no, they didn’t want to take more. These people are coming to watch us run. I couldn’t understand why you couldn’t take a picture if they were paying to see us. Some of the big names I used to see do that.
“I just want them to remember not only was I an Olympian and world champion, but I am a real human being that loves helping kids and people. You can’t go from being a good person to ... you have to know where you came from. You just can’t get to the top and be like you are bigger than everybody. You can’t look down on people. You have to stay humble. Now I see the ones who didn’t want to sign autographs or take pictures and I bet they wished they had signed for the kids and people now.”

From the Advocate Messenger: Centre College athletes learned a lot from Olympians at camp


Last week’s Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College was not just a chance for campers to get pointers from Olympians. Instead, the Centre track and field athletes who worked the camp also got a chance to get pointers from being around the all-star staff of camp clinicians that included former Olympic medal winners.

Senior Nick Niehaus, who holds the Centre record in the 400-meter hurdles in 53.44 seconds, spent three days with Kevin Young, the man who has owned the world record in the 400 hurdles since 1992.

Niehaus took second in the 110 hurdles and third in the 400 hurdles at the conference championships in the spring, then set the school mark two weeks later at the Gregory Invitational. So he was more than ready to soak up any bit of knowledge he could from Young to help him improve even more.

“It’s really incredible, and it’s even better because he’s such a nice guy,” Niehaus said. “He’s willing to help, he’s really easy to talk to, really willing to give suggestions, talk about workouts, suggestions to improve your race. It’s really awesome.”


Junior Emily Akin, who won the conference title in the 10,000-meter run and was third in the 5,000 meters, worked all week with Rose Monday and said she has learned a ton from the woman who was an assistant coach for the United States’ 2012 women’s Olympic team.

“All week she’s been talking about these ‘secret weapons’ and things I tend to take for granted. Things like nutrition before a practice and what a difference that can make,” Akin said. “And just the personal stories she can tell, her trials and tribulations as an athlete, her motivational stories, pointers even down to keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle, imagine competitors as you go to pass them, speed even after a long distance run.”

Sophomore Jacob Duvall, who attended the camp his junior and senior years of high school, said more than the technical aspects of racing the instructors gave was the mental approach they took that he took away from the time he spent with them.

“To me, it’s all about the skill that you learn and it’s awesome to learn that and then get the workouts and stuff. But then the examples they give and you learn and the attitudes and the mental aspects, that’s what I draw the most from it. It’s super important to me to get that,” said Duvall, who was fifth in the 110 and 400 hurdles at the conference meet.

“These people’s attitudes, it’s special and to have 10 people show me their attitude and their mental aspects and their journeys and just letting me in on how they got where they were. That’s what I take form it and hopefully I can use that to become so much better and become a Division III All-American. That’s what I aspire to.”

When the instructors weren’t working with the campers, they found plenty of time to talk one-on-one with the Centre athletes. And Niehaus found plenty of new things to work on as he begins getting ready for his senior year.

“(Young) suggested some things to me to work on my race, since I’m a taller hurdler (6 feet, 10 inches) suggesting how your body and anatomy works, how to adust your space,” he said. “Just explosiveness and working on that and just really trying to get in good aerobic shape and just working on steps in between through the entire race.”

Like Duvall, Akin attended the camp before coming to run at Centre. She knew what to expect and knew she would get a lot of great instruction at the camp even while working it.

“As a counselor, it’s fun to balance working with the kids and the upcoming talent that we’re going to have across the U.S and also getting to meet new Olympians,” Akin said.

And Akin said she may have learned more than the 110 campers who came from 12 different states, including Florida.

“I got more than them because I’m learning things from the kids too,” she said. “So I get to take advantage of the campers and the Olympians. It’s been great for me.”

From the Advocate Messenger: Reedus Thurmond enjoyed instructing at Maximum Velocity camp



Reedus Thurmond found himself in good company last week, and he has his wife to thank for it.

Thurmond came to the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College because his wife could not, and he found himself surrounded by former athletes who have competed at the highest level of the sport.
 
Thurmond, who has impressive credentials of his own as a Southeastern Conference champion and three-time All-American in the discus, said he was impressed by the Centre camp and the all-star roster of instructors.

“I’ve been to track camps all over the country, but there’s definitely not many like this that I know of with the caliber of athletes (that are here). You’ve got world-record holders and gold medalists and just all kinds of stuff going on here. This is one of the best I’ve ever seen,” Thurmond said before the camp ended Saturday.

Thurmond’s wife, three-time Olympic discus thrower Aretha Thurmond, worked at the camp two years ago but could not return this year because the date fell too close to the U.S. track and field championships.

“She likes to work with young kids, I like to work with young kids ... so she asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said, ‘Sure,’” he said.

He said he has worked many camps, but none can match the level of instruction young athletes are getting this week.

“You actually learn from people that have gone through it, not just coaches. These are people that have done it at every level and the highest level, and that’s what’s really cool about it,” Thurmond said.

“I’ve never been on an Olympic team. My wife’s been on four of them and I’ve seen it through her eyes, but I haven’t seen it through the eyes of medalists, and just to meet people like (sprinter) Ato Boldon and (hurdler) Kevin Young, these guys are the best of the best at their events, so that’s really cool.”

Thurmond won the 2002 SEC discus championship at Auburn, and he competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008. He focused on coaching after his career ended, and he coached 11 All-Americans in a six-year stint as the throws coach at Washington.

He works as a private coach now, and he said he enjoys that much more than coaching at the collegiate level.

“When you’re college coach you’re kind of handcuffed. You recruit and coach those kids for four years, and they either go on and do other things or they go on to the professional level, and a lot of schools don’t allow professionals to train on campus,” he said. “But as a private coach, I can take a high school kid and get them ready for college. They go to college, I can still kind of mentor them ... and then if they go on to bigger things, I can still keep working with them.

“I can kind of do things my own way as opposed to the NCAA way. It’s a lot more free for me as a coach to be able to just kind of do what I want instead of worrying about when you can or can’t call this parent or this kid.”

Thurmond moved back to Alabama about a year ago, and he said his business has grown quickly.

“It’s just word of mouth more than anything, and there’s a need for good coaching at the high school level,” he said.

From the Advocate Messenger: NBC analyst Boldon says Kentuckian Gay has proved him wrong with comeback



Former Olympic sprint medalist and current NBC-TV track analyst Ato Boldon quickly admits he was wrong about Lexington native Tyson Gay.

After being hampered by injuries, Gay has put together a strong 2013 season that started with a 100-meter win in 9.86 seconds in Jamaica, and recently won the Adidas Grand Prix 100 in Manhattan in 10.02 seconds.

“It is encouraging because I was one of the people who did not think we would see Tyson back at full strength consistently any more. He spent most of the offseason saying, ‘I am back. My injuries are behind me.’ And so far in 2013, that is exactly what I see,” said Boldon, who is working at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College this week. “He ran well in Jamaica. He ran well in New York.

“I think they are pacing themselves. He is not trying to run everywhere. He is picking and choosing his spots and running where he feels comfortable and when it feels right. Right now I have Tyson in both the top 3 in the world’s (championship) in both the 100- and 200- (meter dashes). Assuming he does not get injured, he will be in the top three at the world championship in both.”

Gay won golds in the 100 and 200 as well as the 400-meter relay at the 2007 world championships, but wasn’t able to capture his first Olympic medal until London last summer when he and the American relay team finished second behind Jamaica.

Boldon remembers when he was injured late in his career and knows how hard it is to try and overcome injuries as Gay is trying to do.

“When I turned 30 and started to have all sorts of injuries, I retired. There are some athletes who have the patience for rehab and coming back and dealing with it,” Boldon said. “The hardest thing for a sprinter is rehab. It is the most opposite thing to what you naturally do. You have a race horse pent up in a stall. It’s not what he was born to do. He was born to be out there running. I couldn’t handle the whole rehab and I retired.

“Tyson has time and time again said, ‘I am coming back, I am done not yet. My best years are ahead of me.’ Guys like me who know what it is like for sprinters over 30, we were skeptical. But he has proven myself and many others wrong. I never thought I would see him run another 200. But he’s done that.”

But what about the 2016 Olympics? Could Gay, who turns 31 in August, have the staying power to again chase an Olympic medal?

“That is a different kettle of fish because people may say only three years away, but that’s hard,” Boldon said.

He referred to watching a show on National Geographic where one minute a lion “is on top and has his big mane and is dominating” and by halfway of the show “he has been beaten by one of the younger ones” and is on his way out and left to die.

“Obviously, that’s a little dramatic but at the same time but that is what the world of sprinting is like. When Tyson Gay was world champion in 2007 in the 100 and 200, Usain Bolt was barely on anybody’s radar,” Boldon said. “Eleven months later Bolt is unbeatable. It changes really quickly. You can say Tyson will make the U.S. team in three years, but we don’t know. There may be some kid who is a sophomore in college now who is getting ready to be the next guy.

“With Tyson, it is a year to year thing. I don’t think it is the most outrageous thing to say he will make the Olympic team in three years if he stays healthy, but a lot can happen in three years, especially when you are past 30.”

Boldon, 39,  is a four-time Olympic medal winner. Only three other men in history — Bolt, Frankie Fredericks and Carl Lewis — have won as many Olympic individual event sprint medals. In 1999, Boldon ran 9.86  twice in the 100 before sustaining a serious hamstring injury which forced him to miss the World Championships. However, he won two medals at the 2000 Olympics.

He was injured in a head-on crash with a drunk driver in 2002, and never again ran sub-10 seconds in the 100. That accident left Boldon with a serious hip injury.

He’s back here because he had “fun” last year when he came and is close friends with camp organizers Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Sharrieffa Barksdale, who lives in Lexington. He says Joyner-Kersee is the reason he went to UCLA.

“I feel like I can never fully repay my debt to Jackie,” he said. “I enjoy it, it is well run and the kids are great and is being put on by people I respect.”

Boldon, based on the way he was taught by his mother, talks to campers much like he would elite athletes.

“When I talk to young kids, I explain things not too much over your head but in the way I would say to a group I was getting ready for a professional track meet or NFL combine,” Boldon said. “There should not be a big gap in how we teach young people and how we teach adults.

“When I go and watch the best baseball coaches, there are things inherent in a good swing whether it is a softball or baseball. There is a certain way to shoot a free throw in basketball. There is a way to pass. For all these other sports in America, there is not a big gap in the fundamentals and what they are taught from youth to pros. But for track and field, there is this big gap. I challenge that and think kids get it.

“When I see improvement in anybody I work with from day one to half hour later, I always feel encouraged. If you give them the information, they can process it. My classes don’t change very much based on who I am teaching.”

From the Advocate Messenger: Middle-distance standout Monday was a shy child but 'was always fast'



Former world class runner Rose Monday won her first race in the street outside of her childhood home in Northridge, Calif. The race took place against a group of high school aged neighborhood boys, while Monday was only in the eighth grade.

“My siblings and I were always outside as kids running, climbing, jumping and just playing around,” Monday said. “I was always fast when I was a kid and running races was my favorite thing, but I never really thought anything of it.

Monday’s father, however, recognized her talent from her victory against the neighborhood boys. A few days after that childhood race, he enrolled his daughter in the local track team —  a decision Monday was not thrilled with.

“At the time I was painfully shy so I was just terrified that if I was on the team I would have to run against people in public,” Monday said. “Sure enough the coach had me run in a race. I remember I was wearing this pair of old Keds sneakers that had been given to me by the girl across the street. They weren’t running shoes at all and were a bit too big for me anyway. I was running against kids with spiked running shoes but somehow I managed to beat them and from then on I was sold. If I had lost that race who knows what I would be doing now.” 

Even with her newfound love of the sport, the idea of running professionally never occurred to Monday. It wasn’t until the 1968 Olympic games that the current coach for world class endurance athletes would begin her own path to the Olympic trials.

“I was only 11 when I saw the 1968 games,” Monday said. “I was watching the track events and saw Bob Beamon break the record for the long jump. He won an Olympic gold medal for that event, but when I saw him up there on that Olympic podium I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I set a goal for myself to one day be on one of the Olympic teams.”

Monday went on to compete in three Olympic Trials and win the 2001 gold medal at the Masters World Championships in the 800-meter run and the silver medal in the 1500. Later she won the gold medal at the 2004 Masters U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800. Today, though, Monday has found herself in the new role as coach. This week Monday is working as a coach at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College, but she has been coaching for about 20 years.

“When I first stopped running my coach told me that I would make a really good coach but I didn’t consider it at first,” Monday said. “I’ve always thought that just because you’re a good runner doesn’t mean you’ll make a good coach and I had no idea how to coach.”

Even with her initial doubts, Monday went on to serve as the 2012 Assistant Coach for the U.S. Olympic Team’s endurance athletes and still coaches world class athletes. As a former competitive runner, Monday finds that her passion for coaching comes from her connection to her athletes.

“I get so close to the athletes that I work with because I know what they’re going through,” Monday said. “I know the patience and discipline that it takes and I understand the goals they have. When I see my athletes out there working so hard and watching their bodies adapt and grow stronger, I can’t help but feel proud of them.”

Her love of coaching is what brought Monday to the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy this week. Despite this being her first year at the academy, Monday is already impressed.

“These kids have been so motivated this week. It’s great to watch them work at the drills that we’ve been doing and seeing how much they truly want to learn. It’s made the whole event exciting,” Monday said.

Besides basic skills and athletic drills, Monday hopes to instill other lessons in the campers.

“For these kids I want to teach them two main things,” Monday said. “The first is to believe in themselves. People will always tell them that they can’t do it or that they’re wasting their time, but they should never listen to them if this is what they are truly passionate about.

“Secondly I would say to take care of the little things. They have to make sure that they are hydrating, eating the right foods, keeping a good form and other things like that. Paying attention to details and keeping discipline is what makes a successful athlete.”