Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Clinician Update

As many of you know, Jamie Nieto was injured in a very serious accident on April 23rd. Here is the latest information that we have.

The injury
Jamie was coaching his group of jumpers at Azusa Pacific University and at the completion of
training they were doing back flips. Initially on the HJ pit, then on the ground. Most of you probably remember this was Jamie’s signature move. After every competition, good or bad, Jamie would wave to the crowd and do a back flip or back handspring.
While doing one of these back flips, something happened and he didn’t complete the rotation and landed on his head. He fell to the ground and was immediately paralyzed. He couldn’t feel his body and was having difficulty breathing. 911 was called and EMT’s arrived rather quickly on the scene. Understanding the severity, the helicopter was called to the track where he was airlifted to USC Trauma Center. While in the helicopter, Jamie was put on a ventilator to help him breathe. On arrival to the trauma center they moved Jamie almost immediately into the MRI machine to assess the damage. Just before the MRI, Jamie started to regain feeling in his hands and in his feet. He still couldn’t move any of his limbs and his breathing was still labored.

The MRI Results/Surgery
The results showed no breakage of the spine and no cuts in the spinal cord, but the C3 and C4 vertebrae had been compressed and the disc between them had been forced forward into the spinal cord. They decided to operate and remove the disc. They had to enter the neck from the front to access the disc and remove it. They also fused the spine together at C3-C4. The surgery was a success and now Jamie is fighting through the rehab process.

Rehabilitation
The progress Jamie is making is definitely positive. He is able to breathe more comfortably now, he is swallowing liquids and soft foods now. His movement is coming back slowly. At last check this morning (Tues 4/26) he was able to shrug his shoulders and lift his forearm. He still didn’t have movement of his fingers but he was able to lift his arm with more strength and control than the day before. His lower body has feeling and he can recruit and fire the muscles but he has no movement yet. He has been able to squeeze the legs together. The outlook remains positive that Jamie can still make a full recovery. He is working hard to get back, approaching these movements like you’d expect an athlete would doing reps in the weight room.

Please keep the support and words of encouragement coming in. Believe me, Jamie is humbled and honored by all the support he is receiving.

Thank you,

Paul Doyle

A fund has been established to help Jamie with his medical bills. If you would like more information, please visit the Jamie Nieto Fund.


We are thankful that Gwen Wentland-Mikinski will be able to work with our high jumpers again this year in Jamie's absence. Gwen worked with our high jumpers last year, and did an amazing job. She is the 2012 US Olympic Team Women's Jumps and Combined Events Coach. She is a 2-time US champion. She also set the US Record in the Masters (40-44) Division in 2013 by jumping 5' 9 3/4".

Thursday, March 10, 2016

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY FOR KENTUCKY KIDS

The Kentucky Track and Cross Country Coaches Association have generously agreed to offer scholarship opportunities for Kentucky students again this year. To learn more, visit our Scholarships tab. Deadline to submit an application is April 15th.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Camp Dates Announced For 2016 - Registration Now Open

The 6th Annual Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy will be held June 8-11, 2016. We have an outstanding lineup of clinicians scheduled to be on hand. The camp will once again conclude with the track and field portion of the Bluegrass State Games. We are also working on adding a cross country program to our camp in 2016. Please check back for more details as they become available. We hope you can join us for 3 1/2 days of track and field fun!

Registration is also now open. You can choose to pay in full, or pay a $100 non-refundable deposit.

If you have any questions, please contact Lisa Owens at lisa.owens@centre.edu

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2015 Camp Lineup Announced

Registration will open March 1st for the 5th annual Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy to be held June 10th - 13th, 2015, 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.

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


Dwight Phillips

Dwight Phillips will be working with our long and triple jumpers again this year. This will be his second year as a clinician. 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.


Aretha Thurmond


Aretha Thurmond will be working with our
throwers this year. This will be Aretha's second year as a clinician. Aretha is a 4 time Olympian, most recently in 2012 where she served as women's team captain as selected by her peers. She is a 4-time US Outdoor Champion, and 3-time runner-up with a PR in the discus of 216' 1". She has also thrown 52' 2 1/2" in the shot.
  

Rose Monday
Rose Monday will be working with our distance and middle distance runners this year. She has competed in 4 Olympic Trials. Having competed at a high level for many years, she won the US Indoor Championship in the 800m in 1985, and was the Masters World Champion in the 800m in 2001. Considered one of the best minds in middle distance/distance running in the US today, she was selected as the US Olympic Team Assistant Coach for Endurance Athletes in 2012. 

Terrence Trammell
  

Terrence Trammell will be working with our 100m and 110m hurdlers.  Terrence is one of the most decorated US hurdlers in the recent past. He is a 3-time Olympian, winning silver in both 2000, and 2004. He is a 3-time NCAA champion, 1-time World champion, and 3-time US champion. He also finished 2nd at the World Championships 3 times.

Darvis "Doc" Patton
Darvis "Doc" Patton will be working with our sprinters this year. Doc has been one of the top sprinters in the US for the past decade. He is a 3-time Olympian, winning 2 silver medals in the 4 x 100m relay. He has PR's of 9.89 in the 100m, and 20.03 in the 200m.
Gwen Wentland-Mikinski

Gwen Wentland-Mikinski will be working with our high jumpers this year. She is the 2012 US Olympic Team Women's Jumps and Combined Events Coach. She is a 2-time US champion. She also set the US Record in the Masters (40-44) Division in 2013 by jumping 5' 9 3/4".

Tim Mack
Tim Mack will work with our pole vaulters this year. He won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics, and broke the Olympic record by vaulting 19' 6 1/4". He currently coaches 9 elite pole vaulters, including the #1 ranked US pole vaulter, Mark Hollis.

Lisa Owens
If you have questions regarding the camp, please contact
Camp Director, Lisa Owens by e-mail at: lisa.owens@centre.edu, or by phone at (859) 238-5494

Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Dates Announced

The 5th Annual Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy will be held on June 10th - 13th, 2015. We are still working on our lineup of clinicians, so keep checking back for more information.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maximum Velocity Event Connects Olympics, Local Athletes in Danville

Follow Cody and the Jessamine Journal on Twitter at @thejj_sports
 
DANVILLE, Ky — It was an experience that could almost be described as surreal for seven local athletes and two assistant track coaches|


East Jessamine’s Jade Jenkins, right, was instructed by
Olympian Dwight Phillips during a long-jump drill Friday
at Centre College in Danville.
Where could you go spend three days with eight Olympians — two of whom are current world-
record holders — and a three-time U.S. national-champion pole vaulter? Surprisingly, the answer is Danville’s Centre College for Maximum Velocity.
 
From Wednesday, June 11, to Friday, June 13, West Jessamine High School’s Conner Chess, Susanna McDaniel and assistant coach Caleb McDaniel joined East Jessamine’s Austin Yates, Jade Jenkins, Stephanie Snyders and assistant Cindy Reilly, in addition to West’s assistant baseball coach Steven Shearer’s sons, Cade and Cooper at the event.
 
A total of nine world-class athletes headed up the clinics for the camp held at Centre, which concluded Saturday with the Bluegrass State Games.
 
Maximum Velocity, was a dream come true for Centre College track and field and cross-country head coach Lisa Owens. It all started when Owens met her long-time idol Jackie Joyner-Kersee five years ago. At that time, Owens pitched Joyner-Kersee the idea of doing an overnight camp at the college. Considered by many to be one of the best female athletes to ever live, Joyner-Kersee was instrumental in helping develop the camp in its first two years. Joined by Sharrieffa Barksdale, a 1984 Olympian in the 400-meter hurdles, the athletes drew interest from what looks like a who’s who in the track and field record books. An impressive list of athletes have shown up over last four years to coach the camp athletes ranging from ages 12-19.
 
Barksdale continues to coordinate the Olympic athletes each year. Her vibrant nature and inspirational manner gets the campers motivated. Barksdale’s loud shouts of “Work” at any given time throughout the day demands the campers’ response with “Hard.”
 
The camp introduction was made on Wednesday afternoon by Owens. She went on to introduce the first four clinicians, which included Jamie Nieto, a two-time Olympic high jumper; 2012 gold medalist Aries Merritt (men’s 110-meter hurdles and current world record holder); bobsled and sprinting gold- and silver-medalist Lauryn Williams; and three-time pole-vaulting national champion Mark Hollis.
 
Remaining Olympians arrived Thursday with the welcoming of two-time Olympian and long-jump gold-medal winner Dwight Phillips; Hazel Clark-Riley, a middle distance-runner and three-time Olympian with seven U.S. titles in the 800-meter women’s run; Olympic discus gold-medalist Stefanie Brown-Trafton; and Kevin Young, who is the only man to ever run a sub-47-second time in the 400-meter hurdles.
 
“I can’t describe what an incredible opportunity this was. I signed on as a parent/coach. They allow you to kind of follow them around and watch — even ask questions. I definitely took a lot of notes. It just felt kind of dream-like to find myself on a college track having a world-record holder (Kevin Young) and a five-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist (Dwight Phillips) give me advice and coaching tips,” Reilly said. “We will be back. Hopefully with a lot more athletes. I know Jade and Austin really benefited from this camp.”
 
Campers from as far away as New York and Texas attended last week’s festivities, with ages of athletes ranging from middle school to college.
 
“We have a couple of great hurdlers moving up from our middle school joining our team at West this coming year. They both placed at states last year. This was a great opportunity for me to pick up some tips for them from two world-record holders (Aries Merritt and Kevin Young), being in the same place,” McDaniel said. “I also picked up some field-event tips from Dwight Phillips and Jamie Nieto. It was a great experience for Conner and Susanna.”
 
Owens said she wanted to emphasize what a great sport track is and how it is a building block for many other sports. All sports require speed, endurance and strength, and track and field can build confidence, Owens said.
 
As part of Maximum Velocity, all campers were invited to the Bluegrass State Track and Field Meet also held at Centre College on Saturday. The Bluegrass Games are broken down by age group, allowing entire families to get out and join the fun. Even events that aren’t usually seen at a local level, including the javelin, steeple chase and Hammer, were included in the meet.
 
McDaniel highlighted the games’ action for local athletes as he won his age group in the high jump with a height of 6 feed, 6 inches.

Getting Olympians All at Centre College an Amazing Feat

Posted: Sunday, June 22, 2014 5:36 am

Aries Merritt, the gold medalist in the men’s 110-meter
hurdles at the 2012 Olympics, talks with athletes as they take a
break from training at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field
Academy at Centre College. “I loved this camp,” Merritt said.
Sarah Hayhurst, left, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who will
 compete for Centre College next year, watches video of her
pole vault attempt with instructor Mark Hollis.Photos
by Mike Marsee/mmarsee@amnews.com
she’s not used to seeing so many of them in a small town like Danville working at a camp like they have been at the Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy at Centre College.

“I am amazed at who has been here,” said Williams, one of only five people ever to win a medal in the Winter and Summer Olympics. “To get these people in the same room — and not just smiling and waving at you but actually working and coaching — is an amazing feat.

Instructor Jamie Nieto, who just missed a medal in
the 2012 London Olympics, watches high jumpers
work on their steps during a drill.
 “If more people knew about this camp, they would be here because it’s hard to get us all in the same place, or even just get one of us to do this. But to have so many Olympians here at one time is just a blessing for all these kids because they can learn so much.”
 
The camp, directed by Centre track coach Lisa Owens, opened Wednesday and ended Saturday with participants competing in the Bluegrass State Games on the Centre track.


Centre College Athletes Enjoy Working with Olympians, Participants at Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy

Posted: Saturday, June 21, 2014 11:00 am
Lauryn Williams and Emily Akin
 The recent Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College gave current Centre track team members, and alumni, a chance to work with Olympians like world record holders Aries Merritt and Kevin Young as well as Lauryn Williams, one of only five people ever to win medals in both the Winter and Summer Olympics.


Centre coach Lisa Owens, the camp director, also had other Olympians who had won gold medals to work with youngsters at the three-day camp that attracted participants from various states and gave the Centre athletes a chance both to coach and learn.
Freshmen Calvin Steber of Danville and Connor Rohrbaugh of Knoxville along with junior Emily Akin of Cincinnati and former Colonel Emily Niehaus shared their perspective on the camp.
 
Question: Why did you want to work the track camp?
 
Emily Akin: "I wanted to work Maximum Velocity again because it has become such a highlight of my summer. I have attended the camp as either a participant or counselor since its very first summer and it has been such a pleasure to watch it grow into one of the premiere camps in the nation. I have watched the same campers return every year and bring new friends with them. MVTFA has one of the greatest senses of family that you will find at any athletic camp."
 
Calvin Steber: "I was free for that part of the summer and Coach (Lisa Owens) needed counselors."

Emily Niehaus: "I wanted to work the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy because this

Connor Rohrbaugh, Stephanie
Brown-Trafton,  and Emily Niehaus
camp embodies what I love/loved most about my alma mater, Centre College: personal education & extraordinary success. MVTFA connects impressionable youth to elite-level athletes in an intimate and earnest manner. The 12-18 year olds see first-hand that track and field national champions, Olympians, Olympic-gold medalists, and world-record holders are real people. They catch a glimpse of all the diligence and ups and downs that these elite athletes experience/d and, hopefully, realize that being an Olympian and/or pro-athlete isn't just genetics. It's in combination with tons and tons of passion and hard work. Additionally, the kids see that track and field provided an avenue for all of them to earn a solid education at a reduced cost. 
"Furthermore, and just as important, these young students are connected with NCAA Division III athletes (us, the camp counselors). We compete and work with diligence to represent Centre College via athletics without being paid a single dime. We will likely never set foot at USATF nationals nor the Olympic stage. Yet there we are at a camp spending our time daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. striving to show these students how amazing track and field is. For the 99.9 percent of the kids that won't make it to the Olympics, us Division III athletes show the junior high and high school students another capacity that a person can love the greatest sport on planet earth (track and field). We act as mentors and liaisons for these youth to explore how track and field could fit into their future, even if their genetics don't allow for them to sign a full-ride scholarship to a top track program in the nation."

Connor Rohrbaugh: "I wanted to work this camp because I love working and coaching with athletes! I have coached my 10-year-old little brother in all of his sports for many years and I love coaching as well as learning and this seemed like a great opportunity."
 
Question: What stood out to you the most about the Olympians who worked as clinicians?
 
Akin: "I say this every summer, but I think what impresses me most about the clinicians is their passion and humbleness. They are so willing to share every once of knowledge they have about their sport and are genuinely impressed with the next generation of athletes they work with."

Steber: "In the individual training groups the Olympians were able to make a bond with there kids and really give them useful advice that I wish I had known when starting out with my training."

Niehaus: "What stuck out the most to me about the Olympians/clinicians is that each of their respective journeys to the Olympics/elite-level was as different as all the 20 plus track and field events. None of their journeys were easy or simple. All had seasons and seasons and years and years of disappointments, yet stuck it out to become the successes they are."

Rohrbaugh: "The one thing that stood out to me with the Olympians is how much fun they had teaching and how approachable they were. They were very helpful and very patient with everyone."

Question: Which Olympic athlete impressed you the most and why?

Akin: "This summer I was really impressed by Lauryn Williams. She is small but mighty and brought not only a great passion for the sport and fantastic instruction in the sprint events, but a new perspective on the athletic journey since she has experience as both a summer and winter Olympian. I also enjoyed working closely with Hazel, who recognized that though not everyone can become an Olympian, we can all strive to be the best in whatever we pursue."

Steber: "I think Lauryn Williams impressed me the most with her support of her athletes and ability to know almost all the kids by name. She also was the most humble of the Olympians from what I saw at the camp."

Niehaus: "Stephanie Brown-Trafton impressed me the most of all the clinicians. She has managed to balance a real-life career, marriage, and motherhood all while earning an American record and Olympic gold medal. As a Centre College 2012 graduate with many of my friend starting careers and/or families, I can't imagine how Stephanie managed this level of dedication to the discus and her family. This is all in spite of the tough cards she was dealt as a young girl, including the death of her mother."

Rohrbaugh: "Well I may be partial because it was the group I worked with but, I feel that Stephanie Brown-Trafton did an incredible job! She worked with kids who had been throwing their whole lives and some who hadn't ever thrown once before and was able to help improve all skill levels. Also, she threw some with us and was very down to earth."

Question: What do you think you got from the camp experience?

Akin: "I think I took away a renewed vigor for summer training as I prepare for my final cross country and track seasons as a college athlete. The camp is such an illustration of the power of hard work and dedication. I will never forget wearing Lauryn's gold medal- that was the highlight of my summer for sure."

Steber: "I gained a better knowledge of many different aspects of track and made some friends while doing it."

Niehaus: "I was blessed for this to be my third year working with the MVTFA camp. Every year I walk away from MVTFA with more and more friends and solid memories. I even stay in touch with some of the campers throughout their following tf seasons and love seeing the kids taking what they learned from the camp and applying in their own lives. The campers tire out us counselors, but provide an endless amount of energy and hilarity!
 
"Every year I have learned something from the clinicians that I then take back to the students that I personally coach. I know that I will continue to use the knowledge/perspectives that I learn every year at the MVTFA for years to come as I coach after pharmacy school.
 
"Additionally, the clinicians, especially the older ones, provide a glimpse into track and field history and where its headed in the future: Rose Monday discussing her and NCAA Division III phenome Edwin Moses drafting the first anti-doping policy that the USA track and field governing body accepted or Francie Larrieu Smith describing her first Olympic experience at the age of 19 at a time when even California did not have girls on their high school track teams."
 
Rohrbaugh: "I feel like I learned how I should really train my body as an athlete and how important drill work really is and I also learned how hard it can be to be patient with the ones you are coaching so I should be a little more sympathetic to my coaches as well."

Monday, June 16, 2014

Track Career Turned Tut Best for Olympian Hazel Clark-Riley

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2014 3:30 pm
Instructor Hazel Clark-Riley, an Olympic
 medalists, runs with a group of middle
school athletes during the Maximum
Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College.
"Through working with the kids, we might inspire
them to stick with their sport. We can change their lives,"
said Clark-Riley, a three-time Olympian.
(Mike Marsee/marsee@amnews.com)
In 2000, a rumor circulated through the Olympic village before Team America's talent show that Hazel Clark-Riley, a middle-distance runner, was a singer and planned on dropping everything to pursue a career in music.
 
It turns out that this story was concocted by Clark-Riley and her friends to catch the team off-guard when she actually got up to sing. When she made the Olympic team again in 2004 and 2008, she repeated the story to the new members who, after listening to her perform, "didn't want to tell (her) that (she) was awful."
 

Though she may never become a famous musician, Clark-Riley is still a well-known athlete who has run the 800 meters at three Olympic games. Her personal best is 1:57.99.
 
She also comes from a rather famous family: her older sister is a four-time Olympian while her father, a high school educator, was the inspiration for the film "Lean On Me." Because her siblings were involved in sports, Clark-Riley tried to find one that she enjoyed.
 
"I tried figure-skating first," she said during a break at the Maximum Velocity Track & Field Academy at Centre College, "but I would always fall on the ice. I tried equestrians and soccer...I tried everything."
 
Eventually, her father took her to a track meet where she ended up in last place. She persevered, and a year later, she was the number-one high school runner in the nation.
 
"I got offers from everywhere, including places like Stanford," Clark-Riley said, "but I chose the University of Florida, where my brother (J.J. Clark) was coaching at the time."
 
While at Florida, she won five NCAA titles and was inducted into their Hall of Fame in 2012. She has since gone on to be "number-one in the nation at every level." The secret to maintaining her longevity, she said, was having a great support group.
 
The Olympic games were often a family affair for Clark-Riley, as her brother coached her, her sister Joetta, and sister-in-law, Jearl, prior to the 2000 Olympic games. The trio went on to place first-second-third in the 800 meters and made history. Because of this, the Sydney Olympics are her favorite out of the three games she has attended.
 
"Anyone who went will tell you that Australia was the best," she said. "It was beautiful. They went all-out with the Olympic village. There were movie theaters and hair salons, anything you could think of."
 
Now, Clark-Riley is acting as a clinician for the middle distance runners at the Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy, an intensive four-day camp held on Centre's campus. She recently returned from running a track clinic in Fiji with fellow Olympian and clinician Dwight Phillips; the two have their own company and travel three to four times a month to host track clinics around the world.
 
"We have the power to impact lives," she said. "Through working with the kids, we might inspire them to stick with their sport. We can change their lives."
 
When teaching the kids about track and about life, she draws from her own experiences.
 
"My career wasn't perfect," she said. "There were a lot of ups and downs. I try to teach them that sometimes, you have to make sacrifices to get what you want. There were days when I would have to get up at six a.m. and run when I didn't want to. Things worth having aren't easy to get."
 
She also tries to teach the kids to support one another and "live a life of service."
 
At the end of their week together, Clark-Riley hopes that the kids will take away a crucial life lesson -- to never give up.
 
"Everyone can go through the ups and downs of life and overcome," she said. "I want them to know that they can achieve whatever they set their minds to. They can win a gold medal in whatever they choose to do in life."