Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lexington Herald Leader highlights amazing MVTFA lineup!

Joyner-Kersee, Gay, other stars to hold track camp at Danville

Britain Athletics Great City Games
Lexington native Tyson Gay, center, won the men's 150-meter sprint at the Great City Games in Manchester, England, on May 15. Photo by Anna Gowthorpe - Associated Press

Having brought in an Olympic teammate and successfully pulling off a track and field camp last June, Lexington's Sharrieffa Barksdale has that teammate — the great Jackie Joyner-Kersee — and nine other Olympians coming to Central Kentucky this June.

Included are Lexington sprinter Tyson Gay and former University of Kentucky long-jumper Dwight Phillips.
The Maximum Velocity Track and Field Academy will be held at Centre College in Danville, June 5-8.
Barksdale, former American record-holder in the women's 400-meter hurdles, competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

Joyner-Kersee competed in four Olympics, specializing in the heptathlon and long jump. She won a heptathlon silver in the 1984 Games, then won gold in 1988 at Seoul (with a still-standing world-record 7,291 points) and 1992 at Barcelona. She won a long-jump gold at Seoul, adding bronze finishes at Barcelona and at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

A summary of the other staff members follows.

Tyson Gay: A Lafayette High School graduate who went on to star at Arkansas, he won gold medals in the 100 and 200 meters, as well as the 4-by-100 relay, at the 2007 World Championships. He set the American record in the 100 meters — second-fastest in the world at 9.69 seconds — and competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics at less than 100 percent because of injury. He won a silver medal in the 100 at last year's World Championships.
Dwight Phillips: A Georgian who began his collegiate career at UK and finished at Arizona State, Phillips placed eighth in the long jump at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and won gold in 2004 at Athens. He is a four-time world champion (three outdoors, one indoors) and six-time national champion with a personal best of 28 feet, 81/4 inches.
Johnny Gray: A U.S. Track & Field Hall of Fame member, Gray set an American record in the 800 meters 10 times (five each, indoors and outdoors), with a still-standing outdoor mark of 1:42.60. He competed in four Olympics, highlighted by a bronze-medal finish in 1992. He was ranked No. 1 in the country eight times by Track & Field News magazine.
Jeff Hartwig: A six-time national champion in the pole vault (four outdoors, two indoors), Hartwig is the former American record holder indoors and outdoors with a personal best of 19-91/4. He competed in the 1996 and — at age 40 — the 2008 Olympics.
Kristin Heaston: A four-time national champion (three outdoors, one indoors) in the shot put, she competed in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. Her personal best is 61-53/4.
Aretha Hill-Thurmond: An Olympic discus competitor in 1996, 2004 and 2008, with a best finish of 10th place at the Beijing Games, she is a three-time national champion. She also won Pan American Games gold in 1999 and 2003. Her personal best is 216-1.
Bershawn Jackson: The reigning World and Olympic bronze medalist in the 400-meter hurdles, he won the 2005 World Championships. In addition to winning the 2008 Olympic Trials and three other national titles in the hurdles, he is a two-time indoor champion at 400 meters. His personal best over hurdles is 47.30.
Francie Larrieu Smith: A USATF Hall of Famer, her running career spanned four decades, and included 13 world indoor records and 35 American records in distances ranging from 1,000 meters to two miles. She competed at 1,500 meters in the 1972 and '76 Olympics, and she also made the team that boycotted the 1980 Moscow Games. She placed fifth at 10,000 meters in the 1988 Olympics and placed 12th in the marathon at the 1992 Olympics. Personal bests include 4:05.09 for 1,500 meters, 15:15.20 for 5,000, 31:28.92 for 10,000 and 2:27:15 for the marathon.
Jamie Nieto: Fourth at the 2004 Olympics, he has won high jump national titles indoors and outdoors. He has a personal best of 7-8.
Angela Taylor: The head coach of the U.S. Women's Pan American Games team this year, Taylor is a former hurdler and heptathlete. She ranked 30th in the world in the heptathlon in 1992.

The camp, for boys and girls ages 12-19, will feature instruction in sprints and starting blocks, middle- and long-distance, hurdles, jumps, throws, pole vault, relays, sports nutrition and weight training. Cost is $400 for overnight campers, $315 for commuters and $200 for commuter coaches or parents.

Registration details and other information is available online at http://www.mvtfa.com/.