Mid-Summer Track Update 2011
It is hard to believe Summer Track has already passed its 5th week. There are three more Thursdays in which to participate, two of which have Summer GP events. The last two events are the 3200 this week and the 5000 the following one. These are distances most Gulf Winders are more comfortable with, so I encourage you to come out if you can. Just make sure to let Lisa Unger know your time afterwards if you want it to appear in the results.
While I have only had the opportunity to attend two of the events this summer, I have a few thoughts and observations to get you up to date.
We welcome some new faces this year. John and Rebecca Lightle have attended every week thus far. Rebecca has placed first or second in the featured women’s event each week and is the current points leader. John and Emily Jensenius are another young couple who have been competing well in all events. Recent Deerlake Middle School graduate Laurie Findley, who just started competing in cross country last year, has placed in the top 4 in each event since the 200. Other names that I believe are new include Shanell Turner, who won the women’s 100 and 200 and placed second to Lightle in the 400; Christina Greene, 4th in the 400 and 2nd in the 1600; Terri Goforth who was a high finisher in the sprints; Andrew Smyth, 4th in the 1600; and 14 y.o. Stephen Robbins who was 5th in the 800 (you may also remember the name as the 3rd finisher at Melon Run). I hope I didn’t leave many out. All in all, the level of competition appears to have stepped up a notch with the newcomers.
When I wrote about adult sprinters a month ago, I left out one prominent name. Patrick Detscher has been a quiet but formidable presence the last few years. He may not compete for points, but he is usually out there running from 100 to 400 with intensity.
Summer Track continues to be an event focused on kids, and there have been many enthusiastic ones as always. The Tallahassee Trailblazers AAU team came out last Thursday which increased our numbers about 30 % or so. Fred Deckert’s pictures are an outstanding chronicle of the series with all the smiling faces, determined looks, and at least one fall caught in mid-air.
The men’s point competition is led once again by Ryan Truchelut, who won the 100, 400, and took a close 2nd in the 800. Maclay miler Travis Covert is not far behind, and he ran a strong 4:56 1600 last Thursday following a morning cross country training run. John Jensenius, Tarik Noriega (the 41 y.o. won the overall 200, by the way) and Doug Covert follow. As mentioned above, Rebecca Lightle has a commanding lead in the women’s division, followed by Turner, Findley, Jensenius, Goforth and Greene.
The Harris family are again a strong presence. Kyle was a close 2nd in the 100. Fourteen year old Chase stalked Truchelut in the 800 and then overtook him in a close finish with a strong 2:10. Speaking of the 800, ten year old Caleb ran it in two different heats (the better one a 2:50), then jumped in the 3200 immediately afterwards for good measure.
It should be noted that at last week’s 1600 there was one finisher ahead of Covert. Florida High middle distance runner Joseph Garcia – who just finished his sophomore year – jumped in the last heat of the 400 and left a couple Masters runners like they were standing still. Then after about 10 minutes rest, he led the 1600 from start to finish winning in 4:54. He is not part of the GWTC series so the name does not appear in the posted results. For the rest of us, the event served as a benchmark for our Breakfast on the Track preparation. Travis ran 4:56 as mentioned above. Mike Martinez showed that he may be closer to goal than the rest of us old guys, closing with a 70 second final lap to finish a hair over 5 minutes. Rebecca Lightle won the women’s 1600 in a close race, finishing in 6:28 to Christina Green’s 6:31. Laurie Findley came in 3rd in 6:42.
I continue to be amazed by the medical or injury issues some people have to recover from. For the sake of their privacy, I won’t mention the specifics here. Suffice it to say, though, that I am humbled by their perseverance.
Well, that’s enough names and numbers for one web post. Please feel free to share any special accomplishments and stories with me in the next couple weeks. I will probably send out one more of these before I’m done.