Track events not as simple as they look

Published 7:07 pm Saturday, April 6, 2013

On the face of it, track and field seems like a simple sport. It involves running, jumping, throwing and vaulting. It seems like one could quickly learn basic technique and then just do each event with gusto. But I have learned there is a more to this sport, as there is with most.

I thought it made sense when King’s Fork High School junior Gabrielle Snipes explained she has been aided by a practice activity called the repeat 200. For this, she and other sprinters will run back-to-back 200 meter sprints. They may do 10 in sets of five with a break in between. This obviously helps develop endurance and probably overall speed, but Snipes went into greater detail.

“It’s working on our curve of the 200, and then working on our form for the rest of the 100,” she said.

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This talk of the “curve” highlights the importance of how a runner is moving his or her body when making the turn on the track. Snipes further related what she does to reduce her time in an event.

“Coming around the curve is one of the main things and really working on my drive phase,” she said.

The drive phase refers to very beginning of the race, when a sprinter has to launch from a stopped position and rapidly gain speed.

These are just a couple of things related to kinesiology, the study of muscular movement. This and the discussion of strict diet control from the Nansemond River High School state champion indoor relay team has made me appreciate that there is more to track and field than may initially meet the eye.

 KFHS coach recalls former player

In light of the recent accolades received by University of North Carolina Charlotte softball player Lindsey Holloman for her surge on offense, King’s Fork High School’s Richard Froemel recalled the days when he coached her. He actually remembered her for her pitching.

“With her work ethic and the way she threw the ball, it just kind of blew me away,” he said. “For a 10th-grader to come in and throw like that, very similar to what (Sydney Wash) is doing, I just knew that was going to be it for her. And I was surprised that (UNC Charlotte doesn’t) use her as a pitcher, not even her freshman year. When she wasn’t pitching for me, she played third.”

Holloman, a senior, logged some time at third at early on at UNC Charlotte. She has had only limited field time as of late, but she has made the adjustment to still be a key contributor.

Former Lady Bulldog adapts at college level

Fellow King’s Fork alum Megan Blythe is a freshman at the University of West Virginia Institute of Technology and has already learned the importance of being adaptable at the college level. WVU Tech coach Karin Gadberry recruited her to play third base, but he has actually been playing her in left field.

“She has an extremely strong arm,” Gadberry said. “She can throw it all the way from the outfield to home plate, and so it just was a great fit for her to play leftfield for us this year.”