Lemon Bay Grad Gives Back

Danny Duncan will be the first to admit he wasn't a superstar athlete. His first love was baseball, not running, but through his best friend David Tomchinsky that soon changed. Tomchinsky didn't make the baseball team in high school, but Duncan did.  Although, his friend wasn't good at baseball he made up for it on the track. Then a Lemon Bay junior, Duncan took notice and thus his passion for running was born.
 
"I ran track my last two years of high school and cross country my senior year. my best mile in high school was a 4:59, I wasn't to good. I learned a lot though and kept with it, it's a great sport and really teaches you a lot of life lessons. The saying what you put into it, is what you will get out of it couldn't be more true with the sport."
 
Duncan fell ill with the swine flu his senior cross country season. It also put a damper on his track plans and left him sidelined for several months. A lot of his running knowledge came by surfing countless hours on the internet studying, reading books, and self teaching. He wasn't an expert by any means, but knew what athletes had to go through, the skills plus those intangibles like hard work and passion.
 
"I felt strongly I could give them the knowledge to succeed that I never got."
 
As a result, he started doing personal training for various sports including baseball, basketball and running.  Duncan took what he learned on his own and from his mentor Kerry Sullivan and has spread that information with his athletes. He says he uses similar methods that Sullivan uses at his Athletes Performance Training Facility.
 
"I strive to do what they are doing and immitate everything I can do to provide the same results. It's not hard to train various sports, but is a lot more time consuming. You have to structure everything out to sport specific but the results really make it worth it. Honestly, I love training basketball players, but runners are by far my favorite."
 
Last year, Duncan took four runners to Gainesville, Florida for the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Youth Meet.  He learned quickly what went into the process including fundraising for gas, uniforms, and race entry. He says it was a great experience to coach a few kids at a competitive meet, but it wasn't a one time deal. In 2013, he plans to send not just a couple of runners to the Jimmy Carnes Indoor Youth Meet, but a team.
 
"I got everything together and networked a little bit and started the team. We have had some good feedback. The main plan was to get over ten serious runners and work from there. I should have close to twenty  for this year which is great."
 
The idea came from the lack of serious running in his area. He witnessed the outside activities that were proving detramental to his friends and peers and wanted to provide an alternative. He says in his eyes their is a ton of talent that is not being used.
 
"I know tons of people that could have been amazing runners, I have seen running change peoples lives. Any athlete that wants to run and is living in poverty, I will get them entered into races and provide uniforms if they show me they deserve it. Nothing in life is free, I want everyone to have the opportunity to run if they desire too, I will teach them the importance of hard work and they will learn tools that will help them through the rest of their lives."
 
His goal is to have every athlete he coaches earn a scholarship when they reach their senior year. So far he is batting 1000.  Duncan is 2-2 and knows that the hard work he is putting in with these kids to reach their full potential is finally paying dividends. He says its great to see the athletes doing workouts, busting their butts, and pushing each other to be the best with no complaints.
 
"I stress the importance of hard work, never quitting and always believing in your dreams. We are a very young group and I am a young coach (20 years old), but I guarantee a ton of success with them. To have a club in my community that every athlete at every age knows about is important."
 

Duncan To Host Fundraiser Featuring Pro Triathlete and Olympic Hopeful Lukas Verzbicas

Passionate. That is the one word comes to mind when I think of Danny Duncan. His track club is an endeavor he is driven to see succeed. Helping aid in that process is a fundraiser Duncan will be putting on with professional triathlete and Olympic hopeful Lukas Verzbicas. Duncan got involved with triathalons since competing for Lemon Bay and has been in touch with Verzbicas.  The two have stayed in touch and and Verzbicas will be in town for a fundraising event January 19th, 3:30 p.m., at  Ann Dever Memorial Regional Park. He is scheduled to do a meet and greet with athletes as well as give out training advice, and tips on how to succeed. Duncan says anyone who wants to meet Lukas or support the track team is welcome to attend and says its an honor to have an athlete or Verzbicas' caliber donate his time for this event.

"It takes someone who really cares to come out to my event completely free and do this to support a youth track team. I think every athlete should have someone to look up to, a good role model and someone to strive to be like. Personally, I want to be like Lukas and I don't know anyone who wouldn't."
 

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