Meet The Florida Track & Field Hall Of Fame 2016 Inductees Ralph Epifanio Jan 19, 2016

With Florida's rich history of track and field, it is only appropriate to recognize those individuals who have represented and honored it with their remarkable talents. Each year, the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Clinic includes the Florida Track & Field Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in its conference schedule to remind us-and its inductees-that their legendary accomplishments will not be forgotten. With that in mind, here are the most recent additions.

2016 Rule Changes for Track and Field Ralph Epifanio Jan 13, 2016

Although posted on July 8, 2015 from Indianapolis, the track and field rule changes that will begin to take effect with the 2016 track season were introduced at this year's FACA conference by Ed Thompson of the FHSAA (pictured above). What follows are the NFHS (National Federation of High School) rules, which may be adapted either in toto, or modified to meet local (Florida) specifications (as happened with the well-discussed 2015 jewelry rule). After the rule changes is a summary of the discussion that followed.

The Passing of Pat Petersen - A Long Island Legend Ralph Epifanio Dec 23, 2015

Earlier this year, I attended the funeral of an old friend, Pat Petersen. Although almost exactly ten years younger than me--with athletic abilities light years ahead--we were both products of that golden age of running which occurred (roughly) from the late-1970s to the early 90s. This was before running became the professional, corporate-sponsored, ego-centric, elitist sport of today. In those days, we "raced with the stars." Our heroes met on Wednesday evenings at the high school track for speed work, and on Sunday mornings at the local running store for long runs.

Ralph's Musings: 4A 1 AKA Region Of Death Ralph Epifanio Nov 01, 2015

In the grand scheme of things, Cross country is a sport that is all about timing. From that first step in August, to the last in October--if one is so blessed--it should last 12 weeks, give or take a few days. It is those few days that a potentially successful season could be circumscribed.

Ralph's Musings: 4A District 2 Championship Ralph Epifanio Oct 25, 2015

When things get serious, the serious get things done, and certainly that was the case with this race. With one eye on the competition, and the other on advancement, each athlete, and each team in turn, had a goal to extend their season at least one more week.

East Meets West in Mid-Week Metros Ralph Epifanio Oct 15, 2015

Staged at the Westfield Country Club in Bithlo, 17 schools (in all or in part) divided up into an East-West competition that was a warm-up of the State Championship series. Ralph Epifanio recaps the action!

Measuring Up: The Essex Invitational, New England Championships Qualifier Ralph Epifanio May 31, 2015

Competing in a state bounded by two major watershedsChamplain and Connecticutthis meet’s athletes came from places with such colorful names as the Green Mountains and White River Junction; the Northeast Kingdom and the Region of Islands and Farms; winter ski centers like Killington and Stowe (can you hear the sound of music?), and summer vacation paradises like the Champlain Valley and Smuggler’s Notch.

Ralph's Musings: Embry Riddle Spikes Classic Ralph Epifanio Apr 07, 2015

Back in twenty-aught-eight, the first year that "Spikes" appeared as the name of this meet (Spikes, the meet's sponsor, is an athletic shoe store in Holly Hill, Florida), the final results contained all of five colleges (ERAU among them), and four high schools.

ERAU Favorite Alum Sam Vazquez Comes Back For Spikes Classic Ralph Epifanio Apr 06, 2015

Nearly 100 teams settled in to every available nook and cranny of the beautiful and spacious Embry Riddle Sports Complex, as competitors ranging from middle school to masters age groups pushed the limits of athletic performance. Included among them were national and international stars, not the least of which was ERAU alumnus (and Florida high school 4:02.46 1600 record holder) Sam Vazquez.

At the End of the Road: A Tale of Two Women Ralph Epifanio Mar 19, 2015

Every distance runner knows that the road ahead is full of twists and turns. Turn right and your miles fly by effortlessly. Turn left and everything goes wrong. Here is where a wrong turn of events ended in the worst finish line imaginable.

A Halliday Classic Ralph Epifanio Feb 16, 2015

Although the name might be a work in progress, it certainly was a classic. Blessed by perfect weather, the Flagler track was a fast-moving assembly line of events: (in order) long jump, shot put, discus, pole vault, triple jump, high jump, 600, 100/110 hurdles, 100, 1600, 4 X 100, 300, 400, 300 hurdles, 800, 200, 1200, F/S 1600, and 4 X 4; in and out in 5 ½ hours thank you very much!

Former DeLand Coach Under Hospital Care Ralph Epifanio Feb 14, 2015

It was reported to me that Dale Papineau, former DeLand coach and currently a teacher/coach at Father Lopez, not long ago had a seizure while in class. The resultant fall broke several vertebrae. More recently, these were surgically reinforced.

Let The Race Begin... Ralph Epifanio Feb 13, 2015

"Starting fresh" --probably an overstatement; perhaps "refreshed" might be a more appropriate description—like many of the upper echelon teams in Florida, is Flagler-Palm Coast. With a long history of success under his 11 year reign as head coach at FPC, David Halliday looks forward to 2015 with eager anticipation.

What's Changed? Track & Field Rules For 2015 Ralph Epifanio Feb 10, 2015

Each year, and in each sport, rule changes are included in rule books that govern that sport. Some changes are just in the wording of a rule, some are in the rule itself. There are two reasons for the latter: the sport has changed, or the committee(s) that oversee a sport finds it necessary to "fine tune" a rule in order to make it more compliant with the sport.

FACA: Excellence By Association Ralph Epifanio Jan 12, 2015

In researching history, an interesting perspective is to begin with the present and work your way back. That way you see the way things turned out, and a subsequent look back explains why. (To borrow a phrase from the popular X-Men movie, Days of Future Past; the past and the future are interconnected.)

Winter Park Girls, Lyman Boys Escape 4A-1 Region Of Death Ralph Epifanio Nov 09, 2014

Cross country in the Sunshine State is a lesson in survival. The heat and humidity of its first practices are mind-numbing in intensity, and as the weeks go slowly by, there seems to be no end to its suffocating, energy-draining effects.  Far to the north, however, and almost exactly coinciding with that first team stretch, a few random, red-veined leaves begin to fall in New England. As the days shorten, autumn gradually gains momentum—first in the higher elevations and water-soaked lowlands—and as days turn into weeks, a fiery golden-orange glow spreads steadily southward over the landscape. It would seem that on November 8th, this aforementioned  marathon-a-day march of the season  had arrived with impeccable timing, and greeted the runners (and their entourage) with perfect running weather for Florida’s northernmost 4A Regional.

Essex Invitational Meet Summary Ralph Epifanio Jun 03, 2014

If you can avoid its winter, Vermont is definitely the place to live: vermillion, tree-covered mountains; deep, dramatic, river-forged ravines; fast-flowing streams that invite (seasonal) tubing; inspiring vistas that go on to the horizon. And, adding to that, talented athletes that can bring the first day of spring into sharp focus with their record-breaking performances. The only shortcoming of that picture-perfect imagery was that this year spring finally arrived, more or less, on May 31st.