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.
With 30 clinics, 7 presentations, 2 days of track demonstrations (at Embry Riddle), 1 panel discussion and a test--there's always a test--this year's four day conference never stalled. Ralph Epifanio recaps the 2016 FACA Track & Field Clinic.
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.
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.
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 Epifanio was on-site at the 4A Region 1 Championship and captured over 700 photos of all the action as well as candids like this great photo of the top three girls Rafaella Gibbons, Daniela Urzua, and Kayley DeLay who all broke 18 minutes.
Ralph Epifanio was on-site at the 4A Region 1 Championship AKA the Region Of Death and gives us a quick recap before his in-depth story hits the site tomorrow!
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.
Lake Mary's Daniela Urzua and Lyman's Joshua Jacques were victorious at the 4A District 2 Championship while the Lyman boys and Lake Brantley girls captured team titles. Ralph Epifanio has the recap.
Ralph Epifanio gives us an inside look at all the action from the 2015 Metro Conference XC Championships.
Ralph Epifanio gives us an inside look at the 5 Star Conference Championship.
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!
Ralph Epifanio was on-site at the 2015 Metro Conference Championship and snapped over 400 photos as well as some candids. Check out all the photos and make sure to tag yourself.
Ralph Epifanio was on-site at the Embry Riddle ASICS Classic and captured the essence of the meet with photos and this recap!
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.
They don't call 4A 1 the Region of Death for nothing. Ralph Epifanio gives us an inside look at all the action from one of the state's toughest meets!
Ralph Epifanio gives us in-depth detail into all the action from the 4A District 4 Championship.
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.
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.
The ladies and gents of Flagler Palm Coast swept the 2015 Five Star Conference team titles. Ralph Epifanio was on-site and took over 1,100 photos of all the action! Come inside and take a look for yourself.
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.
Long before any of us was born, Sir Isaac Newton compared gravity to the attraction between two objects, in which case most of us are m, the earth is M, and the force between the two keeps m (me) rooted to M (Mother Earth).
While few Florida track coaches have been blessed with such a quandary, down through the ages some pretty famous people have inquired whether or not excess can, in fact, be harmful.
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!
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.
"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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.