THE RUNNER'S RUNNER
I've long wanted to write about Justina Cassavell. My sister has been the cross-country coach at Voorhees High School in New Jersey since the mid 1990s. She is also the head track coach and#40;boys and girlsand#41;. She announced her resignation yesterday - within minutes it seemed, the story was posted on NJ.com.Under her leadership, the girls cross-country team has been one of the best teams in not just the state, but in the northeast. One local paper summed up her accomplishments: "Cassavell is recognized as one of the top coaches of distance runners, male or female, in New Jersey state history." She was inducted into the NJSIAA Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame. Her team has won eight sectional titles, eight state titles, and three Meet of Champions titles and#40;I think I have those stats rightand#41;. In recent years, they've also qualified for national competitions three times and#40;placing first or second in the northeast in 2007, 2010 and 2012and#41;. In addition, she's coached individual ru [Read More
published May 9, 2013 at 2:26pm EDT
NOT JUST FOR THE PROS: STEROID USAGE AMONG GIRLS
Sports fans know that many sports, at varying times and frequencies, are plagued by the use of steroids.andnbsp;andnbsp;Steroid scandal has hit professional athletes in track and field, baseball, cycling and gymnastics and#40;to name a fewand#41;.andnbsp;andnbsp;While the use of steroids in professional sports is disturbing, of particular concern is the use of steroids in young girls.andnbsp;andnbsp;Theandnbsp;Center for Disease Control and Prevention and#40;CDCand#41;andnbsp;reports that in 2011 2.9% of high school girls admitted to using steroids.andnbsp;andnbsp;While that figure is down from the all-time high of 5.3% reported in 2003, it is more than double the 1.2% reported in 1991.andnbsp;andnbsp;While steroid use may not be as pervasive among young girls as alcohol or marijuana use, the practice is nothing to be ignored, and efforts should be made to decrease usage among girls.andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;
As defined by theandnbsp;Drug Enforcement Administration and#40;DEAand#41;andnbsp;steroids, or anabolic [Read More
published March 24, 2013 at 8:25pm EDT
PRUDENTIAL SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARDS
We canandrsquo;t help but be inspired when we hear about youth who are using sports for good. This spring, letandrsquo;s honor some young heroes who are changing the world. The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards is honoring several remarkable young students who have used sports to make a difference. The following are just two of these outstanding individuals.
Cassie Wang, 17, of Lenexa, Kansas, is a senior at Olathe Northwest High School. While driving to a golf tournament just after Joplin, Missouriandrsquo;s tornado, Cassie saw firsthand the devastation the tornado had wrought. andldquo;My heart ached as I watched people walk the streets who might not have had a home or bed to sleep in that night,andrdquo; she recalls. Upon returning home, Wang asked local businesses, private donors and her golf fans to make a donation for Joplin relief efforts every time she scored a birdie in a tournament. She publicized her andldquo;Birdies for Charityandrdquo; campaign through brochures, a website and soci [Read More
published March 20, 2013 at 8:59pm EDT
ALLYSON FELIX PRESENTS SARAH BAXTER WITH THE GATORADE NATIONAL RUNNER OF THE YEAR AWARD.
andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp; On Friday, January 25, 2013 Sarah Baxter made her way into history class. She was expecting, like every other school day, to learn about impressive men, women and events of the past. What she didnandrsquo;t anticipate was that she was about to make history herself. Baxter walked into a classroom where four-time Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix was waiting. Felix made her way to the front of the classroom to announce that someone in the room was an outstanding runner. This individual was so impressive that she was recognized nationally for her talent and has just entered the ranks several Olympic and world-renowned athletes, like herself, also did as a high school athletes. andnbsp;Then, Sarah was called up to the podium to accept the Gatorade National Runner of the Year and#40;2012-2013and#41; award.
andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp;andnbsp; Felix explains that andldquo;itandrsquo;s just an amazing thin [Read More
published January 27, 2013 at 10:35am EST
MONTANA FEMALE PREP WRESTLER TAKING UP SPORT FOR HER BROTHER
As women high school wrestling divisions are being developed in states like Washington, California, and New York, some states are still trying to catch up.
Montana has from time to time had females trying out for male teams, but has yet to get enough females to participate to get a full division going. It hasnandrsquo;t stopped Abi Gontarek of Laurel though. She has found some success in her high school career and has earned the respect of her fellow teammates. Gontarek admits one of the reasons she took up the sport was because her brother was unable to compete his senior year due to an injury.
Billings CBS TV station Q2 did a story on her decision to wrestle with the boys.
You can watch the video here
published January 24, 2013 at 5:31pm EST
ADVICE TO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
Recently I was asked to speak to a student assembly at my high school alma mater, St. Cloud Technical High School in St. Cloud Minnesota. Go Tigers! Although I lecture to college students everyday, I suddenly was fearful I had nothing of worth to say to high school students. I decided to tell them what I wish I would of known in high school. So here are 5 things I came up with:
1. High school is not the andldquo;best time of your lifeandrdquo;, this is a marketing gimmick used to sell class rings. High school for some can be a painful time of puberty, hazing, bullying, isolation, identity crisis, friendship and romantic relationship turmoil, mental health issues, and trying on new ideas to name a few. The best days of your life are ahead!
2. Follow your passion. Listen to yourself and follow your instincts to do what you love. Life is too short to do something, whether it be a sport, job, or relationship, you are not happy doing. Follow your positive energy. A book Iandrsquo;m excited to r [Read More
published December 17, 2012 at 4:20pm EST
BANDITS RELEASE DATES FOR 2013 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS OPPORTUNITIES
BANDITS RELEASE DATES FOR 2013 FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS OPPORTUNITIESHigh School Teams Get Chance to Play at Rosemont Stadium
ROSEMONT andndash; The Chicago Bandits announced today that they will host five dates of Friday Night Lights games this upcoming spring in games that will feature some of the best high school competition throughout Illinois.Beginning with two games on Friday, March 29 and continuing until the start of the Illinois High School Association and#40;IHSAand#41; playoffs in late May the Bandits will provide this unique opportunity for up to as many as four teams a night to play under the lights at The Ballpark at Rosemont.In addition to March 29, Friday Night Lights games will be hosted on April 12, May 3, May 10 and May 17.andldquo;Last season was a huge success for the Friday Night Lights opportunity and weandrsquo;re really looking forward to hosting more games this season in Rosemont,andrdquo; stated Bandits GM Aaron M. Moore.andnbsp; andldquo;The two games we had last year featured [Read More
published November 10, 2012 at 12:48pm EST
CREATING STABILITY IN T AND F CONTRACTS
CREATING STABILITY IN TRACK andamp; FIELD CONTRACTS
My last journal detailed the various track andamp; field contracts from gear to lucrative base salaries offered by shoe companies.andnbsp; I want to explain the funding of track and field and give my opinion about creating stability in track andamp; field contracts.andnbsp; The United States, USOC and USATF donandrsquo;t fully support the athletes or the coaches therefore the shoe companies keep the sport afloat.andnbsp;
The USOC, United States Olympic Committee, oversees the National Governing Bodies and#40;NGBand#41; of the Olympic sports with a budget of roughly $150 million. Several colleges have athletic budgets that are comparable to the entire USOC budget.andnbsp;andnbsp; The United States is one of a handful of governments of the andldquo;wealthyandrdquo; nations that does not fund the athletes or the Olympic Committee.andnbsp; It has been noted that it is difficult to ask the government for money when we have won the medal count five t [Read More
published November 6, 2012 at 5:08pm EST
CONVENIENT REVERENCE: FORWARD WITH SCHOLARSHIPS (PT. 1)
[Originally written as a discursive paper for conference presentation]
'On the judicious use of university athletic scholarships to increase the number of British champions and better a nation's sporting culture'
London 2012's biggest question mark wasn't about bricking the stadium, working the underground, keeping people secure. It wasn't about medal tallies or fair ticketing. The biggest question mark came afterward. LOCOG neatly repackaged its fractured aspects as andldquo;legacyandrdquo;, and plenty of people have since taken to Twitter, to the BBC, to the letters pages of newspapers to decry the change in funding and the slashing of events for Rio, now the world's eyes are no longer on us.
But to call it legacy is perhaps unhelpful. A legacy is what's left over when you're dead, when you're gone. It's a politician's word, a watch you leave to your son, a bunch of bad laws that take an age to unpick. It would be more helpful to c [Read More
published October 12, 2012 at 10:08am EDT