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Olympian Meb Keflezighi Guest Editor




Lauren Rain Williams

AAU & USATF National Champion

Best Youth Running Shoes Central Florida Gliders









Coming down the stretch at the BCU Track Meet in So. Cal Photo by Smotherman Images



Photo by Smotherman Images

8 Meet Lauren Rain Williams AAU & USATF Champion 22 Central Florida Gliders 12 Break out your training for the year in blocks 28 Ask A Coach

18 Best Youth Running Shoes

6 Guest Editor Olympian Meb Keflezighi

29 Coming up 26 Gadgets

14 Poster 16 Track Shots 2 Photo Spread

On the Cover Lauren Rain Williams Photo by Rebecca Joelson





Meb Keflezighi


ello readers, my name is Mebrahtom Russom Keflezighi. My friends call me Meb. Recently, I qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in the marathon by winning the Olympic Trials.This will be my third time making the USA Olympic Team. I made the team in 2000 in the 10,000 meter event, and in 2004 I made the team in the marathon and earned a Silver Medal. In 2008, I did not make the team due a fracture in my pelvis. At that point in my career, I could have easily quit or retired from the sport. But I believed I had more to achieve in the sport and worked hard (and smart) to get healthy. My commitment to the sport was rewarded in 2009, when I won the ING New York City Marathon. While I am extremely excited about my achievements in the sport of running, there was a day when I didn't even know running was a sport.

As you may know, I was born in Asmara, which is the capital of Eritrea, a small nation in Northeast Africa. From 1961 to 1991, Eritrea was fighting a war of independence against Ethiopia. The dangers associated with this war led my family to immigrate to the United States. When we arrived to the United States 25 years ago, I was 10 years old. I didn't speak any English and didn't wear the "coolest" clothes or shoes. My parents taught me and my 10 siblings that education was the key to life. "Nobody can take your education away from you," my dad would remind us. Our parents encouraged us to work hard and get the best grades possible in every class. So when I was in the 7th grade and our PE teacher told us we had to run a mile and give it our best effort to get a good grade, I gave it my very best. My best effort that day was 5:20 mile, at the age of 12. That is how my God-given talent in running was discovered. Ever since, I have worked very hard to progress and work with people that can help me maximize my potential.  During my senior year in high school, I finished second in the Foot Locker XC Championships. Shortly thereafter, Coach Bob Larsen offered me a full scholarship to UCLA. Amazingly, 18 years later I am still coached by Bob Larsen. I enjoy running because its a fair sport. Everyone starts at the same place and the race is to see who gets to the finish line first. While you work with a team to prepare for the race, you have to execute on race day. There are no time outs or communicating with your coach in the middle of the race. But the beautiful thing about running is the more you run, the better runner you become. So I encourage all of you young runners out there to continue to work hard. The improved performances will come, although not overnight. Remember it is important to be the best you can be, and in order to achieve that goal, you have to give it your best effort...every day.

Run To Win, Meb Keflezighi • 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist (Marathon) • 2009 ING New York City Champion • 2012 Olympic Trials Marathon Champion




Publisher/Editor Dan Kesterson Guest Editor Meb Keflezighi Contributing Writers Cregg Weinmann-Running Network, Stephanie Perleberg, Mick Grant, John Molvar, Alex Cartmill, Jeff Arbogast, Kathe Jackson Art Direction, Design and layout Byron Sina, Sina Design Product Review Team Shelly Wyrick, Jim Franklin, Rasberry Conklin, Kaitlin Christiansen, Jonathan Kaye, Marsha Robinson, Chris Jacobsen Photographers Smotherman Images, Steve Klotz, Photo Run, Dingo Images, George Profit, Rebecca Joelson, Craig Lewis, Ryan Griffin, Matt Brennan Website-Digital-Video Jared Ray, Sean Kesterson, Joel Brosio Thanks The entire crew over at Blue Goose, Dr. Seuss, Chuck, Alex, Lawrence, Debbie, Julie, Clyde, Mr. Bean ADVERTISING-SPONSORSHIPS SUBSCRIPTION RATES US One year: Digital $13.95, Print $19.95 Call 800-999-9718 for customer service, questions, change of address, or to subscribe. PUBLISHED BY Youth Runner Magazine is a registered trademark of GoSportz Media LLC, all rights reserved. Published 5 times a year by GoSportz Media, LLC Copyright 2012, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Editorial contributions are welcome, submit queries to GoSportz Media, LLC, and it’s publisher assumes no liability for the content or opinion of it’s writers or advertisers and reserves the right to reject any advertising at it’s own discretion. Youth Runner recommends that you consult with your coach and your physician on changes with your training, fitness and health issues.



Photo by Smotherman Images


e first did a story on Lauren back when she was seven. Even then, it was clear that she had something to look out for. And last year she has crushed any doubts that she is on track to become the new Queen of Speed. Still, with her name in the record books and an ever-growing trophy case, Lauren is as nice, humble, and happy as ever. Here is an interview we did with Lauren as she is preparing for the upcoming track season. YR: Can you tell us about your first race ever? Like.... were you nervous? Describe your feelings. Were you wearing light up shoes or did you already have some real running shoes? LW: My Mom took me to a fun day activity at a school with a lot of other kids. I didn't know why I was there at first but it turned out to be fun. I ran a couple of races, the 100m and 200m. I won both and was very happy to get the blue ribbons. I wasn't nervous and I had regular running shoes, not spikes. My mom brought me a blue Nike run out fit and I still have it. I had a lot of fun. It was real exciting. YR: Describe some of your best race or track and field moments so far. LW: Well, my first one was when I won the 100m Championship at the 2008 USATF Regional Championships in San Diego California. I was a first year Bantam and hadn’t beat some of the older girls before that day, but my dad told me I could do it and I did. It was great. My second favorite track moment happened when my teammates and I won the 4x100 relay at the 2011 Phoenix Invitational. It was  my first time winning a relay there and it felt good to finally get it. Last was when I ran an 11.94 100m and a 24.04 200m at the 2011 Association Championship. Again my dad told me I could do it that day. I was so happy my races came together so perfect for me. I have many favorite moments but those stand out in my mind.   YR: Some kids listen to music before a big race to stay focused, what do you do to mentally prepare yourself? LW: The night before I think about the race, all the phases and my name on the board with the time I want to achieve. The day of the race after my warm up, in the check in area I think of the end of my race and that’s it. I don’t really listen to music in the warm up area. I try to stay  to myself and focus. YR: We all have an off day now and then, a race that didn't go as planned. How do you manage that?     LW: When I was a sub-bantam I used to have to take a little bit of time to regroup. I would be real disappointed and my mom would walk around with me and talk to me until I felt better. As I have gotten older I have learned to take it in stride and move on the next race. I don’t like to lose, no one does. But it is part of being a winner.    YR: Sounds like you've put a lot of pressure on yourself to be a champion. What do you do to stay

motivated? What makes you tick every morning when you wake up? LW: I don’t pressure myself to win, I want to win. To win you have to work hard at practice and listening to the coaches correction and instruction. It really works. I stay motivated by having short, medium, and long term goals I set for myself and share with my mom and dad. And what makes me tick? It is my faith in God. He gives me strength and courage to do my best at everything I do. He  puts me to sleep at night and wakes me in the morning ready to just take it on.   YR: What are your track goals for this season? LW: My goals are to continue to progress to the highest level possible this season PR’ing in all three of my races, the100m, 200m, and 400m. I want to win 3 Junior Olympic Gold this season. I know it will take a lot of hard work and focus.   YR: What kind of training are you doing now and how will that change as we get closer to nationals?   LW: Generally we are doing speed and speed endurance type work right now, with some resistive training and functional movement instruction with my mom and another sports doctor. It will change as I get closer to the nationals with more focused attention to the details of my races. YR: How about track goals for the future, or as far as you are imagining right now. LW: My short term future goals are to run well throughout high school, winning a state championship or more in my events, making the Youth World Team in 2015 and winning my events. My middle range goal is to attend my favorite college, USC, and win an NCCA Championship. My long range goals is of course making an Olympic team and representing my County, bring back Gold in whatever I run.   YR: What do you want to be when you grow up? LW: I would like to be a Sport Physician that works with  athletes to help them stay injury free. I also would like to work with abused, neglected children.     YR: Who are your role models?    LW: In track and field, Allyson Felix, because she runs the same events as me and she is a great athlete and a Christian like me. When I met her she seemed very nice. My cousin Miah Webb, because she is really smart and focused on her school work and is a hard worker, a good athlete, and she is very kind. Alicia Keyes, 2012 APRIL/MAY | YOUTH RUNNER 9

because she is kind and very helpful to a lot of people and she plays the piano very well. My mommy, because she is inspirational, teaches me lots of things, and she is a great doctor. My dad, because he works very hard to make sure I  always have the best for my training and life in the future. YR: Can you describe yourself in ten words? LW: Kind, caring, independent, happy, courageous, focused, fearless, relentless, powerful and honest. YR: Ok, what is the one word that may describe you the best? LW: Determined. YR: How are your grades in school? LW: My grades are straight A’s. I am very proud of this and I work hard to keep them high. YR: How about a list of your favorites? LW: Music: Bruno Mars, Beyonce  Color: Purple Book: The Child Called It. Breakfast cereal: Corn Chex Animal: Elephant School subject: Health

Movie: The Secret Life of Bee’s Game: Wii Olympics YR: What things do you do besides track? LW: I play volleyball and I learned to surf this summer in Hawaii. It was really, really fun. I also take piano lessons and enjoy singing.. I like going to the mall with friends and family. I love the beach and swimming. YR: How many texts do you send a day? LW: LOL. I don’t have a phone. No texts. YR: What makes you laugh the most? LW: Watching America’s Funniest  Home Videos. YR: Do you have a pet? LW: No. YR: What advice do you have for other kids that are thinking about track? LW: Just try track and field. There are lots of options to compete. It’s fun and there’s lots of travel where you can see friends and meet new ones, too. But it is also hard work and things don’t go as planned. Always do your best and never give up on whatever you do.

Photo by Smotherman Images 10 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2012


2006 Primary Ranking Age group 99’Ranking Top of age group 98’ 100m 15.48          #5 #60 200m  33.05          #2 #78     2007 Primary*      100m 14.36          #1**                                                     200m 29.92          #2   2008 Sub-Bantam               100m 13.63          #1** #14 200m  28.13    #1**   #11 400m  1:07           #3      #43      Long Jump              #8     #31   2009 Bantam* 100m 13.12        #1*                   200m 27.04         #1*       400m 1:01.31     #1 Long Jump 14’.10.50” #1* 2010 Sub-Midget 100m   12.68    #2**   #11 200m   25.69       #1**    #6               4x100m 50.35        #1       #1 4x400m 3:56.63 National  3:56.86 Junior Olympic records   #1*   #1 2011 Midget 100m  11.94     

#1 (fastest girl Sub thru Youth in the nation)                            

200m   24.04         #1 (fastest girl Sub thru Youth in the nation)                             400m    55.31          #1 4x100m 49.59     #1     2011 Lauren wins nine National  Championships 100, 200m, 400 Youth Outdoor Nationals, USATF Junior Olympics 100m 200m 4x100m AAU National Junior Olympic Games 100m,200m 400m. Two age group World Records 100m and 200m Ranked #1 in all events contested. One of  Sports Illustrated Kid’s Top Ten Athlete of  The Year.     *USATF Junior Olympic Championship ** AAU National Junior Olympic Games Championship

Photo by Rebecca Joelson 2012 APRIL/MAY | YOUTH RUNNER 11


BREAKING THE YEAR IN BLOCKS By Mick Grant and John Molvar P

eriodization is a widely used method of planned training to be ready for specific races. The year is broken into blocks, each of which concentrates on specific aspects of training. The goals of the runner will dictate the timing and the length of the different phases in their training. The goals of different runners vary widely, from the runner who only really cares about one target race, once a year to the high school or college runner who is trying to peak 3 seasons each year, to the road racer who wants to run in 40 races a year and everything in between. A periodized year starts with a Base Phase where the focus is on building aerobic endurance. This is followed by an Anaerobic Phase where interval training is used to develop lactic acid tolerance and learn goal race pace. Next is a Racing Phase which includes early season races followed by a tapering period just before the target race of the season. After the final race there the brief End of Season Recovery Phase. Often the end of the Anaerobic Phase will overlap with the beginning of the Race Phase. Our athletes will spend most of their time in base phase endurance training. This is because our main goal is for the runner to be much better next year than he is this year. We also want to build a big aerobic foundation for long term success. This is much more important than running lots and lots of races. We might have ten months of endurance training, including daily distance runs and high aerobic tempo runs, one month of intervals and one month of racing. We are looking specifically at developing young athletes for long term improvement, not shortsighted goals. We need to spend much more time helping young athletes build a good foundation, to help prepare the young athlete for future success and maybe to eventually become an elite athlete. Spend more time on aerobic training, for long term improvement, and less time on interval based anaerobic training, which produces short term peaking. Periodize your schedule to be ready for two primary target races, one track race in the spring/summer and one cross country race in the fall. Do not use anaerobic interval training 12 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2012

in the fall. That season falls into the aerobic endurance phase. We do not to say that running fast is not important. Developing basic speed as much as possible is critical. Spend a little time on it most of the year, but limit the stressful lactic acid building anaerobic interval workouts to just four or five weeks out of the year, at the most. Pre-pubescent children should do no anaerobic interval training. Arthur Lydiard was a critic of coaches who burn out young athletes mentally and physically with too much stressful lactic acid producing anaerobic interval work and over racing due to shortsighted goals. Take a long term approach.

SAMPLE PERIODIZED SCHEDULE Pick the most important race of the year, which might be an outdoor track championship, and count the weeks back to determine the training weeks available. If we want to have “mini-peaks” during cross country and/or indoor track, we can set aside a small amount of training time to get ready for specific races. Our kids were on a year-long program of aerobic endurance development and a weekly set of 6 x 200 to develop basic speed and rhythm (to run fast smoothly and efficiently). The only periodized training for the middle school kids is the type of tempo runs they run. The 200’s start slowly in the fall (mile pace) and work down to something close to 400m pace by Championship time outdoors. Mileage gradually builds by about 1 mile every second or third week. Middle school athletes should be mainly working on conditioning, followed by developing basic speed, and don’t need an overly technical training program. • Develop long run. Add 1-5 minutes to long run every two or three weeks • Add an additional medium long run • Add one or two aerobic “tempo” days. This can be long or short. Mix it up for interest. This is the basic model Mick used to successfully develop youth athletes: We have set Late-July/Early-August for our major target race, usually an outdoor track championship,

and we will set up our training to peak then. We have also set a “mini-peak” for Mid-December. It we want to have “mini-peaks” during cross country and/or indoor track, we can set aside a small amount of training time to get ready for specific races. The primary goal for my kids during the winter is to not get hurt. Too many kids get injured indoors from doing too much anaerobic interval training in poor facilities or poor weather conditions. It is better to safely continue to build an aerobic base than run anaerobic workouts. August through November • Primarily endurance base building which consists of aerobic distance running, alternating slightly slower longer and slightly faster shorter runs, one or two tempo runs per week and one or two long run per week. One or two days are devoted to working on basic speed. No anaerobic lactic acid training. Start with lower mileage and build up. • Incorporate hillier courses into training, a couple of tune-up races and Junior Olympic Cross Country Association and Regional races. Don’t fall into the trap of over-racing. Races are fun and exciting for parents and coaches to WATCH, but kids get better by training, not running too many races. Resist this temptation. Remember, aerobic endurance training is putting money in the bank; racing is taking money out of the bank. December • Taper and “mini-peak” for Junior Olympic Cross Country National Championships. January through late June • Continue endurance base building which primarily consists of aerobic distance running (alternating slightly slower longer and slightly faster shorter runs), one or two tempo runs per week and one or two long runs per week. One or two days include working on basic speed. No anaerobic lactic acid training. Start out with lower mileage and build up. Consider a couple indoor races for fun and to keep the enthusiasm high. Resist the temptation to over-race. Late June to mid July • Slightly reduce mileage (10%) while beginning anaerobic phase (learn goal race pace.) • Run State qualifying race leading up to the target race. Mid July to Mid August • Slightly reduce mileage (10%) • Run Regional qualifying race for Junior Olympics or Hershey’s North American Final. Begin one week taper to freshen for Junior Olympics or Hershey’s North American Final.



L AUREN RAIN W I L L I A M S Photo by Rebecca Joelson



Edward Cheserek was the only high school athlete to compete in the men's elite mile at the New Balance Games and finished seventh with a time of 4:02.21, the second fastest time ever for a U.S. high school student.

Bay Cities Unleashed

Chilling with the Chino Pumas

MJ Griffin rocks the house again at Indoors One determined runner

Max Wilson happy kid who was on the January cover of Youth Runner

Phillip Rocha was back on the medal stand winning 3 gold medals at the USATF Youth Indoor Championships. 16 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2012

Youth Run Nola after the Half

Youth Run Nola ran the Half Marathon at the New Orleans Rock N Roll

Sprinting to the finish

Michael Lupton – Jaguars T. C. in the Long Jump at UAGTCA Shot putter Jordan Wilson, from Morris Estate T. C.

UAGTCA action, Andrew Milham runs the 1500 MR

Photos: Smotherman Images, Ryan Griffin, Max's Mom, Matt Brennan. Jack Bolas and Edward Cheserek photos by Photo Run.

Remember Jack Bolas aka “Air Jack”? We met him at age 10 as a Bantam XC Champ, here he is running in the New Balance Games.


youth running shoes by Cregg Weinmann

The national focus on childhood obesity has prompted a grassroots response by parents, coaches, and educators to start where kids are physically and gradually reverse the trend. Many of the athletic shoe companies—at least eight—are supporting these efforts by broadening their offerings of technical footwear products to equip kids who are adopting new exercise habits. Certainly, the shoemakers benefit from the sales of these additional footwear styles, but the products do promote a healthy activity while reducing or preventing injury during running. Here we give a look across the board at running shoes for kids to train in.

Adidas Supernova Glide 3 The Supernova Glide is the workhorse of the neutral running shoe line from adidas. Its strengths are great cushioning and fit, both in the adult and child versions. The uppers resemble each other with open mesh and synthetic overlays; the ankle collar bears the strongest resemblance. In the child’s version, some of the midsole materials have been substituted to reduce cost. The midsole is a generous slab of EVA, but the adiPrene crashpad has been pared back and the forefoot lacks the extra insert of adiPrene+. The outersole is much the same, but relies on full-length carbon rubber for durability, providing much the same ride as the adult version but scaled for the needs of children, i.e., durability and more flexibility. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Sizes: children 10.5–13.5; youth 1–6 (M width)

$70 ($110 Adult)

ASICS Kayano 17 GS The Kayano is the latest of the quality ASICS shoes to be made available for children. The adult version features great cushioning, fit, and stability, and those attributes are mirrored in the kid’s shoe. The uppers are similar—open mesh and asymmetrical lacing—but the youth version scales down the size of the stretchy Bio-Morphic Fit panels on either side of the eyestay. The midsole has the same healthy chunk of Gel cushioning and the stable contouring that the Kayano is known for, which is great for high-mileage training. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with mild to moderate overpronation Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board (heel) Sizes: youth 1–7 (M width)

$90 ($140 Adult)

Brooks Kid’s Ghost With its balance between high-mileage cushioning and responsiveness, the Ghost has become one of Brooks’ best neutral shoes. The upper of the Kid’s Ghost is a bit tougher than the open mesh of the adult version: closed mesh with supportive overlays. The midsole features the same Hydroflow cushioning, but the foam has fewer pieces and so is a bit less responsive; however, because of the reduced forces exerted by children’s lighter weight, there’s no compromise in performance. The outersole is the typical carbon rubber, including the support in the shank, which is perfectly service-able. The result is a shoe that works well for kids, thanks to its similarity to the adult version. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Sizes: children 10.5–13.5; youth 1–7 (D width) 18 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY 2012

$65 ($100 Adult)

New Balance 860 The 860 has been one of the best-performing stability shoes in the New Balance running shoe line. The KJ860 for children features the same open mesh upper (for its breathability and comfortable fit), with a few materials substitutions to improve durability. The midsole employs the same shaping and geometry as the adult version for stability and cushioning, but features a two-density midsole without the rubbery N-ERGY inserts, which would be little used by the much lighter child-sized runners. The outersole uses a more durable rubber compound over much of the sole, with fewer flex grooves and some extra stitching in the toe cap to extend the life of the shoe. Overall, the performance has been replicated for younger runners to enjoy. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with mild to moderate overpronation Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Sizes: children 10.5–13.5; youth 1–7 (M, W widths)

$60 ($100 Adult)

Nike LunarGlide + 3 The overall success of the LunarGlide franchise, both in sales and performance, has made it among Nike’s most broadly available products: from toddler’s 2C to men’s size 15. The adult version features a wellcushioned and stable ride, and the children’s version has been adapted to provide the same. The uppers are the same—closed mesh with synthetic suede overlays and a supportive thermoplastic heel clip that improves the heel fit and support—except where adapted to the smallest sizes. The midsole is the same Dynamic Support throughout the size range: Lunarlon foam in a Phylite foam carrier that’s shaped for stability and lasting cushioning. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Sizes: children 10.5–13.5; youth 1–6 (M width)

$55 Child $82 Youth ($100 Adult)

Puma Cell Ikonis Jr. The Ikonis doesn’t align directly to a Puma shoe for adults that’s sold in the U.S., but it’s strongly connected to the Complete running line. The upper will look familiar to those acquainted with other Puma running shoes, like the Complete Velosis. The upper is open airmesh supported by synthetic overlays at heel, toe, and eyestay, with additional support from the Puma form-stripe. The midsole is a generous slab of EVA cushioning—simple, but effective. The outersole is full-length carbon rubber, proven for its durability. The performance is a consistent blend of reliable durability and cushioning, which is particularly useful for active children. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Sizes: children 11–13; youth 1–7 (M width)

$45 Child

Reebok Zig Sonic The Zig technology has been an effective cushioning technology for Reebok, and has worked well for sizes all the way from a toddler 4 to a men’s 15. Both the adults’ and children’s versions feature cushioning and fit, a testament to Reebok’s experience making shoes. The uppers are as close to the same as possible: closed mesh, vented through the saddle with minimal overlays and a smooth interior. The midsole is the same corrugated ribbon of EVA that provides its well-cushioned ride, with small patches of carbon rubber in the high-wear areas of the outersole to keep the weight down where possible. Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board Sizes: children 4–13.5; youth 1–7 (M width)

$75 ($100 Adult)

Saucony Kinvara 2 The Kinvara 2 opens the door to minimalism for children in the same way it was brought to its adult line: by offering cushioning and a great fit without anything extra. The upper is stripped down without giving up the touches of comfort where needed. The airmesh and minimal overlays make these shoes light and all the better for running fast. The midsole is responsive and durable ProGrid Lite EVA, proven for its great cushioning, with a slight drop from heel to forefoot of only 4 millimeters. The outersole is arranged in triangle-shaped lugs for traction with carbon rubber only in the high-wear areas to keep the weight down. The combination of light weight, excellent cushioning, and responsiveness earned the Kinvara 2 honors as our Best Youth Running Shoe.


Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feel with neutral biomechanics Shape: semi-curved Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Sizes: children 10.5–13; youth 1–7 (M width)

$55 ($90 Adult)


hat began as a healthy hobby for one man’s growing family has turned into a life’s mission of supporting young athletes and a legacy of community service. On April 28, when the starter pistol fires to begin the first race of the day at the Lake Brantley High School track in Altamonte Springs, Florida, it will also signal a significant milestone for the Central Florida sports community: the twentieth anniversary of the Spring Track Classic hosted by the Central Florida Gliders youth track and cross country club. Athletes of all ages, all levels of experience, and from as far away as the United Kingdom compete annually in the Spring Track Classic with the hope of setting personal records, winning medals, and even achieving times and marks that will allow them to qualify for events like the Olympic trials and the Junior National Championship. This year, in addition to carrying out the myriad preparations necessary to make this premier, one-day, open track meet run smoothly, Gliders—both current and alumni—and their supporters join together to celebrate their club’s history and to honor its founder and their coach, friend, and mentor, Coach Craig D. Wise. From Hobby to Organized Club Coach Wise and his wife Annette never intended to start a youth track & field club. When they started to run for exercise their children happily ran along with them, and soon they were taking the oldest to compete in $1 track meets at the local high school. “At the time there was no viable track club in Central Florida or programs for youth younger than high school age,” explains Wise. “People started to approach me about coaching their children along with my own. One thing led to another, and in 1989, we formed the Altamonte

Central Florida Gliders and Coach Craig Wise by Kathe Riley Jackson

Air Walkers boys team and the Altamonte Gliders girls team—with four kids on each team.” In 1990, Wise added cross country training to the program. The teams soon combined under the Central Florida Gliders name, and the Central Florida Gliders Track Club. Now a long-standing member of both USA Track and Field (USATF) and the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the Central Florida Gliders continues to be run by volunteer coaches, assistants, and parents under Wise’s leadership.

A Training Philosophy Focused on Long-term Benefits, Continuous Learning More than 1,000 area youth have been a part of the Gliders over the years. The club serves those between the ages 8 and 18, with year-round emphasis on those of middle school age. Older athletes typically train and compete when their high school seasons are over. Since the club’s beginning, the Gliders have regularly competed at national levels, amassing an impressive 62 national championship titles since

Top: Central Florida Gliders founder and coach, Craig Wise, created the Spring Track Classic as the primary fundraising event for the club. The meet is run by USATF officials using USATF age groups and rules. Photo is of Coach Wise at the 2010 Classic (wearing his 2007 commemorative shirt). 22 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY JUNE/JULY 2011 2012

1991. But for the younger athletes, Wise’s training approach is based more on preparing them for competition when it counts the most—in high school and college—than on winning the age group competitions. “Certainly we enjoy seeing our young kids have success with medaling in national competitions, but we won’t train them as adults. Our goal is to provide them with the foundation—the discipline, fitness, form, and technique—that will allow them to make a gradual and safe transition to the strenuous high school and college environments.” Older youths are given more rigorous training and encouraged to test their skills at larger meets, like Footlocker, USA Junior National, and USATF championships, where the competition can be stiff. Ryan Paquin was one who came to Coach Wise as a high school junior. He won the state hurdle title in his senior year. “At the start of the season, if you had told me I would win states in any event, much less the high hurdles, I would have called you crazy,” says Ryan. “Without Coach Wise, I doubt I ever would have touched a hurdle my entire track and field career.” Today Ryan is a sophomore at Lehigh University and a key member of the school’s track team. He recently placed third in the heptathlon at the 2012 Patriot League Indoor Championship. He remains in close contact with his former coach. “Coach Wise has always been as concerned with how I am doing off the track as how I am doing on it. All the training I received from him eventually got me a full college scholarship, and I am very grateful for that.” Wise believes strongly that in order to train young athletes properly, coaches must pursue continual education. “This may be the oldest sport in the world, but its training methods and nutrition strategies continue to evolve, with new paradigms emerging every few years. It’s incumbent on the coach to continue to educate himself or herself by taking additional certification courses, attending symposiums by

experts in the field, and collaborating with other coaches.” Wise lives this philosophy and encourages his volunteer coaches to do so as well. Personally, he has attended numerous seminars and attained a number of key certifications, including USATF Level I and Track and Field Technical Certification from USTFCCCA. For many years, he considered himself a long-distance specialist, preferring to leave the specifics of sprinting to his other coaches with greater experience in that area. But as his sixth and youngest son, Neamen, began to show promise in hurdles and field events, Wise went on to achieve USATF Level II certification in the multi-events. In the last seven years, he has trained athletes in the hurdles, throws and multi-events to compete in local, state, and world-class competitions. “My dad taught me that if you put the time and dedication into anything you’re doing, then anything is possible,” shares Neamen, who calls his victory in the decathlon at the USATF Junior National Championship in 2010 one of his favorite track memories. “Winning the decathlon at this meet was a goal we had set years ago. It was a great experience because my dad got to see all the basic training and technique he taught come to fruition.” Neamen, now a junior at the University of South Florida, is a strong hurdler, long jumper, and multi-event athlete. In 2009, he won the Nike Indoor National Championship in the pentathlon and the high school state championship for long jump. He also placed first in the young men’s decathlon at the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championship and third in the decathlon for the USA Junior National Track and Field Championship. In 2010, he not only won the decathlon in the Junior Nationals, but also was chosen to represent the USA at the IAAF World Junior Championships. Recently Neamen placed second in the heptathlon at the Big East Indoor Track and Field Championship.

Left: Talented older youth are encouraged to participate in major national competitions, such as the Footlocker cross country championship. Coach Wise is shown here with three of his athletes in 2001. Center: A Glider group photo during the 2001 AAU Florida Cross Country National Championship qualifier at the Seminole Softball Complex. The annual meet is one of two key events hosted by the club. Right: Coach Craig Wise (center) was named the City of Altamonte Springs 2007 Volunteer of the Year, largely for his work for the Central Florida Gliders. Middle of Page: The Central Florida Gliders “spread the word” on the local transit system. (2007) 2012 2011 APRIL/MAY JUNE/JULY | YOUTH RUNNER 23

More than Athletics In addition to sports, Wise uses the club environment to stress the importance of academics, encouraging his young team to read, study, and do their best in school. Under the club’s scholarship program, established in 1999, the Central Florida Gliders have awarded more than $22,000 to former club members who are entering college or who are already in college, medical school or law school, with the primary intent of supporting their technology needs. The scholarships are based on the applicants’ years and level of involvement with the club. Through the Gliders’ charitable work in supporting several needy families each year, Wise promotes a love for community service among his athletes. Since 2000, the club has raised and donated more than $11,400 to local needy families. Caroline Jackson, who ran with the Gliders for several years before joining her high school team and who still volunteers her time with the club, remembers fondly the annual shopping trips to buy groceries for families in need at Thanksgiving. “Coach Wise would walk through Publix with us after practice and let us pick out the food items,” she recalls. “He’d tell us how much we had to spend and make us keep track of how much we had left. It was always interesting to see how close we had come to guessing right. We always felt good when we packed it all into his car to take to the social worker.” The Spring Track Classic Scholarships, community service activities, club and uniform fees for disadvantaged athletes, and stipends and reimbursements for club-related travel are funded by donations from sponsors, grants, and fundraising activities, including the annual Central Florida Gliders Spring Track Classic. Typically held between the end of April and early May, the Spring Track Classic evolved from the annual Golden South Classic, now in its 36th year, which once held age group competitions prior to the start of its high school competitions. When the popularity of the age group portion of the meet grew to such a degree that it was no longer possible to hold it in a single morning, Coach Wise set up the Gliders’ Spring Track Classic to address demand. The Spring Track Classic remains a one-day event, with USATF-certified officials and USATF age group and competition rules. Although the meet largely draws athletes from Florida and neighboring states, some from as far away as Canada, the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom have participated.

Top to bottom: In 1989, Craig Wise’s Altamonte Air Walkers traveled to Miami for their first state competition, the TAC (USATF) State Championship. The Altamonte Striders, the first girls team, joined the boys in Miami for the 1989 TAC (USATF) State Championship. Central Florida Glider athletes running strong in the Spring Track Classic in 2000. 2003 – The team gathers for a group photo during the Spring Track Classic, held at the University of Central Florida that year. 24 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY JUNE/JULY 2011 2012

A Foundation for Life Today, three large scrapbooks packed with news clippings, photos, and memorabilia from local, state, and national competitions capture more than two decades of Gliders’ accomplishments, and Coach Wise enjoys pointing out the kids who have gone on to great careers in both athletics and other professions. For him, the Gliders organization has always been about helping youth strive to achieve their highest potential in whatever they choose and to develop the discipline, integrity, and leadership skills that will allow them be successful as adults. “For us, the individual who makes the attempt is a much a part of the group as the one who attains the highest level of achievement,” says Wise. “Yes, we’re serious about helping the athletes who want to excel in track and field and cross country be the best they can be. But we also know that not everyone will go on to become sports stars. The point is to help our members set goals and meet them. It’s a core principle that’s been with us since the beginning and will be there long into the future.”

Former and Current Central Florida Gliders Talk About Coach Craig Wise Rolf Steier, 27 I remember one year at the national championships - I forget the year maybe 1998 or 99 in Knoxville - where I felt like I was coming down with a cold the day before the race. I remember feeling nervous about being sick in addition to the race itself. Coach Wise was really helpful in getting me to relax and enjoy myself, and the race ended up going really well. I remember Coach Wise before many races being this source of calm. I'm still running today, trying to keep improving, and I think many of my positive experiences with Coach Wise as a youth runner are what keep me being motivated and excited to compete today. Jenna Terry, 11 I like the Gliders because the kids are nice and cheer for each other. I will always remember my first AAU Track and Field Championship. I placed fifth in the racewalk, and Coach Wise came over and sat by me at lunch. He gave me a backpack and made me feel special.” Rob Isaac, 26 I was always wanting instant gratification, to be fast right now! Coach Wise understood where I was athletically and where I could be. He taught me that if I was patient and persevered, I could build toward my goals and reach them. Carlos Guillermo, 16 Coach Wise taught me to have a positive attitude toward sports because if I'm not enjoying myself then it's not worth it. He has taught me to listen to my body to keep it healthy and safe from injury so that I can be in top condition. He encourages me to stay on top of my academics at school because it's important for my future. Dara Wise Henry, 30 When I was 9 years old we won the AAU National Cross Country Championship as a team. I placed 20th and remember him yelling on the sidelines for me to kick. He's taught me that preparation is the key to success. Whether you are training for a 5K or getting ready for an interview, people that come prepared set themselves apart from the rest. He also taught me to be a good sport regardless of the outcome of my performance. Christian Ogle, 19 Coach Wise always told me that confidence is key. He let me know that if the work was put on and everything looked good in practice, as long as I went out there with confidence I would have a good race. Having confidence in everything you do translates to great people skills which help in every facet of life. Ryan Truchelut, 26 Coach Wise's most important lesson to me was the value of setting goals and hard work. He always pushed us to reach for our best, and to do the difficult training necessary to make our goals a reality. By showing us the conse-

quences of both positive and negative actions, Coach Wise helped give me the discipline I needed to succeed in college and beyond. I owe him a lot! Maite Moscoso, 16 I joined the Central Florida Gliders when I was 9 without being good at sports in general. The sport changed me and made me a stronger person allowing me to aspire to goals I had never even dreamed of before. With the aid of Coach Wise I was able to become the person I am today. I love it when he goes to competitions and cheers everyone on. Hearing his voice among the crowd while you're competing, whether he's saying, "drop your arms" or "GO!," drives you to keep pushing forward. Caroline Jackson, 15 I will never forget hearing Coach Wise’s voice at the end of a race saying, “Pump those arms!” or “You gotta go, Caroline. Pass her!” If it was a tough race, he would come up to me afterwards and tell me to think of all the positive things about the race, and then to think about how to fix the mistakes. He’s taught me how to run smart, stay positive, and most importantly, be strong. Ade Wise, 28 When I was a senior at Duke, studying to be an engineer, I had some of my toughest courses in the last term. Just before I was to take my last test, I found myself unable to focus and really nervous. I called my dad. He told me to calm down, go for a mile run, and go through the preparations I would for a race. I did, and I went into the exam feeling like I was ready. I still do that when I have something major that I have to prepare for. Caleb Gruner, 15 Coach Wise has been a great help to me over the years. He always was encouraging in the way he taught and explained things. Coach was very interested in my high school running and even took time out of his day to coach me on days there wasn't practice. Ryan Paquin, 20 Coach Wise taught me to never get overwhelmed. During a decathlon, he advised me to take 5 minutes after each event to reflect on what I did right and how I can improve. After this, I move on to the next event, but before I begin, I take another 5 minutes to think over what I need to concentrate on. This has always helped me keep calm, and I have just recently passed on this piece of advice to some of our freshman this year. Neamen Wise, 20 A favorite quote of Coach Wise’s that I always refer to is, "You don't learn from your mistakes, but you learn from doing it right." This is very applicable to track because effective and smart training is the most important aspect of the sport.

Left: Jackson Boucher, current Glider athlete is in the middle. Center: In 2011, the Gliders offered the first 1500-meter race walk competition at the Spring Track Classic. Right: Success for the Central Florida Gliders Boys Bantam team in 2007 at the AAU Cross Country National Championship. 2012 2011 APRIL/MAY JUNE/JULY | YOUTH RUNNER 25


gear spotlight BY IAN KESTERSON


NEW BALANCE NB639 Fitness Evolved Headphones Like most people, we at Youth Runner love running because it’s simple. Lace up your shoes, put on something comfortable, pick a direction, and you’re off. Pretty easy, right? New Balance has kept up this streamlined trend we all appreciate with their new heart rate monitor. The core feature is an amazingly low profile, but high-tech heart rate monitor. In fact, you hardly realize that you are wearing anything at all. No annoying strap bungeed across your chest or even a watch to wear. Here’s the 3 part setup: Using the tiny, thumb-sized heart rate monitor, plug one side into the input jack of your own favorite mp3 player (iPod, etc,) clip the device to your shirt and plug in your headphones. They provide sport specific, customizable ear buds, or you can use your own. From here, you just play your music like usual. Then during your run you get audio updates on your heart rate and distance. After you’ve wrapped up the workout, the NB639 plugs your information onto your computer. Check out charts and graphs of your performance and begin training smarter. Our favorite part of New Balance’s design is its seamless integration of multiple functions, while not cramming all of the features into one connected device. I can use my own iPod or headphones if I like, and when I accidentally run them through the washing machine, I don’t need to buy a whole new system. In a world of ever increasing technology, gadgets, and apps for everything, New Balance has shown us all that a simple approach can bring the best results. With the creation of the NB639, they have delivered a whole new level of game changing technology. But we don’t even have to worry about it. We just get to run. EDITORS NOTE: Any gadget with earphone or ear buds should NOT be used while running on the road. Most road running events have banned the use of ear phones because you can't hear a car coming up and it's dangerous. These are for use on the track.






COACH JEFF ARBOGAST ANSWERS QUESTIONS ABOUT TRACK AND FIELD Q: I'm relatively new to track & field, and I don't know all of the parts of a track. For instance, where does a 200 meter race start? 400, 800 etc. Are all track distances the same? A: Good question and of course this is one of the basics to understanding the sport. All tracks now are built to standard dimensions of 400m (one lap) and have been converted from 440 yards (just slightly longer) since the late 1970s and are therefore 'the same'. The start and finish for all lap races is at the start/finish line, and the 200m start is halfway around, near the beginning of turn 3. The turns are labeled from the start with the very first corner being turn 1, through turn 4, coming into the home stretch. An 800 is exactly 2 times around, with the 1600 being 4. Some states use the 1500m instead of the 1600m as that is the Olympic "mile". That starts 100m down the track at the start of the 300m hurdles in Lane 1 (coming off turn 2). With this consistency, track becomes a sport where comparison is fairly easy. Although track composition, weather, and altitude can all have an impact on track times, the distances are always the same from one point in the country (or world) to another! Q: My 10 year old daughter is a born athlete. She has been in club soccer for 4 years, and will now be participating in almost all the schools available sports. She suffers from heal, foot, and leg pain after practices and games. I noticed early on that she runs on her heals, and I have tried to coach her on getting her on her toes, especially for sprinting. (That would be taking advice from your mom!) I am neither a runner or a coach, so how can I get her the proper training on running (sprinting) technique? I know that if she could get the right coaching she could not only improve the pain factor, but her speed and performance as well. In one of your previous questions about track shoes for a 10 year old, you mentioned that it might help with getting them on their toes. Could that apply here? A: I would certainly look at heel lifts as the first and cheapest effective option. If that does not work satisfactorily, get to a sports podiatrist and see if you have a leg-length discrepancy, or axial problem (supination/pronation) that may be causing the pain. Track spikes are a specialty that can accent good form,. but are not a replacement for form. You have several options to gaining form work. In your area, contact one of the local high schools. Many times, a high school coach can set aside a few minutes before or after a school workout to meet with you and take a look. Ask around for those who are willing to help. I would stay in trainers for as long as possible, especially if pain persists. Running is a challenge, but pain should not be present to this degree in a youth athlete. It robs the fun and enjoyment of the sport. Try the heel lifts, but if you get no improvement in 96 hours, get professional evaluation. Q: I have a son who is seven and he just ran a 1:23s 400 meter (indoor). What is the typical time increase I can expect once he hits outdoor season. This is his 2nd year running he runs 3 days a week sometimes 4 if he chooses. He loves competition and is a fierce competitor at such a young age (He enjoys it). He also plays football so I expose him to multiple things. Since in outdoor athletes run there fastest times. I was wondering if you think he could get down to like 75s or lower by late July. He hasn't done any strength training yet for his legs on the track, it has all been technique and conditioning. A: Your further information is reassuring. I believe the best improvement will occur when he desires to run faster and self-motivates to some extent. I would not worry about strength conditioning at 7 . . .just event-specific 400m training. As he gets older, strength training becomes more effective. 75 would certainly be within reach. Spend some time between now and May working on 'goal pace running'. Have him do some intervals at 36 for the 200 and 17 for the 100. Keep the total volume during those interval sessions at 1000m or under and insist on quality . . .hitting the paces. That will get him thinking about 75.

Train hard . . .have fun. 28 YOUTH RUNNER | APRIL/MAY JUNE/JULY 2011 2012

Just a few of the great meets to look forward to. APRIL

19-22 The New York Relays Youth Division, Icahn Stadium 22 Sullivan Blue Dolfin Kids' Triathlon, Sullivan, IL 22 The Maui 5K For Kids 25 BAYTAF Classic, Tampa, FL 26-28 Penn Relays, Philadelphia, PA 28 Central Florida Gliders Spring Classic, Altomonte Springs, FL 28 Costa Mesa Community Run, Costa Mesa, CA 28 DeKalb County Youth T&F Championship, Decatur, GA 28 Texas Stallions Relays , Tomball, TX


5 Toyota of Pittsburgh Kid's Marathon, Pittsburgh, PA 5 UAGTCA Outdoor Developmental Meet 1, Philadelphia, PA 6 AAU-New Jersey Annual T&F Meet, Woodbridge, NJ 12 3rd Annual Sapphire Invitational Meet, Lilburn, GA 12 Miracle Miles for Kids 10K walk/Run, Morro Bay, CA 18 Hershey's Glendale Arizona State Meet, Glendale, AZ 19-20 Boys & Girls Clubs of the Omaha Invitational, Omaha, NE 25 LA Jets Invitational, Harbor City, CA 26 Aurora Track Lightning Invitational, Aurora, IL

JUNE 2 2 3 8-10 8-9 15-17 26

UAGTCA Outdoor Championship Meet, Phildadelphia, PA ING KiDS ROCK San Diego, CA Portland Track Festival Youth Meet, PortlaR USATF South Carolina Assoc. JO T&F Champ, Myrtle Beach, SC Portland Track Festival, Portland, OR USA Junior Outdoor T&F Championships, Bloomington, IN USA Youth Outdoor T&F Championship, Arlington, TX


6-8 AAU Primary National Championship, Orlando, FL 9-15 AAU National Club Championships, Orlando, FL 20-21 Needham Youth Classic, Needham, MA 23-29 USATF National JO T&F Championship, Baltimore, MD 24-Aug 4 AAU Junior Olympic Games, Houston, TX USATF Junior Olympics


3-12 Olympic Games, London, England 4 Hershey's North American Finals, Hershey, PA

For details and more, go to our

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