Track Marks: A high school Track and Field memoir

Written by :
Published on : August 25, 2016

 

 

The 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro were a blast and it got me thinking about my old glory days as a high school track star. Well, maybe star is a bit of a reach but I was on the varsity team for all four years of high school and in that time I competed in every single event of both track and field. I won medals, broke a school record and even went to the state championship but I’m not here to brag, I’m here to take a trip down memory lane and look back at a sport that used to be a big part of my life.

 

Growing up, soccer was my sport of choice. I loved it. I played indoor during the winter and went to camps in the summer, all in an effort to make varsity some day and get on the pitch with the big kids. Unfortunately, I was an average soccer player. No real natural talent but sound fundamentals and better conditioning made me effective. I knew I had to stay in shape to get any playing time so I started running track in the spring of freshman year. It should be known that the soccer coach was also the track coach, so running track was a good way to earn brownie points.

 

 

That first year, coach didn’t really know where to put me so I tried lots of different events. Our team only had one real hurdler so I started training in the 110m and the 300m hurdles until I fell enough times that it was clear that this wasn’t my thing. Next, I did the long distance events. The mile and two mile runs, but I really didn’t like those. I got bored and would lose focus. Next came the sprints. I was much too slow out of the blocks for the 100m or the 200m dashes but in the 400m, I had enough time to catch up to the quicker kids and let my endurance win me a few races. I finally found my home.

 

Now, if you don’t know, the 400m is the worst. It’s technically a sprint but it’s a full lap of the track. That’s a quarter mile. Sprint. It’s brutal. After every serious contest I had in the 400m, I would throw up. It almost always happened. My body was in such shock. I’d post a solid time then wander behind some bushes or puke on the infield. I’d aim for the end zones if the football field lines were still painted. Touchdown.

 

The 400m was my jam, but you can be in up to four events at a single track meet so I had to fill the rest of my dance card. Naturally, I also competed in the 4x400m relay. Leaving my coach two spots to throw me wherever he saw fit.

 

High-Jump rig

 

Now is as good of a time as any to explain that I went to a really small school. Class D, Division 4. It was a strange place that is somehow both half hippy art school and half college prep. It’s a non-religious, private K-12 located in the northern suburbs of Detroit. Most of the schools we played against were rich christian private schools. So there were times at track meets where the competition was very light in certain events and that’s where coach would put me.

 

This strategy found me in long jump, shot put, discus, and even high jump. I’m just glad we didn’t have pole vault or else I’m sure they would have made me try that too. But this little tricked worked. I’d place in the event and earn a few extra points to help the team win the meet. The season would end with the league meet where we square off against all the other schools in our area. This was our big race of the year. After that, the few stand out runners would continue on to regionals and maybe even states in individual events. We never had enough qualifying athletes make to make run at a state championship for the school.

 

long jump

 

I stuck with track sophomore and junior years. I got better and faster. Hit the weight room and really saw progress in all my events. We’d go to tournaments after a long bus rides and I’d come home with a few medals. I never won like that in anything else. It was pretty great feeling. End of junior year, we had a nasty 4x400m relay team that rolled into the league meet and took first by a wide margin. Our time earned us a place in regionals where we kept it rolling and qualified for the state championship.

 

The state meet is on a weekend, like most big track and field events. The reason is because it takes forever and they need to start early. I’m talking like 8-10 hours long. It was also kind of far away so our team had to drive out the night before and stay in a hotel. Like a real NBA star. Friday night we went out for steaks and Saturday morning we rolled to the meet blasting Eye of the Tiger. We warmed up. We felt good. No nerves. Our relay team had clean hand offs and we all posted our best personal times but we didn’t even place.

 

baton handoff

 

I wasn’t mad, neither were my teammates or the coach. We all ran the fastest we have ever had and performed well as a crew but we came up short of being best in the state. Hell, I never thought I’d get that far. How could we be mad? Later we found out that we broke our school’s record for the 4x400m relay which was a perfect end to that chapter.

 

My senior year, I was named captain of the team and we were all looking forward to keeping our league championship streak alive. As the season and school year came to an end, my enthusiasm for track was waning. I decided to tell my coach that after the league meet, I didn’t want to pursue the individual events at the later tournaments. They were all on weekends in far off places and I wanted to go to graduation parties and find a girl that would let me get to second base. My coach unfortunately did not understand. He told me if I wanted to quit that I should do it now. I countered and explained that the league meet was important to me because that was the team’s big day but he couldn’t hear it. He asked for my uniform and told me to leave. I guess he wanted to wear those short shorts of mine in private.

 

The next day, coach told the team that I quit. They ended up losing the league meet too. First time in six years. It was maybe an ugly breakup but I dug my time in track and field. It treated me well. I was more successful in that sport than anything else. It used to bum me out that track was the thing I was good at when I loved so many other sports more but I’ve moved on from that. Now, I’m just grateful that I went out and gave it my all with my friends by my side.

 

Spikes.

 

 


Ryan Lochte Sucks

Written by :
Published on : August 22, 2016

 

So far, this is the strangest story out of the Rio 2016 Olympics. American swimmer, Ryan Lochte, is at the center of a public relations tidal wave. It all started when Lochte and teammates Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger went out for a night in Rio. After that, the facts get hazy. But one thing is clear, Ryan Lochte sucks and his actions are an awful distraction from an entertaining Olympic games. This is how it all went down.

 

The first reports stated that Lochte and crew were robbed at gun point while out on the town. Not just by anyone, but by someone saying they were the police. Lochte said badges were shown and that one of them even pointed a gun in his face before they took all their cash and valuables. Don’t worry no medals were lost. It sounded like a tragic tale where our American athletes were the obvious victims.

 

 

The police in Rio didn’t buy the story. Plus this claim is particularly offensive because Brazil has a history with crime and corruption. But something was off. A local judge had questions too, so the passports of the swimmers were seized while everything was sorted out. Turns out Lochte was lying. He picked any easy target to blame. And he got to do it on a grand scale which sucks because the story is bullshit. Lochte lied to cover his ass at the expense of Brazil’s integrity.

 

The truth of that happened that night in Rio was finally revealed when Gunnar Bentz released a statement that explained everything. Turns out, Lochte and the boys weren’t victims, they were villains of this story. After an evening of partying, the swim team stopped at a convenience store. Finding no bathroom, they went behind the building and pissed everywhere. Then Lochte vandalized the back wall by ripping a metal sign down. The wrecking crew got back into their cab and tried to leave when two security guards stopped them and forced them out of the car at gun point.

 

 

The guards demanded money for the destruction team USA caused. Lochte apparently got into a heated exchange with the guards and Conger had to calm him down. The guys paid whatever they had and were allowed to leave. They got back to the Olympic village and that’s when the the lying started. Lochte weaved his fantastic web but thankfully, it all fell apart on him and the truth shined through. Lochte later admitted he was under the influence of alcohol not that like that is a valid excuse. I’ve done some stupid shit after too many beers but I wasn’t a 32-year-old Olympian representing my country in a foreign land.

 

The swimmers paid some fines, gave a statement, then flew home. It’s a bummer that this is the last story out of Rio. But we need to let everyone know that you can’t act like Ryan Lochte. He needs to learn something about class. About not just playing but acting like a champion. That’s what the greats do.

 

Smh.

 

 


SBS Remembers: Usain Bolt breaks the World Record

Written by :
Published on : August 20, 2016

 

These days, everyone knows Usain Bolt is the world’s fastest man. Currently holds three world records (100m, 200m and 4x100m relay) and nine gold medals in track. But before the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing, the Jamaican sprinter wasn’t yet a household name. Let’s jump back in time for this chapter of SBS Remembers to hear the story of how Bolt set the globe on fire with his blazing speed. He won gold, shattered the old world record and cemented his place in history.

 

Beijing 2008. From an interview we know that Usain Bolt woke up late, ate some McDonald’s. Got a massage, took a nap, ate more McNuggets, went the arena, light warm up and destroyed the world record. Then he DJ’d the afterparty. And you may be saying “he didn’t really eat fast-food before the biggest race of his life, right?” Yup, he totally did. He loves McNuggets. Bolt estimated he was eating 100-160 nuggets a day. He did NOT mention anything about dipping sauces. If I had to guess, I’d say he sticks with classic ketchup. Or maybe that sweet ‘n sour. Either way, that’s insane.

 

 

If you watch the video, it looks like he slows down at the end because he knows he has won and starts to celebrate. It’s a ten second race and he had enough time to get a substantial lead, recognize it, and then start savoring the moment. He pounds his chest before crossing the finish line. It’s like he didn’t even try very hard and he still smoked the old world record.

 

Then broke the record for the 200 meter dash. Then won gold in the 4×100 relay. And did it all with style. Oh yeah, his shoes are made of solid gold. You’d think that weigh him down. But nah. One year later, Bolt would smash his own 100m dash time of 9.69 seconds and clock in at 9.58. The current world record. It’s pure bananas to drop a whole tenth of a second of the best time ever recorded. Maybe he really tried that time. This is why people say he is the fastest person to ever walk the planet.

 

 

Four years later in the London 2012 games, he did it again. Three more golds in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay. Plus he helped break the old 4x100m relay world record he and team Jamaica previously set. He wasn’t aging, he was just getting faster.

 

In Rio 2016, Bolt took gold again in the 100m dash. Making him the first athlete to win gold in the 100m three Olympics in a row. That’s a serious feat. Sports reporters always call Bolt more of a 200m runner but we can officially put that idea to rest. He’s a sprinter. The best ever. No surprise when the 6’5″ runner used his huge strides to win the the 200m and the 4x100m relay. That’s gold in all three events he competes in, three Olympics in a row. Bolt has never lost in the medal round of a race. All his medals are gold. Like those shoes.

 

Whether Usain Bolt ever races again, his 9 gold medals in short distances make him one of the most dominate track stars we have ever witnessed. He is a total character and simply an astonishing specimen. I consider myself lucky that he raced in an era where I was watching. Future athletes make break his records but no one will do it like him.

 

Nuggets.

 

 


Team USA Women’s Gymnastics owns Rio

Written by :
Published on : August 18, 2016

 

 

The women’s gymnastics events are all over. Each medal has a new home with a very proud owner. The lion’s share of that hardware is coming home to the United States thanks to “The Final Five.” This nickname is for the last five women to be trained under the tutelage of famed national team coordinator, Marta Karolyi, before she retires. The five gymnasts are Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, and they straight owned the Rio games. This is how it all happened.

 

The team all-around. The first leg of the journey. Each gymnast does vault, balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise and the highest combined team score wins. Team USA shined as they easily dominated the field. The final standing saw the crew up a whopping eight points ahead as they captured gold. It was a great start but there was much more to come.

 

usa-gymnastics-final-five-cereal-box

 

Individual all-around. By rule, each country can only send two gymnasts so Simone Biles and Aly Raisman got the nod. This is no knock on the others. Actually, Gabby Douglas averaged higher scores than any of the athletes competing for the other countries. She might have been the only person to give Biles and Raisman a challenge as she was the gold medalist in this event back in 2012. That’s how strong this team is. We have Douglas, the defending champ on the bench. That’s wild. No hard feelings I’m sure. All five are team first. Do it for Marta. Biles wins gold, Raisman silver.

 

On to the solo events. First was vault. Only Simone Biles qualified for the finals. Don’t worry she won gold and yes, she stuck the landing. Next up, the uneven bars. Both Douglas and Kocian made the medal round but Russia’s Aliya Mustafina took the top prize. Madison Kocian won silver after an incredible routine. She is only 16, so remember her now because she will be around.

 

 

Balance beam would be the only other gymnastic gold the American women would be denied. Sanne Wevers of the Neatherlands saw to that with a nearly flawless run. Beside her on the podium was Laurie Hernandez with the silver and Simone Biles with the bronze.

 

The last event, floor exercise. Biles and Raisman once again blew the doors off the joint with a super-heroic display. Biles could not be stopped. The 19-year-old claimed her forth gold of the Olympics. Her teammate, Raisman, followed up her 2012 floor exercise gold with a 2016 silver one. She too has a nice collection going.

 

 

The US women’s gymnastics program is legit and this isn’t news. They rocked the London Olympics in 2012 and all the big tournaments leading up to Rio. Then smashed the 2016 games. There is no reason to think this will change in 2020. Biles is the best in the world and she is surrounded by amazing talent. Reporters asked Raisman if she would retire but she hinted that maybe we could see her in at the next games. So who knows?

 

America leads in the overall medal count and more than a few of those puppies are thanks to the women on our excellent gymnastics team. So let’s take a second to honor them and their effort. And if any of The Final Five are reading this, I just want to say, I see you. I see your hard work and I thank you for it. Thank you for representing our country with class and grace.

 

Can’t wait for Tokyo 2020.

 

 


Olympic updates from Rio

Written by :
Published on : August 14, 2016

 

The 2016 Rio games are off and rolling. There is so much Olympic action that it is truly hard to keep up. Don’t fret, your buds here at ScoreBoredSports got your back. This is all the big news out of Rio de Janeiro. Things you may have missed and all the top stories. Here is what has happened so far.

 

Host Brazil

Opening ceremony was cool. Weird, but cool. Like if Cirque Du Soleil did a show about Paula Abdul. I mean there was lots of dancing. Then there was the parade introducing each country. The star of the show was the flag bearer from Tonga. So shiny and shirtless. Also, things have gone pretty smoothly in Brazil.. There was tons of chatter that Rio wasn’t ready but so far, so good (beyond the green water in the pool). And Zika seems to be more of a bad punchline than a real issue. In terms of medals, the host country only has a few. One gold and two bronzes in judo, plus a silver in shooting.

 

Tonga-Flag-Bearer

 

Team USA

– Swimmer Michael Phelps wins gold medal number 23. That’s 28 total medals in his career. Making him the most decorated American Olympian ever.

 

– 19 year old, Katie Ledecky continues her dominance in the pool. Racking up four gold medals (200m Free, 400m Free, 800m Free and 4x200m relay) in Rio. While scattering a few world records. She is the future of swimming.

 

– Making history was Ibtihaj Muhammad. She claimed bronze in fencing for team USA but she made history as the first American athlete to compete wearing a hijab. An overall awesome story.

 

– Simone Manuel is the first African-American to win an individual swimming medal. She took gold in super dramatic fashion. Hats off to that.

 

 

– The US women’s gymnastics straight up owns. Winning gold in the team event, plus Simone Biles and Aly Raisman took gold and silver in the overall. Look for the Americans to sweep the individual events as well.

 

– Men’s Basketball avoids the upset against Australia on the shooting of Carmelo Anthony. Then barely sneaks away from Serbia. I can’t tell if they are headed for ruin or if this rough patch is what they need to galvanize the team.

 

Rest of the World

– In women’s soccer, Sweden knocks out favorite, USA, in penalty kicks. For the reigning World Cup champs, this is the first time they have ever missed the final round. The door is now open for Sweden to run the table and capture the top prize.

 

– China is second in the overall medal count with multiple golds in weightlifting, diving, and table tennis. Plus, single golds in swimming, track and field, shooting and cycling (track).

 

 

– We have seen Great Britain excel in rowing and cycling (track) but not much else. Step it up or the queen will have your head.

 

– Japan is doing well. They have taken top hardware in judo, swimming and gymnastics. Don’t sleep on the island.

 

– Russia naturally has multiple golds in judo and fencing. Because everyone thinks of Russia when it comes to judo and fencing. En garde comrade.

 

– A big surprise for me was South Korea and their dominance in archery. Of their six golds, four are in the sport. Bullseye.

 

 

– USA made a lot of swimming headlines but let’s take a second to recognize Hungary. The nation has seven medals in swimming so far and three of their seven are gold. Very nice. Way to make a splash.

 

Current medal count HERE.

 

There is plenty I left out. But the games have been great so far. Watch some. Even if it’s not your sport, check it out. You may just fall in love with the energy and effort. Or keep being lazy and check back here and I’ll tell you what happened. Plus jokes. Your choice.

 

Champions.

 

 


Jahvid Best is headed to Rio

Written by :
Published on : July 20, 2016

 

Once upon a time, Jahvid Best was an electrifying running back. His college career at Cal was so impressive that he still holds many records at the school, including most all purpose yards in a single season, with 2,247 in 2008. When the Detroit Lions selected him with the 30th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, it looked as if his best football was yet to be played.

 

Sadly, Jahvid Best’s career was cut short by a concussion suffered in 2011. He had a history of problems with brain injury in college and when it happened against the 49ers, he figured he would be able to come back from that one too. But that never happened. Jahvid Best was never medically cleared to return to football activities. His life in pro sports was over… Or so we thought.

 

 Jahvid Best was a playmaker during his short NFL career.

 

After almost 5 years on the shelf, Jahvid Best is making his return to the big time by being the first ever retired NFL player to qualify for the Summer Olympic Games (40 other players have competed, most before their first NFL games). Though he is originally from California, he will be representing his father’s native St Lucia. Best will head to Brasil on the country’s track and field squad in hopes of bringing some Olympic hardware to the island nation.

 

Anyone who knows this guy’s story should feel good about this. A man who had his dream snatched out from under him when he looked to have a bright future ahead of him, gets a second chance at glory in the oldest competition in the history of mankind. He appeared in 22 NFL games piling up 945 rushing yards, 774 receiving yards and 9 total touchdowns, and I can’t help but wonder how many more exciting plays he could have given us Lions fans. But he wouldn’t let the misfortune of a career ending injury keep him down, and because of that he will get to compete against some of the best track athletes in the world for a shot at gold and glory.

 

 If he can regain some of his magic from the football field, he might just have a chance in Rio.

 

Jahvid Best enters the Summer Olympics in Rio as somewhat of an underdog, though. In order to qualify for the summer games an athlete must run the 100-meter dash in a time of 10.16 seconds or better, and Best hit that mark exactly at a meet in San Diego last April. It helps that his father was born in St. Lucia, giving Jahvid the chance to join an Olympic team with a much smaller talent pool than that of the United States. As of now, there three other athletes from St. Lucia heading to the games in Rio, and the island has never won a medal.

 

That’s where Jahvid Best comes in. Could you imagine that story? A once promising NFL running back who had his career cut tragically short by injury and barely qualifies for the games come out of nowhere to bring Olympic Gold to the nation of his forebears. That’s a beautiful thought. It might be improbable but I’ll tell you one thing, I know I’ll be rooting for Best when it comes time. And if you love epic comebacks you should too.

 

 


Support Us
Support ScoreBoredSports on patreon!

patreon-medium-button
Sponsors

Hide Error message here!

Forgot your password?

Error message here!

Error message here!

Hide Error message here!

Lost your password? Please enter your email address. You will receive a link to create a new password.

Error message here!

Back to log-in

Close