Today was truly wonderful! Coaching my athletes again was nothing less than extraordinary. It's been nearly 6 months since I last coached, and it felt GREAT! Before I give the rundown of our results I'd like to simply touch upon early season meets.
With only ten days of practice in, a meet can seem overwhelming to some. We didn't have much time together to get approach work done. We didn't get to work on takeoffs with any moderate amount of speed. We went into today ready - but barely. This is why I generally will only take veteran jumpers to events so early in the season. They've been there before. They know what it's like to perform the jumps even on small amounts of rest/preparation.
I know saying that we were "barely prepared" isn't fully true, and that it doesn't paint my preparation methods in the best light; but honestly, how are jumpers supposed to truly prepare after having nine months off? That is the exact reason why we go into meets such as this with the same message - the numbers/times don't matter - HAVE FUN! Meets like this are simply a way for jumpers/runners/throwers to shake out the cobwebs and start teaching their body how to perform their chosen event(s) at a high level of intensity again. It can still be overwhelming to some, but I try to avoid this as much as possible because the month of March means little (to nothing) to me. It's all about May and June!
With that said - let me tell you about our AMAZING day!!
I have to start with the highlight of the day. Kadon Kauppinen a senior jumper on the team broke a 42-year-old long jump record that was set in 1976. The person to hold that record was Rich Mansfield, and his long-lasting record jump was 22'7. Kadon jumped 22'5" on his first jump, 22'8.75" on his second jump, and 22'10.5" on his third jump. There was no one within 2 feet of him going into finals!!! Not only did he break the school record, he also set a new meet record that hadn't been broken in 15 years! The greatest part of his jump today was he told me two weeks ago he was going to break the record during the first meet. Ha!
I cannot say how blessed I feel to have been part of this record-smashing jump. I know that Kadon is an incredible athlete, but Sun Prairie has seen numerous great athletes over the past 42 years. His personal dedication to being the best he can be, and our work together resulted in something I personally will never forget. It was memorable alright, but Kadon and I have much bigger ambitions! Stay tuned!
Kadon wasn't the only jumper to make it to finals and experience some success today at the pits! Two of my three female triple jumpers made finals and jumped extremely solid early-season jumps! Jada Schuh jumped a 34'6.5" and took 4th place, and Kasy Walker-Daniels jumped a 34'6.5" and took 5th. Kasy's jump was a GIANT PR, and Jada's jump was her best ever at the Nelson Daniels meet (4th year competing). Both girls have now set themselves up to push 35' in the next couple of meets! These ladies are going to be a force this year!!!