Track and Field Stories

I am rereading Speed Trap and there are tons of colorful stories about our sport. Why not share some of our own experiences, either our own, or ones that we have witnessed… I’ll start…
It was my senior year of high school, and our 4x1 relay team was primed for the state meet. We were one meet away, and needed to finish in the top 4 to qualify. I was the lead off and got out great if I do say so myself. I caught the people in front of me, and no one behind made any ground. At the exchange was a freshman, who at the time ran 22.05 @14yrs old!!! We were perfect with our exchanges, you see, we knew we as a team didn’t have tons of talent, so we worked on what we could. He was OUT!!! Ran very well for a freshman, heck, for anyone! Kept ups right in the game. Handing it off to the #3 runner was a different story. He was all over the track, ran tight, and dind’t seem to focued. Watching our second place team turn into about 7th was awful and my stomach made about 35 loops! When he handed it off to our anchor, a stock and incredibly strong Russian kid, I had a feeling. He had pulled thru the week before when we needed him, and this week was no different. from 7th, he ran us into 4th place by .05 I think. We were extatic!!! Off to State and never looked back. Recap- Me, First leg- run the 400now, prepping for 2008 Olymipics(hopefully!!!), Second Leg- Finished 8 and 9th in the state last year, in the 100 adn 200 respectively. Has PB of 10.54 and 21.54, recieved full ride to Utah State. Third - Repeated ankle injuries from football, and now he is studying for Kinesiology. Fourth leg- the Russian Kid- Hamstring and groin troubles turned his attn to Rugby for Chico State, where is should be voted most Valuable First year player!!!
Any one got stories, lets hear em!!!

I got two stories here. From a guy we call coach at my building. He coached for over 30 years in richmond virginia. He is one of the most colorfull people I know. And also a security guard at my old apt building . According to the fable he took a kid out of the middle of basketball practice and had him run the 800m for 10 bucks after some reluctance he accepted the offer. Imagine a 6.2 skinny basketball player running a track event for the first time in his life. According to coach he ran a 1:55 and he never touched the track again. You should have seen his face when he was telling the story. Oh boy tim I cant it believe boy i tell you thats the greatest thing i have ever seen oh boy tim i tell you…This coming from a guy who coached several athletes who were olympians and former nfl players. Another story is off a kid who ran 50 seconds for 400m without any prior track training in hightops and beat the 400m state champ of virginia/state record holder in practice. After alot of hype and insults this then esculated into a fight which in turn brought the whole team brawling. After everything had cooled down the new kid ended up running low 47 that year and went to lsu and ran 44-45. And both members still hold the 4x400m record in viriginia. THe last story doesnt have anything to do with track. Coach said while he was teaching a kid ran at him and blind sinded him in class. So in his words…whaaam baam boom i hit him with a desk over head…tim i tell i tried to kill him tim i tell you boy…and then i through him through a glass window…boy i tell ya a wanted to kill him…then coach replayed the whole thing again…whaaam i cracked him over the back…after coach was finished telling me the story again he stood up and gave me a highfive and sat down at his desk again…so tim what about that blonde right…boy shes a nice one huh…what do you think tim…

One time I was practicing hurdles and I jumped over one that was facing the wrong direction… CRASH!

California State HS-400M

‘87’-I remember seeing Steve Lewis run the 400M ‘88’ OLY Champ and 92 Silver Medalist run in HS in 87 and dust the comp. in the 400m and the 200m. He pulled away from the comp. even though he was slowing down late in the race that I saw much like what Ben did in the 1st round in the 100m in Seoul. The next year he improved to 43.87 from 46.1? to take Gold.

‘88’- In the 4X100M Quincy Watts gets the stick 10-12m behind the pack in the Qual. round and catches all of them except for 1 or 2 of them. He ran the last 50m of that race like no high schooler before or since in my opinion (I didn’t time it). He came back in the 200M only to take 2nd. His hamstring was bothering him for 2-3 weeks before the meet I believe so that hurt his perf. in this event.
BTW, for you youngsters QW wins the the OLY Games 400m in 92 after moving up to that event b/c of hamstring or back problems prevented him from running the 100 & 200m.

Fast forward to 93’ where I witnessed Calvin Harrison improve his times almost every single track meet all the way up to the Golden West Inv. Meet. He would catch guys that ran high 46 - 47 in the 1st 50m of the 400m hold it and then blast them the last 100m. It was awesome stuff to watch for a HSer. I remember when he broke one of Steve Lewis’ Meet Records and me thinking it was a fluke or something b/c basically, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing each and every week he ran. I also remember timing his brother Alvin on his relay leg in 44.0 in which they won. A few others nearby where I was also had the same split for Alvin. A sign of things to come from him later on.


P.S. Pro- I also remember watching Big Ben come to San Jose, CA in 85 or 86 when he demolished the field in the 1st 20m. Oh yeah, Carl Lewis was in that race also and took 2nd .2 behind.

In grade ten the track coach asked me to tryout for the track team after seeing me play soccer. I said sure. Did a time trial in the 100meter with the other kids in practice and ran 11.2 hand time in sneakers. No warmup just went out and ran.

Went to the high school championships for our region and ran the 100 meter in sneakers again (didnt own spikes) Went 11.42 FAT in sneakers with the most pathetic start you have ever seen LOL. (Never even used blocks before) Finished 4th and qualified for Provincials.

Went to the Provincial high school champs and heard about this kid who was supposed to be the king in the 100 meter for our age group. He was extremely arrogant and had been competing for years. I borrowed a pair of spikes that were 2 sizes too small from a teammate…

I was in his heat and he had NO idea who I was. I didnt realize at the time that the top 2 from each heat automatically advanced so I ran like crazy in the race. I was about 3 meters behind from the start (I had NO idea how to use the blocks)

I BEAT the “king” running 11.31 FAT to his 11.40. (wind was -2 that race)

Everyone was freaking out and jumping around me. I didn’t think it was that big a deal and never realized that time was decent for someone 15 years old. This was my second race EVER and first in spikes.

We both advanced to the final and were both getting really psyched up.

He was grunting and strutting in his lane and I was getting pretty pumped as well.

There were two false starts in the race (Not by me or him) and then we were off. The “king” got a great start and left me out of the blocks. I ran as hard as I could to catch him and he beat me by less than half a meter. I ran 11.21 FAT to his 11.16 FAT.

I won the silver medal for the 100meter in my third race of all time LOL!

In the 200meter I was completely cooked. I ran both heats and finals in the 200 meter… he ran a 23.03 and I ran 23.21 for another 2nd place.

In the 400 meter I ran a 53.XX but could barely walk afterwards. Nothing like heats and finals in the 100 AND 200 AND finals in the 400 in the SAME day! I couldnt walk for a week!!

It was a great and memorable start to my track career!

After winning both 4x100m relays at the Class meet I went to the Reading Coach and asked him if he remembered Timothy Lane was… the two guys looked at each other like I opened a pandora’s box and said “Tim LANO?”

The conversation quickly ended. It was cool to see the two degrees of seperation in the CF.COMSPHERE…

Good story Tim.


Let’s celebrate people’s successes - not laugh at other people’s failures.

Clemson ur a silly boy…Lane-O is my secret agent name!!!


Lebeau did he run for south africa?

Tim, he was running in an absa meeting, like a inter-province/state meeting, i`m friends with him, thats the main reason i laughed so hard!

oh i did celebrate when he got the olympic bronze, like i said im a friend of his, weve done alot of things together, and i still to this day, rag on him about how he did all his pre warm ups, did his ironman facing away from the blocks, and then got thrashed, he did bounce back though, came second at SAs (although he could have won it if he didnt put his arms up and slow down a metre from the line haha)

at one meet this year i ran the fastest 400 open of my life to date, 53.84. which incidentally i ran 5 minutes after the 4x100. but ne way my coach still made me anchor the 4x400 team even though i could barely walk and the 2nd fastest guy (54.4) got replaced by a kid that ran like a 57. but ne way, here we are, getting our asses kicked, i’m in 4th place by 120 meters when i get the baton. coming around the turn i’m about 100 meters behind, and i see a kid 10 feet from the finish line fall down and drop the baton. he sits there for a sec, then realizes that he hasn’t been DQ’d, and through his exhaustion, falls down again trying to pick up the baton. by this time i am almost caught up to him, he picks up the baton, but is so exhausted he doesn’t know what he is doing and runs straight sideways, cutting me off at the finish line, and falls down next to the hand timers. then he got DQ’d for cutting me off. all that work for nothing. i felt so bad for the poor kid, he had to breathe out of a respirator for a while, he so out of it.

another interesting one was my first meet ever in this town, i had just moved and was running the 2nd leg for the 4x100. i had never run a varsity relay before, and had only anchored in junior high. so my nerves were up quite a bit. the track we were on, for some reason, alot of people fell down in the 1st to 2nd leg exchange. the team in the lane next to me did this, and the 1st leg ended up falling down in my lane. i wasn’t concerned about that right away though, because i had taken off waaayy to early and had to come to a dead stop. then i turn around with the baton and what do you know, there is a guy lying face first in my lane. so i hurdle over him while he is getting up and try my best to run a good leg. i pass one kid and we end up winning because of a brilliant leg by our anchor. that was a crazy relay.

In my story above that sprinter (the king) and I ended up becoming good friends and training partners. We have had many a good time together :slight_smile:

I once heard about a sprinter who entered himself in the 400m(to this day we don’t know why). He exploded out of the blocks like a China doll! His split at 200m was sub 22. He then trailed off and jogged in the last 200m, finishing in somewhere around 51. I didnt know the guy’s name. But I guess the crowd was chanting LANE O throughout the race