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My Track Fan Bucket List

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Last Monday, two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds posted his “Running Bucket List”. It’s something he first formulated in 2005. Since then, others have offered up their own list of things to do before they die.

Just two days before Symmonds’ post, a friend of mine skated off the ice after his adult-league hockey game was over, sat down on the bench, and passed out. Two hours later he was pronounced dead. He was 47 and fit, and about the last person we expected to leave before his time.

So in the last week I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about what I want to do before my earthly race is over. A “track fan bucket list” is a blog post I’ve often thought about but never started. I’m going to do it now.

The thing about a “bucket list” is that it’s written with the presumption that the writer will have time to complete the tasks. The passing of my friend Jeff is startling, because it proves that you just don’t know. I’ve always assumed that I’ll be around for a very long time, due to my relatively good health habits plus the unusual longevity of my relatives. I now believe in the uncertainty of it all.

Well, enough with the downers. Let’s talk about the fun stuff!

This is a personal list, but it’s also directed at the general fan. I’ll prioritize, so that you know what you need to do first because you might not get to all of them.

Already checked off

I actually haven’t been to that many different things. I only began traveling far and wide to track events about ten years ago, and only seriously got into it about five years ago. So this is a shorter list than I’s like it to be.

1. Your state high school championships
56c57 162015910 d2a12ae5d8 My Track Fan Bucket ListI don’t typically write about high school track in this blog, but I actually enjoy high school track the best. I believe high school sports are best enjoyed on a local level, which makes the state championship meet its pinnacle.

The Ohio high school championships are where I first fell in love with track. It was my end-of-the-school-year trip every June, after following the best in the state all season via the “Ohio Track and Field News” publication. In high school, I was already a track nerd.

Besides the authenticity of the participants and their fans, who are competing for nothing more than pure love of what they do, plus a devotion to team and community that’s rarely if ever reproduced at the sport’s higher levels, the fan experience is usually pretty good.

Here in Ohio, we fill up the 10,000-seat Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. (Way back when, we used to put 20,000 or more into Ohio Stadium.) The three divisions are held as three separate meets, each of which runs 22 races in a tightly-scheduled two and a half hours. Besides that, it’s an annual gathering of the clan. There are old friends I can always count on seeing when I go to Columbus for the state meet.

2. The Penn Relays
10ae9 penn relays philadelphia 500uw My Track Fan Bucket ListOf all the high-level meets I’ve ever been to, I think Penn is my favorite. There’s the history–it’s Philadelphia, it’s in the nation’s oldest college football stadium, and the traditions are long. The crowds are amazing, often the world’s biggest turnout for the year, and they’re really into it. Most of all, this is simply a track party.

In 2011 I wrote about my trip to Penn. Check it out.

3. U.S. Olympic Trials
4. Any meet at Hayward Field

6f7cf iphone 4s 008 1024x768 My Track Fan Bucket ListI’ve been to the Trials in Eugene twice. Last summer, I wrote that “The thing about the Olympic Trials, wherever it’s held, is that it’s a quadrennial gathering of everyone and everything in track and field in the United States. If you know someone from the internet, you’re going to meet them here.” The Trials meet is Track and Field News’ editor Garry Hill’s favorite track meet, even over the Worlds or Olympics. It gets more media attention than any other domestic track meet in any four-year period. It’s a great thing.

And then there’s Eugene and Hayward Field. This sums it up:

5. IAAF World Championships
I can’t believe that the Worlds are only #5 on the list, but here it is. I went when they were in Edmonton in 2001, the only time they have ever been held in the western hemisphere. This was long before I began blogging (I don’t think blogging software even existed at the time), so I can’t link to any of my previous posts.

First of all, it’s like the Olympics, but track-only. You’ll see the best of the best go head-to-head. The attention of the whole city is on a track meet, which is cool but almost unnerving, like you’ve slipped into an alternate universe. And you’ll meet people from all over the world. I drank with a German couple one night (note: very bad idea if you want to feel good in the morning). Just by chance, I met Kip Keino. Kip Keino! It was ten days of track and field and hanging out with track and field fans. Awesome.

6. NCAA Outdoor Track Field Championships
My high school coach, Bob Hayton, has been to 52 of the last 53 Ohio high school championships, and we went to the Worlds together in 2001. We’ve been to Penn once and the NCAAs twice, and he says it’s his favorite track meet ever. Due to the strong team emphasis, it’s kind of like a state high school meet, but it also has very high level of competition.

7. NCAA Cross Country Championships
Like the Penn Relays, this tends to have a party atmosphere. Flotrack’s pre-meet tailgate parties have helped take that up a notch. It being cross country, people run around like maniacs during the race to see the action. Especially at a fan-friendly layout like Indiana State’s, the athletes are running through a tunnel of sound that constantly disassembles and reassembles itself on the course. Team competition is a big deal here, but it’s changing from moment to moment (unlike at a track meet, where scores only change after each event). And they’ll let you run the course before the meet–they won’t let you shoot baskets on the floor before the Final Four, but you get to be on the athletic playing surface at this meet.

D-I is fun. D-III is fun too; the crowds are smaller, but the fans are completely insane.

8. Boston Marathon
To truly appreciate the Boston Marathon, you cannot go as a spectator. You must actually do it. Only then can you understand how Boston loves this race, as you get to move through the historic course and the throngs that come out year after year to watch it. I can’t recall any stretch of the race in which people weren’t lined up to watch on at least one side of the road, and the vast majority of the distance has them lined up on both sides. As you get closer to Boston, the crowds get bigger and bigger. The estimate is that 500,000 come out to watch.

Bill Simmons, ESPN’s “Sports Guy”, is a Boston native and once wrote an idiot’s guide to the Boston Marathon, a typically honest, guffaw-producing and illuminating piece. The thing I got about Boston as being different from any other road race out there is this: people treat the marathoners like real athletes. All 20,000+ runners are celebrities of some kind for a weekend, which is nice.

But what’s even better is that the spectators expect as much out of you as they do of the Red Sox or Bruins: they’ll tell you how great you are if they think you’re doing well, and are brutal if they think you suck. It was kind of nice to be berated for running like crap in the last couple of miles instead of getting a polite golf clap and “c’mon, you can do it, you’re almost there”.

Left on the list

This is the stuff I have yet to do.

1. Jamaican “Champs”
The Inter-Secondary Schools Boys and Girls Championships, aka “the Champs”, is considered by some to be the greatest track and field fan experience in the world. It’s been described as a cross between the Super Bowl (for its complete dominance of media attention) and the NCAA Tournament (in that everyone has “their” team, even those who never went to high school). Throughout the whole island, it’s all anyone will talk about for a week. Jamaica’s Kulcha Tours actually runs a five-day Track Attack Tour for foreigners who want to take it all in.

2. Stawell Gift
The Stawell Gift is a professional handicap sprint race held every year on Easter weekend in the Australian town of Stawell (pop. 6,035). The race is 120 meters, on grass and up a slight incline. Runners get handicaps of 0 to 10 meters based on recent race results, with qualifying heats on Saturday and semifinals and finals on Monday. It’s all about the gambling at this meet.

The sprint is not the only thing, though. There are more than sixty events over the three days; there is a women’s sprint (on the same format), plus men’s and women’s and age-group races ranging from 70 meters to 3200 meters. All handicapped, and gambling on all of them.

3. Weltklasse Zürich
The meet is the best one-day invitational in the world, and sometimes called “the Olympics in one night”. Track’s own Swiss/American blogger, Martin Bingisser, did a guest post here on why Zurich is awesome.

4. Millrose Games
There was a time when this would have been near the top of any track fan’s list, but that was back when it sold out its 18,000 tickets more than a month ahead of time. The last ten or so editions in Madison Square Garden weren’t very good meets and didn’t have that electric atmosphere. Moving the meet to the Armory Track and Field Center paid off, as the meet’s quality has drastically improved and the great fan experience appears to have returned.

5. New York City Marathon
Like the Boston Marathon, the New York City race is something to see from the inside. What I’m most hoping to get out of this is to see The Greatest City In The World in a way that you simply couldn’t on the other 364 days of the year.

5. Drake Relays
Penn and Drake are both American classics, albeit each with a different style. Both are must-see events.

6. Kenyan Cross Country Championships
Like Jamaica’s “Champs”, this meet oozes talent like nothing else, and brings in a throng of local fans.

7. Prefontaine Classic
I hope I don’t have to explain this one.

8. Fränkisch-Crumbach Hammermeeting
Martin Bingisser calls this the greatest little meeting in the world. Why? “A bunch of Germans sit around, drink beer, and watch hammer throwing”. What could be more fun than that?

9. A meet at Dublin’s Morton Stadium
A pint, in Ireland, at a track meet. Gotta do it.

10. The Great Court and the Iffley Road Track
These are not track meets per se, but they are among the most important historical landmarks in track and field. The Great Court Run and the first four-minute mile are at Cambridge and Oxford, respectively.

This, of course, is only the top ten. There are almost innumerable other things I’d like to see and do at some time in my life. I’d better get cracking.

************************************************

6f7cf rybak 219x300 My Track Fan Bucket List

“Record-setting athlete and NASA project manager” are only the smaller ways to describe Jeff, the single most amazing man any of us have ever met.

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No. 7/8 Terps’ 20-0 run and Alyssa Thomas’ double-double help them stomp Virginia

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7c447 20130211 ajl ad5 105.0 standard 400.0 No. 7/8 Terps 20 0 run and Alyssa Thomas double double help them stomp Virginia

Alyssa Thomas dominated her way to a double-double Sunday evening and Maryland went on a 20-0 run in the middle of the game to beat Virginia, 73-44, at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

Thomas flirted with both her season high (28) and career high (29) with 27 points and was also the only player in the game with double digit rebounds, hauling in 13. She raced to 20 and 10 in the fist 22 minutes and 47 seconds of the contest, after which Maryland held a 20-point lead.

Virginia did not score from 4:06 remaining in the first to 13:39 remaining in the second, a span of over 10 minutes, during which the Terps went on their 20-0 run. Thomas led all scorers with nine points during that stretch.

Thomas’ co-star Tianna Hawkins was plagued by foul trouble, scoring just four points and grabbing just four rebounds in 17 minutes of action before she fouled out with 3:50 remaining in the game. With four boards, she failed to reach 1,000 on her career and now sits at 996.

To pick up Hawkins, who had just her third single digit scoring effort of the season and yet second in three games, centers Alicia DeVaughn and Malina Howard and guard Katie Rutan stepped up. DeVaughn was good for 14 points, while Malina Howard had 12 points and eight boards and Rutan notched 11 points and a career-high seven rebounds.

UVA’s top scorer Ataira Franklin led them with 21 points, but their second leading scorer Kelsey Wolfe was injured during the game and played just five minutes.

Meanwhile, on the injury front for the Terps, freshman Tierney Pfirman returned from the dislocated right kneecap she sustained on Jan. 19, but did not start. She had missed seven games, during which Maryland went 6-1, with the only loss coming to Duke. Pfirman was averaging a solid 8.6 points per game before she went down.

Against Virginia on Sunday, Tierney played just seven minutes and did not score. Maryland women’s basketball media relations contact Rose DiPaula was reached by email on Saturday regarding Pfirman’s status and said that the team was “taking it day by day.” DiPaula said Tierney had been increasing her involvement in team workouts and that the hope was for her to play “as soon as possible.”

Well, “as soon as possible” ended up being Sunday and it is a good sign for the Terps that Tierney at least got out on the court, as the team inches closer to having a little bit of the minimal depth they had back.

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Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole

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ae7e7 danica godaddy tn 150x150 Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 PoleBy winning the Daytona 500 pole today, Danica Patrick became the first woman to win the top spot for any race in NASCAR’s premier circuit. Clocking in  at 45.817 seconds, averaging 196.434 mph, today’s achievement is the biggest of Patrick’s stock-car career.

Jeff Gordon was the only one to come close at 196 mph even. After the race he said: ”It’s great to be part of history, I can say I was the fastest guy today.” Patrick’s speed was 33 thousandths of a second faster than Gordon’s.

Most importantly, Patrick’s run today means she doesn’t have to worry about Thursday’s qualifying races. Patrick, who is running full-time in the Sprint Cup Series for the first time in 2013, was potentially at risk of missing the race with a poor performance on Thursday.

Patrick seems to be starting the season off on the right foot. Hopefully she can get the big win this year that fans have been waiting for.  Win or lose, her qualifying effort guarantees to keep her in the spotlight this week as NASCAR fans gear up for for the most famous race of the season.

With so much of the media attention in the past few weeks on Patrick’s relationship with fellow driver and Rookie of the Year contender Ricky Stenhouse, it’s nice to see the attention she’s getting based on her success on the track.

Despite lots of talk to the contrary, Patrick has proved she’s the real deal.  Now, let’s see if she can capitalize on today’s record-breaking performance.

Related Posts:

Race Against Danica Patrick in new Sega Game
Women Revving up for Indy 500
Danica Patrick Takes On NASCAR’s Daytona 500

 Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole  Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole  Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole  Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole  Danica Patrick First Woman to Win Daytona 500 Pole

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On the way out the door, I hit you with more

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I’m getting ready to hit the road to see #6 Cal at #15 UCLA, which should be a great match up.

In the meantime, there is news…….

Sadness:

Old Dominion volunteer assistant coach Sara Jones passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer.

College news:

Louisville is finding success among injuries.

Niagara Coach Kendra Faustin is balancing coaching and pregnancy.

Gonzaga and Seattle University have secured key conference wins.

Times are tough for Rutgers and Coach Vivian Stringer.

Texas Tech players from the 1993 championship team have found success as coaches.

North Dakota State finds solace in basketball.

Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli talk to Princeton’s Naveen Rasheed and Florida State Coach Sue Semarau.

Green Bay’s Sarah Eichler has joined the 1,000-point club.

Illinois State’s Candace Sykes’ suspension is in the past.

Miami Hurricane focus: Krystal Saunders.

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Cyborg Santos Signs Multi-Fight Deal with InvictaFC; Debuts Apr. 5

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c590b Ediane Gomes Cyborg Santos Signs Multi Fight Deal with InvictaFC; Debuts Apr. 5

Gomes

c590b CristianeSantos 0 Cyborg Santos Signs Multi Fight Deal with InvictaFC; Debuts Apr. 5

Santos

After getting her release from the UFC, it didn’t take long for Cyborg Santos to book her next fight.

At a press conference Friday, Santos’s manager Tito Ortiz announced the former Strikeforce featherweight champ  has signed a multi-fight deal with InvictaFC, and will fight on the promotion’s 5th card April. 5. She will take on Ediene Gomes.

Santos (10-1-1) has not fought in over a year after serving a suspension for PEDs. She had went undefeated since her pro debut loss.

#2 Unified ranked Gomes (10-2) has been on a four fight win streak, including two wins at Invicta.

The winner of the fight will take on #1 ranked featherweight Marloes Coenen at InvictaFC 6 for the promotion’s first ever 145 belt.

#4 ranked Julia Budd was slated to take on Gomes, but will now face #8 ranked Australian featherweight Fiona Muxlow.

InvictaFC 5 will eminate from the AmeriStar Casino in Kansas City, MO April 5. Viewing options to be announced.

You can watch the press conference below courtesy of Inside MMA

Filed under: MMA  Cyborg Santos Signs Multi Fight Deal with InvictaFC; Debuts Apr. 5 c590b b Cyborg Santos Signs Multi Fight Deal with InvictaFC; Debuts Apr. 5

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Hendrickson’s 2nd in Ljubno leads stellar day for U.S. Ski Jumping Team

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940f6 GEPA full 3406 GEPA 1602138010 Hendrickson’s 2nd in Ljubno leads stellar day for U.S. Ski Jumping Team

Sarah Hendrickson, Sara Takanashi, Coline Mattel. Photo: FISSkiJumping.com

5 Americans in the top 13

LJUBNO, Slovenia, via release — Park City’s Sarah Hendrickson snagged her seventh podium finish this season with a strong 2nd-place performance in Ljubno on Saturday.

She led the U.S. women’s ski jumping team, which dominated the competition by placing five jumpers in the top 13. Jessica Jerome continued to build on her recent successes with a 6th, Lindsey Van was 8th, Alissa Johnson 12th, and Abby Hughes 13th.

Japan’s Sara Takanashi won her third consecutive World Cup event to edge closer to the overall title. France’s Coline Mattel was 3rd.

“I’m really very satisfied because I made two good jumps,” Hendrickson said. “My goal for tomorrow (Sunday) is to focus on my technique again, just like today. Congratulations to Sara (Takanashi), she is having great performances.”

The U.S. team still leads the Nations Cup race. Slovenia, sitting in 2nd, is closing the gap, boosted by the consistent results of Spela Rogelj, Katja Pozun, and Ursa Bogataj who were 4th, 5th, and 9th respectively Saturday.

Just three World Cup events remain this season: one more in Ljubno on Sunday and two in Norway after the 2013 Nordic World Ski Championships, which get under way in Val di Fiemme, Italy, in less than a week. The women’s individual event is Feb. 22, and the mixed team event is Sunday, Feb. 24.

World Cup
Ljubno, Slovenia

Women’s Normal Hill – HS95
(with wind system calculation)

Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013

1. Sara Takanashi, JPN, (88.5 meters, 88) 225.1

2. Sarah Hendrickson, USA, (85, 83.5) 214.2

3. Coline Mattel, FRA, (84, 84) 212.1

—-

6. Jessica Jerome, USA, (82, 82.5) 201.9

8. Lindsev Van, USA, (81.5, 79.5) 197.8

12. Alissa Johnson, USA (78, 79.5) 189.2

13. Abby Hughes, USA (77.5, 79.5) 187.8

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McDonald’s All-American game rosters announced

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Rosters for this year’s McDonald’s All-American game were released today. The game will be April 3 in Chigaco.

East

Name Pos. Ht. Hometown College

Lindsay Allen G 5-8 St. John’s College (D.C.) Notre Dame

Lexie Brown G 5-9 North Gwinnett (Ga.) Maryland

Alaina Coates C 6-4 Dutch Fork (S.C.) South Carolina

Nia Coffey F 6-1 Hopkins (Minn.) Northwestern

Kaela Davis G 6-2 Buford (Ga.) Georgia Tech

Diamond DeShields G 6-2 Norcross (Ga.) North Carolina

Makayla Epps G 5-8 Marion County (Ky.) Kentucky

Kai James C 6-4 Dwyer (Fla.) Florida State

Stephanie Mavunga F 6-2 Brownsburg (Ind.) North Carolina

Taya Reimer F 6-2 Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) Notre Dame

Ieshia Small G 6-0 Dr. Krop (Fla.) Undecided

Ronni Williams F 6-0 Atlantic (Fla.) Florida

West

Name Pos. Ht. Hometown College

Oderah Chidom F 6-3 Bishop O’Dowd (Calif.) Duke

Kendall Cooper C 6-3 St. Anthony (Calif.) Duke

Rebekah Dahlman G 5-9 Braham (Minn.) Vanderbilt

Rebecca Greenwell G 6-1 Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) Duke

Linnae Harper G 5-6 Whitney Young (Ill.) Kentucky

Kailee Johnson F 6-3 Central Catholic (Ore.) Stanford

Erica McCall F 6-3 Ridgeview (Calif.) Stanford

Kelsey Plum G 5-9 La Jolla Country Day (Calif.) Washington

Jordan Reynolds G 6-1 Central Catholic (Ore.) Tennessee

Mercedes Russell C 6-5 Springfield (Ore.) Tennessee

Tyler Scaife G 5-8 Hall (Ark.) Rutgers

Jessica Washington G 5-8 Jenks (Okla.) North Carolina

By the numbers.

UConn committ Saniya Chong wasn’t selected.

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Washington recruits make news and Huskies get NCAA tournament breakdown

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Calling Washington signee Kelsey Plum about an honor is kind of boring. All she wants to hear about from the UW coaching staff is what she should be doing in order to be ready for her freshman season in 2013-14.

“I like a player like that,” UW coach Kevin McGuff said.

Whether Plum, a PG from California, wants to talk about it or not, she was named to her second All-American team on Thursday. She’ll represent the West in McDonald’s marquee game April 3 in Chicago. Plum is the second UW recruit to be named a McDonald’s All-American, post Katie Collier being the program’s first last year. Collier is out due to a season-ending knee injury, which could mean the pair play together for four years in Huskies purple.

Plum is one of three Pac-12 players named to the team of 24. Stanford signees Erica McCall and Kailee Johnson, both forwards, will also play for the West.

Plum was named a WBCA All-American earlier this month. She’s expected to play in the high school game at the NCAA Final Four in New Orleans on April 6.

 

Meanwhile UW recruit Brianna Ruiz, who suffered an ACL tear during the summer, returned to play in her first game Feb. 6. The senior guard scored 19 points for Del Oro HS in a loss for an eighth Sierra Foothill League girls basketball championship.

The Huskies (17-6, 9-3 Pac-12) are in Oregon to face the Ducks (3-21, 1-11) on Friday at Matthew Knight Arena. UW will face Oregon State (9-15, 3-9) on Monday. A sweep of the schools keeps the Huskies’ NCAA tournament hopes alive but a recent ESPN bracket evaluation has the team pegged as the first four teams out of consideration due to a lack of a tough schedule. The Pac-12 has four teams in overall.

UW is ranked 61st in the latest NCAA RPI standings, down from 52nd last week. So, to put it bluntly, a win against No. 21 Colorado (18-5, 7-5) on Feb. 24 in Boulder plus a solid run in the Pac-12 tournament at KeyArena in March are probably the only way Washington gets into the Big Dance.

Lastly, G Kassia Fortier remains out due to a shoulder injury suffered in practice. McGuff said the walk-on is doubtful to play against the Oregon schools.

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Newsworthy day

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Tonight’s results:

North Carolina State took down #19 Florida State, 76-69.

#24 Iowa State upended #22 Oklahoma, 72-68.

#9 Kentucky had to rally to top #16 South Carolina, 78-74.

#20 Delaware beat Old Dominion for their sixteenth consecutive win.

Lots of other games still in progress at the moment.

Full scoreboard.

College news:

For Oklahoma, Play For Kay is personal.

Adversity and talent have helped Gennifer Brandon shine at Cal. What a story.

This year’s seniors are stars alright, but there are several juniors waiting in the wings to take over.

The heartbeat of Penn State begins with Marisa Wolfe.

A strong finish is possible for the Colorado Buffs.

The return of Amber Stokes from injury has sparked Ohio State.

University of Washington news.

Kentucky is always taking their best shot.

Injuries have paved the way for Maryland’s Chloe Pavlech.

Badger guard Morgan Paige is drawing praise for her dogged play.

Princeton has learned from Ivy League blowouts.

UTEP seeks to keep momentum on the road.

Anne Donovan, who is also 6-foot-8, on Brittney Griner.

Kara Wolters on Brittney Griner.

Former Lady Vol Paula Towns Jones passed away last weekend.

Pro news:

Nnemkadi Ogwumike’s dominating performances in Poland this winter have made her a EuroLeague favorite.

Kristi Toliver scored a season best 28 points to lead Dynamo Moscow to the EuroCup final.

The Atlanta Dream has re-signed Aneika Henry and signed Le’Coe Willingham.

Former WNBA star Olympia Scott will be featured at a weekend winter festival.

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Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give-away!)

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Note: Read to bottom of this post to learn how to enter for the give-away. Believe I Am is giving a Training Journal and Betty Designs is giving a wrist band, beenie and water bottle kit!

As an NCAA All-American coxswain for the Princeton Women’s Rowing Team, Elisette Carlson, Founder of SMACK! Media, looked towards a future of possibilities. Alongside lofty career goals and the desire to start a family, she was also determined to keep sports as a part of her life because according to Elisette, “I loved the way I felt when I was participating in a sport, being active or competing.”

The current post-Title IX generation of young women are privy to unlimited athletic possibilities as well as an entire sector of career opportunities ranging from professional athletes to high powered careers in the sports industry to athletic inspired entrepreneurial ventures. This is a new generation of role models who have taken their athletic experience from the field and applied it to their career ambitions. Specifically, these women continue to participate in the sports they are passionate about beyond their college years and simultaneously start a family. Young girls no longer face limits in the opportunities they can seek, rather, they are more often faced with the daunting task of deciding how much they can take on. Do I want to play sports? What will my career be? Do I want to be a Mom as well? Can I do it all?

As a child, Kristin Mayer, Founder and Designer of Betty Designs, could9ffeb image1136 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)never sit still, expect for when she was able to draw. Her early inclinations towards art and movement led to a successful design career and equally solid results as a podium age group triathlete. Kristin still recalls her first triathlon, “That feeling of accomplishment is something I’ll never forget and that’s what hooked me. I had no idea I could push myself like that.” Her newfound ability to challenge herself along with building relationships amongst the triathlon community’s top agents led to the perfect niche for this single mom’s skills– designing custom triathlon apparel, swimsuits and cycle kits for some of the world’s best triathletes. Kristin’s individual custom-designed race uniforms soon developed into a full line of cycling, triathlon and swim apparel that expressed Kristin’s feelings and inspiration when it came to racing. Her line of apparel and accessories, Betty Designs stands apart from others on the market with bold, bright and edgy designs that are more runway than bicycling billboard and also scream “I can be beautiful and badass at the same time!”

 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)When Co-Founder of Believe I Am, Roisin McGettigan, was eleven years old she already had a clear vision of what she wanted to be when she grew up—an Olympian. Not only did she see herself competing on the world’s biggest stage at such a young age, she also understood and felt, “ready to commit to training there and then.” After achieving her goal and competing in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing (Steeplechase, Ireland), the timing for Roisin to make the switch from athletics to starting a family and launching Believe I Am came naturally. Roisin said, “My desire to start a family began to outweigh my desire to run personal bests.” One month before she became pregnant with her daughter Hope, Roisin put her time and energy into developing and launching Believe I Am with Lauren Fleshman, Co-founder of Believe I Am, Similar to experiencing childbirth, labor and the rigorous schedule of training for the Olympics, Roisin realized that creating the company’s flagship product, training journals hand crafted and designed for women runners, was especially tough. However, similar to her other pursuits, she found that, “It’s really easy to work hard and get things done when you care about something.”

Elisette feels that “sports and competition teaches one that there are no limits and that you can do anything you want if you apply yourself to it.” As a coxswain, Elisette’s role was, “about leadership and about learning how to succeed and win by working with a team and extracting the best out of every team member to produce the best results.” “Ultimately,” Elisette comments that “sports inspired me to compete professionally in a field that I was passionate about (Marketing and PR) and was a major catalyst towards my taking the leap to launch SMACK! Media,” right in between the birth of her two sons, Andrew and Luke. Elisette’s team work ethic and enthusiasm has built a crew of 7 women who are leading the way in Public Relation(ships) and Marketing in the sports, fitness and health sectors.

Lauren feels the carry over from sport to business comes from the individual6510c image1139 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!) mindset of the athlete. “Running has given me a strong sense of ownership over my life,” Lauren said. “It is a microcosm of life, with its own pulse, its own goals, its own momentum. Business is no different, so you can apply the same attitude and skills to it that running teaches you.” Lauren has taken a different route than many professional athletes, specifically runners, by launching both Picky Bars and Believe I Am in 2010, in the midst of a highly successful running career that includes 2 U.S. National Titles (5,000 meters) and a 7th place finish at the World Championships (Daegu, 2011). Lauren recently partnered with a women’s apparel company called Oiselle that was founded by a competitive runner and mother, Sally Bergesen. Lauren continues, “Oiselle was an inspiration for me throughout that time, informing my ideas about what it means to be a successful, authentic and growing business.” Today Lauren’s partnership with Oiselle, in lieu of the traditional “shoe sponsorship” for runners, marks a historic shift in the way female (and all) athletes are involved in and can support themselves in sports and as players on and off of the field.

All four women unanimously agree that sports have taken on the additional role of stress release while balancing motherhood with entrepreneurship. For Kristin, “the training is MY time. For me. I think it’s important that moms have something they do for themselves at some point in the day. I also come up with a lot of design ideas when I’m out training.” Roisin also looks to running for inspiration, “it’s where my creative ideas are born.” For women whose lives revolved around athletics for so many years, continuing to participate in the sport they love is an essential way to remain balanced. As Elisette puts this, “Running is paramount. Without exercise, without sweat, without running, I’m not myself.” Lauren also stresses the importance of time for yourself: “Running is always the epicenter for me. People may find that offensive, that marriage or a child or God or something else should be the epicenter. But running is at the very core of my spirit, and the origin of everything in my life and all relationships is from my spirit. If not running one day, than some other form of me-time, like music or painting, or walking.”

Organization, self-care and positive outlook are essential traits of these “Super Women,” again traits they likely developed as they balanced playing sports with school, work and friends. For Kristin each day “is full of little compartments of time,” setting aside blocks specifically for work, or training and especially for quality time with her son Gavin. Elisette agrees that, “Scheduling and having a plan is key. You must lay out a game plan, just as you would a race plan. By having a plan and a flexible approach you can be prepared for anything that comes your way. Sure there will be times when a workout might be derailed or the schedule won’t go as planned,” Elisette continues, “but I do my best to try to stick to it and work as efficiently as possible when I’m in the office.”

The consensus amongst these women, who cannot be singularly defined as entrepreneurs, mothers or athletes, is that sports have given all aspects of their life an incredibly rewarding perspective and balance. When asked about advice they give to younger women looking at their goals and future, their responses began emphatically in the same way, “Yes you can do it all!”

Whether you are a mother, an entrepreneur, a college student or an athlete, below are the top tips these “Super Women” offer to anyone looking to juggle their passions, career goals, friendships and relationships with their family:

 

1. Organization and flexibility are key. Sometimes something in the schedule has to give due to life and/or work. Kristin says it took her a long time to realize this, but she has since reaped the benefits of letting little things go and not “sweating the small stuff.”

2. Stay positive. Elisette encourages women to “try not to criticize yourself if things don’t go perfectly as planned, you can’t make every school event, you miss a workout, etc. Simply make the most out of the situation at hand.”

3. Get connected. Find friends in business. Find friends who are moms. Find friends who are into fitness. Trust Roisin–you’ll need them. “Sisterhoods are real,” she says, “in this day and age where we all don’t have our family and extended family around to help out, it’s essential to have this support, shared wisdom and friendship at hand.”

4. You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. Lauren says her biggest breakthrough came with getting comfortable outsourcing things. “Anything time-consuming that I don’t enjoy doing, I pay someone to do now. Clean my house, take care of the yard, wash the car, etc. Obviously you don’t save as much money as you would doing those things yourself, but it lowers my stress, makes me more productive at the things I enjoy doing and raises the quality of my work. In the end, that will create more financial opportunities than if I were a stress ball who doesn’t sleep and starts to resent my work rather than love it.”

5. Never let sports go. “If it’s been a part of your life for years, it is a part of your soul. Consider participation in sports as good spiritual hygiene. Maintaining the spirit of a female athlete will make everything else you do in life amplified, illuminated.”—Lauren Fleshman

8d1fd image1135 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)Give away rules: To enter to win a Believe I Am Training Journal and Betty Designs wrist band, beenie and water bottle kit, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  This comment could be about what it takes to be a Superwoman, Superwomen in your own life or even how you will apply the above 5 tips. There will be only one entry per participant. The cut-off for entries is 12:00 am (midnight) on February 28, 2013. The winner will be chosen at random and announced soon after. 

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There are 6 comments on this post. Join the discussion!

8d1fd anonymous5 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
dailysweat says:

I always want to do SO much in a year: run marathons, race cyclocross, do my first 70.3, PR in the 5k, climb mountains, be an awesome girlfriend, etc. but it’s true, you can’t fit EVERYTHING in. This year, I’m really trying to focus on what I REALLY want to do, so I can train well and perform at my highest capability. Quality over quantity!

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 1:45pm EST

8d1fd anonymous2 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
lizard says:

I’m no Superwoman, but with my first baby due this June I’m standing in line to register for an Ironman for 2014. Life will become a balance, but I need something to define who I am beyond a mother. I’m looking forward to the new challenge!

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:25pm EST

8d1fd anonymous2 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
atankersley says:

I believe that every woman can be a Superwoman by living life to the fullest, embracing challenges, and loving wholeheartedly.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:32pm EST

cfcd0 anonymous1 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
NancyeR says:

I recommend #3 “Get Connected” to everyone who asks for advice. In college I worked for our women’s soccer and lacrosse teams. I have kept in touch with the AAD for the sports, the coaches and some of the players. A few years later those connections led to a job in an athletic department that also covered graduate school. While I was there I did an internship for another sports organization which led to my current job with an Olympic sport. Connections and keeping in touch with people is so important.

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 2:41pm EST

cfcd0 anonymous4 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
lalaladybug says:

This posting was very refreashing! I started to walk/run in January 2012 and although it was an emotional and physical struggle I completed my first two 5K this past fall/winter. I still consider myself a newbie and find so much inspiration seeing runners, especially women who are in a sense “able to do it all”. My goals and enjoyment for running are completely for me and my benefit, but I know they are bringing me to a better level of health which when I do start to have a family in a few years, will be positive benefits. I don’t really see myself as a true runner as of yet, but I know I will get there and feel like a Superwoman!! Thank you for your inspiration! icon smile Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)

Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 5:39pm EST

8d1fd anonymous5 Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)
RitzyRo says:

I am a new to running and will be completing my first half next week at Princess Half at Disney. I have met new female running friends of all ages through FB groups and joining GOTR organization. Running has helped me in so many ways, personally and physically. Having graduated from an all women’s college, I find strong women so inspiring- Superwoman, Lauren and Ro…they all make me believe I can achieve my fitness goals no matter what age you are. Not to mention the sense of sisterhood and support..it’s just amazing the things your body can do. Everyday I wake up feeling stronger than ever. We are ALL Superwoman, just need to harness that potential and believe you can do it. icon smile Super Woman is Real! Meet the Women Redefining What Little Girls Want to Be When They Grow Up (plus a give away!)

Friday, February 15, 2013 at 5:27am EST

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