Day Four from Indoor Track Nationals
I woke up a bit late today - exactly at 8:30 a.m. - when Coach Mike texted to ask me if I was ready, so the day kind of started off on the wrong foot but righted itself. Breakfast was the same old same old, which is good because you want to make a routine of things to keep consistency. So of course, I had my usual.
Afterward, I had to have new key cards made for my door because none of the old ones worked anymore. But on the flip side, the new ones were the really cool festival ones like my participant pass, so it’s all good. Following my celebration of the cool room keys, my coaches left to go have a day on their own.
While I waited for family members to get here, I watched movies and did rehab. At about 12:30 p.m., my mother, father, sister and her boyfriend arrived, and we walked up 20th street to find a restaurant for lunch.
I suggested the Purple Onion because Coach Fletcher’s wife told him that it was good, because she had eaten there when she lived in the city. The rest of the group agreed; it was ethnic food which I was open to. If you know me, I’m very picky but I thought what the heck, what can it hurt to live a little?
After lunch I went to the Crossplex to do my rehab and daily workouts. After I was done with treatments around 3:30 p.m., my coaches and I stayed around and watched the women’s vault competition. These are some of the most talented and hard working girls I have ever met; they were all amazing.
Following the women’s pole vault, we watched a few of our Conference Carolinas teammates from Limestone in the high jump. After that, we headed back to the hotel and I got a haircut. The coaches then joined my family and I for dinner.
Now that I’m back at the hotel icing and going over what I need to do to be ready for tomorrow, I just want to take a moment to thank all the people that helped me get here. From coaches Wilson and Fletcher, to Coach Nick Whiting and Coach Hauck for supervising in the weight room so often and most importantly the ATHLETIC TRAINING STAFF AND COACH MAC!!!
I wouldn’t even be competing or even walking if it weren’t for the hard work and tireless efforts of every single athletic trainer and even the training students. You guys are awesome and I owe my success to you all.
I am going to give it everything I have tomorrow, and at the end of the competition, I will be able to hold my head high knowing I gave my all for LMC athletics. So long from Birmingham. I hope everyone has a great spring break and stays safe.
Day Three from Indoor Track Nationals
This morning started off just as the rest had since we arrived here, with the routine of breakfast at 8:30 a.m.; as usual I had eggs with bacon and bananas. After a quick shower and a bit of relaxing, we headed over to the track to watch some swimming before my practice, since the NCAA II Swimming and Diving Championships are being held in the same complex.
They were having diving competitions. It was pretty interesting. We watched that for about 30 minutes before my pre-practice treatment. After treatment, I went to the track and ran a few laps, went through my dynamic warm up circuit, then jogged a few more laps and shut it down for the day.
After practice, we headed over to the regional awards ceremony presented by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. I met a lot of really talented young men and women, and it was very humbling to be in the presence of them; they were all very nice and polite.
My favorite was a freshman vaulter from Texas A&M-Kingsville named Jordan Yamoah. He is ranked No. 1 heading into Saturday's contest and as we were standing there talking about how our last few weeks of training, it became clear to me that this was going to be one of the most fun competitions of my life.
We as pole vaulters are unlike any other sport. We don’t cheer against one another because in all reality it’s not about you versus the other person, it’s you against yourself. We all just want one another to jump as high as we can.
After the ceremony, we watched a bit more of the diving competition and then came back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Let me tell you about dinner - it was amazing! If you ever visit Birmingham or the Birmingham area, you need to stop in at Jim and Nick's. It was some of the best flavored food I have ever had in my life besides Artisanal. After dinner, I had an ice bath and while making the ice bath locked myself out of the room and almost flooded the bathroom. The crisis was quickly averted, but as per usual, I leave you to rehab some more.
I hope you enjoy the pictures from today, and be sure to check out my Twitter feed and Youtube channel for more updates from the D2 Indoor Championships Festival.
So long from Birmingham!!!
Day Two from Indoor Track Nationals
I woke up this morning at 8:30 a.m. and had breakfast at the hotel, which was pretty good. After breakfast, I went back up to the room and watched some jump film from the last meet, took a quick shower. I then went to Dick’s Sporting Goods around 10 a.m. and bought a hamstring compression sleeve.
We then proceeded to the Crossplex where the meet is being held (pictures tomorrow). Once there, we checked out the pole vault pit and runway. My leg was a bit sore from workouts earlier in the week, but felt much better today after my pre-jump treatment.
After treatment, I went through my warm up and took a few jumps. I got over a 4.90 meter bungee pretty easily and my steps were on, so we shut it down.
I had my after workout treatment then came back to the hotel while the coaches went to the coaches meeting at 4 p.m. Before heading up to my room, I stopped by the student lounge at the hotel and joined my fellow participants filling bags of food for underprivileged children, doing our small part to help those less fortunate than ourselves. And I got a pretty sweet shirt as a token of appreciation, which you can check out in the picture above. Not a bad deal if you ask me!
While the coaches were at their meeting, I relaxed a bit and put in an extra session of ice until we went to dinner around 7 p.m. All and all it was a good day - a lot better than being at school any day. I'll have some video footage of the Crossplex and some of the ceremonies tomorrow, but for now I’m going to get back to rehab. Hope everyone had fun in the snow.
So long from the hotel :)
Day One from Indoor Track Nationals
Today, a seven-hour trip ended up taking eight to eight and half hours to complete because of some unknown traffic delay. The upside was that coach Wilson brought four neo vault videos for us to watch on the trip down, so we turned a bad situation into a film session.
We arrived at the hotel around 5 p.m., got our rooms and went to dinner at 5:30. Ordinarily this would be an uneventful event, but not at the D2 nationals festival. We left the hotel to a police escort, the streets are blocked off and the interstate is backed up for a quarter of a mile in either direction. I thought that it was pretty ridiculous and cool at the same time, but who am I to judge.
Dinner was at the Barber Vintage Motor Sports Museum. That place is awesome! I have never seen so many classic cars in my life as the picture below will illustrate. The food was good as well.
Have a good one,
The Heroes Behind the Curtain
By Whitney Noble
It's not every night that an athletic department has the privilege to honor those who contribute so much to its success, those who rarely get recognized for their efforts outside of a hand shake or a smile. Yet that is the thank you they often cherish the most, the ones which come from the heart of someone whose life they have changed forever.
On Thursday evening, the Lees-McRae athletics department held its inaugural Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night during its men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader against Erskine College, paying tribute to the many men and women who make Lees-McRae the special place it is.
Nearly 30 members of the College’s faculty and staff were in attendance to watch the women’s team record its seventh win of the season, as well as the men’s team hold Erskine to its second-lowest scoring first half this winter.
It was truly an honor to be able to recognize and thank these wonderful people for their hard work and dedication to Lees-McRae, especially after those efforts were rewarded in such a big way earlier this month. Just before the spring semester began, the athletic department proudly announced a monumental academic achievement as the Bobcats posted a combined 3.13 grade point average during the fall, which marks the highest single-semester GPA in school history.
Thirteen of the Bobcats’ 17 intercollegiate athletic programs had a combined team GPA of 3.0 or higher, including six with a mark over 3.2. Overall, 154 (includes multiple sport participants) of the Bobcats’ more than 240 student-athletes were named to the Conference Carolinas Spring Presidential Honor Roll, which recognizes student-athletes for their academic achievements.
The night, and these outstanding accomplishments by our young men and women, showed once again what makes this College such a special place – that each and every faculty and staff member truly cares about the success of not only the student body, but the campus as a whole. We couldn’t be more proud of our student-athletes, and we are forever grateful to the teachers, advisors, student development staff, and everyone else on campus that help us guide these young people on the path to their dreams.
So to the Lees-McRae faculty and staff: Thank you.
It's Not About The Money
By Whitney Noble, Sports Information Director
The daily life of a Sports Information Director (or SID as we’re more commonly referred to), can frequently be described as boring or dull, but being the SID at Lees-McRae College is definitely anything but dull.
Sitting in the front office of the Williams Physical Education Complex, or the “fish bowl” as it’s called in the athletic department, it often proves difficult to accomplish the day’s necessary tasks when faced with regular visits from student-athletes, members of the community, and other staff. Yet it is those sometimes all-to-welcome interruptions which make the job that much more enjoyable.
For within the daily grind of seemingly endless press releases, updates to the website, pictures to edit, and other assorted responsibilities, we often forget the true reason and purpose behind the SID’s devotion to our profession: the young men and women who fill our lives with laughter and pride on a daily basis.
It is the student-athletes and the coaches we work with each day that keep us going, providing a constant reminder of the rewards that come as a result of hard work, determination, and an insatiable passion for the game they play.
I know for myself that this is truly the most rewarding part of the job – watching these young men and women grow and achieve such great heights over the course of their four years (and sometimes an extra one or two) at this wonderful school. It fills me with such pride to witness our student-athletes push themselves to heights and achievements well beyond what they ever thought possible when they first set foot on campus.
This is what truly makes the long days and many thankless tasks worth it – seeing the smiles on the student-athletes’ faces when they receive their awards, and begin to realize just how much they are capable of. These special young men and women continue to inspire me on a daily basis to always push myself to be better, and for that, I am truly grateful.
AD's Holiday Wish List 2012
By Craig McPhail
As we start classes today, I wanted to share some of the Athletic Department at Lees-McRae College’s New Year’s resolutions. These are some wishes we have, but hopes with hard work and dedication they will indeed be rewarded.
In reading these, some have already been accomplished as we had a 3.13 grade point average last semester, this is the highest ever. And while some may be a bit far-fetched, some resolutions seem that way too.
Make a difference.
- I am hoping the over 4,000 hours of CATS (Challenging Athletes to Success) program will pay off with a 3.0 grade point average for our student-athletes.
- I am wishing for the Arthur, Lauritsen, Sanders Track and Field venue to get a fresh coat of rubber this summer, with over 60 student-athletes on the team and countless community members, the facility is a great resource.
- We do need another mode of transportation to get our larger squad size teams to their games. A charter bus could go a long way in making this possible.
- Turf fields, always on the list in this climate. Playing home games on the road, because our field is unplayable is something we need to address. Would be great for camps and other activities as well.
- Bleachers in the gym. For our indoor sports to continue to improve our facilities must get the needed attention, same can be said for our classrooms.
- Locker rooms are needed for more teams. This is a safe haven for the intercollegiate experience. So many great memories are born out of a locker room, van ride or huddle.
- A 4x4 gator would seriously enhance our athletic training department’s ability to transport hydration or injured athletes to and from the athletic training room.
- While I am at it, our athletic training room also needs to upgrades to continue to serve almost half of our on campus student body.
- A pep band would really liven up our indoor game day experience. We have made great strides with cheerleaders and a new concession stand, but the band could make a big difference.
- Another trophy case for our expanding awards, perhaps interactive with TV showing Bobcat highlights. We are having a tough time honoring the great achievements with our space issues.
- A tractor. Every athletic department needs a vehicle that can roll fields, aerate, spread seed and do whatever necessary to maintain the field space we have.
- Outdoor storage space. It would help us to protect our track and field, lacrosse and softball equipment from the elements.
- Again, while I am at it, an indoor training facility would not only serve our 17 teams, but the community as well. There are times where we could really utilize this.
- Better webcasting tools, this is a great recruiting resource for us and to be able to provide quality webcasting is crucial. Play by play announcers would be awesome!
- A paint job on the exterior top part of the gym.
- Repairs on the fencing around the athletic fields.
- Drainage around the lower fields to prevent flooding and loss of practice fields.
- Media room. A place for our coaches to show film, educate the student-athletes and target the technology advancements in training.
- Better lighting system in the gym, this allows us better broadcast capabilities.
- Better press box for softball, with all of the other upgrades to this facility it would only make sense.
- Upgrades to the cycling trails, NORBA do you hear me?
- Bleacher system dug out of the hill for tennis sure would be unique.
- Another couple of indoor tennis courts.
- And while I am at it, our outdoor courts need some repair/renovating.
- A sound system for the gym to which the Lees-McRazies can really make some noise.
- How about a Pep Band? Would make for an intimidating home court!
- What about new sports like swimming, skiing/snowboarding, triathlon, and dare I say FOOTBALL?
- Our coaches and staff have a restful, safe and fun-filled holiday break, as they have been working so much to keep up with the success of our program.
- Our student-athletes continue to do some training, but also share their time with friends and family over these holidays, re-charging for the spring semester.
- And for this Bobcat Club to continue to grow and make the impact it can and will on the lives of these young people and their coaches who are navigating through this journey of life.