Sunday, June 22, 2008

3rd Annual West Coast Distance Clinic

Great event once again at San Ramon Valley HS on Saturday as the coaches that attended the free coach's clinic were treated to lots of Nike gear (my prediction is Nike will develop a pair of spikes that weigh nothing and I am NOT kidding), a great lunch, 3 of the greatest HS coaches ever to hold stopwatches in the history of high school distance running and FREE shoes!

Leading the way was Pat Tyson (above left picture in the middle), formerly of Mead HS fame, who is the new cross country and track and field coach at Gonzaga University. Tyson has just completed a stint at one of the legendary high schools in distance running lore, South Eugene HS. Between his 22 years at Mead and his one year at South Eugen, Tyson made two quick stops at Oregon U. and Kentucky U. He is also well known in the distance running community as the roommate of Steve Prefontaine during his days in Oregon.

Following more Nike gear, the next coach to speak was Danny Green (above left picture on the left) of Woodlands HS. Mr. Green was quite a character as he stole the show cracking his fair share of one liners (think funny Vince Lombardi) but leaving no doubt about why his teams are so successful. How successful you may ask? 2 years ago, his school boasted 22 boys under 10:00 for the 3200. Last year, his team finished in 4th place at NTN without one of his best teams in his long illustrious career. He's close to retiring but don't count out Woodlands HS in the future as his son, Juris, is rearing to take over for daddy.

Lastly but definitely not least was Jesuit (of Carmichael) longtime coach, Walt Lange (pictured above on picture to the right). He is well known, especially in California, for winning state cross country titles (NINE!), his outstanding website, coaching lots of fast runners, and most recently his incredibly detailed cross country maps. You can also view lots of tools and links that Walt uses here.

Thanks to Tim Hunter (San Ramon Valley HS coach), all the Nike representatives and Jimmy McFadden of Forward Motion Sports for putting together another outstanding clinic. If you weren't able to make this clinic this year, don't miss out next year. Definitely a must for any coach that wants to pick up something new (or two) for the following cross country season.

If you attended the clinic, what did you think?

By the way, the coach pictured above that wasn't mentioned, the one and only Joe Newton. A documentary about all his accomplishments will be opening the Running Film Festival at the Olympic Trials in Oregon.

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