Track Clinic Features Olympians

Sarada Symonds, Staff Writer

The Bay Area Track Club [BATC] and the Campolindo track and field team will host a clinic for local athletes on January 19. The clinic will feature several BATC athletes, including collegiate runners and Olympians, who will cover fitness and competitive psychology.

For the past 2 years, the clinic has featured topics such as proper warm up, recovery, core strength, and establishing a pre-race routine. BATC coach Tom Kloos said, “This year the clinic will continue the themes of building better athletes, not just runners, and attending to the details of being an elite athlete.”

According to Kloos, new elements this year will include “discussions on transitions: from high school to college and college to post-collegiate.”

Last year, speakers included Cal Berkeley record holder David Torrence, and Olympians Magda Lewy-Boulet and Alicia Johnson. Runners such as Lewy-Boulet, who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 26.2-mile race, and Torrence, who beat Don Bowden’s 50-year old record when he ran the mile in 3:58.62, now train with the BATC. According to Kloos, while no speakers list has been confirmed, the BATC athletes, including Torrence and Lewy-Boulet, will be speaking at the upcoming clinic.

The presence of Olympic athletes was inspiring to some of the previous attendees. Distance runner Haley Shipway said, “It’s really cool to see what you can reach if you work hard.” While some of the runners didn’t focus on running until their collegiate years, many still found their advice helpful. Sprinter Hadley Swanson said, “Some people’s goal is to get to the Olympics, and it’s great to see their perspective and the hard work they put in to get there.”

“It’s good motivation to be taught by people who have excelled,” said Shipway. “They were really nice. Everyone was really helpful and gave good advice.”

In the past, attendees have included students from a variety of local high schools as well as youth athletes from junior high and elementary school programs. According to Swanson, anyone interested in track should come. “It’s really good for newbies because then they’ll know how to prevent injuries,” she said.

Shipway also found it helpful to meet the people she will be competing with in the upcoming season. “It’s fun meeting people you’re competing with, and it can lessen the anxiety in a race if you know your competitors,” she said.

At last year’s clinic, athletes also learned about recovery techniques. Shipway said, “We learned about rope stretching at the clinic, and I’ve always found that to be super helpful.”

For the first time, the clinic is being held during track and field’s preseason rather than March, according to track and field coach Chuck Woolridge. While Shipway thinks that less people might show up to the preseason clinic, she believes it will be beneficial for the team. She said, “It will be good to get a lot of drills and training that we can do over the season.”

According to Swanson, many different types of runners attended the clinic last year, from distance runners to sprinters. “There were different stations, and each person at the station taught a different thing, so one would teach you how to stretch with a rope, and another would work with a medicine ball,” she said. Swanson’s favorite segment was on speed work. “As a sprinter, I could really relate to it, and the teacher was really good,” she explained.

Pre-registration is $25 and can be applied for online by sending an email to [email protected]. The clinic is Saturday, January 19, from 10 AM to 2 PM. Students should bring running clothes, a water bottle, and an optional snack for afterwards. “It’s a learn by doing clinic, so they should be prepared for light exercise as well as listening to Olympic athletes,” said Woolridge.

All attendees will receive a BATC t-shirt and stretch rope.