Saturday, February 26, 2011

Birmingham Grand Prix and home again!

Its the morning of the USA Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque and I thought i better write about my last couple of meets before i have another and have to write about all 3.  

I had a meet in Prague and struggled a bit.  My run felt really good but i just couldnt dial in my last 2 steps to hit a good takeoff.  For me to put together a great jump I have to be completely over top of my takeoff foot so that i can jump up into the pole.   Well at Prague I kept being under on my takeoff so i just kept moving back, well i got to the point where i was too far away and so I was reaching a bit for my takeoff, because of this i never really put a good jump together.  I made my opening height of 5.30m/17'5" but no heights after that.  

So I headed to my next meet in Birmingham, England with a few ideas of what to change and how to improve on my last meet in Europe.  It was my first time to the UK, and it was nice to be able to read everything and understand everyone.  The meet in Birmingham was a IAAF Grand Prix meet, which just means it was a high level meeting, with a good amount of prize money, and since i didnt finish as well as i wanted to in Donetsk I knew i needed to finish well here and come home with some money in my pocket.  

The venue for the meet was really nice, it was a lot like Madison Square Garden with large stadium seating on the sides.   My plan for the meet was to jump on the poles i was comfortable with and move up when i needed to.  I started the meet at 5.35/17'6" on the 5m 13.3 and continued to make 5.50/18' and 5.60/18'4" all on the same pole and all on my first attempts!  I was sitting in first place as we went up to 5.70/18'8" and i thought that if i put a really good jump together i could make it, well at the same time my run was really coming together and my last 2 steps were really sharp.  I blew through on my 1st attempt, moved up to the 5.10m #3 and blew through that.  3rd attempt i moved up to the 5.10 #4 or 12.7.  I remembered all to well coming down on the bar in donetsk with the standards at 60 so i moved them in to 55, came down, had a pretty good jump and just barely clipped the bar again.  I wasnt happy about missing 5.70 again but i ended up finishing in first place!  

I came home the next day to my beautiful wife, and relaxed most of the week.  Thursday we came down to Albuquerque for indoor nationals today.  I jump at 5:45pm mountain time or 7:45 eastern.  For the first time they are having a live webcast of the meet at http://www.usatf.org/events/2011/USAIndoorTFChampionships/video.asp  Wish me luck!

Always Pursuing -Mark-

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