Redfield's Replays: May 9
Sam Guinn, BV Northwest
PYLE LEAPING LONG
It was a comment by a coach his freshman year at St. Thomas Aquinas that propelled Tom Pyle’s track career.
“During my freshman year, I jumped 20 feet (in the long jump) for the first time, and my coach told me that he thought it was an unofficial freshman record at Aquinas,” he says. “After that, I started to think, ‘I wonder how far I can take this?’ So during the off-season, I worked really hard and tried to get better.”
And the junior has done well in the long jump.
He is ranked No. 2 in the state of Kansas with his best 2014 jump of 23-21/2. He also runs in the 100 and 200 along with sprint relays and does the triple jump.
Pyle got an early start in track.
“I got started in track with the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) program in the fourth grade,” he says. “My older brother ran track before I did, so I just tried it out too.”
He has worked hard since the last track season to improve in his favorite event, the long jump.
“I have lifted weights a lot,” he says. “And when the weather permitted, I went down to the track to work on my speed. Speed was the main thing I focused on during the off-season.”
What is the secret of success in the long jump?
“The secret of success is keeping speed through the board, and making your last step short,” he says. “Try to get as high as you can; the distance will come from the speed. Once you’ve hit the board, most of the in-air motions will come naturally.”
He has some items to work on to increase his distance in the long jump.
“I need to work on getting faster down the runway,” he says. “The mark where I start my run-up changes week-to-week as I increase my speed. The farther into the season we get, the more I get into shape to sprint.”
Pyle has a simple motto.
“A philosophy I have always lived by is, if you care enough to do it, why not try to be the best?”
The junior wants to jump on the collegiate level, hopefully the NCAA Division I level.
There are several area track athletes who are at the top of the state of Kansas in their events.
· Blue Valley Northwest’s Sam Guinn is the state leader in the 1,600 meters with a best time of 4:15.44 and he is second in the 3,200 at 9:12.07.
· St. James Academy’s Kelly McGee is No. 1 in the 300-meter hurdles at 45.1 and triple jump with a leap of 37-5. And the Thunder's Ian Jones is No. 1 in the 800 with a best time of 1:54.6.
· Olathe North’s Kai Shean-Rowden has cleared 6-10 in the high jump to lead the state of Kansas.
· Tanner Green of Olathe South is at the top of the 400 list with a best of time 49.05.
· Olathe East’s Kelsey Lathrop is the leader in the girls' 800 at 2:17.32.
There are two head coaching positions open in the Blue Valley School District.
Blue Valley West is looking for a head cross country coach and BV Northwest is looking for a head girls’ golf coach.
Interested candidates for the BV West cross country job can contact athletic director Cindy Roach while BV Northwest AD Steve Harms is the contact person for the BV Northwest girls’ golf position.