Roady 5K and Camp Barnes 5K/10K combo on tap

May 3, 2013

The five-minute barrier - Many high school runners set a goal to break the five-minute barrier in the 1,600 meters - sometimes called the metric mile - and hundreds of high school runners are well under the standard. Not many middle school athletes even come close to the five-minute milestone during their sixth- through eighth-grade years. Jake Bamforth, my older son, broke the Beacon record when he was in seventh grade in 2010 by dipping under 5:20, and he won the Cape Invite and shattered his own school record with a 5:04.5 during his final race of his middle school career. To break five minutes in the mile, one has to average 1:15 per quarter circling the oval. Last Friday night, Beacon eighth-grader Ben Bamforth, my younger son, tied his brother's record with a 5:04 of his own. This Friday evening, Ben will attempt to be the first middle school runner in the history of the conference to dip under the barrier. Ben currently holds the 32nd best mile time in the United States at 5:04, eight seconds faster than his dad ran in eighth grade!

Beacon track dominates Jim Blades Invite

The Beacon girls' track & field team won nine events at the Jim Blades Invite April 26, and it seemed like everything that could go right was going right. My assistant coach, Gilbert Maull, watched his three hurdlers sweep the 55-meter hurdles with our third hurdler's time better than every other hurdler in the conference, and he came to me after the race. “Our girls are going to give teams a long night, Coach - I can see it.” The Beacon girls went on to score a meet record 182 points with nine first-place performances that would place in any high school meet in the conference. Ben Bamforth tied his older brother Jake’s school record in the mile at 5:04 and then set personal records in the 800 meters and triple jump events. Distance ace Logan Shuttleworth scored 24 points, and Zoe Scott had a huge jumping night with 22 1/2 points while Bamforth scored 24 points to lead the boys' team. I have to say, having been a coach for 22 years, it has been a bit disappointing to see other teams not using blocks in the sprints, having no handoffs, high jumping off two feet and running out of lanes. Those basic track items should be taught at the middle school level, and it is very evident that those items have been taught to all 112 kids on the Beacon team. High school coaches who have a middle school feeder should have kids with track & field basics when they arrive as freshmen. Eight girls made the final of the 55m hurdles, and at the command "Set!" there were five girls standing up like they were running a mile and three Beacon girls in the blocks ready to strike. Ten seconds later Beacon had 24 points and we were off to the next event. Middle school coaches need to spend more time teaching skills and correct procedures and less time just putting them on the track. I encourage all track & field spectators to come out this Friday night, May 3, to the Cape Classic Invitational at Legends Stadium and cheer on the track & field youth of the future. There will be a lot of talent in the stadium this night.

Blake's Run for Boston 5K

Blake Hundley is a young boy in elementary school with a huge heart. Not only can Blake burn up a cross-country course or any distance in a road race, but Blake is letting his heart do the talking this Friday evening. Blake is the race director of the Blake’s Run for Boston 5K that will be held in Bethany Beach. Proceeds of the event will benefit the Boston One Fund that has been set up to help the victims of the tragedy from the Boston Marathon. Support Blake by running with him this Friday at 6:30 p.m., which will be much easier than running against him for sure. See you in Bethany Beach.

Oxford Day 10K

The 13th Oxford Day 10K was held the morning of April 27 in beautiful small-town Oxford, Md., with the Seashore Striders producing the event to benefit breast cancer outreach and education. Striders team member Enos Benbow, 32, of Georgetown and Jamaica took the lead in the final mile from regular Mike Sewell to win in 37:55.  Sewell, 43, placed second in 38:36 to win the masters division. Bobby Bramble rounded out the top three finishers in 39:15.

Young lacrosse player Kathryn Gearhart, 14, of Easton, Md., was the first female in a time of 41:21, averaging 6:40 per mile. Quite impressive for a 14-year-old to race six miles at that pace when several high school female milers cannot race 1 mile in 6:40.   Penny Williams won the female masters in a time of 49:21. Kate Loveless of Oxford was the second female in 44:52, while Melissa Coered rounded out the top three in a time of 46:23.   Custom pink ribbon awards, tech T-shirts, five-year age groups and chip timing by Chronotrack highlighted the event that kicked off the annual Oxford Day celebration. Hundreds of people flock to Oxford for the day highlighted by the old town parade, the much-anticipated cow chip bingo contest, some of the best ice cream on the shore, and plenty of music and food to enjoy. Just a great celebration that I encourage you to experience.

Upcoming races

Blake’s 5K Run for Boston, 6:30 p.m., Friday, May 3, Bethany Beach.

Third Annual Roady 5K Run/Walk, 9 a.m., Saturday, May 4, Georgetown.

Third Delaware State Police Camp Barnes 10K/5K/1M Walk, 1 p.m., Sunday, May 5, Bethany Beach.

Fifth Mother's Day Remembrance 5K, 9 a.m., Saturday, May 11, Lewes.

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