Indoor Track Delaware hosts high-profile virtual meeting
On Aug. 26, I was happy to be a part of what may have been the most talented Zoom call ever in the state of Delaware. The board that I serve on hosted a high-profile athlete outreach virtual call to bring together some of the biggest names with ties to Delaware in the sport of track & field. The goal was to introduce our project and brainstorm ways that each athlete’s network can help raise awareness about the project. It was a 90-minute call consisting of introductions, a slideshow presentation about the project, and question-and-answer time where athletes could learn more about the project. Athletes participating included:
• Vicki Huber-Rudawsky - a Concord and Villanova graduate and two-time Olympian. At the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, Huber-Rudawsky finished sixth in the 3,000-meter run (8:37.25). At the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Huber-Rudawsky placed ninth in the 1,500-meter run (4:14.82).
• Kai Maull - a graduate of Cape Henlopen and Clemson, where he was an All-American for the Tigers in the long jump. Kai won four gold medals and broke two state records his senior year in indoor track at the University of Delaware. Kai is the track & field coach at William Penn High School.
• Terri Dendy - a Concord and George Mason graduate who was ranked among the top 10 women in the U.S. for the 400-meter event from 1986-89 and again in 1993. She was an alternate on the U.S. 4-by-400-meter relay team at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
• Haley Pierce - a Tatnall and Georgetown University graduate who anchored the 2012 Penn Relays Championship of America DMR. A 12-time Delaware state champion and a four-time high school All-American.
• Jason Lilly - a Dover High and Boston College graduate who earned Nike All-America track honors and was an all-state track selection in Delaware. A four-time Delaware track MVP, Lilly won the 100-, 200- and 400-meter events at the 2002 state outdoor meet and holds the state record in the indoor 400 (48.47).
• Andrew Weaver - a Wilmington Charter and University of Delaware runner who qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials, running 1:04:27 at the Jacksonville Half Marathon to earn a spot. A standout Blue Hen who once closed in a 5,000-meter CAA Championship by running a final 800 meters in 1:58.
• Marquis Dendy - a Middletown and University of Florida graduate who was the 2015 USA National Champion in the long jump. His winning jump of 8.68 meters – wind-aided at +3.7 mps – was the longest jump in the world under any conditions in over five years. Dendy competed at the University of Florida, where he won the 2015 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in both the long jump and the triple jump, defending his 2014 championships in the same events. He accomplished the same double at the 2015 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships, setting the meet record in the triple jump. His first NCAA Championship was the 2013 indoor championship in the long jump.
As I spoke to Indoor Track Delaware Secretary Greg Wilson following the call, he reminded me of a famous quote by John F. Kennedy in 1962. At a dinner honoring Nobel Prize winners of the Western Hemisphere, Kennedy said, “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered together at the White House, with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. Someone once said that Thomas Jefferson was a gentleman of 32 who could calculate an eclipse, survey an estate, tie an artery, plan an edifice, try a cause, break a horse, and dance the minuet.”
This call was by far the most talented group that came together to share memories of Delaware track & field all in the same room – even if it was a Zoom room.
Indoor Track Delaware plans to continue with monthly outreach updates to Delaware high school coaches as well as high-profile athletes.
Inaugural Indoor Track Delaware 5K
The inaugural Indoor Track Delaware 5K began virtually Aug. 20 and will continue through Saturday, Sept. 20, raising funds to complete a feasibility study on a project that hopes to bring an indoor facility to Delaware. Participants can go to seashorestriders.com to register.
The 11th annual Sundance 5K & 1-Mile Walk will be held virtually from anywhere you wish from Sunday, Aug. 30 through Saturday, Sept. 5, led by Roxy Castillo. The sixth annual Rehoboth Beach Fire Fightin’ 5K will be held virtually from Friday, Aug. 28 to Monday, Aug. 31, led by Amanda Peters. The seventh annual Run, White & Blue 5K will be held virtually from Thursday, Sept. 10 to Sunday, Sept. 13, led by Janelle Boyer. The 30th annual Last Blast Prediction 5K will give runners two options to participate in the event. The virtual event will run three days, from Saturday, Sept. 5 to Monday, Sept. 7, while the live event will be Sept. 5 at Grove Park in Rehoboth Beach with a rolling wave start of no more than 30 in each wave. The live event is open to the first 200 runners to sign up. Participants can take part in either or both events. A race discount will be offered for both events.
Several runners from up and down Delaware will take part in the upcoming virtual Boston Marathon to be held Monday, Sept. 14. The virtual race is open only to participants who were originally entered in the Boston Marathon scheduled for April 20. Our local runner, Martin Rodriguez, will complete his Boston at White Clay Creek State Park with a group of runners from upstate Delaware. White Clay does not have the length of Heartbreak Hill in Newton, but the state park does have several rolling hills. Heartbreak Hill, the steep half-mile incline at mile 20 in the Boston race, climbs 91 feet.
The Seashore Striders are working with my buddy Steve Pickering from the City of Dover Parks & Recreation Department to work out a planned series of races that would allow elementary, middle school and high school athletes a chance to participate in an open race outside school. It is basically a road race on a cross country course. COVID-19 guidelines will be followed and sites will soon be determined. These events do not have anything to do with your school team or DIAA, and you cannot represent your school team in these races. No team scores will be kept. Stay tuned.