|Mathew Shannon, Jerrell Hancock, Tray Linde, and Ethan Mignard|
Last Saturday, June 25, at historic Franklin Field in Philadelphia, the Twin Cities Track Club debuted on the USATF National Club Track circuit by finishing sixth out of 34 men's teams. With only five TCTC athletes competing against much larger and more well-established clubs, most did not expect that big a showing.
The most impressive and lasting memory was from the 4x400 relay team that came from behind and beat eight teams. Tray Lide (54.5) led off, followed by Jerrell Hancock (47.9), Mathew Shannon (50.4), and Ethan Mignard (47.7) the anchor. As Mignard brought home the victory members of other track clubs were heard expressing their disbelief. It was a great way to end the meet. [Video here]
Earlier in the meet, the same foursome that would bring home the gold in the four by 400 finished third in the 4x100 relay in 41.79. Ethan to Jerrell to Mathew to Tray kept that baton moving. Remarkable, because before Saturday the team had done zero work on relay handoffs. (To put this into perspective, at the USATF Coaches school I am attending this week, they recommend a minimum of six workout sessions to correct 4x100 relay handoffs.) The team was able to use their collective track experience to get the stick around the track. [Video here]
Everyone competed in individual events.Hancock was second in the 200 in 21.44, Mignard ran 48.99 to take eighth in the 400. Lide competed in the 100. Shannon long jumped (for the first time in many years), and Francis Shen finished seventh in the 110 Hurdles (and tenth in the 400 hurdles).
The performances themselves are great, but just as important was the experience of competing as a team, against other clubs. For post-collegiate and Masters athletes, too often the experience of competing is solely an individual one. Our trip to Philly reminded everyone why it’s important to compete together.
I hope that next year we’ll travel with distance runners, throwers, and other field event athletes. If we can do that, we can give those bigger East Coast clubs a run for their money. But thanks to the dedication of our sprinters, the coaching and expertise of Coach Anton Kokorin, and the support of TCTC and Mike Reneau, we exceeded expectations.
Thanks to all who supported our inaugural year of training, and hope to see you on the track for some fun local meets this summer as well as base training for next yearFrom Frances Shen