Track Coach Fred Harvey's Daily Diary From the U.S. Olympic Trials
Editor's Note: This is the fifth in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento, Calif.
Top of the Morning to you all in Wildcat Country,
It's Tuesday, July 18, 2000, at 12:35 a.m., and sleeping at this time isn't a part of the plan. Over the past five days, I have experienced and witnessed every emotion known to mankind. I watched and congratulated close friends as they celebrated the joy of their athletes making an Olympic team. I consoled those that felt swindled because they should have made the team, but did not.
If you are going to share credit for the successes of your athletes, then be prepared to share in the pains of the shortcomings. Not that having one Olympian, and three finalists out of seven athletes, isn't getting it done. This is just my personality imperfection. If every athlete doesn't achieve what they deserve, that will be my focus. Trust me, I will get over it, and get over it with a whole new outlook on the situation. I absolutely refuse not to learn something from a situation. You see, I don't believe in accidents. There is a reason for all things that happen, and if we don't discover the reason, we are bound to repeat it. WE...this is a partnership!
Michelle Johnson had an Olympic berth within her grasp coming into the tenth hurdle and failed to negotiate the hurdle cleanly. In a matter of two one-hundreths of a second, four years of hourly planned preparation, in one moment, went up in flames. That was no accident, and I will discover the reason why it happened... That is, after I'm done crying, and my friends are done consoling me.
Thanks for your ears over the past six days. I look forward to your continued support of what I consider to be the best athletic department in the country.
Have a great Wildcat summer, and back the Cats!
- Coach Fred Harvey
Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Former Wildcat Michelle Johnson (1996) will run in the 400m hurdle final, as will Nikkie Bouyer, a Clemson alum who trails with Harvey. A recount of the day can be found tonight at arizcats.com.
Olympic Trials Diary: Day Four
It's Monday July 17, 2000. Disappointment! Yesterday, at day three of the World's Greatest Track and Field meet, we continued to witness the joy of those who met their goals of a four-year journey. We also see the disbelief of the ones that continue to fall by the wayside. Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Tisha Waller and Butch Reynolds were the latest causalities of the competition. If that doesn't prove to you that your name means nothing to you at this competition, nothing will.
Yesterday, Brianna Glenn did the best job she could and finished 11th in the long jump. Her mind was willing, but she just didn't have anything left in her legs. My heart was broke for her, but her time will come.
Both Michelle Johnson and Nikkie Bouyer accomplished their goal of making the 400m hurdle final this evening at 8:35 p.m. PST. They did their jobs, and now it's time for me to mine and dissect what it is going to take for them to make the TEAM.
So, this morning, as the two of them fuel their bodies and regenerate their muscles, I will review their races from the past two days and present them the best plan of attack possible. I wish it was as simple as "Run Fast," but this is a 400-meter sprint with 10 hurdles to negotiate cleanly.
I'd love to stay and chit/chat with you longer, but I best work on my two ladies so they don't become the next two war casualities.
Have a Great Wildcat Monday.
- Coach Fred Harvey
Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Tonight, sophomore Brianna Glenn will compete in the long jump final. Former Wildcat Michelle Johnson (1996) will run in the 400m hurdle semifinal, as will Nikkie Bouyer, a Clemson alum who trails with Harvey. A recount of the day can be found tonight at arizcats.com.
Olympic Trials Diary: Day Three
Greetings to all of you in Wildcat Country:
The Mind is a terrible thing to waste! Yesterday, at day two of the world's greatest track and field competition, the U.S. Olympic Trials, I worked myself around the warm-up track area, preparing for the competition that day, setting up hurdles and hurdle marks, stretching and massaging my athletes, preparing them for their competitions.
But as I looked deeper into the warm-up areas, it became more evident to me that we as coaches, more than anything, are preparing our athletes mentally, as warriors for battle. At this level, everyone has the talent. They all know how to warm-up; they've been doing that for years.
My job is to keep them focused on the task at hand and not allof them to get pulled into the psychological warfare of a Maurice Greene, who shouts out, "I am leaving now to make my Olympic Team," implying to others, "You have no chance!"
The young, inexperienced and weak at heart athletes at thsi competition will be lost before they ever hit the track. Athletes such as Michelle Johnson will simply run a seasonal-best with as little energy expended as possible! Just see yesterday's results.
Talk to you again soon. Have a great, Wildcat Sunday!
- Coach Fred Harvey
Editor's Note: This is the third in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Tonight, sophomore Brianna Glenn will run in the 100m semifinals and compete in the long jump final. Former Wildcats Nicole Thomas (2000) and Michelle Johnson (1996) will run in the 400m hurdle preliminaries, as will Nikkie Bouyer, a Clemson alum who trails with Harvey. A recount of the day can be found tonight at arizcats.com.
Olympic Trials Diary: Day Two
It's Saturday, July 15, 2000, day two of the 2000 Olympic Trials. Day one was a bittersweet one. In my perfect world, everyone gets what they deserve, but life is not perfect, so I must get over it. Carolyn Jackson tried something new in her 400 meter preliminary, running fast early. It didn't work, and she failed to make the semifinals of the event.
She has done everything to the best of her ability to reach this level of competition, and one mistake of running too fast, too soon brought her world down around her feet... and mine as well. That was my bitter day.
The sweet day!, Brianna Glenn performed adequately and made it into the semifinals of the 100 meter dash and to the finals of the long jump. All of her stars must have been in perfect alignment yesterday because she was the last qualifier in both events. But at this meet, all that matters is that you put yourself in position to "Live Another Day."
The sweetest of the sweet came at 9:13 p.m. PST when Abdi Abdirahman crossed the finish line of the 10,000 meters in third place to make our UNITED STATES OLYMPIC TEAM. Abdi is a former distance runner at Arizona and a great kid. All I could think about was the disappointment of last summer's World Championship Trials when Abdi made the team, only to find our his U.S. citizenship was not to be. He's a citizen now... and a U.S. OLYMPIAN!
I'll leave you with this for the day, "Life is not perfect of fair, but the harder we work for perfection, the more fair life seems to be."
Talk to you all tomorrow. Have a great Wildcat Saturday!
- Coach Fred Harvey
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing from the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Sacramento, Calif. Tonight, four current or former Arizona athletes will be under the spotlight as they begin their quests to make the Olympic teams. Junior-to-be Brianna Glenn will run in the 100m preliminaries and compete in the first round of the long jump. Tara Chaplin, another junior-to-be, will run in the 10,000m final. Carolyn Jackson, a senior in 2000, will run in the preliminaries of the 400m, and Abdi Abdirahman, who completed his eligibility in 1999, will run in the men's 10,000m final. Results of the Wildcats' performances can be found at arizcats.com later tonight.
Olympic Trials Diary: Day One
It's Friday, July 14, 2000. Today, the festivities begin. Speaking of festivities, yesterday as you walked around Hornet Stadium on the Cal State-Sacramento campus, you could see all of the Olympic Trials banners and the week-long homes of all the different sponsors: GMC, Visa, Phillips Electronics and the "Nike" BUILDING. Yes, Nike has rented an entire building!
Along with all of the sponsors, all the "Stars" were out training, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Maurice Greene, Gail Devers, as well as Marion Jones. We had our training session, which by the way was FANTASTIC, and we have some "STARS" of our own. We are all ready for the challenge. You truly start to understand that this isn't a Track and Field "Meet." It's an "Event."
As we exited the track, Nicole Thomas, one of our 400m hurdlers, said, "Coach, it is such a strange feeling to now be on the track with the people you've always admired in the past, and to know you have to compete against them now."
That is very true, Nicole. However, if you look upon them as gods, you will lose. In your mind you know you can't beat gods, I explained, but you can beat people.
Hey, I found some words there... let the advantage begin.
Talk to you all tomorrow... Have a Great Wildcat Friday
- Coach Fred Harvey
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of diaries UA associate head track and field coach Fred Harvey will be writing for arizcats.com from the U.S. Olympic Trials. Throughout the next week, Harvey will share some of his thoughts, as well as the ups and downs of the Arizona contingent at the meet. Check back daily for updates.
Olympic Trials Diary: The Penultimate Day!
Good-day to all Great Wildcat Fans,
It is Thursday, July 13, 2000, one day before any of my athletes compete at the 2000 United States Track and Field Olympic Trials. Michelle Johnson, Nikkie Bouyer, Nicole Thomas, Carolyn Jackson and Brianna Glenn are all very fit and ready to go here at the Trials.
As we traveled on America West flight 2765 en route to Sacramento, Calif., many thoughts have gone through the minds of Carolyn, Brianna and Nicole, as well as my own. I find myself searching for the proper things to say to them because they are so new to this experience. But then I look back on something my mother told me many years ago: "Your only hope in raising kids is that you have shown them the best way you know how and hope they believe in you."
This will be their advantage!!
Talk to you all tomorrow.... Have a Great Wildcat Day!
- Coach Fred Harvey