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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jim Click season opener.

Tucson has come and gone. I (Pat) arrived in Arizona healthy and confident, ready to open up in my favorite state once more. I had learned from my mistakes competing in the desert last year, I felt well prepared and excited to step up on the Wildcats sun cooked track. As day 1 approached I felt more and more ready. I could not wait to get things started. Day one seemed to fly by, all of a sudden we were in the blocks and the 100 was underway, as we got in the set I just thought to myself "ok, its about to start. Its finally here. Time to go!" From there I never looked back, tying my best 100 time of 11.55 I then set a new best in long jump of 7.01m and shot put at 15.32m. I had my second best high jump in a decathlon and my second best 400 time. I scored 3768 on day one, which eclipsed my previous best of 3586 set on the same track last year. Here is my winning long jump.

After day one I was in 4th, just under 300 points behind first. But even then, I was simply thinking of staying on the pb train and taking the day one event at a time, staying hydrated and excited to compete. I knew if I could stay calm that I would be able to get the FISU (world university games) standard of 7250pts. Things kept going my way on day two as a ran myself to a new best of 15.00 in the hurdles, .31 better then my previous fastest time. Discus was next, my first throw was a pb over 49m. In round two I set a new club record from 36 years ago with a throw of 50.82m. I finished the day with 3825 and a final score of 7593, which was also a new club record and 10th all time score set by a Canadian. 

Here is a nice group shot of the coaches and athletes, missing from the shot are my parents who made the trip and helped me prepare for the decathlon, thank you! I would also like to thank Bill from UofA for the massage and treatment on both Mark and I throughout the meet. Everyone, and everything really came together to create a perfect storm for me.

Chen entered the event feeling healthy and excited to compete. He has been suffering some injury problems and spent most of the last weeks doing what can essentially be considered base training. Chen described his day one as a character builder for day two, having left his long jump to a third attempt jump and struggling with a short approach high jump. Although he did not have any personal best performances on day one he remained consistent enough to stay on pace for the FISU standard we traveled south to achieve. Day one was not what he had hoped to score but had to let it all hang out on day two and try to come back strong, which he did. Again, hurdles were not a pb but proved to be a very solid opening time and would set the tone for a 40m+ throw. Battling a stubborn cross wind in the vault, and jumping on new poles Chen failed to make his opening height of 3.70m. He then made the decision to pull himself from the remaining events and begin healing and recovering for his next decathlon in Virginia in the next few weeks. Here is a nice action shot of Chen's hurdles.

Although this dec was not what Chen was looking for going into the meet, he will be able to use this as a stepping stone for future competitions. The hardest part of our event is finishing the 10 events in one piece and being able to take something away from every competition. Chen learned a tremendous amount, and he feels like this was the lowest he has felt after a competition. However, this is not all bad news. His attitude and maturity are showing why he has the ability to achieve his goals this summer. The work ethic to pick himself up from defeat and bounce back, taking the ups and downs from Tucson and building off of this unique experience. No two competitions are ever the same, and we are all very excited to see Chen shake off the cobwebs of his injury and build towards Virginia.

Here is a brief montage put together by coach Ryan Rowat, and some competition warm ups the wednesday before the gun. Go hard, and keep it between the lines.


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