Saturday, July 18, 2009


Hi, It's me again; Coach Collins chiming in during the heat of the summer and the heat of the track and field season. One would think that things would be rather slow in a non-Olympic year, but the way I see it, the atmosphere is highly charged and amped up for some great track & field stories. And boy, do I have plenty. For example, barely over a year ago I wrote an article that made print into the TRACK&FIELD NEWS about the abandonment of collegiate track and field athletes going pro early. One in particular that came to mind was former Mississippi prep star and Texas recruit Bianca Knight, who barely completed her first indoor season before she bolted to professional status and left before the outdoor season. At the time, I had my own personal reason for wanting Ms. Knight to stay. A good friend of mine, Alexandria Anderson, who also attended Texas was an All-American and a junior when Knight decided to forgo college and pursue the money. I still can not help but think what a great team Texas would have been if Knight would have stayed.

Let's fast forward to the present. Since the departure of Knight, I felt the Texas women's team was sort of under a cloud that affected not only Anderson, but the entire program. However, I am pleased to say that Anderson renewed my faith in collegiate athletics with her completing college in 4 years and becoming the 2009 100m NCAA CHAMP!!!. That my friends, brings pride to us never-die track enthusiasts. I'm ever so proud to have followed a great talent such as Alexandria Anderson all the way from when she was 10 years old winning youth races to see her not only win a national championship, but qualify for the US National Team at the National Championships. Alexandria, where ever you are right now, I can't wait to see you on TV doing your thing in Berlin at the World Championships! God Bless You.

By the way she hasn't let the newfound fame get to her head. What do you think she did soon after making the National Team? Why she came back home of course and spoke to 30-40 intently listening young aspiring track&field campers at the Chicago Strider's Camp. That's why track is the Truth!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Alexandria Anderson NCAA 100m Champion Hung Out with the Striders!

Alexandria Anderson , 2009 member of the U.S. National Track & Field Team and 2009 Graduate of University of Texas came out to our track camp to talk to our young athletes! I have known Alex and her family for years so it is fantastic to see her come full circle! She articulated words of encouragement to the young aspiring track stars and told them to "never let go of their dreams"

Alexandria represents the best and the brightest of Chicago's Track & Field community and We wish her the best of luck in the World Track & Field Championships in August. ~Coach Collins

Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Time for the Junior Olympics!

This weekend the Chicago Striders will be participating in the Junior Olympics Meet in North Chicago! If you need more information please visit our website!

Chicago Striders managed a great meet for Stagg School!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Olympic Reflection Finale

There has been more than enough time since I last gave any review of any kind regarding the 2008 Summer Olympics. For those few that have been keeping up with my rants about the outcomes in track and field both successful and horrific, I apologize. My intentions were to give as much detail about the track and field competition, provide highlights, some spin where needed and most importantly information where NBC dropped the ball. Did anyone see the Women's Long Jump?

By day twelve of the Games and after the 4th day of Track and Field competition, I was pretty well spent from the long nights ending til 2AM. I had been neglecting my responsibilities at work long enough and the motivation from "but these are the games...they only come around every four years" just wasn't cutting it. However, I do have my last reflections on what I think was the most entertaining Olympics that I can remember. London 2012 has a hard act to follow.

Lolo Jones. Has a nice ring to it. I like saying it. But...could you end a race any badly? My heart went out to her. I was as devastated as she. So close, so effortless over the first eight hurdles, and number nine stands in her way of Olympic glory. That's how it goes. You win some and you lose the big one. However, anyone might have felt about Lolo Jones' disastrous end to what seemed to be a record breaking performance, she, being the outstanding class athlete she is, was very gracious in defeat and handled herself like a true sportsman. NEVER LET THEM SEE IT GET TO YOU. As she made her way into the tunnel, by herself and alone with her thoughts, the thought of having it then losing it seem to overcome her. She wept Olympian tears.

One huge positive that came out of Lolo's low point was Illinois' very own Dawn Harper winning the gold. Good for her!!!

When discussions of the worst 4x100m relay begin the 2008 US men's and women's will rank rather high. If both men's and women's team dropping the baton is a consequence for lack of practicing together, or athlete's agents getting in the way, or just plain old foolish arrogance, then I say we flip the script on how the 4x100m relay is decided for the US teams. It was a shame. I've seen twelve year olds with more finesse getting the stick around the track.

I sensed that the major corporate red carpet was going to be laid out for either Alyson Felix or Sandra Richards at the end of the Olympics. Seeing both get their just due? Forget it. Only one could be the queen. They both stood to make quite a bit of money for themselves if they brought home gold in their individual events. After having superb seasons last year and leading into the Olympics, it was on every one's lips that each of them could leave Beijing double golden girls. So who would be the queen? We'll never find out because with Richards choking in the women's 400m and Felix coming up short once again in the 200m, both were left short-handed. They both saved face by running exceptional legs on the 4x400m relay winning gold, but finding out who really is the face of US track and field was as interesting a story as was coming out of China.

More later....

Monday, August 18, 2008

NBC Made Me Do It

A coworker of mine that was born and raised in Jamaica wore her country's colors today.   Although she's been in the States for quite a while, she still speaks with a heavy accent.  I love her accent.  She was excited like anyone might be if someone you know did something that made you proud.  I doubt if she knows any of the the Jamaican Olympians.  She might.  An island that small, I'm sure there is like 3 degrees of separation amongst people.  It really doesn't matter if she knows them or not.  They represent her and where she comes from.  And today, anyone from Jamaica should be proud of the women that historically swept the 100 meters lead by the young Kelli Ann Frazier and the "world's fastest man" Usain Bolt.  ONE LOVE 

Before I apologize once again for passing bad information, let me first use NBC  as a scapegoat. If their Olympic scheduling were more conducive to the average person in America that works for a living instead of those of can operate on 3 hours of sleep per night, I may have not made the mistake that US hopeful Bernard Lagat qualified for the 1500.  That race was run 17 hours before NBC decided to broadcast it at 1:30AM.  And I had a 5:30AM wake up call.  I'm hurting right now from sleep deprivation. 

I admit I was tired.  And because of that I left believing that Lagat barely made it in.  In fact, he barely missed making that final by a hundredth of a second.  That hurts.  Lagat said with such confidence that he'd make it in, so I believed him.  Alas, the hope for an American getting a medal in the 1500m has fallen.

Cameroon's Etone wins the women's Triple Jump in record fashion, while Great Britain's Idowu leads the TJ for the men with a 57' 3 ".  Kenya is doing well with gold medals in the women's 800m for Pam Jelimo and Brimin Kipruto in the men's 3000m Steeplechase. American Sheena Johnson leads the way in the 400m hurdles.  All the American men make it through to the next rounds of the 200 meters.  Dix, Spearman and Crawford have a chance to redeem the American sprint core as they head to a final with Jamaica's Usain Bolt.  The drama continues...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Jamaica, Jamaica, Jamaica!!!

Before I disclose any results from last nights festivities of the track & field Olympic games, let me first apologize for announcing that heptathlete Hyleas Fountain got the gold in her event.  I was wrong.   Fountain was leading after the first day of the two day event by a substantial margin, but failed to equal her previous performances in her favorite event, the long jump.  She finished with the bronze medal instead.  

As excited as I was about Fountain leading the hep, and the fact that the track and field events finally started, I was a little confused with the NBC broadcasting schedule.  I don't solely rely on NBC to feed me my information---heaven forbid, but I do like to see the special features, if any, that they might have on the athletes.  I must say as  much as I respect other sports like gymnastics and swimming, it seems the coverage is a little lopsided.  In fact, my hope is that there is a plan inside NBC to cover as much track and field as swimming was covered.  I'm not hold my breath.  Instead I'll do what I started doing and surf the net to get you the 411 on most, of not all, track and field news.

GETTING BACK...Jamaica...Jamaica....Jamaica!!!!  Is anyone really surprised that Jamaica is doing as well as they are?  I'm not.  Oh, how well is Jamaica doing?  Well, for starters, Usain Bolt is the "World Fastest Human" not just for this year, but until someone breaks his world record of 9.69.  And the ladies sweep the 100 meters, finishing naturally 1-2-3.  Except in this case, 1-2-and 2.  Former Auburn standout Kerron Stewart tied with her countrywoman for 2nd place with a 10.96.  The US ladies were a little disappointing.  Williams lead the US women with a 4th place finish.  It would seem that Sandra Richardson in the 400m and Alyson Felix in the 200m are the strongest hopefuls for gold, but we will see.

Lagat qualifies to the finals of the 1500m finishing 7th in his semi round heat.