22/23 Reflection: Ohio Speed Academy

Photos provided by Ohio Speed Academy

Most of the time, the athletes own the spotlight for the running scene, but what about the masterminds behind the training and development?

We recently caught up with Justin Hines and Jordan Rispress, who are part of the coaching staff of one of the strongest club teams and training groups in Ohio, Ohio Speed Academy.

Many notable names that we have featured recently all represented Ohio Speed Academy in some shape or form this year, notably New Balance Nationals for both the indoor and outdoor season.

Some of these include the likes of Juliette Laracuente-Huebner, Mason Louis, Marissa Saunders, Camden Bentley, and many more.

See below for the Q&A 

1. Looking back at this entire year and how successful the Ohio Speed Academy athletes were, did you envision this happening? Or was this far beyond the expectations that you might have set going into the indoor/outdoor season.

Jordan Rispress

 Looking back at the success our athletes had indoor and outdoor definitely exceeded my expectations. We focus on what we can control and that is working toward a plan that will allow us to achieve personal records in the biggest meets. Majority of our athletes train all year round, so for the athletes to stay focused and remain committed to their training over the course of a long indoor and outdoor season really paid off when it was time to compete at the highest level. Having 2 individual National Champions, multiple State Champions, and having over 20 athletes represent OSA at New Balance Nationals both Indoor & Outdoor are accomplishments I knew were possible, but to see it actually happen was special!

Justin Hines

We always start the year by setting our goals and expectations first, so that we have something to build towards. We spend most of the fall pushing them to their limits to try and determine their potential for the year, so we usually have a pretty good idea of where they will end at the end of the season. We spend 12-14 weeks training before the indoor season starts, so when you put that much time into quality and consistent workouts, it's almost guaranteed you will improve.

2. As a coach, was there anything that went well or better than expected? Was there anything that you think could've been differently, minor or major.'

Jordan Rispress

This year we had a lot of new additions to the group. We welcome athletes of all skill levels, so managing their workouts and ensuring everyone gets appropriate programming was a bit of a challenge. Overall, I believe we did very well this season as almost everyone earned new PRs in their main events. Ultimately, my main goal for the group as a whole is year over year improvement, but we had a few athletes who exceeded what you usually can expect over 1 year. These 3 athletes worked with us closely from fall to spring and had the best growth in my opinion.

Justin Hines

 As a coach, what makes me most proud is seeing our athletes mature, grow in confidence, and get a chance to compete at the next level. Having 18 seniors moving on to compete at the collegiate level on scholarships valued over $1M is amazing and I commend all of the seniors for their pursuit of excellence and discipline on and off the track. Another thing that went better than expected for our program was that Juliette Laracuente-Huebner decided to join for her senior year. I met Juliette for the first time in August of 2022 and didn't know anything about her track accolades. I learned very quickly the type of athlete she is and as her hurdle coach couldn't be more proud of the success she had in the event this year.

3. What are the goals for the future winter and spring season; as a coach and as a team?

Our team goals for the season include:

  • To be well represented at the State & National Meets
  • Quality development environment at practice
  • Athletes have fun and build long lasting friendships with their teammates.

As Coaches, 

  • Have all of our athletes PR in their main events and achieve the goals they have for themselves 

  • To provide our juniors with the best tools and resources to get them recruited and signed with colleges & universities 
  • Have all athletes remain healthy throughout the season 

4. Favorite moments from the year?

Most of my favorite moments happen between reps or before/after practice. We have a group of very outspoken and personable athletes so it's always fun to pick on them and see their reactions. Some people say all we do is make TikToks and listen to music but we work hard when the time comes! Here are some of our most memorable moments.

  • Juliette Laracuente-Huebner won the team title by herself at indoor states, her National Championship Triple Jump when she won on her last jump (EPIC), and when she broke the D2 outdoor HJ record on her last jump going 5'10.75".

  • Camden Bentley winning the100H at New balance nationals and seeing all of her teammates rush the field to celebrate with her. Knowing the work that had gone into that accomplishment over the last 4 years and seeing the joy on her face when she crossed the line in 1st is what coaches live for. Couldn't be more proud and happy for Camden.
  • Between Camden Bentley, Marissa Saunders, Gracie Smith, Alexus Roberts, Lily Eagleston and Ric'Keya White, we had 6 girls in the D1 Outdoor State Finals in the 100H! This was an amazing feat for the group, Can we do it again in 2024??
  • Witnessing the accomplishments of freshman phenoms Ric'Keya White, Brooke Chapman, and Miles King was something truly special! Ohio better get ready to see them on the state & national podiums for years to come.
  • Sophomores Lily Eagleston and Isabel Evans produced some double take moments this year in the hurdles. Lily produced a strong PR of 14.27 in the 100H leading to a 6th place state finish and Isabel Evans dropped a half second in the 100H finishing with a PR of 14.52 and a whole second in the 300H with a time of 43.52. Isabel finished second in D2 state in both events and will look to take the top spots in both races for the next two years.
  • Mason Louis dominated the 400 across all divisions both indoor and outdoor and was fun to watch. Mason will surely be one of the greats during his collegiate career with The Ohio State University!! Go Bucks!! - Proud Alum, sorry not sorry. :)
  • Jude Elkins really had a breakout year in the high hurdles, running 8.00 indoors in the 60H and 14.27 in the 110, both significant Year over year improvements.
  • The face Alexus Roberts made after winning her heat and then seeing "DNF" on the board at New Balance Nationals (Picture below). She made the finals in the rising stars division and placed 5th overall!

5. Who do you anticipate will bring some noise to the track and field scene in Ohio in the coming years?

We have a loaded list of underclassmen. When you have Athletes like Camden Bentley, Juliette Laracuente-Huebner or Mason Louis at practice it can be difficult to stand out as these are some of the best athletes in Ohio History. Now that they are gone, we have some big shoes to fill! Below are some athletes in each class to look for in the future!

  • Class of 2025: Alex Carrington, Andrew Smith, Deacon Scott, Isabel Evans, Lily Eagleston

6. If you could go back to the start of Ohio Speed Academy and tell your past coaching self one thing, what would it be?

Justin Hines

To appreciate and be intentional with every coaching moment because your time with an athlete flies by.

Jordan Rispress

Helping people achieve their dreams is an amazing job to have, but you need to help yourself too! Stop skipping lunch!


Some interesting Stats from our club:

  • OSA has earned 6 National Champion titles in the last 2 years!
    • Alex Smith - New Balance Indoor 22 and New Balance Outdoor 22 - Long Jump
    • Katie Ruffener - Adidas Indoor 22 - 60m Hurdles
    • Juliete Laracuente-Huebner - New Balance Indoor 23 - Triple Jump
    • Camden Bentley - AAU Club Nationals 22 and New Balance Outdoor 23 - 100m Hurdles
  • This Indoor season we qualified 30 athletes to the state meet. 17 of them would place on the podium for a total of 25 state medals! In total, we scored 143 points between both divisions in individual events.
  • This outdoor season we qualified 32 athletes to the state meet. 25 of them would place on the podium for a total of 42 state medals! In total, we scored 147 points between all 3 divisions in individual events.
  • Between indoor and outdoor, we had 2 New Balance National Champions, 7 New Balance All-American titles, 7 medalists between the other divisions, and 13 USATF All-Americans