Like a Kid in a Candy Store: A Coach's Account of Nike Team Nationals



Day One - Getting to Eugene


Day Two - Meet Day


Day Three - Prefontaine Classic




Since it was announced that our team, the Wayne Track Club, was selected as one of the 12 boy’s teams to compete at the Nike Track Nationals (NTN), the weeks have been a whirlwind of information and anticipation.  This was going to be a trip to remember for all involved.  From the time of the announcement I waited eagerly for information to come in about the meet, such as the time schedule, what the team would do each day, how we were going to get out to the meet.  And the information just kept rolling in.  


First it was the registration link, in which I had to input our athlete’s uniform, warm up and shoe size.


Then the ticket information arrived, with our flight out of Dayton to Chicago and then from Chicago onto the Portland.  We would then be bussed from Portland to Eugene where we would be dropped off at our dorms to find our rooms and then be fitted with the gear that Nike would provide for the meet. (Pictured at Hayward Field from Right to Left: Trey Hammons-Scott, Jon Sheehan, Demoye Bogle, Coach Andersen, Jared Harrison, Chris Moss, Coach Findlay, Michael Shiverdecker, Tyler Dukes and Javon Harrison)


But before we even arrived to Eugene we had to do some things for Nike, we had to gather information on our athletes, such as accomplishments, talents and anything else that would be cool to know about them that could be used during the webcast and we had to make a video about our team. 


The video didn't really come with much information or guidance, just make a video about your team that was less than a minute long.  Now, is the video just supposed to be "Hi, I'm (athlete's name) and I do the (event)."  or are we supposed to do a little skit, a parody?  Ultimatley the athletes decided they wanted to be a little different and do a video parody of something.  After talking to other coaches the idea of doing a skit based of of the American Express commercial from "Major League" (the "don't steal home without it" commercial.  After watching the clip from the real movie over and over again I wrote a script and asked the kids to make changes.  We finally settled on our introduction video script and set forth filming it. 


Here is the video:




For those of you that don’t know, Nike withdrew there sponsorship this year from the NSSF meet that is held annually in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Nike instead decided to host their own TEAM national championship in which they would invite the top boys and girls teams from 8 regions throughout the United States as well as four at-large teams from any regions.   The Wayne Track Club was selected as one of the four at large teams after finishing 6th in the country in the Nike Track Nationals Rankings.


Rankings for the Nike Track Nationals were determined by the team’s best marks in 10 different events, the 100m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, 110m Hurdles, Pole Vault, High Jump, Long Jump, Shot Put and Discus.  Each mark in each event was assigned a point value similar to that of the decathlon.  Team would submit marks in all 10 events and then drop their lowest event.


There will be more coming, but probably not until Monday, maybe late Sunday if you are lucky.  There was so much that we did here that I really didn't have time to write anything and get it posted.  You will here all about it here though.