LOS ANGELES, Calif. - You can’t help but recognize the resemblence.
The name is Rashad, Ahmad Rashad, yes the same as former the NFL great best known for his heroic moves as a member of the Minnesota Vikings from 1976 to 1982.
Many recall the “Miracle Catch” against the Cleveland Browns that helped secure a come-from-behind 28-23 victory in December 1980 and a Central Division title for the Vikings. But in 2010, this Ahmad Rashad is looking to create his own moments to be remembered for.
USC sprinter Rashad finally got to show what he could do on the track at the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships after two years of set backs with injuries after showing promise. He tried to remain patient and waited for opportunities while injuries cut his freshman and sophomore seasons short of their full potential.
Going into the 2009 NCAA Outdoor, none of the well-respected pre-meet polls had him in the mix. But Rashad finished the race with a second place finished in 10.10 seconds against a deep field of elite sprinters.
This year, Ahmad Rashad is not satisfied with last years second place finish at the NCAA Outdoors. The Flint, Michigan-native is hungry for track’s biggest title, the 100m NCAA title and helping put USC in the middle of contentions for the team championship crown.
Rashad hopes he continues to improve and have more success against elite fields. But he also knows it is up to him to continue to make a name for himself.
PreRaceJitters sat down with All-American sprinter Ahmad Rashad to talk about his journey, his inspirations, and predictions on the 2010 season.
PRJ: What is the story behind you being named Ahmad Rashad?
AR: My dad got the name from the former pro football player and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. My dad was a fan of his and I guess that’s how it came about. I actually got to meet him. He called me at school and everything; that was an experience.
PRJ: Your dad, Kevin Rashad is a fan of former NFL football player Ahmad Rashad. The former NFL Viking made a name for himself in the NFL as a gritty player that made big plays. What if any resemblances are there between the two of you?
AR: I’d say that I’ve made a lot of big plays as far as track goes throughout my career.
PRJ: When you talked to Ahmad Rashad, what advice did he give you?
AR: It was around the time when my mother passed away so he gave me his condolences. I haven’t seen him in person since, but I’m sure if we cross paths again we will have a lot to talk about.
PRJ: When did you fall in love with track and field?
AR: As a freshman in high school. The first time I dropped the baton on a relay, I laid out on the track disappointed in myself. After that point, I knew I had love for the sport.
PRJ: What runner or athlete did you look up to when you were younger?
AR: I looked up to Maurice Greene and Michael Johnson. They broke a lot of records and won Olympic gold medals medals and that was something I aspired to do also.
PRJ: What is the biggest inspiration in your life?
AR: My parents are my biggest inspiration. My father is a strong individual and always pushed me to be the best at what ever I was doing. My mother passed away some years ago and I know that she would want to see me strive to be successful.
PRJ: Your first two years at USC, you battled injuries and showed flashes of success. How do you think those experienced helped your develop as a sprinter?
AR: Those experiences helped me to understand the sport and grow as an athlete. I realized that with success comes adversity and dealing with that helped my mind develop a toughness to deal with the injuries.
PRJ: Since we are talking about battle injuries. What happened differently last year?
AR: I was preventative in my approach to injury. Instead of waiting for an injury to happen I did a lot of work to prevent them. Also just naturally maturing and strengthening I think helped out a lot.
PRJ: Your close to the 2009 collegiate season was amazing. You ran 10.10, which was a personal best in your second-place finish at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. How much confidence did that race give you?
AR: That 100 meter race in Fayetteville, gave me a lot of confidence. I always thought that I could run with the best in the NCAA but with injuries it prevented me from actually going out and doing it. That race finally allowed me to realize that I can run with the best.
PRJ: USC traditionally does not participate in the indoor season. Is there any chance that you will run indoors?
AR: No. I won’t be running indoor this season. I’m just focusing on the outdoor season this time around.
PRJ: When did you anticipate kicking off your outdoor season?
AR: I anticipate getting things rolling around mid-march.
PRJ: What is your challenge going into the 2010 season?
AR: My challenge is being one of the hunted instead the hunter. Typically I’ve been the hunter so the reversal of roles will be a challenge.
PRJ: This is your last year of the USC –UCLA duel. How serious is the rivalry?
AR: The USC - UCLA rivalry is more than serious. You would think people lived for that meet. I know my teammates have been talking about it already so I know they’re ready. The coaches put a lot of emphasis on that meet so you know its serious. It’s fun and something I look forward to every season.
PRJ: Last year USC’s men and women squads finished in the top ten and a majority of last years scorers are returning this season.
AR: I know that my teammates always strives to finish well as a team and its no different this year both on the men’s and women’s side. Everyone is excited after last season when expectations were low for what position we would finish. I think that has given the entire program motivation to do better this year.
PRJ: The 2010 USC team features a lot of up and coming underclassman who did well last year at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. How good is this team?
AR: I believe this team has tremendous talent and can place in the top 5 at the national meet. Our men’s and women’s 4×4 teams did well at the NCAA outdoor championships. Everyone from both those relay teams are coming back, plus we have some new guys that came in that we expect to really step up this season and contribute immediately.
PRJ: This is your senior year. What is your ultimate goal for your college career?
AR: My ultimate goal is to become the NCAA champion at 100 meters.
PRJ: What is your biggest fear?
AR: Small planes
PRJ: What is your most treasured possession?
AR: My autographed picture of sportscaster Ahmad Rashad.
PRJ: Who would you like to play you in a film?
AR: Jamie Foxx
PRJ: How do you relax?
AR: Watch cartoons.
PRJ: Do you get prerace jitters?
PRJ: Thank you for your time and good luck this season.
Is this her year to shine? The leadership torch has been passed to her and Michigan’s Danielle Tauro is embracing her role as a team leader after the school has graduated a number of seniors from last years squad.
The 2009 Michigan women’s cross country team is fifty percent freshman and the squad is also battling some minor injuries.
In the initial athlete profile of PreRaceJitters’ Terre Haute or Bust series - Tauro talks about deciding to attend Michigan, pacing this young Michigan team and setting her goals high for her self-described “crucial junior season”.
That and more on this latest PreRaceJitters’ podcast.
The world record holder at 100, 200 and 4×100 meter relays and the world record holder at 5,000 and 10,000 might get it on like Donkey Kong. Could Bolt beat Bekele in a distance that is fair to both athletes? That and more is discussed in this latest episode.
-Bolt about get to paid in a major way
-Richards, Bekele, and Insinbeyva share winnings
PreRaceJitters’ Track & Field Radio Show, where the real playas come to hang out!
BERLIN - The IAAF Congress on Wednesday approved a new rule that will disqualify athletes the first time they false start in any given race. The rule will take effect January 1, 2010.
The rule will replace the current false-start policy of the first false-start being charged to the entire field, with only subsequent false-starts resulting in disqualification. Implementation is set for 2010 in order to enable athletes to become accustomed to the rule well ahead of the 2011 IAAF World Outdoor Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
Speaking in support of the rule change, IAAF President Lamine Diack pointed to the NCAA’s longstanding no false start rule as evidence that such a rule is practical and enforceable. He stated his belief that “the current rule gives sprinters the chance to play the system,” he said, “to deliberately false start but not be punished for it.”
The rule change was approved by a vote of 97 to 55, with six abstentions. The IAAF Congress on Wednesday also approved defining masters as age 40 and over for long-distance running and road racing.
The IAAF Congress is being held in Berlin prior to the start of the 12th IAAF World Outdoor Championships, which begin Saturday and conclude August 23.
For more information on the World Championships, visit www.usatf.org
For the 5th Episode of ” PreRaceJitters’ Off The Track with John W. Davis”, I collaborated with a highly respected Track and Field Journalist.
My guest, none of than Universal Sports Senior Producer, Joe Battaglia.
You probably know Joe as the lead reporter of Universal Sports’ Track and Field section.
I know Joe as a respected colleague, who I wanted to team up with, to breakdown T&F.
So, we decided to record an audio version of Joe’s weekly Inside Track interview/recap/preview article.
Here’s our podcast rundown:
1. Bolt v. Gay
2. The American Distance Scene
3. Marathon Match ups
4. The State of the Long Jump
5. Is Jelimo Back?
6. Who’s the Best Hurdler in The World?
Off the Track with John W. Davis. My Style… Their Stories… For Your Ears Only!
Don’t forget, Off The Track with John W. Davis is a PreRaceJitters.com exclusive.
About the meet
PreRaceJitters will provide coverage from the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships hosted by the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. The final two days will be aired on television. Check out the meet’s official website.
2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships: Live Results
- Friday, June 12, 7:00PM ET, CBS College Sports
- Saturday, June 13, 1:00PM ET, CBS Sports
- Live television coverage:
Meet Review and Results:
|Instant AnalysisGet the round up of all of the Day 1 action.
The daily wrap up upon conclusion of meet.
|Results Check out the complete results from the 2009 Track & Field Championships.|
|NCAA Videos The PRJ videos from the 2009 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.||Check out video interviews from Fayetteville, Arkansas.|
|2009 NCAA Track Championships||Photos|
|Twitter Follow our live updates from the Adidas Track Classic on Twitter.||PreRaceJitters’ Fan Page on Facebook Get exclusive information on PreRaceJitters’ Fan Page on Facebook.|
Track Meet Podcasts:
|Charles Clark The PRJ Podcast catches up with one of colleges most entertaining figures on and off the track.||Jenny Barringer The PRJ Podcast sits down with one of college track and field’s most indeliable figures.|
|Elizabeth Patterson The PRJ Podcast sits down with the Arizona high jumper.||Calvin Smith Press Conference with Jennifer Stuczynski, Maurice Greene and Allyson Felix.|
|Porscha Lucas The PRJ Podcast sits down with the Arizona high jumper.||Geena Gall The 2008 NCAA Outdoor 800m champions talks with the PRJ Podcast.|
|Coming Soon! Coming soon!||Coming Soon! Coming soon!|
200m Personal Best: 20.37, Mt. SAC Relays, 2009
400m Personal Best: 44.63, 2008 NCAA Division I Track & Field Championships, Des Moines, Iowa.
- Larry went to Dominguez High School in Compton, California with current NFL lineman Chilo Rachal of the San Francisco 49ers and NBA Center Tyson Chandler of the New Orleans Hornets.
- He maintained a 3.83 grade point average in high school, graduating with honors and was also elected to Freshman Class President.
- He has qualified for five 5 national teams. In 2003, he made the World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada followed by the 2005 Pan American Junior Team in WIndsor, Canada. Then there was the 2006 NACAC team in the Dominican Republic before he moved up and qualified for the Pan American Senior team in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil and the 2007 World Championship Team in Osaka, Japan.
- During his career at USC, he won two individual Pac-10 championships in the 400 meters and was a four-time All-American honoree.
- Despite running the race during college and now during his pro career, he hates the 400 meters.
- His is interested in racing in many forms, namely Drag Racing which his father and friends got him involved in when he was a young man. Some of his off the track hobbies include racing his go kart and restoring cars.
Weekend of May 16:
- adidas Track Classic
- Atlantic Sun Championships
- ECAC/IC4A Outdoor Championships
- Big 10 Outdoor Championships - Ohio State
- Big 12 Outdoor Championships - Lubbock, Texas
- Conference USA Championships - Tulsa, Oklahoma
- Georgia Tech Invitational
- Missouri Valley Championships
- Mountain West Championships - Wyoming
- Pac 10 Championships - Oregon
- Ponce Grand Prix - Puerto Rico
- Rio de Janiero
- SEC Championships - Florida
- NCAA Div. III Outdoor National Championships - Marietta College
- WAC Championships
Jay Hicks and John W. Davis recap the U.S dominate performances at Penn Relays, comment on building successful Team U.S. relay teams, and the duo catch up with Carmelita Jeter about anchoring the 4×100 meter relay at Penn Relays and the difference this year resulting in her world leading time of 10.96 in the 100 meters.
Special thanks to Carmelita Jeter. PreRaceJitters’ Track & Field Radio Show, where the real playas come to hang out!
Weekend of April 1 - 4:
-Arizona Jim Click Shootout
-Austin Peay Invitational
-Georgia Tech vs Georgia Dual
-Liberty Collegiate Invitational
-Pepsi Team Invitational - Eugene, Oregon
-North Carolina A&T Aggie Relays
-Princeton Sam Howell Invitational
-Tiger Track Classic - Auburn
-Western Carolina Quad