So I’m finally getting used to the late class and late practices. The last 2 weeks of classes and practice went really well. Having last weekend off was nice. I got to go home and having two weeks to prepare for the Boston Indoor Games was great. I feel like I improved a lot form wise in the past couple weeks. My swing has improved a lot; I’ve been collapsing in my bottom arm sooner to be able to get upside down in time to catch the ride with the pole. Now if I just stop pulling at the top, which causes me to fall away from the pole, I should be clearing some big heights. Unfortunately my form improvements aren’t transferring into height improvements yet. I know the height will come with time but its definitely frustrating in the mean time. But I’m trying to stay positive. I cleared 11’6″ again at the Boston Indoor Games and was again so close to 12′. The bar went from 10′ right to 11′ so I was unsure of where to open. After talking with Brenner, I decided to stick with 10′ for this meet since I’m kind of going through a transitional phase. I cleared everything on my first attempt until 12′ which was nice. I warmed up on a 13′ 140, started the meet on a 13′ 145 and ended up on a 13′ 150 and still blew through it. I guess my big poles from last year are becoming small poles this year. Next up is the Battle of Beantown at Harvard. From what I hear, this meet is kind of a big deal so hopefully I’ll have some good news to report next week!
Archive for January, 2010
up to 15’5″… and it is getting easier as i go!!!
This week was absolutely crazy. I was completely blown away by the attention I was getting after last week’s meet at Tufts:
- My picture was all over the UML athletics website! I’ve learned that cameras are everywhere because I had no idea they had a picture of me competing at the conference championship last year–or a picture of me in general! I had people I don’t even know congratulating me.
- I was chosen as the NE-10 Conference’s Women’s Field Athlete of the Week. I’ve been on the “honor roll” before, but this was the first time I’ve actually ever been chosen.
- It really must be a slow news week in Fitchburg if my hometown paper, Sentinel & Enterprise, ran a small write up about me. It must have been a shock to my parents reading the paper and seeing the story.
- I guess my coach chose me as “Most Improved” for the week–I was unable to attend the team meeting to know about it, but this is what my suitemate told me.
I still think it’s so silly to be getting all that attention–wait until I achieve something REALLY big. Like going to nationals or something…
Not only was the week crazy from that, but Wednesday all the RAs started training–which consists of loooooong hours (8am to the late hours of the night) spending time getting the building ready, (cutting paper and making bulletin boards & nametags) bonding with the staff (making fun of all the informational sessions and goofing off playing “Catchphrase”).
By the time Saturday’s meet at MIT rolled around, I was wiped. I jumped 10’6″ to get second place. Ehh, I’m okay with it. I’m not crazy excited, I’m not disappointed. The bar got up to 11’1″ again–and I got too antsy and wasn’t even thinking about timing. I was told that I was “Leading with my hips and not my chest”. Oops. Haha! I did come in at an opening height of 10 feet though for the first time this season, so that felt nice. I had way more energy at the higher heights.
But I have another crazy week ahead of me. We’re back to classes tomorrow to start the spring semester. Meet on Friday @ BU. AAAAAAND, my 21st birthday is on Sunday, January 31st. We’re celebrating by heading out downtown and singing karaoke. I’m so excited!
Well, the first week of classes is finally over! The week just seemed to drag on and on, so the long weekend was much appreciated. I’m sure once I get used to my new schedule, things will be better. My class schedule this semester is kinda annoying because the only time Anatomy and Physiology (which I HAD to take this semester) was offered was during practice time. So being late to practice 3 times a week is a little stressful, but Brenner’s very understanding and does whatever he can to make sure I get all the work in that I need.
Thursday was an especially rough practice. Because of my class I got to practice over an hour late. Vaulting started out fine, though. Felt good on my 3-step stuff, blew through the 13′ 135 and 140…then came the 145. Usually I vault fine on this pole, but for whatever reason I just couldn’t get on it that day. I was getting more and more frustrated as practice went on. Then on one of my jumps I went up and came right back down onto my butt on the runway. My tail bone hurt for the next 2 days (luckily it felt better for the meet on Saturday). I took one last jump on the 140 again after that then was done for the day.
Going into the meet at Harvard I was a little nervous because of how practice went on Thursday but I did my best to just erase that from my memory. I felt really good in warm ups. Again, I blew through the 135 and 140. But this time I got on the 145 just fine. I opened at 10’6″ instead of 10′ like I did at our first 3 meets. And I started on the 145 for the first time this season too. My vaults actually felt pretty good. I won with a vault of 11’6″. (Congrats to Brian who also won and got a new PR!!!) I was really close to 12′ again which was kinda frustrating because I know I can clear it, but I was happy just to be in the air after Thursday’s practice.
And as Brian already hinted at, I found out today that I was chosen as athlete of the week! My picture and a write-up will be in the Huntington News next week.
No meet next weekend; next up is the Boston Indoor Games on the 29th at Reggie!
So i finally got fifteen feet this weekend at the harvard meet. While a PR is nice, i am still looking for much larger heights. I am hoping that i will have a break through soon and the numbers will soar. There is still a long season to go though, so there is no holding my breath.
P.S. – If anyone talks to jillena i would ask her about the huntington news…
I’m sure everyone on the team was thankful for the 9am bus time compared to the 6:30am bus time from last week. It was a pleasantly short trip to Tufts from UMass Lowell headed off to a meet that’s pretty easygoing. I was enjoying listening to Ke$ha’s new album (which is probably the worst album ever made but I love dancing to it!) when the bus suddenly locks up it’s brakes and we all brace ourselves not to hit our heads on the seat in front of us. The brakes were sooo loud! We all look up to the front of the bus–we rear ended the tiny little car in front of us. She was going through a yellow light when she changed her mind and stopped. You can only stop a bus so fast! We were all pretty shaken up from that, but also joking and making light of the situation saying we were all suffering from injuries too much to compete. But I absolutely felt terrible for both drivers. I’m sure that was pretty scary….and could have been a lot worse!
Warming up I felt great! I was competing on the 12′ 140 for the first time, there weren’t a lot of competitors, and it was nice to see plenty of familiar faces. I was so confident warming up and feeling great I decided I was going to come in at 10 feet. As the competition got to about 8’6″, our sprinting coach came up to me and told me I definitely shouldn’t come in at 10′ because he didn’t think I would make it. He was pretty persistent and wouldn’t get off the subject until I went over to the official and told him I was coming in at 9’6″. I couldn’t understand why the coach that hasn’t shown any interest in me or the pole vault would suddenly come in and knock me like that. I looked at him, “Well, thanks for having confidence in me.” Definitely had an attitude after that and I was being a total baby and started tearing up to go tell the official. When I came in at 9’6″—which is usually no problem for me, I missed the first attempt. I was still pretty upset. But I had to pull myself together. I shook it off and told myself that this was gonna be a day to prove him absolutely wrong.
It was explained to me after that he meant that he wanted me to use every bit of runway time that I could because I don’t get a lot of opportunities to jump, so he wanted me to get more practice in. I guess I understand that, but at the same time I don’t. I guess it’s just a difference in strategy? I really don’t know. I just know how I felt about it: LIKE CRAP.
I ended up winning the meet and finishing with a height of 11’1″–a new UML school record by one inch. When I was the only one left in the competition, they put the bar at 11’6″, which I later found out provisionally qualifies for NCAA D2 Championships. WHAAAT? Me? Even thinking about nationals? That’s ridiculous. If you had asked me two years ago if I would ever even be close to nationals, I’d laugh. In fact, I still do! But that it’s actually a realistic goal for me really sparks something in me to work even harder and make it there. So, we’ll see what happens
Ok, so it’s officially my first week back at WPI – I got here on Monday – and we started practicing right away. After unpacking I had a 5 o’clock practice which was pretty intense on the warm up, drills, and hurdle mobility stuff. We did a few shorter sprints around our fabulous, ancient 80 meter indoor track but overall it was a good practice… until our coach told us that the rest of the week would be double practices so she would see us bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6AM! The idea of practicing so early was that morning and evening practices would be almost 12 hours apart, but still, 6AM? That’s brutal. However, everyone showed up – although admittedly just about everyone was still 60% asleep – and we had another practice of really focusing on drills and such. We then did a nice little hill workout in the balmy 9-degree weather. That evening we focused on our primary events, so for me vaulting J we did lots of drills and handstands, but overall the practice was successful and a whole lot easier than the morning’s practice.
At any rate, classes start today – yes, we still had practice this morning and we’ll have it again tomorrow (Friday) – and I’m really looking forward to C-term, aka 3rd quarter. I’m going to miss winter vacation, but it’s great being back at WPI
Well it’s time to get back to all the school work again. Classes started on Monday. So far, so good. Looks like my classes will be challenging but I think I’ll be okay. We’ll see. My winter break was good. It was really nice to spend time with my friends and family. Unfortunately, I only got to be home for 2 weeks. I came back to campus last week to practice before the Dartmouth Relays. Freshman housing wasn’t open yet, so I had to live with an upperclassman. That week there were basically only athletes on campus. It was kinda a boring week, I watched A LOT of movies haha, but it was nice to be able to spend some quality time with my team mates
The Dartmouth Relays were on Sunday, our first team scored meet of the season. The day started very early, 6:45am to pack poles, the bus left at 7am. I basically slept the whole 2+ hour ride there. Women’s pole vault started at noon so I started warming up a little before 11. We were done around 2:45, then I spent the rest of the day cheering on my team mates. We left around 6, hit traffic, and didn’t get home until about 9. But again, I slept basically the whole ride haha. What a LONG day! But it was a good day! I cleared 11’6″ and would have had 12′ if I moved up a pole. I came in 3rd and our team won over all! After watching the video from the meet I realized that I basically just have to be more confident meets. My vaults looked better than the did at our last 2 meets, but not as good as in practice. I also realized that my days of opening at 10′ are over.
Our next meet is on Saturday at Harvard. I will be opening at 10’6″ and try to have the confidence to move up poles more quickly and just vault like I do at practice!
This is my second week of being at school with basically only the track team. Well, part of the track team. I actually have been enjoying it because we get to spend a lot of time with the team. The only bad part is that there is a lot of free time during the day, and I don’t know how to spend most of it. Because the cafeteria is not open during the intersession break, the coaches have to provide us with 2 meals a day. This normally consists of cereal for breakfast/brunch, and Qdoba for dinner. This week, we were split into groups and have to cook for the team. Tonight is my night. I am with 2 distance guys, and we are making tacos. Then it is off to the armory to vault tonight.
So, I had my first collegiate meet last Friday! It was the Metro Coaches Invitational at the NY Armory, which is a really nice track, and has a really nice vaulting area. I was extremely nervous up until I got into the armory and started warming up. We practice at the armory, so it wasn’t the first time I jumped there, which I think helped me to be less nervous. My vault coach was not there because of work so Drew, the other vaulter on my team, helped me out with steps and I did the same when he vaulted later. The day before, my coach told me all he wanted me to do was to have fun. He told me it was one of the best places to compete, and I should just enjoy it and use the meet as more of a practice. However, that was not what I wanted to do. I wanted to crush the school record! And that I did! The opening height was 8’4.25”, and I came in there. I held 4 handgrips down on a 12’ 150 pole and ran from a 5 step. This was the first time I had done a full run since I pulled my hamstring so I did not want to go to a 6 step. I actually felt really good, and was bending the pole. I wasn’t inverting, though, and was basically just shooting out horizontally.
I ended up jumping 9’ 4.25” for a new school record!!!! I almost made 9’ 10” on my last attempt. This is from the article about the meet on our school’s athletic page:
“Competing in her first collegiate meet, freshman Rebecca Tylock obliterated the old Stevens pole vault record by a remarkable four feet, clearing 9’ 4.25” at the event.”
We got back around 9 Friday night, and were exhausted. We had a meet the next morning at West Point, because coach wanted us to get used to having back to back meets. This was not good for me though. Physically I felt fine, but I think I was mentally drained from the day before. My vault coach was there for this meet, but it didn’t help much because I was just having a bad day. I came in at 8’ 6” and just managed to muscle my way over, avoiding a NH. I was frustrated, but Bronco the Apex Vaulting coach, who was at the meet on Friday also, told me that I was only human and competing 2 days in a row, was not something a lot of people could handle. And that was exactly how I felt.
My next meet is this Friday at the NY Armory once again. This time it is the Gotham cup. I think opening height is 9’ 4.25” so hopefully the 2 days of practice this week will hopefully get me over opening height on Friday. I hope to re break the school record, and hopefully PR on Friday. I will keep you updated.
Dartmouth Relays. Not so much of a disaster—although I was pretty convinced it was going to be.
At 6:30am that morning, our jumps coach missed the bus because of some questionable decisions the night before. Hey, we’ve been there–don’t get me wrong, but probably not the best time to go out the night before to a bachelor party if you have to catch a bus at 6:30am. From the stories I’ve heard, this is not a usual thing for him AT ALL—so it’s certainly something to be remembered. Needless to say, the entire team will never let him live it down.
As I was warming up I had already lost the small comfort of someone standing there with a Riverhawk shirt on that could at least catch my step and give a few small pointers here and there. Of course, I started to panic. I know I can do a lot of it myself and I know what to do, but doubt started to set in and the positive attitude I like to have was fading. Luckily, a familiar face stepped in—Brian Daly noticed that it looked like I did not want to be there at all, haha, or at least that’s what he said. He helped me out while warming up and continued to coach me through the event, even helped out the “coach” that was designated to me as a replacement. Honestly, I had never met this coach in my life so I wasn’t exactly open to the idea of him helping me at first. They made a nice team and I appreciate Brian’s help. Although I only got 10 feet. I’m okay with it. Nothing too great to write home about, but at least it wasn’t a complete failure. I even had coaches from other teams telling me that they see such a huge improvement from last year. Well, it’s still early, so we’ll see how it all plays out.
I had a lot of fun at the meet. At most meets that are closer, I usually leave after my event because I either have another commitment to get to or my family wants to do something for the day. Since my family was just going to find a sports bar to catch the Patriots game, I stayed the entire day with my team. It was a blast. I enjoyed just hanging out with my teammates which is something I don’t always get to do–let alone, most of them don’t even know I’m on the team. I got to hang out with my teammates and coaches, get to know some new people and just have a fun day overall. It felt nice to feel a part of the team. Plus, you gotta love watching The Hangover on the bus ride home. Nice little bookend to the day I guess…
We’re at Tufts this Saturday, it’ll be nice to have a shorter trip! Still just relaxing in Lowell until classes start January 25th.