By LTC Jeanette Griffin, WTC Stratcom
On Thursday, March 8, unseasonably warm weather conditions accompanied the first day of competition for more than 45 wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers and Veterans that participated in the track and field portion of the Warrior Transition Command’s (WTC) largest adaptive sports and reconditioning clinic at Fort Meade’s Mullins Field. Athletes practiced and competed in the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 1500 meter dash track events, shot put, and discus field events in preparation for qualification rounds planned on March 10-11.
“The first track and field clinic focused on timing each individual, capturing their biomechanics, and analyzing their athletic capabilities,” said track and field coach retired LTC Sue Bozgoz. “I made note of each individual athlete’s God given talent, then provided them with information on how to improve their performance prior to the final clinic.”
Track runners demonstrated that they had practiced and improved their running times, since the first clinic. Likewise, shot put and discus athletes showed that they had improved their form, technique, and ability to throw the shot put and discus.
“Thursday’s practice for athletes competing in the 100 meter and 200 meter dash included an 800 meter warm up, 4×50 meter sprints with 100 meter rest, followed by an 800 meter cool down,” said Bozgoz. “Athletes competing in the 1500 meter ran a one mile warm up, 800 meter blow out, and a one mile cool down.” This was just the right amount of training to prepare for the weekend of competition and qualifications.
Warrior Games returning athlete, SPC Jasmine Perry, a Soldier assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Campbell, who won gold in the shot put event during the 2011 Warrior Games is very excited about competing in track and field and swimming. “I believe that this year’s events are more competitive,” said Perry, “I hope to do my best and be selected to represent the Army during the 2012 Warrior Games.”
“As a coach, my goal is to bring out a runner’s God given potential by giving them the tools they need to perform at their best,” said Bozgoz. “I am excited about the track and field qualifications. My greatest joy as a coach is helping runners reach the finish line.”
At the Warrior Games, athletes from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Special Operations will compete for the gold in archery, cycling, wheelchair basketball, shooting, swimming, track and field, and sitting volleyball.
“The planning and coordination for this event has gone well,” said SGT Brice Hamilton, of the Warrior Transition Command, Adaptive Sports and Reconditioning Branch. “We were fortunate to have the assistance of the WTU, Fort Meade to assist with transportation of personnel and equipment and students from Defense Information School to assist as photographers, videographers, and timekeepers.”
After the competitions, athletes paused for a few moments to cool down, relax their nerves, and take a few minutes to reflect on the accomplishments made on the track and field.
The day ended with laughter, horse play, and all of the details on how the athletes received their scrapes and bruises.
We had quite a day in the track and field competitions.