LWN Superstar Gala of Feats of Extraordinary Speed and Strength Invitational

Saturday, May 7 2016 - LWN JV Superstar Gala of Extrodinary Feats of Strength and Speed

Track and Field is a top two high school sport. Cross Country is pretty good too. The beauty of track and field is two fold. Obviously watching amazing athletes perform outstanding performances is what draws people to the sport. Watch Ja Mari Ward jump and not be amazed even if you have no knowledge of track and field. It is an incredible time to be a part of Illinois high school track. Read any of the #GoldenAge article recently published and you will know what I am talking about.

But to me what I truly love about this sport is that it is all inclusive. We are a no cut sport. In the 3 years I have been coach at Lincoln Way North we have gone from 50 guys to 100. I think it's amazing that it doesn't matter if you are running 1:56 for 800 or 2:30 you can be working just as hard and be just as dedicated. I know we are a varsity sport and we compete to win and as a result a lot of our team only gets to compete at our conference duals meets. We have guys on our team who practice for a sport from January through May and only compete 4 or 5 times total.


Enter our JV meet Monday night.


Two years ago I remember reading Noah Lawrence from Hinsdale Central talking about their under the lights distance meet. A chance for their non-varsity guys to get one more chance to race. I loved the idea, and immediately went into planning to steal it the following season. Monday night will be our second running of the “Lincoln Way North JV Superstar Gala of Feats of Extraordinary Speed and Strength Invitational.” We have made some additions to this year's event, but the goal has stayed the same to give the best possible experience for the athletes competing. Here are a few things both athletes and fans can expect if they make their way to LWN Monday night:


A later than normal weekday start time. I want to have a schedule more like an invite. First, it allows coaches to get practice in with their varsity guys before the meet starts, but more importantly it gives guys a chance to race under the lights.


No relays (*there is one, but it's different). Typically our guys who might make half the meets on the varsity level are thrown into relays, so they don't have many chances to run PRs in open races. I want these athletes to be able to run a PR. No relays means all open event.


Unlimited entries. No real explanation needed.


A DJ! Last year, I put together a play list. This year we will have a DJ. One of our distance guys is a DJ, he will set up in the press box with his laptop and turn tables, and when our AD hands him the aux cord this meet will be lit.


The PR Board. On the side of our shed next to the track will be a huge piece of paper with PR Board on the top. You run/throw/jump a PR get that on the board and celebrate.


T-shirts. You win a race or event you will get a t-shirt. On the front #trackisbae, on the back LWN Event Champion.


Finish line tape! On Saturday I received a text from my AD with this idea. I loved it and we put our heads together to figure out how to make it happen. You cross the line first Monday, you will break the tape.


Want a memory of that moment? We will have two varsity guys taking pictures that will be posted online, with one who will be specifically taking pictures of the finish line.


Gauntlet Miles. We ran at Plainfield North this year and experienced our first Gauntlet Mile. We will run all (6) heats of the mile gauntlet style.


Announcing is what I will be doing Monday night. My goal is to pump the crowd, the athletes, and also give feedback to the crowd so they know what they are watching and looking for with splits, moves, PRs etc.


And finally the last event, and only relay. The 4x400 Jorts Relay. Palatine ran a costume relay at Distance Night in Palatine, our guys ran it and had a blast. A few years ago when I was coaching at Lincoln Way West, coach Van Swol and I ran an intersquad meet with a 4x400 Jorts relay, and I thought it should be brought back. So we will finish the night with it. I expect to see all types of Jorts on all types of athletes with smiles on their faces.

It is my hope that every athlete has a blast and comes away with a PR for Monday night, and that fans walk out of the meet with a new sense of excitement for track and field.