If you follow HepsTrack you realize that I frequently wander from the subject at hand. Well, as we slumber along midway between Heps and the NCAAs, I wander again.
That’s because the only track-and-field athlete that I ever personally coached is now following the tweets that come from Heps Track. That begs the question: “Who did you coach?”
It was 2001 at the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden and I found myself sitting amongst the high jumpers, recording the results into a hand-held device on behalf of the official timers. Having no one else to turn to, a young leaper out of Eastern Michigan University approached me to ask if I could watch his takeoff and hip positioning.
Well, I didn’t know if that would violate rules and I definitely didn’t know what I was doing, but I agreed to consult with Jamie Nieto following each leap and give him my remarkably-limited perspective.
He didn’t win. But he made an impression on me. Funny, enthusiastic and engaging, I found myself cheering wildly for him (from my home) during the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he cleared a personal-best 7-8, missing a medal by a single place.
I am pleased that Nieto found Heps worthy of following on Twitter and I was further pleased to learn about his recent work when I put his name into the old Googlenator.
Welcome, Jamie, to Heps Track!