Killaroid Speed Clinic held in Brawley deemed a success
Tyree Washington, the 400-meter world champion, talks about the Killaroid Speed Clinic training at the Brawley Union High football field on Saturday. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / January 26, 2013)
Countless variations of this vital piece of advice were heard coming from the throat of Tyree Washington as fatigue threatened to compromise the form and effort of his mud-splattered apprentices.
Thirty-six athletes— three of whom were girls — had braved the rain-induced mire of Warne Field in the hopes of improving in their respective sport.
In between drills, Washington, wearing a black, long-sleeved shirt and his trademark red headband, communicated universal truths learned from his days as a lowly trainee that ultimately helped him evolve into a world champion sprinter — from the importance of keeping your arms at 90 degree angles while sprinting to proper breathing techniques.
“It was truly a pleasure coming down,” Washington said. “I think (Saturday) went great. The conditions weren’t ideal (because of the weather), but we still had a good turnout. I think the kids saw the value in what we’d be teaching them here.”
Some credit is due to Calipatria High head football coach David Shaw, who met Washington in early 2012 at a similar event hosted by NFL quarterback Philip Rivers and running back Reggie Bush.
“We started talking,” Shaw recounted, “and I thought it’d be cool to bring a new kind of agility camp down here. We just wanted to educate the kids on proper running mechanics.”
Saturday’s participants — some 36 in number — were fortunate to have the benefit of learning from an athlete of Washington’s caliber and knowledge.
Jake Whannel of Calipatria plans to use the experience as a springboard toward his impending collegiate football career.
“I wanted work on my speed, flexibility, and my ‘get-off’,” he explained, not long after emerging as the clinic’s fastest senior. “It gave me something to do in the offseason.”
Roxy Olivos, a sophomore at Brawley Union High, was one of three girls who attended the clinic but rather than feeling self-conscious about “running with the guys”, Olivos felt motivated.
“It made us want to push harder,” stated the 16-year-old basketball player. “Overall, (the clinic) helped a lot, because I need to get up and down the court.”
Washington also spoke on the evils of performance-enhancing drugs, the use of which by a former 4x400 relay teammate cost him and others a gold medal at the 2003 World Championships.
“There are no shortcuts,” he declared. “It’s all about maintaining integrity.”
Washington had hoped to attract a large group of student-athletes from diverse backgrounds — especially those who might not otherwise have the means or the opportunity to attend such a clinic.
“Hopefully, this will be the first of many,” he said. “It’s been a real blessing for me so far. I love what I do. By mentoring these kids, you hope to instill values that they can build on and use in years to come.”
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