Central sprinter Sidebottom learning the devil is in the details in 100 and 200 dashes
The challenge is simple: Who can run from point A to point B the fastest?
That’s the beauty of the 100- and 200-meter dashes — two of the purest events in sports.
Central’s Chance Sidebottom is showing his improvement in the speed events.
Only a junior, Sidebottom has clocked an 11.54 in the 100, and a 23.08 in the 200.
“He’s a really talented kid that’s come a long way in the program,” Central coach Lanton Kame said. “He’s now learning the art of sprinting, because it takes a couple years to understand how to race.”
But how hard is it to understand something that takes only 12 seconds? Apparently it’s more than what’s on the surface.
“Raw talent will take you so far, but there’s a lot that goes into it,” Kame said. “You have to be mentally and emotionally ready to relax in the moment.”
Sidebottom, in his second year of running track, originally started as a way to stay in shape for football season. Now, he’s starting to realize the small details that make a difference in a race.
“I’ve been working with my block starts,” Sidebottom said. “I’ve been coming out slow, and start about 10 to 15 meters behind everyone before catching up. I’m trying to figure out what my best place within the block is.”
Sidebottom still has a hill to climb when it comes to working his way into the state’s top 18 rankings. He’s ranked 62nd in the 100 and 41st in the 200.
Some of the best athletes in the state compete in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, making it difficult to make a move up the rankings.
Raymond Bozmans of Fort Collins is currently ranked first in the 100 and 200. He has run a 10.55 in the 100, and a 21.16 in the 200.
Sidebottom had a chance to see the state’s best at the Mullen Invitational earlier this season.
“I talked to four kids that were ranked in the top five and all they run is track,” Sidebottom said. “Over there they are in a club. They are running from June to September, then from January through the season.
“It’s a big difference, and it makes us have to train even harder.”
The times are so close in both races that a half second improvement can move an athlete up more than 20 spots in the rankings. Kame said it’s hard to compete with some of the Front Range sprinters because of their ability to focus on one race.
“We use kids in multiple events. If we have a sprinter, we use them in the 100, 200, 400, 400 relay and 800 relay,” Kame said. “A lot of coaches on the Front Range will specialize and run them in the 400 and 400 relay, and that’s it.”
Sidebottom has two more meets to qualify for the state track meet, beginning with this weekend’s two-day Tiger Invitational.
The Tiger has 18 teams attending including Front Range teams Pomona, Horizon and Brighton.
Today’s running events begin at 5 p.m., and are all prelims except for the 3,200-meter run.
The field events that finish today are the girls high jump, long jump and shot put, and the boys discus and triple jump.
“Having the prelims on Friday breaks it up,” Kame said. “Kids don’t get gassed out in their events, and having the break to recover really helps.”