Sprintic Magazine

Subscribe to the Sprintic Magazine Newsletter and receive track and field news, articles, training descriptions, photo and video sections updates. We have 1800+ subscribers already!


Athletics Notes: Hartwig hopes for Beijing bid

18 July 2008

By Dave Ungrady

As a 32-year-old, Jeff Hartwig felt primed to establish himself as an Olympic medalist when he entered the 2000 U.S. Olympic trials in Eugene, Ore. Hartwig, who finished 11th at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, set an American pole vault record and recorded the top jump in the world, 6.03 meters, at a meet in Arkansas nine days before he took his first jump in Eugene.

But Hartwig failed to clear a height at the trials. He repeated a no clearance performance at the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials, and now approaches the 2008 trials with a sense of finality.

Now 40, Hartwig will retire at the end of this season, but not before taking one final attempt at an Olympic berth. The 2008 U.S. track and field trials are again in Eugene.

"A couple of years ago, I never imagined I'd be jumping for another Olympics," Hartwig said by phone Tuesday. "But after having such a good year last year, I felt I'd give it 100 percent energy this year and do what I can."

In 2007, Hartwig finished second at the U.S. outdoor championships with a jump of 5.70 meters beating, among others, 2004 Olympic gold medalist Timothy Mack. And even though he failed to qualify for the finals at the world championships last summer, he managed a season-best 5.85 meters in May.

Hartwig decided in early 2008 that this would be his last season. He has jumped a season's best 5.71 meters this year. "As I get older, the windows of peak performance are starting to close a little bit," he said. "It's hard to be at 100 percent January through September."

Hartwig is planning to end his career on Sept. 24, one day before his 41st birthday, at a street meet in Aachen, Germany for only pole-vaulters. In the past, several thousand spectators have attended the event, which features a deejay and a runway that athletes reach by climbing up a six-foot high ladder.

"It's probably the best street meet in the world," he said.

Hartwig has been forced to end his career without a sponsor. He said Nike, his sponsor on a year-to-year basis for the last few years, declined to renew his deal earlier this year. Hartwig has had a sponsor since 1995.

"Last year, I was ranked eighth in the world, but Nike didn't seem interested in extending my contract," he said. "That's their decision and right, but I just wish they were more up front with me as to why. I've been consistent at a very high level."

Dragila improves in approach to trials: Another U.S. pole vaulter reaching the end of her career, former world-record holder Stacy Dragila, cleared a season-best 4.55 meters at a meet last weekend in Chula Vista, Calif.

Since she failed to defend her Olympic title at the 2004 Athens games and won the U.S. outdoor title in 2005, Dragila has endured surgery on both Achilles tendons and earlier this year discovered she has a bulging disk in her lower back. She has competed nine times in 2008, the most of any season at this time since 2004.

Still, the 37-year-old Dragila faces a formidable battle to make the U.S. Olympic team at the upcoming trials. She's tied with Jillian Schwartz and Lacey Jansen in fourth place among U.S. pole vaulters this season.

NCAA meet offers glimpse of trials contenders: The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I outdoor track and field championships featured numerous runners who will be primary contenders to the make the U.S. Olympic team. Travis Padgett of Clemson, (10.16), Trindon Holliday of Louisianna State (10.18) and Walter Dix of Florida State (10.22) finished second through fourth behind winner Richard Thompson of Trinidad and Tobago. Holliday finished second and Dix was third at the 2007 U.S. outdoor championships.

Jeshua Anderson of Washington State won the 400-meter hurdles in a personal best 48.69, the sixth fastest in the world this year and the fifth best in the United States.

Dusty Jonas of Nebraska finished second in the high jump but he is the world leader at 2.36 meters (7-8.75 feet).

Brittney Reese of Mississippi tied her personal-best and world-leading 6.93 meters (22-9 feet) in the long jump.

Bookmark and share this story:





Complete Speed Training

The FIRST and ONLY All-Inclusive, Step by Step, Speed Development Program to Show You Exactly How to Make Your Athletes Faster and More a Athletic Than the Competition!

DVD #1: Pre Competition
DVD #2: Agility Training
DVD #3: Hardcore Conditioning
DVD #4: High Powered Training
DVD #5: Pure Speed Training

- Quick and easy methods for getting more done in less time so you can focus on the skills specific to your sport.

- Easy to understand and apply strategies for speed development.

- Clear progressions that can be used for beginner and advanced athletes at the same practice.

- Drills and exercises on video so you can see exactly how to perform and teach drills properly.

- Specific instructions detailing how, where and when to use each movement without having “to earn a degree in exercise science or biomechanics”

- Proven sample workouts and programs you can instantly bring to practice – the same day your program arrives

Order Now