Athletes to Watch During the Track & Field Season in 2018

As the outdoor season approaches, we take a look at the fast rising talents that you will need to keep an eye on during the Track and Field season. Below, you will find the best athletes that are sure to excel during the 2018 season.

Jamaica’s Briana Williams – 100m and 200m

Williams managed to break into the top 5 of the 100m for women just before her 16th birthday with a sensational 11.13 seconds during a race in Florida. She even outperformed the world record of Marion Jones at 11.17 seconds. The Florida high school student was also phenomenal at the CARIFTA games during March where she managed to break the event record with 11.27 seconds and ran the 200m in an incredible 23.11 seconds.

Cuba’s Jordan A Diaz – Triple Jump

The world of triple jump looks extremely bright now that Diaz is involved. The Cuban sensation stirred the world of jumping with his massive leaps and is compared to Jonathan Edwards who is the world record holder from the UK. Diaz is getting closer and closer to the 18.29m mark which has stood for nearly 23 yards. Diaz jumped 17.32m in February and managed to win the U18 title in 2017.

USA’s Michael Norman – 200m and 400m

Norman is already a teenage icon with his unbelievable sprints in both the 200m and the 400m. He managed to set a world indoor record of 44.52 seconds in 400m at the indoor championship in Texas. The 20-year old’s greatest asset is his raw speed which he showcased in Arizona days later where he ran 20.06 seconds.

USA’s Sydney McLaughlin – 400m

Considered as track magic, McLaughlin is the new kid on the block when it comes to the 400m for women. In just 24 hours, she managed to clock 22.39 in a 200m event and produced 50.07 seconds during a 400m race on a wet track. With such talent and depth, she had multiple offers to turn pro but decided to pick a scholarship at the Kentucky University instead.

Sweden’s Armand Duplantis – Pole Vault

The Swedish sensation has been vaulting since the age of 5 which means he has loads of experience in the field at only 18-years of age. Duplantis was born into a family of athletics. His father was an American vaulter and also his coach, while his mom is a physical trainer. Even his brothers are pole vaulters, but Duplantis might be the best in the family.

Canada’s Nine Schultz – Heptathlon

Schultz is quickly starting to make a name for herself with her outdoor performance after accumulating 6,018 points. Her list of achievements run deep. She currently holds junior, high school and U20 records in Canada. She qualified for the national team and is the youngest participant for the Commonwealth Games. Schultz holds the best pentathlon score of 4,502 points in Canada as is currently ranked 7th highest in NCAA history. However, she only made a debut in 2017 which is quite impressive.

Tyson Gay: An American Track and Field Profile

Few US track and field sprinters have burst onto the scene with quite the pace that Tyson Gay did. After rapidly becoming the joint-second fastest athlete ever, Tyson has endured some tough times, but where did it all go wrong, and why was there no big comeback? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the achievements of Tyson Gay.

Who is Tyson Gay?

Born in 1982 in Lexington, Kentucky, Tyson Gay burst into track and field in the Kentucky High School State Championships in 2001, when he won the 100m gold and set a state record with 10.46s. He also took silver in the 200m, before deciding to join Barton County Community College, in Kansas.

Improving his personal bests in the 100m and 200m, Gay bagged the NJCAA National Championship, before moving on to the University of Arkansas to join their track and field program. At Arkansas, Gay continued to impress, finishing fourth in the NCAA Men’s Indoor Track and Field Championship, and winning the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship 100m event, with a 10.06s record.

After missing on the US Olympic Team for 2004, he spent his final year as an amateur athlete helping the University of Arkansas win another NCAA title, before deciding to become a professional athlete.

By 2005, Gay had won a gold medal in the World Athletics Final and capped off 2006 with a superb performance at the IAAF World Athletics Final. Winning gold in the 100m and 200m events (beating Usain Bolt along the way) in 2007 at the Osaka Championships was a high-point for the athlete. The following year was not his best, with his Beijing Olympics appearance being a poor affair.

In 2009, Gay won the silver in the 2009 World Championships and set a new US record, but recurring injuries and hip problems saw him out of action for most of 2011.

It All Goes Wrong In London

Gay qualified for the London Olympics in 2012, but Gay couldn’t finish higher than fourth in the 100m final but was more successful in the 4x100m relay. The following year, Gay again underperformed at the 2013 National Championships, but before the World Championships in Moscow, Gay tested positive for a banned substance. He admitted doping (albeit via a third party). After losing his Adidas contract, and having his (and his relay teams) 2012 Olympic medals stripped, the USADA banned Gay for a year and expunged his records from 2012 onwards.

Despite the fall from grace, Tyson Gay has returned to the world of American track and field. He won the 100m Prefontaine Classic in 2015, qualified for the World and Olympic Games in 2016 in the 4x100m relays, but finished just sixth out of ninth in the 2015 World Athletics Championships. The 2016 Olympics saw the relay team once again pick up a medal (bronze), although this time, another relay team member (Gatlin) was the cause of disqualification (handling a baton outside of the exchange zone), so this Gay once again had to hand back his medal.

It’s been a quiet time since, but here is to hoping Tyson Gay hasn’t turned his back on athletics just yet.

What is it like being an athlete turned fitness model?

It’s undeniable that after opening Instagram, your deed might become flooded with photo after photo of women who have the perfect fit body that most of us strive for. While it may do more damage to compare yourself to them – you should always remember that these ladies are doing a job: exercising and showing the perks of doing it. Despite this, this job is not always as glamorous as some people paint it to be. It takes hard work, and a ton of behind the scene preparation before any photo is being shot. Listed below are some of the most common things that fitness models have to face, no matter how popular or killer their abs are.

1. Rejection is a part of the job – and it happens more often than you might think

Despite being a popular athlete, such as Allison Stokke, that doesn’t guarantee that you’re going to get casted for every call you go to. Many other fitness models have expressed a similar mindset that for every 50 calls you get, you might only get less than 5 of the finalisation calls.

While this could break many people as criticism about your tones physic could be hard to deal with – fitness models have to have a stringer shell to make it in this industry. No matter if they are being shot for Instagram or professional magazines. Though you should always remember while the girl in the photo looks perfect, there are probably a dozen other models who were told that look “wrong” for the shoot for some reason or another. Heck, even being an inch too short or tall you have you disqualified for a fitness modelling gig.

2. Despite being sculpted, they face challenges regarding their insecurities

While on the outside these fitness models are considered to be some of the most beautifully dedicated to being athletic, they still face their own insecurities. I mean, it isn’t like they’re bodies are not constantly being looked at and judged at every corner. Plus, it’s not like since athlete who turns into fitness models are not automatically over being bullied online, or even in person. They’re human, and they can easily find flaws in their fit bodies as others can with theirs. Even at some points, their own fit bodies can be the cause of their insecurities, as one fitness model who plays volleyball revealed that she wishes she had a smaller, more delicate frame at times.

3. Dieting isn’t in their vocabulary

While on the one hand, having a cheat day may not be the end of the wild, fitness models have to sell the image of being healthy and showing a strong amount of willpower as well. Though sticking to a healthy diet can benefit more than a career as its understandable that fitness models enjoy being healthy – and having cheat days can easily put them into a funk of feeling sluggish and ad about themselves. Moreover, yo-yo diets, or fad diets, are a bit no-no as many fitness models don’t have days to prepare before a shoot, they usually only have a few hours.

Allison Stokke Engaged to Ricky Fowler

This week was a big one for Allison Stokke. As she and her boyfriend Rickie Fowler, a professional golfer on the PGA circuit joined friends on the golf course for National Friends Day, it was a day she will not soon forget.

As the festivities were yet to start, Fowler chose the moment to start them early with a post to Instagram that read “Today is National Best Friend Day so I wanted to lock mine down…I WON!!” Fowler announced via his Instagram account that he was now engaged to Stokke after proposing at a beach that remained unknown.

Fowler included a picture of him kneeling in front of Allison on a beach as waves crashed down in the background while he presented a ring to Stokke. Fowler also added a picture of the two smiling as Stokke showed off a large diamond ring.

Stooke, who became famous as a track and field stat while attending the University of California. Stokke and Fowler have been dating for May 2017and Stokke often accompanies Fowler on the PGA tour as he competes. Stokke acted as his caddy during the Masters in April.

Four-Time PGA Winner

Rickie Fowler has been playing professionally since 2009 and has won four PGA Events. He currently is ranked 7th on the circuit and has earned over $30,000,000 in winnings over the course of his career and continues to remain among the top golfers on the PGA tour. Fowler, whose full name is Rick Yutaka Fowler is 29. His highest ranking in golf was #1 when playing as an amateur golfer. Fowler held that ranking for almost 40 months during the 2007/2008 season.

With the U.S Open set to start, Fowler is taking time off before the Open starts with his Stoke, now his fiancé. Stooke and Fowler were first seen in public together at the Grand Prix of Americas. Stokke, who received unwanted attention after a picture of her went viral, is now a sportswear model. Those photos caught the attention of many sports blogs including news outlets such as the Washington Post passing comments on the attention of the mostly male audience that were viewing the images of Stokke.

For Stokke, she found the unwanted attention demanding stating that “It just all feels really demeaning. I worked so hard for pole vaulting and all this other stuff, and it’s almost like that doesn’t matter. Nobody sees that. Nobody really sees me.” Now that Stokke a frequent guest on the PGA circuit while supporting Fowler, she continues to maintain a strong presence online through pictures she posts online.

Allison Stokke: The Sport That Led Her to Fame

Allison Stokke wasn’t exactly like other high school students when she rose to fame. The American born women, who currently is 29 years old, started her athletic career when she attended Newport Harbor High School in California. Originally, Stokke was a part of her high school’s track and field team when she first became interested in pole vaulting. While this may seem simple enough, her name started to reach headlines when she was recorded and photographed by a journalist in 2007, while she was competing in New York track and field competition.

These photos were then taken from the original article and reposted by a man who ran an online blog about athletics that had an extremely large fan base. Since then, Stokke has become a well-known name in the track and field and fitness world, thus leading to her success as a fitness model before she started school at the University of California, Berkeley.

Track and Field

As the name suggests, track and field is an outdoors sport that usually takes place in a stadium on its running track which encloses a grass field (which is where the jumping events take place). However, track and field is more than the participants running to see who is the fastest. This sport also includes a multitude of jumping and throwing athletic events and contests as well. It is important to note that track and field is just an umbrella term, the other athletic events that are included in track and field are: cross country, road running, and race walking. One of the reasons why so many fans are attracted to track and field is because it is an individual sport where only athletic is deemed the winner, which leads to the sport being more competitive than others.

Foot Races

The foot racing events include a mixture of middle and long-distance running, race walking, sprinting, and hurdling, who all are won by whichever participant is the fastest in the competition. Out of all the events that are under track and field, foot races are the oldest seeing how they were around in ancient Greek. Though, out of all the previously mentioned foot racing events, sprinting is the most popular form that is known globally. Sprinting is also an Olympics and Outdoor World Championships event. The most popular forms of sprinting are the 100 meter, 200 meters, and 400 meters races due to the highly competitive atmosphere surrounding the event.

Jumping Events

These two events are commonly combined due to the winner being decided by whichever athlete achieves the greatest distance or height in the competition. The jumping events include long jump, triple jump, high jump, and the pole vault, which is what Allison Stokke is known for. Moreover, the jumping events can also include other elements of track and field, making it one of the more physically challenging aspects of the sport.

Pole Vaulting

The use of poles in the pole vault was first recorded Fierljeppen contests in the Frisian area, a coastal region of the Netherlands. It soon made its way to Germany in the 1770’s when gymnasts incorporated poles into their routines. However, it will not be until 1843 in England where the first pole vaulting contests were being held. The rules were simple: athletes were not allowed to move their hands along the pole and that they had to clear the bar feet first while twisting, so their stomach faces the bad mid-jump.

While the rules of the sport have not changed over the years, the way, the sport is competed in has. For starters, athletics are provided a landing mattress to break their fall when they are jumping at higher heights; the athletes are also given a longer strip of track to run on before making their jump.

To put it simply, pole vaulting is one of the more rigorous and gymnastic-like events in track and field. It requires the participants to be extremely precise in their movements while also having an incredible amount of strength to lunge themselves, with the help of a pole, over a bar set at a designated height. No wonder why pole vaulting was introduced to the Olympics in 2000.

Allison Stoke Moving On

In 2007 Allison Stoke became an internet sensation after a picture of her at a pole vaulting event went viral. She was successful in the sport before the famous photo and won the U.S. title in 2005. The photo of her at the event was posted on a less than flattering blog that posted pictures of younger women for their male clients. The person that took the famous photo threated to use the blog if the picture was not removed, but it already was viral and swirling around the World Wide Web.

Becoming Famous

After the infamous photo of Stoke, there was a website set up that also had other pictures of her at athletic competitions. Thousands of fans saw her as their “net crush”, and her life would never be the same as itgot out of control for a while. There were even articles published about her in such outlets as the New York Times and Washington Post and in stories about her overseas in TV shows in England, Germany, and Australia. Soon after she was inundated with offers to model and she then had to hire a manager. All Stoke wanted to do was continue to pursue her dream of making the Olympics as a pole vaulter, and when she released a YouTube video talking about the techniques of the sport there were in excess of 100,000 hits, but most of the comments were about her appearance.

Where is Stoke Now?

Stoke never gave up on her dreams of vaulting in the Olympic games and she still pursues that. She has been a model for Nike and Athena and a spokesman for GoPro and is also in a pretty high-profile relationship with one of the top golfers in the world in Ricky Fowler. She has accompanied him to several tournaments. Even after working out with some of the best athletic coaches in Phoenix Stoke did not qualify for the USA Track and Field Olympic Trials, but she still continues to train for her ultimate goal to this day.

The picture that changes Stoke’s life was not always a rosy situation, but she has taken a positive from it and is not bitter about it at all. She stated, “I feel like me, and that picture are two different people.” She said the infamous picture is her alter-ego that she chooses not to engage with. From the famous photo to life at Cal Berkley as a student-athlete to dating one of the top golfers on the planet to continuing toward her dream, Stoke has weathered the storm of what can happen when something goes viral on the web. While it was a hindrance at times and she had some hard times after becoming a sensation she has managed to be positive in her views of what she went through.

Allison Stoke has taken the good and the bad with her 15 minutes of fame, which seem to be hanging on. She is resilient and a positive role model for young women athletes even though that is now what she signed up for after not even knowing she was being photographed back in 2007 simply doing what she loved and was good at, which was, and still is, pole vaulting.

Allison Stokke: Finding her way

Finding her way for Allison Stokke was not the easiest of things to accomplish. After blasting into fame due to a photo posted online, Stokke had to deal with unwanted attention from internet trolls and excessive exposure. For a kid still in high school and just wanting to master the sport of pole vaulting, becoming a viral sensation was the last thing on her list of to do’s

Who is Allison Stokke?

Allison Stokke was born and raised in California by parents, Allan (a lawyer) and Cindy Stokke. As a youngster, Allison competed in gymnastics nationally but early on found the sports was not for her, even though she was achieving success.

Finding her way, Stokke found pole vaulting was her passion. She felt she had what it took to succeed and began to hone her craft and quickly rose in the ranks to become one of America’s youngest in the sport. At the age of 15, stoke succeeded in jumping 12.5 feet.

As Stokke entered her high school freshman year, she pushed harder and began setting records. In 2004 Stokke beat her own record jumping 12 feet, 8 inches and then later beat that record by jumped 13 feet, 5.75 inches.

As her senior year got under, the juggling of school and training was tough on the star athlete. It was at this time that Allison began to generate both national and international attention in the sport of pole vaulting. As she rose to the top of her sports, she again set a new personal best of 13 feet, 6.75 inches, however, things were about to change, and not for the better.

The now famous photo

In 2007, life was good for the high schooler, however, while in completion, a photographer took a picture of Stokke, who was 17 at the time, as she was in line waiting her turn to jump. The photograph was posted online and later reposted on a blog site that catered to men wanting to view pictures of younger women.

This saw Stokke becoming an internet sensation, for all the wrong reasons as the caption under her blog posted picture was demeaning. It led to Allison having to deal with trolls and unwanted attention, taking her focus away from the sport and having to lean on her father for legal support in dealing with the trolls and constant republishing of her picture. The original photographer threatened legal action for the picture to be removed from the blog, but for Alisson, it was too late, and the damage was done, the internet owned her picture, and little could be done about it.

The positive to come from this was a warning to young women by CBC Sports about how easy it can be to have young women who are vulnerable become public figured. The segment focused on the dangers and negative effects of the internet and social media. The hope was that in doing so, young women would become more educated on those risks and act appropriately to prevent them from happening.

Allison Stokke

Allison Stokke is, perhaps, one of the more baffling cases of a truly inspiring and talented sports athlete, who never quite made it. Today, the 28-year-old is rather unfairly remembered for being a high school sex-symbol, which in actuality, she should be remembered for her talent, and what could have been.

A Promising Athlete

Stokke was born and raised in California in 1989 and took up pole vaulting at her local high school (Newport Harbor High School). By 15, she had won the US title, with an inspiring jump of 12ft. 6in (3.81m). Her amazing achievements would continue, smashing the record in 2004, and then again in 2005 with her 13ft. 5.3 in (4.11m) vault. Even after breaking a leg, this young athlete would go on the win the CIG California State Meet, twice.

Smashing records was what this athlete should have been celebrated for. However, in an era of rapidly advancing internet technology and social media, she gathered some rather unfortunate and unwarranted attention instead. In 2007, at the age of 17, Stokke (whilst waiting for her turn to vault) was snapped. The innocent enough photo made it onto the “With Leather” blog, and its audience of young men went wild.

The demeaning and sexualized comments Stokke faced certainly took their toll on her. Stalkers, television interviews and doors to modelling careers all opened for Allison, and that took the focus away from the young woman’s sports.

Not Meant to Be

Despite releasing a YouTube video about how to perfect your pole vaulting techniques (intended as a way of turning the focus on her back to sport) the comments continued. Even a CBS piece on the tribulations of the “abuse” didn’t stop the internet from commenting on her body, rather than her skills.

Her efforts in the sport were enough to win her a scholarship to university, and whilst there she continued to smash the record books. In the end, she graduated with a master’s degree in sociology and began to prepare for the London Olympic games in 2012. Unable to clear the 14ft heat, she was failed to make the team.

Having failed to make the Olympic Games, Stokke finally gave in to the demands from the modelling industry in 2015 (although only fitness modelling) posing for Nike, as well as working with Go Pro, Uniqlo, and Athleta. Now involved with US golfer, Rickie Fowler, Allison Stokke leads a quieter life, although she has taken up golfing herself alongside continued vaulting and still hopes to one day end up at the Olympic Games.

As for her achievements in pole vaulting, Stokke’s personal best (achieved in 2012) stands at 14ft. 3.5in (4.36m), which would have been enough to see her make the 2012 London Olympics, had that been her Olympic Trial attempt.

Today, Stokkes doesn’t gather the media attention she used to, although, with 6 million views, her GoPro YouTube videos show that there’s a lot of people still interested in Allison, and happily, for the right reasons. Perhaps there is still a second chapter which is yet to be written for this former American track and field great.

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