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Track and Field
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Franklin Pierce Highlight Minors Performance in Games

Dage Minors Traveled to World University Games, writes Franklin Pierce Universityís Matthew Janik, the Director of Athletic Communication.

"This was the highest level of competition I have faced. Many of the competitors had personal bests very close to the Olympic standard."

The atmosphere was jubilant.

"The University Games is a whole different beast. The city was shut down and it revolved around the games. The locals were excited to host such a big event, and loved taking pictures with athletes."

Minors was tired, "The first few days, the time difference was rough. I found myself sleeping a lot during the day, because that was night time over here. After about two full days there, my body was getting used to it, but I still struggled."

Already the most-decorated athlete in the young history of the Franklin Pierce University track & field program, Minors took his talents to the international level this summer. He represented Bermuda in Taiwan, at the World University Games, which is the world's largest multi-sport event outside of the Olympic Games. Minors competed in his signature event, the 800 meters.

Just getting to the event required a grueling travel schedule, which featured flights from Bermuda to New York, from New York to Hong Kong, and from Hong Kong into Taiwan. It also required serious training during what would usually be his down time between collegiate seasons, with Minors indicating he had to constantly push himself just to get ready to compete. Once he got to Taiwan though, he tried to keep things in perspective.

"When I got there, I told myself that this is an opportunity you have wanted, to compete with some of the world's best," said Minors last week, after returning to campus at Franklin Pierce. "My approach to the meet was that I really had nothing to lose and wanted to gain experience, as I hope to compete in more international meets like these."

The 800 meters were part of the Athletics competition at the World University Games, which were held at Taipei Municipal Stadium. The 20,000-seat venue opened in 2009 and has been host to the Deaflympics and FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in the past, among other events. In a 53-runner field, Minors would take to the track in the first of seven Round 1 heats on Aug. 26.

"Not much happened on the track that I hadn't experienced before, but every race you learn something different, whether you win or lose, so I will definitely have some lessons from that," said Minors. "If I'm selected in the spring for the Commonwealth Games, having had a race with people I don't know anything about, and putting myself in a position to run well, is what I can take away from this trip."

Minors' heat wound up being one of the faster Round 1 races, with three of the round's top-six times coming from the seven-runner heat. Minors turned in a 1:51.43, which placed him sixth in the heat, and was the 19th-fastest Round 1 time. He ran a faster time than seven runners who advanced to the semifinals, but was left on the outside looking in, due to the structure of the event. The top three finishers in each heat automatically qualified for the semifinals, plus the next three fastest times across all seven heats, for a total of 24 semifinalists. Minors, along with the runner who finished just ahead of him in the first heat, were the fastest two men left out of the semifinals.

All in all, Minors was happy with the outing.

"I'm pleased with my performance. I think that I am good enough to have made the next round, but I just missed out," said Minors. "Considering that it was late in the track season, I was happy to put down a decent time."

Minors was the first athlete in program history to represent his country at the World University Games. After his experience, what would he tell a potential future student-athlete selected to do the same?
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Dill & DeGrilla Compete in Universiade Games

Bruce Degrilla
Two Bermuda athletes competed in the 2017 Universiade Games in Taipei.

Shaquille Dill was on the track for a second time as he competed in the Menís 800m Semi-Finals, while Bruce Degrilla competed in the Menís Long Jump.

Dill finished 8th in Heat 3 of the Menís 800m Semi-Finals he was clocked in a time of 1:54.70.

Degrilla competed in the Long Jump and did not record a legal leap in any of his Group B attempts.

Saturday, August 26, 2017
Dill & Minors Compete in Universiade Games

Shaquille Dill & Dage Minors
Dage Minors and Shaquille Dill began their participation in the 2017 Universiade Games in Taipei.

Both Bermuda track stars competed in the Menís 800m.

Dill advanced to the Semi-Finals when he was clocked in a time of 1:51.20 finishing 4th in Heat 3, while Minors missed out on advancing as he finished 6th in Heat 1 with a time of 1:51.43.

Dill finished 14th overall, while Minors finished 19th, Minors like Amoj Jacob from India would feel slighted as 7 competitors with slower times advanced to the Semi-Finals based on winning their Heats.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Lewis Talks Job and Track Future

Paralympian Jessica Lewis is preparing to leave Bermuda and head back to Canada as she begins her internship for 3 monthís.

Lewis who is looking to graduate from college next year also will be keeping her sights on Tokyo 2020.

www.islandstats.com caught up the Pan American Womenís 100m Gold Medalist and 2 time Paralympian to get an update on her immediate future and her long term goals

Monday, August 21, 2017
Tyrone Smith - My Greatest Challenge

Bermudan Long Jumper Tyrone Smith has been an established international performer for the past decade. Here the three-time Olympian, who earlier this year posted a national record of 8.34m, talks about the challenge of working full time and trying to perform at the top level, writes Steve Landells for the IAAF.

Making ends meet

ďThe greatest challenge Iíve faced is finding a way to finance my track and field career. I havenít won any Diamond League trophies or major titles and coming from a small nation makes it more difficult to get endorsements and win shoe contracts, so since leaving college Iíve worked full time as a car salesman.

ďEach day I train in the morning and work from about 11am until 8pm and then I go back to training at 8.30pm. Iíve done this since the fall of 2007 when I first moved to Houston, Texas in pursuit of making the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

ďPeople ask why I do it and a I guess Iím a stubborn guy. Since early in my career people told me that I wasnít good enough to get a scholarship at university or that I couldnít make the nationals or later make the Olympic Games. Yet, like every long jumper, I had a ton of long fouls and those fouls kept me motivated. I wanted to show that I belonged at that level.

ďIt is obviously tough to be an athlete and work full time. I canít freely leave when I would like. Iím limited to three weeks off a year plus the goodwill of my company to squeeze in all my competitions in the European season. It can make rest and recovery difficult. If I was a full-time athlete, I would still train in the morning but I would then probably complete my strength training and maybe get some lunch and on an afternoon rest and watch a movie. Instead Iím working and if I have a client to see Iím grabbing food on the run, which is far from ideal.

ďI also canít tell how many times my phone will ring when Iím in the middle of running repeats or doing drills. My instinct is not to answer, but as a salesman it might inhibit me from travelling later in the season because if I donít make that sale, I might not be able to afford to travel.

ďSometimes Iíve turned up in my training gear for a sale and other times the anti-doping people have come in during the middle of a sale.

ďI have considered life as a full-time athlete. Iíve enjoyed a couple of seasons when Iíve had enough money coming in that if I trimmed my living costs and maybe brought in a room-mate I could have gone full time, but the following years the money wasnít quite there to make it work so it was probably the right decision.

ďUltimately, Iíve reached quite a happy balance with training and work. I just think that my life is not so different to my college days of wake up, go to class, train and go to bed. The only difference now is I go to work rather than go to school. That is how I trick my mind into accepting that what I do is normal. I have never stopped being busy. I have just replaced school with work.Ē
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