The University of Louisville’s athletic programs have thrived in recent years. With several national championships in multiple sports, an Olympic gold medal winner, and a Heisman trophy there is no shortage of success across the board.
This stand true when it comes to the University’s Track and Field team. With a national championship and several national qualifiers in just the past decade. In just the past few seasons there have been several standout athletes on the track team that include Emmonie Henderson who qualified for both the shot put and discus, Edwin Kibichy who qualified for the steeplechase, Ben Williams who qualified for the triple jump and Damar Robinson who qualified for the High Jump. All of these athletes earned All-American titles or better several times over. In just the past two seasons the Men’s and Women’s teams have shattered over thirty school records and recorded an astounding number in conference top ten finishes. The Program is definitely on the rise.
A lot of people don’t know what goes into a track meet. It is not like other sports where there is a time clock. Instead these meets usually last all day with over 20 events for both men and women. The first thought that comes to ones mind is that track is only comprised of sprinting or some form of running. However it is called Track and Field for a reason, there are also many events that have a focus on other forms of athleticism, that showcase strength, balance, and technicality.
A good example of a less known event is Triple jump, which requires a unique athlete in order to properly perform. It requires speed, balance, power, and technicality. Arguably one of the most difficult events in track and field. this is a distance event meaning that the athlete who legally jumps the furthest distance is crowned the winner. if an athlete steps over the designated mark where you are to start your jump it is not a legal jump. Christian Taylor is an American who has been recorded to jump over 58 feet in this event.
Another really interesting event is the high jump, which requires an inhuman amount of explosion and flexibility. One of the more flashy of the field events as it is naturally more appealing to the eye when performed properly. in order to generate enough vertical power to jump over the bar in high jump athletes build up speed by approaching in a “J”shaped run then explode up off of their last step creating vertical energy from horizontal energy. if the athlete knocks the bar off of the pit, it is not a legal jump. Eric Kynard is currently the number one American High Jumper, whose personal best height is 7 feet 9 inches.
Then finally, last but not least we have the pole vault, which takes an athlete who can’t truly believe they are human. This is hands down the single most dangerous event in this sport. You have to truly have nerves of steel in order to compete in this specific event. We are talking part superhero, part circus freak, and part insane to compete in this graceful yet dangerous event in track and field. in order to successfully pole vault you need to approach the pit using speed then stick the pole into the ground lifting your own body off the ground then using essentially every single muscle in your body, position your body to flip over the bar that is at the designated height. the number one American in this event is currently Sam Kendricks, whose personal best height is about 19 feet.
The Track and Field team has some amazing athletes. These are just three events out of many that occur at a Track meet. When people think of Louisville athletics, they think success. Track and Field has been at the forefront of this success with a variety of athletes. These student athletes may continue Track and Field upon graduation either competing or coaching, or they may take their hard earned degrees and put them to use as a professional. Either way they choose, they are still extraordinary athletes and will be etched into Louisville Athletics history with there records and success. They will be Cards Forever.