Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hockey, eh?

If you go back and refer to my sports priority schedule, this time of the year is usually:

1. College Hoops
2. Pirates and Spring Training
3. Penguins

The problem with this is that my three college hoops teams (Arizona, Penn State, Davidson) are still floundering. Secondly, with the Pirates 'plan' coming into view, I'm even more excited about that than basketball. However, the biggest shift is, with the Olympics, there is some viewing there....especially the hockey--men's and women's.

I can't get enough of the Olympic hockey. The US team is making an improbable run (so far) and how about that US-Canada game. The Russia-Czech game from Sunday was great. Canada finally loosened up and they're taking it to Russia (as of the 2nd period at least). Also, I'm really impressed with the US & Canadian women's teams and can't wait to see their final on Thursday.

In other news, I finally made it up to the GaREAT Center in Geneva, OH. It's a 2+ hour drive to get there, but man-o-man is it a nice facility. Wow.

After being up at Penn State and watching Beth compete at the indoor track (and also working as the scoreboard/timing system operator for 3 years), I didn't think I'd ever be in a better facility. Well, I found it. This place is so BIG and amazing. 8-lane 300m oval (with lane 8 being 400m if you'd ever want to do an INDOOR 400m repeat workout). 10-lane 100m straightaways. Two Long/Triple Jump Pits (makes a jumping coach happy). Two High Jump Pits. Two Pole Vault Pits. A large turf football field in the middle. There were 1800 athletes there and it went just as fast as a meet at Slippery Rock or Robert least as quick as indoor meets can go. Double Wow!

We're going up there again next weekend for our district championship. Then, the athletes who have the times will then compete in the state championship at Penn State. Oh yeah. I almost forgot. Our top runner pulled off an 8:47 3000m. Apparently, it's the best time in the state and among the top 10-20 in the country. Not bad for his first race since Foot Locker back in December. He took a few weeks off and then had a minor leg injury. Since then, he's been working out great, but between all the snow cancelling TWO meets and some of his recruiting trips, this was the first meet he actually ran at. Amazing. I'm looking forward to see what he can do the next two weekends before moving on to outdoors.

A neat thing about this facility is that it was completely privately funded and they have also a football stadium, huge volleyball complex, an indoor soccer complex, and an indoor-outdoor swimming complex is being completed. You can check it all out here. One of the neat things of the day was the opening introductions and announcements where the director of the complex got on the microphone and said a few words about how this was a Christian facility and that all are welcome to exercises their faith, whether it would be through saying prayers or reading the Bible. Pretty neat.

So, off to check where this Nor'easter is heading and if we'll get any of it here in Pittsburgh. I've had my fill of snow, so if those east-coasters like Maija want to keep it that would be fine with me.


maija said...

I hope you guys didn't get the same storm. It really stinks!

That looks like a great facility. Glad your athlete could bounce back from injury to race so well!

Wendy said...

Wow now you should be REALLY excited about the upcoming Gold Medal round of Mens Hockey. I know I am....and I'm not even that huge of a fan! :)

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