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200-meter runners push the limits

200-meter runners push the limits

Lauren Young is one of the Cal State Stanislaus track team's top sprinters.

POSTED April 12, 2011 11:05 p.m.

There are several obvious differences between the 100-meter dash and the 200-meter dash.

Of course, the most obvious is the 100-meter difference between the two track events.

Another difference is that the 200 starts on the curve and ends on the home straight, usually setting up a dramatic finish. But these differences don’t make the 200 any less exciting than its counterpart.

Both races require a lot of speed.

And both races leave little time to breathe.

“For the 100 and 200, you’re running as fast as you can in a short amount of time,” said Cal State Stanislaus freshman sprinter Lauren Young, who is also a Turlock High graduate. “You don’t really think. You have to go hard.”

That’s the general attitude 200-meter runners have, something they carry with them in every race at every meet — all the way to this year’s NCAA Division II Championships on May 26-28 at Warrior Stadium on the Cal State Stanislaus campus. From start to finish, the runners are working every muscle in their bodies for a fast finish.

With that said, the Stanislaus sprinters just want to continue to chip away at their personal-best times. Jesse Ooten and Brittni Showers are the faster Stanislaus male and female runners, respectively — though their best times are at least one second off from the national qualifying marks.

If you want to see who the fastest runner at this college level is, the 200-meter run is one indicator.

Stanislaus track coach Geoff Bradshaw notes that a fast 200-meter runner holds several qualities, including owning good technique, foot speed and reaction time. He said that back during his running days, he was a sprinter who made up for his lack of speed with good technique.

The 200 is a little bit more forgiving, he added. His prime example of this was when U.S. runner Michael Johnson broke the world record in the 200 meters in 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

“He stumbled,” Bradshaw pointed out. “He always reflects back that he stumbled, yet he still set the world record. My contention to that is the stumble helped him react faster, helping him make up for lost time.”

It also helped Johnson to a dramatic finish.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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