Ralph Lindeman Reports From Osaka (#5)
Aug. 31 2007
Air Force track and field head coach Ralph Lindeman is currently in Osaka, Japan, serving as the Head Manager for the United States' men's track and field team at the 11th-Annual International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Outdoor Championships for Athletics. Lindeman took time out of his schedule with Team USA to let Air Force fans know what he has been up to.
FRIDAY, AUG. 31
It's "Day 7" at the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. Yesterday, I finally started to do some serious "coaching" as the men's pole vault qualifying round was held. Brad Walker, the world leader so far this year, easily qualified but will be our only entry to advance to the finals tomorrow night. The decathlon started this morning and we have four athletes entered -- the most any country can normally have is three but since we have the "reigning champion," in this case, Brian Clay, we're granted an extra entry.
The decathlon will keep me very busy through tomorrow, as if I haven't been busy enough since the meet started! A typical day has me leaving for the stadium at 7:00 a.m. and getting back to the hotel around midnight. Besides the normal coaching duties one would expect me to have, I have a myriad of responsibilities including confirming our entries with the IAAF each morning, filing protests (we've had very few -- a big switch from usual), scheduling our departures and arrivals at the stadium, ensuring our athletes report punctually to the "Call Room," etc., etc.
Much attention has been paid to Dana Pounds' presence at these championships, but there's another USAFA grad competing here as well, Capt. Kevin Eastler. Kevin is a Class of 2000 graduate stationed at Buckley Field in Aurora, Colo., who will race tomorrow morning in the 50k racewalk. Kevin had IC (intercollegiate) status in the track program while at the Academy to allow him to train for racewalking, even though it's not an NCAA event. He's developed into the USA's #1 racewalker. Unfortunately, racewalking is not near as popular in the U.S. as it is in European and South American countries, and we've had limited success. Hopefully Kevin is helping to change that.
Tonight is a huge night in our "medal count" opportunities -- finals in the men's 400m dash and 110m hurdles and the women's 200m dash. Tomorrow the relays begin and we'll be making our final push to dominate the medal count.