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January 24, 2014

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1~ FRIDAY, JANUARY 24 - MONDAY, JANUARY 27, 2014 SPORTS & OUTDOORS Cape Gazettq Cape junior Sam Young cleared 14 feet in the pole vault to take third at the Yale High School Invitational held Jan. 18 at the unique Coxe Cage facility in New Haven, Conn. It was the best indoor performance in the history of Cape Henlopen and currently ranks fifth all-time in Delaware. Only one Cape vaulter, the late Bill Zimmerman, has jumped higher, as Zimmerman holds the Cape outdoor record of 14-feet- 3-inches. Young was in some tough company at Yale, as the top two vaulters went over 15 feet. In the world of high school pole-vaulting, there are a ton of athletes who jump in the 13s, but when an athlete begins to write 14 on his resum6, college coaches looking for vaulters begin to take notice. Doing it in his junior year is icing on the cake for Young. The top five Delaware perfor- mances include the following: 15-6, Darwin Gibbons, Caravel, 2009; 15-3, Michael Jenson, Ap- poquinmink, 2013; 14-8, Brandon Stacy, Caravel, 2014; 14-6, Ran- dolph Faulkner, Smyrna, 2002; 14-0, Sam Young and Matt Paf- ford, Cape/Caravel, 2014/2010. The Cage I did some research on the Coxe Cage on Yale's athletic website. It's the home of the Yale men's and women's indoor track and field team. I found it a very interesting facility and wanted to share with my readers. In 2005, Coxe Cage underwent major renovations, with the installation of a banked Mondo track as well as a Mondo infield. The renovations came as a result of the generos- ity of Donald M. Roberts, class of '57, who named the track the Frank Shorter '69 Track, to honor the former Yale cross country captain and two-time Olympic medalist. The track is one of the premier venues in the United States and provides Yale athletes with an unparal- leled training and competition facility. A new digital score- board was installed as well. Georgetown's Andrew Bum- balough, who ran a 3:58.46 mile on the Frank Shorter '69 Track in 2008, said, "It's an incredible facility with a banked track that provides a much faster run- ning surface than the fiat tracks generally do at a lot of schools. It's a really nice surface. The facility itself is older-looking, but it's a very natural and rustic environment to run in." The Cage was named for Charles Edmund Coxe (1893), a hammer thrower on Yale's squad. Legend has it that Coxe, who was charged with raising funds for the new facility, could not be bothered with such ef- forts and instead offered the necessary $300,000 to build the facility on the stipulation Region Athletes Of The Week )) HUNTER CAREY VINNIE DIEGO RYAN THORNBURG Hunter is a 50 and 100 freestyle swimmer nominated by his twin brother Richard, who plays soccer, football and baseball. They are both Cape freshmen. Richard wrote: Hunter may not be the best athlete, but he has Asperger's (difficulties in social interactions), and he came out of his shell and started swim- ming. Not the best swimmer, but first place to me because it takes a lot to do this when you do not want any attention drawn to yourself. This maybe his only chance [to be Athlete of the Week]. He will always be my pick. Hunter works with coach Pete Olson - nicest per- son ever - and lists civics as his favorite class because Mr. Maull makes him feel comfortable and makes him laugh. Vinnie is a freshman 132-pound wrestler at Cape who is just 100 percent flat-out tough. He is in the starting varsity lineup in a weight class where the career guys live, athletes who started at 5 years old. There are no free Passes, no tunas. Last Friday night at Smyrna, Vinnie got Brent Fleetwood, a defending state champion who bumped all the way up from 120, and got "teched" but not pinned. The next afternoon he went onto the mat at Saint George's, earning. a crucial 14-8 decision that set up a dramatic pin by his brother Nick for the team win. Dad is a truck driver; the Diegos are just blue-collar tough. A pound-for-pound all-around athlete, Ryan runs cross coun- try, plays basketball and tennis, and could excel at any sport he chooses. Ryan is already the lifetime athlete, and he's just a junior in high school. Last Saturday at Concord, Ryan came off the bench and ignited a Cape rally by dropping a pair of three-point shots just before halftime, lifting the Vikings to a 34-21 lead at halftime. Thorn- burg aired home another three ball in the second half as Cape pulled off a 67-49 shocker. "He can shoot, and rarely misses in practice," said coach Steve Re. "We get him going when the butts are in the seats; we are a much better team." that it be named for him. Yale accepted the offer and began construction on what was then considered to be one of the largest structures of its kind in the world. To this day, its 26,000-square-foot skylight is among the largest anywhere. At the time of the Cage's construc- tion, its track was designed to be one of the fastest in the East. At the opening ceremony for the new facility, Yale's half-mile relay team ran an exhibition in a time of 1:32.4, better than any previous indoor mark. Coxe Cage also underwent major renovations in 1982 and 1988. All field events can be contested within the oval, in- cluding the shot put and weight throw. The Coxe Cage and the William Clay Ford Indoor Track Center have played host to many major championship meets, including multiple ECAC championships and national scholastic championships. Jumper Savage grabs a pole My favorite all-time pole vault story was from my jumper, Willie Savage, state champion in the long, triple and high jump and ll0-meter hurdles multiple times. Willie was entered in the East Coast Invitational High School Decathlon Champion- ships at George Mason Univer- sity in the early '90s, having nev- SAM YOUNG You can spot championship pole-vaulters by the way they miss. A fan covers his eyes and turns away, because misses at high heights are "saves" by the athlete who looks around like, "Where do I put myself down?" Sam Young is "the vault guy," smart and technical and fear- lessly insane. On Jan. 17 at the Yale Invitational, Sam cleared 14 feet on his first attempt - the fifth best all time in Delaware - turned to coach Rob Perciful and said, "1 need a new pole." "You tell him something once, and he's got it," said coach George Pepper. Better tell him, because no one around can show him. er vaulted in competition befor~ and only a few days at practice. Willie was leading the stacked competition after day one and there he was starting day two at 8 a.m. hanging out with the dedicated pole-vaulters. Wil- lie started networking with the competition and before I knew it, there they were, showing hin where to place his hands, how many steps to take, and what to do in the air. The competition started, and Savage was over clean at 10-0, 10-6, 11-0, and two misses at 11-6. With three ath- letes remaining, Willie decided he needed a longer pole. After talking with one of the athletes and borrowing his new fiber- glass pole, Willie sprinted dow the runway and cleared 11-6 by a foot. Willie cleared 12-0 on hi first attempt, and now it was down to the final two jumpers. Willie missed at 12-6 on the firs and second attempts, and his competitor made 12-6 on his second attempt. Willie cleared 12-6 on his final attempt in a beautiful six-inch clearance. Tt PA announcer came over the intercom: "All decathlon hur- dlers report to the start for the 110m final." Willie shook hands with his competitor and ran off to the hurdles, while the North Carolina athlete missed all thre attempts at 13-0. Willie Savage never pole vaulted again, but went on to win the decathlon b scoring more than 7,000 points ranking him in the top three in the United States. Upcoming races 1 p.m Saturday, Feb. 1, 5K Run to the Plunge, Bandstand, Rehoboth Beach, plungede.or 10 a.m Saturday, Feb. 15, 9tL Valentine's Day 5K & 1M Wall Fishing Pier, Cape Henlopen State Park, seashorestriders. com. Boating skills course begins Feb. 24 The U.S. Coast Guard Aux iary, Indian River Flotilla 12-( will be presenting a seven-we. boating skills and seamanst course for recreational ers starting Monday, Feb. 24, Short's Marine, off Long Ne Road in Millsboro. Classes from 7 to 9 p.m. each Mond The cost is $35, which incluc tuition, textbook and suppo ing materials; additional fam members are $15. The course is one of the m( comprehensive available to reational boaters in the area a satisfies both federal and st: training requirements. Boat( born after Jan. 1, 1978, must ta a safe boating course to ate a boat in Delaware. Simi requirements are in force Maryland and New Jersey. Be prepared, be safe, and en the upcoming boating seas Learn about handling, rules, quired equipment, navigatio aids, and local conditions. ( R.A. (Andy) Smith at 302-5 2350 or 302-381-3882 to enroll for more information.