When Meredith Associate Professor of Business Jane Barnes decided to take part in the 2010 N.C. Senior Games, her goal was “just to participate” in the athletic competition.
She exceeded her expectations, winning the 100 meter and 200 meter races, and setting a Senior Games record in the 100 meters. With this success, Barnes decided to step up her training. She contacted Meredith Cross Country Coach Amy Olsen, and asked for her help.
“It seemed that I was still fairly fast,” Barnes said. “I decided to get more serious about it.”
Olsen was happy to help Barnes meet her goals.
“I began working with Jane last winter when she sought out my assistance for her sprint training and technique,” said Olsen. “She had already had some success on the state and regional level in track but wanted to dedicate more time to it. We have been training on the track three days a week, focusing on sprint mechanics, speed and speed endurance.”
Working with Olsen has been enjoyable.
“It has been a great experience,” Barnes said. “She’s a fabulous coach, and it has been a good way for me to get back into the competitive spirit. I’m glad we found each other.”
The training partnership has also been successful.
This summer, Barnes competed in the Senior Games’ southeast regional in 100 and 200 meters. She finished in second place, and went on to compete in the National Senior Games in 100 meters. At the national level, Barnes finished in fourth place.
Olsen believes Barnes brings the right attitude to training.
“Jane always brings a hard working attitude to practice and she really understands the commitment it takes to compete at a high level,” Olsen said. “She is very motivated to improve and we are continually expanding her abilities, most recently adding long jump training to the practice.”
Barnes, who ran track in high school and one year in college, is continuing her training. She plans to participate in the USATF Masters Indoor and Outdoor National Track and Field Championships in 2012, with an eye toward the International Masters Championships in 2013.
Olsen and Barnes encourage others to get involved with athletic competitions such as the Senior Games.
Olsen said track and field is a sport for people of all levels.
“There is an event for everyone and even if you don't compete on the national level, like Jane, you can find individual success in every practice or competition based on your own goals and experiences.”
Barnes would love to see more Meredith faculty and staff participation the North Carolina Senior Games, which offers a wide variety of activities, including team sports and individual competition.
“I encourage anybody who is interested in getting fit. The Senior Games are a nice goal to work toward,” Barnes said. “It’s a fun event, a great way to meet people. It inspired me to go on to more challenging events.”
Visit www.ncseniorgames.org for more information.
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