Friday, November 28, 2014

What a chance for beginning, seasoned tracksters


From page B1 | February 17, 2012 |

Until a decade ago, I rarely considered track and field.

While my daughter attended Emerson Junior High all those years ago, I saw how her coach Leo Sacramento got the most from his kids (my Julie included); how he taught them to run faster, jump higher and, in real life, start thinking about reaching farther.

Thanks to Sacramento, I warmed a little to life on the cinders.

But my daughter took the soccer fork in the road to high school athletics and my bubbling interest in track and field simmered.

Four years ago, I returned to sports writing after a 30-year vacation.

Suddenly, there was a Davis High meet to cover — and there stood Leo Sacramento, assisting Blue Devil jumpers. Déjà vu.

Sacramento introduced me to the head coach, Spencer Elliott, who in turn told me about distance genius Bill Gregg.

Plodding through that first spring of shot putting, pole vaulting and 3,200-meter journeys, I watched closely. Learning right along with those Devils, the trio of coaches taught me what track and field can mean.

Sure, it’s great to break 11 seconds in the 100 meters. A 15-foot pole vault puts the competitor in rarefied air. But really watching these three, I discovered something.

Track and field is about the effort. It’s about outdoing yourself. It’s about being persistent once you set a goal. It’s about being a good teammate. It’s about becoming a better person.

Remember the heavy rains of December? If you drove past Halden Field at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, there stood a drenched Elliott. As the drops fell, he was holding court for maybe a dozen new kids on the track block.

Every day after school — far removed from his real season — Elliott, along with assorted assistants, was there for the students.

It’s no wonder he has more than 150 athletes with him each spring. No wonder Blue Devils like Derek Nelson, the Petersens, the Greggs, Ian Rock and so many others show up at prominent colleges.

And now comes word that the Davis Community Track and Field Club is launching a third summer session with training handled by Elliott and staff.

The club will meet from June 11 through July 26 and workouts and skills development are always on a drop-in basis Mondays through Thursdays.

Youths from fourth grade through high school can learn distance, relays, sprinting, throws, hurdles, jumps and pole vault. More advanced athletes can stay in condition and brush up on their specialties.

This year, as numbers grow, there will be five clusters from which to choose and athletes can sign up for as few as six training sessions for $90 or all 28 for $250.

Seventh- to 12th-grade athletes will meet from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with fourth- to sixth-graders gathering from 10 to 11 a.m.

Yet to be announced is afternoon cross country training times with Gregg.

Club members also have an opportunity to complete in the Fight Against Hunger All-Comers meet on June 16 and the Olympics-style All-Comers meet on July 21.

For more information or to register, visit the club website at or send an email to

A handful of former Blue Devils, including Duke University’s Rock (the reigning state pole vault champ) and Ripon University’s Nelson will be part of Elliott’s brilliant coaching mix this summer.

“DCTFC is a USTAF Pacific Association club open to youth who are beginning … or experienced athletes,” Elliott explains. “The club is designed to be a fun, friendly and low-key introduction to all track-and-field events.”

While I Have You Here: I’m torn, but as you read this I’m headed to Elk Grove for the Blue Devil boys’ now-or-never basketball showdown with The Thundering Herd. Game time is 7 p.m. A win Friday and No. 13 DHS should be headed to the playoffs.

A loss and … I don’t want to think about it.

If you aren’t going to that game, head over to The Cage. There’s a girls home game there, also against Elk Grove.

Help say goodbye to seniors Sara Sousa and Tiffany Ho for me. The Lady Blue Devils have been thisssss close to breaking through in a season that has seen puzzling shooting results as their No. 1 bugaboo.

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at or (530) 747-8047.



Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Shop-local focus highlights Small Business Saturday

    By Bob Schultz | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Looking for the gift of life

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The artistic process of a neighborhood legend

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis MRAP didn’t go far: Woodland

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Bob Dunning: MRAP your arms around this

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

    Holiday shopping in full gear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Tell us your Putah Creek stories

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    Gorilla death prompts S.F. Zoo changes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Explorit: Water expert will speak Dec. 15

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

    Ceremony Tuesday celebrates MU bus terminal

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Enterprise holiday decorating contest is back

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: A4

    Free bike clinic, ride set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Locals come through for families in need

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Travel the world at Logos Books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dormant-season pruning tips offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Junior high students set walkathon fundraiser

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Horse owners needed for online survey

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Chamber of Commerce lays out 5-year plan

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Flyway Nights talk focuses on sea otters of Elkhorn Slough

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Shakespeare folio discovered in France

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Students come together for sustainability

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Workshop will answer financial aid questions

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Holiday gifts galore available at crafts fair

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Christmas Bird Count workshop planned Wednesday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Watch, then make, a holiday floral decoration

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9



    Behavior straining friendship

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Cheers and Jeers: Thankfully, no jeers

    By Our View | From Page: A6

    Many thanks for a great benefit

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    It all started at the bookstore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What can we do to help?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    What if we really need it?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Tom Elias: Utilities look to soak small users

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6



    Seahawks shut down San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Aggies out-Fox Utah State after dramatic Les shot to forces overtime

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Defense, depth lead Aggie women to home win

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: 10 titles for the Diamonds Level 3 gymnastics squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4 | Gallery





    Mumbo Gumbo plays for post-Thanksgiving dance party

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

    ‘Horrible Bosses 2′: Fire ‘em all!

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery



    Sonata evolves into more sophisticated car

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1 | Gallery



    John Walter Neves Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B3

    Comics: Friday, November 28, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: A10