Local inline skaters win national awards
Aug. 13, 2011
Three young Albany skaters won big recently at the national indoor inline skating championships.
Reporter: Jim West
GT Speed team members, from left, include Tanner Watts, 10, William Morales, 14, Jayden Watts, 8, Brendon Farr, 13, and Olivia Farr, 9. They competed in Fort Wayne, Ind., at the national indoor inline speed skating championships.
ALBANY, Ga. — Three young local skaters performed well recently against the country’s best competition. In fact, one of them was crowned national champion.
Tanner Watts, 10, Jayden Watts, 8, and William Morales, 14, team members of Albany-based GT Speed, recently competed in Fort Wayne, Ind., at the national indoor inline speed skating championships, according to Jason Watts, co-owner of Stardust Skate Center in Albany.
Morales captured second place overall in the freshman boys division by outracing 26 others in his class at various stages of the competition.
“There were three separate races: short, medium and long,” Watts said. “Wil took first in the short race and second in the medium and long races. It was really close.”
Watts said that during awards ceremonies for each category, the top three winners stood on three-tiered medal stands similar to those at the Olympics.
Tanner Watts, son of Jason and his Stardust co-owner/wife Cheryl Watts, took sixth place overall in the juvenile boys division.
Jayden Watts, Tanner Watts’ younger sister, competed in the primary girls division and placed third overall.
Jayden also earned a share of a national championship when she finished first place in the primary 2 mixed competition, where girls and boys skate in relay. Because there was no appropriate partner within the team, Jayden raced with Dawson Cleland, a member of an Atlanta team, Watts said.
Also attending the seven-day national competition were GT Speed team members Brendan Farr, 14, and Olivia Farr, 9. The event was hosted by USA Roller Sports.
GT Speed is sponsored by Stardust Skate Center and coached by Jason and Cheryl Watts and Bubba Fells.
According to Watts, serious skaters practice all year long to prepare for the national competition. In order to qualify, teams and team members must belong to the USARS organization and be one of the top four competitors in the Southern Region championship.
The Southern Region comprises skate teams in Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama.
Speed up your sprint
Written by Gypsy Tidwell, Inline Planet
How to Speed Up Your Sprints
By Gypsy Tidwell
To the Swift - Elite women sprintingf at the 2006 World Championships in Anyang, South Korea. Photos: Linda Wood
You may be the strongest skater from here to Egypt. But if a faster sprinter hangs with you until the finish of a race, it's likely to be the sprinter — not you — who rolls away with the trophy.
The tortoise may have the advantage in running races. But in skate races with drafting, the hare is the winner.
That's why learning to sprint is so important.
It's also fun and a great way to get a quick workout. So even if you're not a racer, make sprint training a part of your skating routine.
A full-blown sprint workout can take three hours or more. But if you don't have that much time, don't worry. You can break it up over the course of a few days.
The key to sprint workouts is to allow yourself to completely recover between each sprint. This is important so that you can go 100 percent on each sprint, which teaches your muscles what it feels like to go fast.
Here's what a full sprint practice looks like:
warm up and stretching
walk throughs (going slow-motion through the beginnings of a sprint)
5 sprints of 100 meters
4 sprints of 200 meters
3 sprints of 300 meters
2 sprints of 500 meters
1 sprint of 1000 meters
cool down (light skating) and final stretching
In between each sprint, allow your heart rate to return to its resting rate. This will take from two to five minutes, depending on your age and conditioning. That means you'll spend more time resting than skating. But later, you will find you need less time to recover.
Spread It Out
If you don't have time for a full sprint workout, break it up into pieces. Do the 100m and 200m sprints on the first day; do a long-distance skate on the second; and finish the sprint workout on the third day.
And adjust your sprint training to fit your competition schedule. Do your sprint workouts:
once every other week during the early part of the year (September - December for skaters preparing for the U.S. indoor-outdoor championships);
once a week during mid-season (January - March);
every 48 hours during race season (April - August).
If you race more frequently in the early part of the year, adjust your calendar accordingly.
(Note: If you have any concerns about your health, check with your doctor before starting any rigorous exercise regime.)