July 15, 2009

Flashes lend a helping hand

One lap around Dix Stadium's football field. That doesn't sound too challenging, does it?

Kent State's football team found out just how difficult it is to sprint 300 yards…in about a minute…ten times.

The Golden Flashes faced one of the most grueling conditioning tests of the summer Wednesday morning when timed 300-yard sprints were conducted on the stadium turf.

Each position group was challenged to race against the clock. Offensive linemen were required to run each lap in under 68 seconds. Defensive linemen were given 65 seconds, while combo-players and skill position players had just 60 and 55 seconds, respectively, to complete their 300-yard runs.

Completing all 10 repetitions in the allotted time means a lot to the players.

"They were very hard and mentally tough," said senior running back Eugene Jarvis. "It makes you feel so much better about yourself, knowing that you're in tip-top shape and that the summer program has paid off."

Still, not many players were looking forward to the challenge.

"They were tough and they went well, but I'm just glad they are over," said sophomore defensive back Chris Gilbert.

While each player had to complete the 300s on his own, the Golden Flashes know their success in 2009 hinges on how well they come together as a team. With that in mind, the skill players-generally the fleetest of foot and best conditioned athletes--encouraged the offensive linemen to push through mental and physical barriers that might otherwise have prevented them from successfully completing the test.

"Oh yeah, we were making sure they finished all theirs," said Gilbert of the offensive linemen. "We had a few make all 10, which was good. It's good to know they are running hard too."

Thanks to their hard work during the summer conditioning program, the offensive linemen breezed through the first half of 300s. It was the second part where Gilbert and his teammates offered a helping hand.

"They ran the first five on their own and made their times, but we could tell they were gassin' a little bit," Gilbert said. "There was about five or six that had a shot at making all 10. The skill guys waited at the (150-yard) mark and would push or pull them for the rest of the way so they would go faster and still make the time.

"We would switch off so like two guys would push them for the next 100 yards and someone would push them for the 50."

It's that teamwork, according to Gilbert, that will help guide the Flashes through the 2009 season.

"We continue to push each other, making sure everyone is competing but we are going to make sure everyone gets their job done whether they need our help or not," he said. "For them, they know we have each others back."

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