ISU faculty provide high-tech analyses for elite hurdlers during USATF championships

June 22 2006

MEDIA ADVISORY

The media are invited to sit in on a video analysis session where an elite hurdler is shown how to improve for the next day's race.

WHAT: Using video analysis software and eight cameras, the first round and semifinal performances of the men and women competing in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles will be analyzed by USA Track and Field's Elite Hurdle Development Committee, to help the athletes and coaches make any needed adjustments before the finals.

HOW: Alfred Finch, USATF Hurdles Committee biomechanist and professor of exercise science at Indiana State University, and Coach John McNichols, USATF Men's Development Committee Hurdles Broad Event Chair and ISU Men's Track Head Coach, will use Dartfish visualization software, the same used by many Olympic teams, to show athletes their race from several angles, their touchdown times between each hurdle, and side-by-side comparisons of them and another athlete or their current race with another race they have run. Finch says, "If an athlete who is shown the biomechanics of their race, with the help of the latest technology, can make even a .001 second adjustment in world-class competition, that can determine who stays and who goes home."

WHERE: Mt. McKinley Room, Third floor, Hyatt Regency Indianapolis, One South Capitol Avenue

WHEN: Call contact numbers below to confirm times beforehand.
-- Thursday, June 22: (Jrs.) 2:30-4 p.m., (Srs.) 7-8 p.m., 9-10 p.m.
-- Friday, June 23: (Srs.) 8:45-10 p.m.
-- Saturday, June 24: (Srs.) 11:30a.-1:30p., (Jrs.) 3:10-3:45, (Srs.) 8-10 p.m.
-- Sunday, June 25 (open): 11a.-1p., 2:45-4, 5-7

EXAMPLE: Former NCAA Champion and current ISU assistant track coach and graduate student Aubrey Herring will compete in the men's 110-meter hurdles and enters the competition having one of the top-ten fastest times in the nation this year.
Coach McNichols, who is the 2006 MVC Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year, says that video analysis is an integral part of Herring's preparation for racing and training. Herring has a very efficient technique in which he rotates over the hurdle, but this technique also requires extreme precision, rather than a hurdler who tends to sail over the hurdle. Video analysis can show him if he's getting back on the ground fast enough, and if not, why not.

Other ISU athletes who use video analysis in their training and will be competing at the championships are:
-- Jordan Fife, two-time All-American, men's 3,000-meter steeplechase
-- Charlie Sparks, ISU record-holder (broke 30-year record), discus

VISUAL OPPORTUNITIES: IUPUI Carroll Stadium
-- 8-camera filming of the hurdle races:
Thursday, 4:45 p.m.: 400m Hurdles men, 1st round
Friday, 5:05 p.m.: 100m Hurdles women, 1st round
Friday, 5:50 p.m.: 400m Hurdles women, 1st round
Friday, 7:45 p.m., 400m Hurdles men, semifinal
Saturday, 4:05 p.m.: 110m Hurdles men, 1st round
Saturday, 5:40 p.m.: 100m Hurdles women, semifinal
Saturday, 7:00 p.m.: 400m Hurdles women, semifinal
Sunday, 2:40 p.m.: 110m Hurdles men, semifinal

-- Analysis sessions: (Call first to confirm) Hyatt Regency Indianapolis Thursday, June 22: (Jrs.) 2:30-4 p.m., (Srs.) 7-8 p.m., 9-10 p.m.
Friday, June 23: (Srs.) 8:45-10 p.m.
Saturday, June 24: (Srs.) 11:30a.-1:30p., (Jrs.) 3:10-3:45, (Srs.) 8-10 p.m.
Sunday, June 25 (open): 11a.-1p., 2:45-4, 5-7

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CONTACT ON-SITE AT USA TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Alfred Finch, USATF Hurdles Committee Biomechanist; professor of exercise science, Indiana State University, Cell: (812) 878-4647; Coach John McNichols, USATF Men's Development Committee Hurdles Broad Event Chair; Men's Track Head Coach, Indiana State University, Cell: (812) 236-3298

WRITER: Katie Spanuello, media relations assistant director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3790 or kspanuello@isugw.indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Alfred Finch, USATF Hurdles Committee biomechanist and professor of exercise science at Indiana State University, and Coach John McNichols, USATF Men's Development Committee Hurdles Broad Event Chair and ISU Men's Track Head Coach, will use Dartfish visualization software to help the athletes and coaches make any needed adjustments before the finals.

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