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Alex CorneliusTRACK


Last week: Cornelius, a senior, moved into podium contention for this May’s European championships by becoming the only runner in DODDS-Europe to qualify for the finals in the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meters Saturday. “He’s been spending a lot of time in the weight room improving his core strength,” Mannheim coach David Brown wrote in explanation of Cornelius’ fast opening-day times in the three races at Heidelberg — 2 minutes, 7.83 seconds in the 800, 4:22.74 in the 1,500 and 9:40.62 in the 3,000. “He’s always been the hardest worker on the team.” That’s lucky, because Cornelius doesn’t have many practice partners to spur his performances. “The stopwatch is always the best competitor on the team to push those who truly love the sport,” Brown pointed out. “Alex truly loves it and has no problems pushing himself.” What else drives him to improve his time? “He has individual determination to excel in whatever he does,” Brown said. “With that attitude and work ethic, he can go as far as he wants to in the sport.”


Last week: Heard, a senior and the DODDS-Europe record holder in the 100-meter intermediate hurdles (15.08 seconds), bettered that time her first crack out of the box Saturday, when she was clocked at 15.02 at Heidelberg. The 15.02 doesn’t qualify as a record, because the school system accepts marks for the record book only from qualifying meets and the European finals. Even so, Heard’s opening bid was nothing short of amazing, according to her coach, Mike Jimerson. “This was actually the first time she had done a full flight (10 hurdles) this entire season,” Jimerson said in an e-mail Monday. “Up to this point, the weather hasn’t been very cooperative, and she’s been focusing on technique more than anything.” Jimerson added that the 15.02 is far from what Heard is capable. “This weekend, she came out of the blocks very quickly and had an amazing run over the first five hurdles,” he wrote. “The second half of the race was substandard for Tiffany … (but it) didn’t really matter because the first half was so strong.”

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