Syracuse hurdler, long jumper and high jumper Aviana Goode is ready to thrive outdoors

first_img Published on March 20, 2018 at 11:19 pm Contact Eric: estorms@syr.edu Aviana Goode learned to high jump not on a track, but in her living room. Her mother, who first encouraged her to try running competitively, stood by her side as her coach.Goode had started hurdling and long jumping in third grade but needed to high jump to participate in a combined event at nationals, the only one she felt she could qualify for. And so Goode ended up repeatedly taking off from her living room floor and landing on her brother’s mattress in preparation.Now, Goode is among the best high jumpers in the ACC. She collected points and medaled with a sixth-place finish in the ACC Indoor Championships on Feb. 23. She’s also shined in the long jump, with a first-place finish at both the Crimson Elite on Feb. 2 and the Cornell Deneault Memorial on Feb. 17. In the 60-meter hurdles, her best finish was second in the Cornell Upstate Challenge on Jan. 20.Goode said she hasn’t felt pressured, despite being the only woman jumper. While much of SU’s points come from sprinters and distance runners, Goode is one of the few who adds to the tally in field events.“I knew I had to pull weight in long jump and high jump since I am the only jumper here, so I wasn’t too nervous about it,” she said. “I trained hard over the summer so I knew if I trained hard, I’d get good results.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGoode hopes to continue her success as the track season shifts from indoor to outdoor. Her coach, assistant Dave Hegland, said outdoor season is different in terms of logistics. He noted the main difference is being on the road for the month of April and having to fly the team to better weather in states like Florida and California. Still, Hegland said he believes most teams, no matter where they are located, have a transition period to work through as the seasons shift.“But we got a nice, robust schedule and plenty of meets before the championships,” he said. “Historically, those guys and girls have come out pretty ready to go on that first meet, even though it’s probably their first time outside since October.”Goode also noted that now outdoors, the runway for long jump will be flat instead of raised, and the number of hurdles goes from five to 10.“That one is always kind of frightening, especially for the first meet,” she said. “But after that you get your jitters out.”Goode, who’s from Bay Shore, New York, is no stranger to success outdoors. She said her favorite track memory came outdoors in Syracuse her sophomore year of high school, when she become a state champion. She hoped to parallel that success with a breakout year as a sophomore in college. And by medaling in the ACC Indoor Championships, she believes she has.Her teammate, senior Tia Thevenin, agrees. Thevenin highlighted Goode’s willingness to buy into the program and what the upperclassmen had to say when Goode arrived as freshman as reasons for her success.“She was kind of a perfect freshman in the sense that she’s so intuitive and so adaptive and whatever you tell her she’s going to do,” Thevenin said. “When you tell her ways to improve, she’s going to use it and she’s going to do it. I think it paid off, and it’s about time it showed.”Each of Goode’s three events require different approaches in terms of technique. But ultimately, she says, it all comes down to one mental exercise: visualization. No matter the event, Goode has to see herself clearing the hurdle, bar or leaping the proper distance.“For long jump, I just try to remember to bring my knees to my chest and keep my feet up in the air,” she said. “And for high jump I just try (the) same thing: lift my knees and just clear the bar.”Despite her high school championship win in Syracuse, Goode never seriously considered running for the university until the recruitment process. But ultimately, she found herself right where she belongs.“I never thought I would go to college in New York, I thought I was going to go outside,” she said. “But then once I came on campus, I was like, ‘Nah, this is the right place for me.’”As a versatile runner who can help the Orange in multiple areas, both inside and outdoors, she has proven it. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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As baseball grapples with the definition of value, one MVP voter does the same

first_imgAs a study in how the game’s incentives have shifted, one evaluator pointed to the case of Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson. A center fielder with range, Pederson possessed the speed to steal 20 or more bases in each of his four minor league seasons. In the majors, Pederson became a completely different hitter. He re-oriented his approach toward power, and has never stolen more than six bases in a season. Eventually he became a platoon player, then a corner outfielder, and ever so briefly a first baseman.Pederson’s next home run will be his 25th. That’s how many home runs Kirk Gibson hit in 1988, when he was voted National League MVP. Through Tuesday, 22 NL players had 25 or more home runs.What if the most valuable player is not someone who conforms to the modern prototype? What if a player derives value by forcing others to redefine the game on his terms? There is no bat-wielding outlier in 2019 who falls into that category.There is, however, Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.With an earned-run average of 1.45, Ryu is 66 percent better than the league average. That has never been done by a qualified pitcher in a full season. Greg Maddux came the closest, in 1994, with a 1.56 ERA for the Atlanta Braves. Unlike other elite pitchers today Ryu does not possess an exceptional strikeout rate. He allows batters to make contact like Maddox did, yet he is elite at stifling home runs.Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Will Smith: ‘I feel like it’s been five years’ since his 2019 debut In 2015, when Bryce Harper won the National League Most Valuable Player award, his isolated power was an otherworldly 113 percent above the league average. That was better than the best season of Albert Pujols’ career, or Manny Ramirez’s, or Duke Snider’s. Harper hit 42 home runs, batted .330, and was the unanimous choice among BBWAA voters.Isolated power isn’t a statistic in every baseball fan’s lexicon. It isn’t printed in box scores. It isn’t even found on the stats tables of Major League Baseball’s official website. (The formula for isolated power is as simple as it is anonymous: slugging percentage minus batting average.) Without it, however, we would have no context for what we saw then, and what we are seeing now.Three players – Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich and Mike Trout – began the day with 39 home runs, three fewer than Harper’s 2015 total. They could each match Harper by the end of August, or the end of this week, or in a single night. Trout has the highest isolated slugging percentage of the three, 96 percent above the league average. Impressive as that is, it’s only a shade above Yelich (95), and a sequoia in the shadow of Harper’s 2015 redwood.Harper was an easy choice in 2015. I filed the first MVP ballot of my life that October. The Nationals were not a playoff team, and the thought that a star warranted demerit if his team didn’t make the playoffs still permeated MVP debates. One National League player generously volunteered to assist me in my thought process. He asked me how I defined “most valuable” player. “The best player is the most valuable,” I said. As the words left my mouth that sounded sensible, even trite. Truthfully I’ve been wrestling with what it means ever since. After one May game in which Ryu shut out the Mets for seven innings, I asked Manager Dave Roberts whether Ryu’s success was a byproduct of our era. Does mastering the ability to pitch to contact, relying on pinpoint command rather than elite velocity, allow a pitcher to succeed in a game that emphasizes strikeouts and home runs?“I think that with his stuff, he can survive in any era,” Roberts said of Ryu. “It’s always a good thing to be able to command the baseball and to use different pitches. I think now, when you’re talking about the ability to strike guys out, which he has, and the ability to put the ball on the ground – now you’re talking about shifting and defensive metrics and putting guys in the right spots, depending on the tendencies of the hitter – and you look at Hyun-Jin’s balls in play, they’re converted into outs more than any of our pitchers.“Right now, probably as an outlier, with the defensive metrics, gives him even a better opportunity for me.”I have my doubts that Ryu is truly more valuable to the Dodgers than Bellinger, or than Yelich is to the Brewers. I have no doubt that, if he keeps this up, Ryu is more than a mere “hipster pick” for MVP. He isn’t just redefining the game on his terms every time he pitches. He is the best practitioner of a kind of baseball that dominated for a century, only to be rejected in an era of home runs and strikeouts. In so doing Ryu just happens to lead the world in ERA, that most traditional of statistics, by a comical margin. I’m not sure what that means. There’s a bigger picture than the traditional stats are painting in 2019.center_img BBWAA awards ballots were distributed this week. I have a National League MVP ballot, so I’ll be wrestling with the definition of “value” again. The game has changed in the last four years, enough to force voters to re-frame what something as simple as a home run means.Before a recent game, I talked to a group of pro scouts who were grappling with the same problem. They didn’t have MVP votes. Their task was taller: to evaluate players for their major league readiness in strange places. The average Pacific Coast League game features 12 runs, the average International League game more than 10. A Triple-A pitcher with a 5.00 earned-run average is faring well. Hitting a home run means relatively little at that level – even less than in the big leagues, where the league-wide home run record is on pace to fall with two weeks left in the season.The ability to swat home runs, the historical gold standard of hitting prowess, is not the prized quality it once was. Scouts must train their eyes on each batter’s swing, looking for holes in his bat path. Any pitch not thrown to that hole is liable to leave a Triple-A ballpark. Anything inside the hole is exploitable by a pitcher with command. And if a swing can be exploited at Triple-A – even if the hitter is slugging 1.000 – it can and will be exploited even more at the major league level. The hitter with the fewest holes in his swing is the best; now the ball supplies his power. For a pitcher, the inverse is true: The ability to get hitters to swing and miss is king.The net effect of how evaluators grade players in 2019 speaks directly to the definition of “most valuable.” He who can master a game of home runs and strikeouts is deemed the best player. But how valuable is a 40-home run hitter in 2019? Or even a 50-home run hitter?“Hitters have no idea of what to do in situational hitting spots,” one scout told me. “Over 162 (games), the numbers are entertaining, but to win those last 11, you have to hit, get on base, take extra bases, and play some defense.” Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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RYAN McHUGH NAMED ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR

first_imgDONEGAL’S Ryan McHugh has been named Ulster All Star Player of the Year.Ryan was given his award at a ceremony in Armagh tonight attended by the top players in Ulster.Earlier he was one of six players from Donegal named in the 15-man Team of the Year. McHugh has had a sensational season; bagging two goals in last Sunday’s win over Dublin at Croke Park. RYAN McHUGH NAMED ULSTER PLAYER OF THE YEAR was last modified: September 5th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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