The Handicap Races took place on March 22 at Titan Field. They are one-on-one races set up by the track & field coaching staff in which athletes are paired up with the faster runner being given a handicap (added distance to run) based on their speed. Each athlete was tested over an 80m sprint the previous week and the distances were calculated based on those performances. The top ten men and women were chosen to compete in the Handicap Challenge, with each pairing in the first round involving a woman v. man, with the winners advancing to the second and third rounds. Jasmine Greene was the eventual winner in the final round with a time of 10.42 seconds for the 80m sprint, narrowly beating Joe Raffin who also ran 10.42 but had to cover 89.9m, Taylor Hennrick 10.57 covering 90.8m, Vince Lefler 10.59 covering 91.6m, and Ja’Quan Patterson 10.86 covering 91.5m.
|Greene edged Raffin in the top left corner|
By Jasmine Greene - Women's Track and Field
Coming into the handicap races I didn’t know what to expect, so I wasn’t that nervous, but as I walked onto the track that all changed. I saw the coaches had brought the starting blocks, starting gun and automatic timing camera, that made my heart start racing and I started feeling the butterflies. The pairings were announced and the smack talking from the guys made my nerves kick in, adding to the intensity. Warming up I was getting more anxious to race. Finally the prelims began, I had to run 80m and the man I was paired up with had to run 90.8m. The first race was pure fun, I was able to win my race which was a relief, especially because my competitor was telling me he was going to smoke me!
In the semifinal race I was strictly thinking about making it to the finals, this time I was matched up against another female. I had to overcome a handicap of 2.0m meaning I ran 82m and the person I raced against ran 80m. I was able to overcome the distance and was the only female in the finals. Even though the guys had an 8-11 meter disadvantage I was still worried. Before I got in the starting blocks I listened to all of my teammates cheering me on, which made me pumped! The gun went off for the finals and I just took off without thinking, all I wanted to do was get to the finish line first. When I finally reached the line Joe Raffin was right beside me, and the others were closing quickly, it was such a tight race they had to go to the photo finish. Finally coach announced that I was the champion, my time 10.416 seconds to Joe’s 10.417 seconds, I was ecstatic. Overall the whole handicap race experience was fun and exciting and I can’t wait until next year to defend my title!