Larry LaGesse (M66) article

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Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:33 pm

http://www.therepublic.com/w/IL--Pole-Vaulter

ILLINOIS EXCHANGE: 66-year-old Chebanse man wins National masters track title
By DENNIS YOHNKA The (Kankakee) Daily Journal
April 02, 2014 - 6:15 am EDT

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KANKAKEE, Illinois — You might say Larry LaGesse vaulted from the farm fields east of Chebanse into the national track and field spotlight.

The 66-year-old Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School product turned in a championship performance in his first National Masters Indoor Heptathlon, held in March at Carthage College in Wisconsin.

But this determined athlete — who has his own practice pole vaulting pit behind a corn crib — didn't turn in his best vaulting performance in this outing. Instead, it was his strength in the shot put and his will to finish strong in the 1,000-meter run that helped make the difference.

"I'm really looking forward to the next one now," LaGesse said. "I didn't know how I'd do, so winning is just unbelievable. It feels better than any of my high school events.

"The final 1,000-meter run ... that was torture. I'm more of a sprinter, but I knew I had to stay close to the guy who was going to win that run. I finished in 4:37.96, and that was good enough to win it. I was shocked."

Maybe it feels better because he had to work so hard for these medals. He trained for years to get back into shape. Along the way, he overcame some injuries — and the sense of dread a senior citizen might feel about falling 12 feet into the vaulting pit.

"I really have to thank God in Heaven, the people at Olivet (Nazarene University) who help me and let me practice there, and Yvonne Mills, who runs a fitness class at Kankakee Community College.

"And I have to mention the people at Accel Rehabilitation in Bourbonnais," he added. "I was fighting a pulled left quad muscle and (therapist) Jarek Mategewski showed me how to stretch it out at home and prevent more training delays."

LaGesse wanted to be in top shape for the two-day experience of pushing his body further than any practice session.

"I did a Masters meet in Indiana last year and tried to enter these seven events I would do at this one. But the timing didn't work and I was being called to four different events at once, so I had to drop out of some of them," he said. "This time it was set up to do them all, but it was still my first time and I had a lot to learn."

LaGesse said he made "a lot of little mistakes" in how he approached his jumps and other events, but he did take some worthwhile precautions.

"I made a lot of friends and got some good advice," he said. "And this was going to be my first hurdles event since grade school, so I asked if I could take some hurdles (out of the way) and practice.

"I was glad I did. With the 8 meter gaps, I had to adjust by alternating my lead foot. If I hadn't done that I would have been in trouble."

So, even without experience in hurdling or long jumping, LaGesse won three events and came in second in the other four. In the end, he collected 4,199 points, putting him into ninth place in the all-time point totals.

"I think I can maybe get to 4,600 next year," he said. "I'll conserve my energy better. And I know I can go a foot higher in the pole vault."

The only downside in his performance was the shame he felt after his vaulting effort. He cleared only 8 feet, 10 inches — in what was the strongest event of his Boilermaker track career. While he's confident that he can top that one, it will be hard to surpass his shot put of 33 feet, 8 inches. It was 8 feet beyond the second-place finisher.

grandevaulter
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Re: Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby grandevaulter » Fri Apr 11, 2014 9:57 pm

Nice job Larry. I was the guy in the heat that ran rabbit for you. 50-54 masters. We saw two masters world records go down that weekend.

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larry d
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Re: Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby larry d » Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:26 pm

Hey G.V. ,
Thanks....and thanks for being our "bunny" !
It was a great time and I look forward to seeing you next year or maybe even this year at National Decathalon Championships in Neosha Mo.
Larry
P.S. I've fished the Saugatuk-Douglas lakes for bass and really liked it up there .You guys are kinda spoiled up there with all that water to choose from !!!
Get off the couch !!!

grandevaulter
PV Pro
Posts: 428
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:49 pm
Expertise: Three year highschool vaulter 1978-80. Now coaching highschoolers and competing in masters.
Lifetime Best: 11'
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Timothy Mack
Location: South West, MI

Re: Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby grandevaulter » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:41 am

I must concede the two of the Masters gals and Decamouse were ahead of me at the 800. There is a ton of water here and great fishing. I don't think I'll make it to Decathlon Nationals, last year our state games were on the same day. I'll be sure to see you next year in Kenosha!

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rainbowgirl28
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Posts: 30435
Joined: Sat Aug 31, 2002 1:59 pm
Expertise: Former College Vaulter, I coach and officiate as life allows
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World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: Casey Carrigan
Location: A Temperate Island
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Re: Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:27 pm

Hey FYI, I am probably going to host the decathlon nationals in Seattle next summer (2015). At King's where we have had it three times before. Hope to see you all there!

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larry d
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:41 am
Expertise: former h.s. vaulter. Current Masters vaulter and decathlon competitor
Lifetime Best: 12 ft. 3in
World Record Holder?: Renaud Lavillenie
Favorite Vaulter: john altendorf
Location: illinois

Re: Larry LaGesse (M66) article

Unread postby larry d » Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:00 pm

Sounds GOOD !!
Thanks Becca,ld :)
Get off the couch !!!


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