Friday, May 2, 2008
My Famous Husband
If I may brag for just a moment..... This article was in the Arizona Daily Star yesterday. It is about Craig and his athletes. I couldn't figure out how to post the link so I copied and pasted the article. (If someone could tell me how to post a link, I would be most appreciative!) • What: UA vs. ASU vs. NAU track and field meet • When: Saturday, throwing events 4 p.m., running events 6 p.m. • Where: Drachman Stadium (15th Street and Plumer Avenue) Sports UA TRACK AND FIELD Opinion by Greg Hansen : In the throes with throws: Get Carter Opinion by Greg Hansen Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.01.2008 When he awoke Tuesday, Craig Carter examined a color-coded sheet detailing his day's work schedule that was, frankly, ridiculous. Coaching staff meeting at 8 a.m. Discus coaching at 10. Shot put coaching at 11. Hammer coaching at noon. More discus coaching with a different set of athletes at 1:30. More shot putting, more athletes, at 2:30. Javelin coaching at 4:30. "I've done this both ways," the UA track and field assistant coach said. "When I coached at Utah State, I was required to teach classes, so I would get to the field in the afternoon and there would be 11 throwers waiting. It was chaos. So this is the best way; it takes all day, but it's still the best way to give your athletes the proper instruction." Maybe you're asking yourself: How many shot-putters and hammer throwers can the Arizona Wildcats have? Why does it take all day? Who are these guys? A good answer is that Carter is an Olympic trials coaching staff of one. As of Tuesday, six of the men and women he coaches have qualified for June's USA Olympic trials. In the discus and shot put business, Carter is the equivalent of a prominent golf teacher such as Butch Harmon or Hank Haney. "He knows his stuff," says UA junior Zack Lloyd, who is currently ranked No. 2 of all college outdoor shot-putters. "Until I got back with him this year, I really struggled." Following the tradition built by former UA throws coaches Mike Maynard and John Frazier — and by Wildcat All-Americans Meg Ritchie, Adam Kuehl, Carla Garrett, Sean Shields, Becky Levi, Doug Reynolds and Esko Mikkola, among others — Carter's reputation has soared since arriving at Arizona in August 2007. The reason he is so busy is that he is coaching Kuehl and Shields, ex-Wildcats who are training here for the Olympic trials. Carter is also the personal coach for former Division III national champion Lance Brooks of Millikin University, and for ex-Stanford All-American Jill Camarena, who has been the country's top female shot-putter. On top of that, Lloyd and UA senior Shawn Best are considered strong contenders to finish near the top at next month's NCAA championships (both have qualified for the Olympic trials) and if that's not enough, red-shirting UA throwers Luke Bryant and Korion Morris were consensus high school All-Americans waiting their turn in 2009 and beyond. "Craig's got a very powerful group," said UA head track coach Fred Harvey. "We expect a lot out of them." Saturday night, the Wildcats will play host to NCAA indoor track and field champion Arizona State in the UA-ASU-NAU double-dual meet at Drachman Stadium. The most anticipated showdown isn't a distance-running rivalry or some speed guys running 100 meters, but, rather, Lloyd vs. ASU's sensational shot-putter Ryan Whiting. Whiting has thrown more than 70 feet this year; Lloyd established his personal best of 65-5 last week in San Diego. Lloyd and his wife, junior thrower Nicole Lloyd, combined to set five personal records in the San Diego meet. They followed Carter from Utah to the UA and have since flourished. "We spent last year at Mesa College getting our (junior college degrees) and it wasn't a good experience from a track standpoint," Nicole says. "This is really the first coaching we've had since high school. You can see that it's working." The Lloyds are a rarity within the UA athletic department. Over the last 25 years, you can count on a few fingers the married couples who competed simultaneously, in the same UA sport. "We're teammates, we're study partners, we're workout partners and we take the same classes," Nicole says. "It's a good support system; it works for us." Zack Lloyd was the nation's top high school discus/shot put athlete when he left White Pine High School in Ely, Nev., in 2004. Carter landed him at low-key Utah State, in part because he coached Lloyd's high school coach, Scott Schaley, at the WAC school. As USU, Lloyd had the nation's top throw for a freshman, was named the WAC track and field freshman of the year, but, when Carter left the school to coach professionally, Lloyd also departed. After a year of working full time and going to school part-time, without competing, Lloyd met and married Nicole, who is from Carter's hometown near Ogden, Utah. When Carter came to Tucson, they recommitted to the shot put and discus and to their old coach. "It's a long and drawn out journey," Carter says with a laugh. "The fact we are together here now is almost a miracle." The work has just begun.