Chasing 2020

Two Hockadaisies from the Class of 2019 reach for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Four years. What will have happened four years from today? By then, everyone now in Upper School will have graduated. By then, the United States will be in the midst of a new presidential election.

By then, current sophomores Justice Coutee-McCullum and Carolina Villanueva Suarez hope to call themselves Olympians from the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“It’s so exciting to even think of this because the Olympics have always been a dream,” Suarez said. “But now, it’s becoming more of a possibility and a reality.”

Of course, the Olympics—the pinnacle for international excellence in sports—entails relentless devotion and unparalleled hard work. Both girls have trained rigorously outside of school for many years in their respective sports.

Justice Coutee-McCullum

Coutee-McCullum crosses the finish line in a 200 meter dash.

Coutee-McCullum crosses the finish line in a 200 meter dash.

Coutee-McCullum began running track eight years ago after a gymnastics coach noticed an affinity for running during conditioning sessions. She began hurdling six years ago and now specializes in the 100-meter hurdles event.

“I didn’t decide that I wanted to go the Olympics until a year before the 2012 Olympics,” Coutee-McCullum said. “This year was the year I really wanted to go because they had the US sweep [in the 100 meter hurdles], and that was the first women’s sweep.”

In order to accomplish her goal, she trains five days a week with her coach, Sammy Dabbs, at three different areas: Arlington, DeSoto, and Farmer’s Branch. Difficult training sessions—which include practicing footwork and running modified hurdles that emphasize speed—have allowed her to compete in high-level track meets nationwide including the A&M Classic, Texas Relays and the Arkansas Classic.

“We don’t really train by hours but more of, ‘What do we have to get done, and how long will that take?’” Coutee-McCullum said.

Dabbs, who has been working with Coutee-McCullum since 2013, emphasizes the importance of training in an effective and healthy manner.

“One of my main area of focus with Justice is to continue to allow her to develop naturally, instead of trying to rush results,” Dabbs said. “Many times coaches can get overzealous and push too hard, too soon, and injuries occur.”

Indeed, Coutee-McCullum is currently on break from training but will resume again next month. After competing in the United States of America Track and Field Junior this summer—and ranking in an impressive second place with a personal record in her event—she decided to take two months off to let her back injury from March heal.

“I wanted to recover first because the injury could possibly put me off for a year and my dream for Tokyo could be pushed back,” Coutee-McCullum said.

Coutee-McCullum has been trying to enjoy this last month off; however, once she returns to her regular training schedule, not only will she be forced to give up candy and chips, but she will also have to balance the demands of Hockaday with hours spent on the track.

“During training, I’m stressed about track and I’m stressed about school. I get up really early, around 5:20 a.m., because I live far out,” Coutee-McCullum said. “It’s very tough trying to train for Tokyo and balance Hockaday as well.”

Both Coutee-McCullum and Dabbs ultimately acknowledge that the process of qualifying for the Olympics in the 100-meter hurdling event is an especially difficult and tedious one.

“First, you must run the qualifying mark for the Olympic Trials, which is 13.00 [seconds]. Once you qualify, you must compete against the fastest hurdlers in the world in three different rounds. In the final round, the top three finishers make the Olympic team,” Dabbs said. “How hard is that?”

This 13-second cut-off time for the intense event can be daunting, and Coutee-McCullum recognizes that.

“The biggest obstacle would be just overcoming my fears because I know exactly how fast I have to go to get there,” Coutee-McCullum said. “I always think, ‘how am I going to exceed this?’”

However, Coutee-McCullum believes that her strengths lie in her ability to prepare mentally and get into the correct mindset for her meets.

“My coach always tells me that it’s more mental than physical,” she said. “Your body cannot withstand very extreme things, but it’s really your brain that’s going to hinder you.”

Dabbs agrees, asserting that it is Coutee-McCullum’s focused and goal-oriented attitude that make her a great sprinter and hurdler.

“With my experience coaching in college and professionals, I have a very unique perspective on the Olympics. I think any kid with the talent that Justice has should aspire to one day compete in the Olympics,” Dabbs said. “Justice has a lot of undeveloped talent, and I hope we get to tap into her ability over the next three years.”

Coutee-McCullum has been thinking about Tokyo a lot lately especially with the recent passing ofthe 2016 Rio Olympics. According to her, the Olympians who competed this year were relatively young and thus have a high chance of returning as athletes in their late 20s. On the other hand, Coutee-McCullum will be 19 years old in 2020.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I think it can happen,” she said.

Carolina Villanueva Suarez

Villaneuva Suarez competing in the Grand Prix in Santa Fe.

Villanueva Suarez competing in the Grand Prix in Tyron International.

When Suarez was born with a minor disability in her right leg, people told her that she could never walk again. Riding a horse was, obviously, out of the question. Now, surpassing the odds, Suarez participates in the equestrian jumping event at the highest level of her sport, which is Olympic height.

While she has practiced her sport since the age of three, Suarez has been specifically working towards the Olympics for three years now.

“Of course, the four years leading up to [the Olympics] is the most intense training time,” Suarez said. “I went to Germany and bought two new Olympic and Grand Prix horses, and I’ve been training on my weaknesses and participating against the best competitors of our entire sport.”

Suarez, who competes in over 100 competitions a year and is in a different state almost every weekend, trains every day after school in Argyle, Texas, with Gianna Aycock of Storybrook Farms.

“We have a covered arena so as long as it’s not thundering, I can ride my horses,” Suarez said. “If I’m just training, I’ll do 18 to 20 hours a week, but if I have a competition coming up, I’ll do maybe 30.”

In Suarez’s event, the jumpers event, riders navigate through two courses. The long course, which contains 12 to 14 obstacles, must be completed within the time limit of 75 to 80 seconds without any rails down or refusals from the horse. In the short course, which contains 6 to 7 jumps, riders aim to complete it in the fastest time.

“The reason I do jumpers is because it’s just you against the clock and the field,” Suarez said.

According to Susana Suarez, Carolina’s mother, the sport requires both unwavering determination and physical endurance while remembering that the horse comes first. In order to support her daughter with this, Susana believes that a balanced approach in parenting works best.

“Dad is much more understanding and relaxed which brings her the level of concentration she needs when competing at such high levels. I am a bit more bold and assertive specially when I think she needs it the most,” Susana said. “We have come to the realization that one word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after a success.”

According to Carolina, qualifying for the Olympics in the jumpers event for the American team is very difficult because often older people, who may have already competed in previous Olympics, occupy the top spots in the sport.

“But If I keep going on the path that I’m going, and I keep winning these large competitions even against people who have competed in the Olympics, I will start growing in the ranks,” Carolina said.

And she is growing in the ranks: she currently ranks within the top 100 jumpers in the United States. The qualifying process consists of several nationally-ranked competitions jumpers are required to attend (most of the competitions Carolina competes are nationally-ranked). From there, the pool of the best 100 jumpers compete for final spots on the team.

For Susana, making or not making the Olympics is not as important as the discipline, strength and fortitude that comes with growth in the sport.

“As long as she is happy, as far as we are concerned, she has won way more than an Olympic medal,” Susana said. “Having said that, you can rest assured she has the skills, discipline, and the character to pull it off, and if she so chooses to do so, you may one day see her on TV representing this country. “

However, Carolina may have a decision to make regarding the team with which she’ll compete.

“I’m from Spain, and I have a double-citizenship from Spain,” Carolina said. “The qualifying process there is a little easier, so I would have to make up my mind which country I’d like to represent.”

Like Coutee-McCullum, Carolina has to juggle schoolwork with her outside training schedule. According to Carolina, doing so has taught her to balance her priorities.

“A lot of people who do my sport and want to rise to the top do online school and can train all week,” Carolina said. “Sometimes I’ll leave school early because Argyle, where I train, is two hours away. Sometimes school comes before horse riding, so I try to get my homework done in school and in the car.”

Now that the date of the Tokyo Olympics is drawing nearer, Carolina has had to adjust to see which competitions she wants to participate in that will allow to her qualify for the international Games.
“We have changed our schedule to fit the horses and the rigor of the sport. We really focus on the horse’s mentality, and for me it’s all about getting fitter and getting stronger,” Carolina said. “There’s no room for mistakes, and I’m really excited to see what this next season holds.”

Tags:

Elizabeth Guo

Elizabeth is an aspiring writer and lover of theater, green tea, and fuzzy socks. She loves to curl up with a good book, rock out to old Taylor Swift songs, and eat raspberry sorbet.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

weight loss: protein smoothie for weight loss which is the best cardio machine for weight loss weight loss clinic in cordova tn juice plus weight loss program whats the best weight loss plan beaumont weight loss clinic steak and eggs diet weight loss weight loss pills that fill up the stomach 40 year old weight loss before and after reduce weight diet metabolic research center dothan al does senokot work for weight loss lisa nichols weight loss watermelon smoothie weight loss weight loss tips for men in their 20s trevo supplement and weight loss vertical sleeve weight loss surgery the best best loss weight pills accupucture and weight loss how to use apple watch for weight loss coconut oil weight loss dr oz healthy weight loss is considered the loss of how many pounds per week cornbread and weight loss how to tell what your face will look like after weight loss dangal weight loss royal target weight loss reviews ear staples weight loss lose 4 lbs in 2 days hormones weight loss problems meal replacement shakes for women weight loss how much to feed my fog for weight loss cliff bars weight loss low calorie exercise why no weight loss metabolic research weight loss clinic how do i get my skin to shrink after weight loss worlds fastest weight loss diet fatty liver and weight loss pills loose 10lbs safe weight loss pills over the counter vitamin b12 pills benefits weight loss weight loss pills from boots young essential oils for weight loss garcinia cambogia non stimulant weight loss pills latex corset for weight loss

vape: thc vape carts 23 vape lounge 732 vape vaping with a ccell vape society coupon codes purple rain vape juice blowing vape rings what is a vape tank tesla spider vape smok alien battery alternativ ejuice vape sensors ecig super sale black and mild e juice nightcap vape juice uwell crown tank problems e cigarette liquid kit vape mod sims 4 e cigarette hack joyetech procore coils e cigarette dealextreme vandy vape perseus best cbd for vaping vaporiz ecig steamcrave rdta vaporizer wattage chart suorin devices good 200 watt box mods top ten vapes what is in a vape what are the best mods cotton coil uses cheap e cigs herb vape pen amazon smok stick one basic kit diy mechanical box mod smok tfv4 seals vape mods online uwell caliburn authenticator check uwell crown tank rose voopoo mini coil colored smoke vape juice voopoo drag owners manual best tobacco e juice 2018

cbd oil: is cbd oil legal in indiana pure cbd oil extraction methods what can cbd oil help with charlottes web hemp oil amazon cbd in hemp herbal renewals cbd spray purple valley cbd youtube tapping for anxiety entourage cbd oil cbd 4000mg cbd hemp clones eur j pharmacol if sativa cbd strains cbd oil penny stocks relax gummies cbd infused cbd gummies gnc how long for cbd vape to work ebilee cbd oil cbd oil kalispell montana ego one vs ego aio too much cbd vape cbd oi can cbd oil cure diabetes cbd oil and parkinsons tremors does cbd oil help with acne md cbd cbd for birds cbd pure hemp oil amazon ucmj cbd oil all about cbd cbd isolate powder dosage how long for cbd oil to work 7 pure sleep buy cbd and thc together pot leaf nose rings empower cbd thc dose top rated cbd oil for humans cbd oil and earache most researched diseases cbd oil milwaukee wi hemp seeds vs cbd oil where can cbd oil be purchased in craig colorado cbd hemp direct coupon

exam: Passeasy 100-101 Exam Questions Covers All Key Points, Prepare for the 1Y0-220 Guide For All Candidates From All Over The World, Topdump 1Y0-740 Certification Dumps Will Be More Popular, Most Popular E22-141 Certification Braindumps Are The Best Materials, Buy Best EE0-425 Test Exam For All Candidates From All Over The World, 100% Success Rate C5050-280 Exam Preparation Online Store, Useful HP2-039 Vce Software Latest Version PDF&VCE, New Updated HC-035-421-CHS Vce And Pdf Online Store, New Updated HC-035-715-CHS Test Software Guaranteed Success, New Updated 000-086 Test Software Are Based On The Real Exam, Up To Date 000-600 Exam Book For Each Candidate, Sale Latest C2040-402 Real Exam With Accurate Answers, 100% Pass GE0-806 New Questions With New Discount, 100% Pass Guaranteed or Full Refund ZJN0-332 Exam Questions With New Discount, Most Popular 070-505 Brain Dumps With High Quality, Testkingdump 070-571 Practice UP To 50% Off, Welcome To Buy 70-503-VB Cert Exam UP To 50% Off, Pass4sure 1Z1-506 Test Dump UP To 50% Off, Latest Release 310-051 Certification Material Online Store, Experts Revised 510-410 Preparation Materials Online Store, Gocertify TB0-116 Exam Prep Are The Best Materials, The Most Recommended 1V0-602 Actual Exam Are Based On The Real Exam,

male enhancement: wonder foods that boost your libido barbados penis enlargement cialis cash price vitamin store gmc pierce brosnan promotes ed sex pills on shark tank side effects of herbal male enhancement pills small guy huge dick penis growth time elapse penile exercise video does a mans sex drive decrease after 50 penis growth fetish is my penis average penis averages what can a man take to lower his sex drive stiff rock male enhancement do people ever lose their sex drive viagra price in pakistan do i need a prescription to buy viagra alpha advanced test o boost can penis growth cause cracking skin potencx male enhancement what health problems cause low sex drive male enhancement before and after dick pictures how much does it cost to get a viagra precricption on line male supplement enhancement black what is the maximum amount of time viagra can be in your system if you are an older man is lemon bad for your sex drive viagra blood pressure side effects what does sex drive means penis enlargement and enhancement techniques viagra no prescription overnight shipping increase sex drive male what should i know about takinggeneric viagra male enhancement pills from amazon how long will viagra stay good in pkg painful growth on penis what viagra can do for her nude gnc penis enlargement supplememts what kind of test for viagra prescription stimulate sexually what do i do if i get a viagra stuck in my throat virotex male enhancement when will generic viagra become available how to increae sex drive

face mask: rip hamilton face mask full face pore mask 24k gold and caviar face mask best face mask for blackheads and large pores cosplay full face mask female mask full face masks bfsm 3m n95 mask expiry date do full face snorkel masks cause carbon monoxide poisoning surgical mask animal where to buy basketball face mask how to make surgical mask fit better difference between air respirator and gas mask respirator mask for illness disposable respirator vs dust mask n95 exit 79 dawn of the planet of the apes face masks where to buy sheet masks face masks black surgical mask whosale pollution face masks for sun best price on moldex 8910 n95 disc filter how to slim your face mask black face masks realistic snopes what is the most effective face mask for acne 3m 6800 respirator face masks what should i be using with along with my chacroal face mask when should a respirator user leave the hazardous environment how to cash in my publix stock 3m 7500 series half mask respirator urgent care in cypress where can you get gold dust in majoras mask 3ds masquerade masks for cheap face mask cover how to communicate during covid 19 3m automotive mask mask pro paint 3m priceline stocks today stanley face shield 7500 3m mask sizes scorpion exo 1100 dark smoke face shield what color is the golden face mask when applied dimarini face shield amazon otoscope scorpion exo r 420 face shield 8511 3m dusk mask