St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Champions share diverse talents

Clearwater Central Catholic junior Kevin Lyons keeps a step ahead of the competition with tireless preparation.

By RODNEY PAGE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 20, 2001


Kevin Lyons never looks back.

As soon as he crosses the finish line of one race, he's thinking about the next one. That's why Lyons gets up at 5 a.m., even when it's oh so tempting to hit the snooze button one more time.

Somebody might be gaining.

The Clearwater Central Catholic junior ran away from the pack this season. After finishing 14th at the 2000 Class 2A state meet, Lyons was relentless in his preparation for 2001. He logged 80 to 90 miles per week during the summer. He pushed himself by training in North Carolina and California. He entered elite meets throughout the country.

The work paid off.

Lyons won six times this season, including the Largo Invitational, which he ran in a personal-best 15 minutes, 1 second. He also won the district and regional meets, and finished fifth at the state meet at the Ed Radice Sports Complex in Tampa in 15:44.

"I didn't think I would get to 15:01," Lyons said.

"I had in my mind around 15:15 or so. At the Keswick Invitational (Sept. 27th), I ran a 15:30 and I was holding back in that race. It felt really easy. I thought I might have a good year then."

About the only race Lyons wasn't satisfied with was the state meet. Despite his top five finish, Lyons said he didn't feel right. He set a goal before the season, and he didn't hit it.

"I wanted to finish in the top three," he said.

"It was just one of those days. My legs felt heavy. Sometimes that happens."

It could have been worse.

Lyons was diagnosed with asthma when he was young and must use an inhaler before running each day. He also takes two medications to ensure the asthma stays in check.

Lyons had an attack last season that forced him out of a race. He changed medications and hasn't had a problem since.

"If I didn't use the inhaler or the medication I could probably only run a mile," Lyons said.

"I start to get shortness of breath. It's not good. But I haven't had any problems since I changed medications."

Obviously not.

Lyons took a little more than a week off after the state meet, but he's back on his training regime. He'll run in a few meets during the holidays, and in the spring, he'll run the 1,600 and 3,200 meters for the CCC track team.

"He trains so hard," CCC coach Jeff Righter said.

"Each year, he's chopped off 50 seconds, which is a lot. There's not a whole lot of runners who are going to match his endurance, commitment and discipline."

Lyons has improved steadily since his freshman year, when he was 39th at the state meet. With continued training and perhaps a little luck, Lyons might get the state championship he covets his senior year.

"I know burnout is common among runners, but I haven't felt it yet," Lyons said.

"I still enjoy running. It's a risk I have to take.

"I'd like to win a state championship, and I know I have to train hard to do that."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Colleges
  • Bulls head to hostile north for a road test
  • College football practice reports
  • Gator may take 'Nole to court

  • NBA
  • Jordan's wizardry
  • Tonight: Magic vs. Wizards

  • Bucs
  • Bucs give their salute to real heroes

  • Lightning
  • Tortorella seeks more consistency

  • Preps
  • Girls basketball extra
  • Ridgewood gives Gators fits in 76-42 victory
  • Unlikely Gator records hat trick
  • 2001 All-County boys swimming teams
  • 2001 All-County girls swimming teams
  • Ridgewood gives Gators fits in 76-42 victory
  • Champions share diverse talents
  • Champions share diverse talents
  • Lakewood upset bid falls short vs. No. 1
  • Around the county
  • Champions share diverse talents
  • Cougars bruise already-battered Pinellas Park
  • Top runners will be back for more
  • CART race now closer to reality
  • Cummings' career day rescues FSU
  • Politicians support Mutiny
  • List of places boycotting TB Downs is diminishing
  • Daily fishing report


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts