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This interview is guest blogged by Paul Hoffman from My Two Cents: Thoughts of a Small Town Therapist. His previous articles were Notes from Underground: A Rookie Master’s Sprinter Diary , Asafa Powell is NOT a Choker and An Open Letter to Mr. Usain Bolt
One day this summer, as I was working out at the East Greenwich RI High School track, I noticed a young woman doing sprint training on the other side of the oval. In fact, I started seeing her all the time between 630-700 AM. “Mmmm….I wondered to myself. What sort of young person is out at a track at the crack of dawn instead of sleeping ‘till noon like most teenagers?” So I wandered over and asked her name. She replied “Jaimee”, to which I said, “The famous Jaimee Dorsey?” She smiled with pride.
I try to keep abreast of Rhode Island high school athletes, especially track athletes, and I was well aware of Miss Dorsey, the elite high school sprinter from right here in my hometown. I knew that she’d won this year’s 400m State Championship, breaking a 13 year old state record. She continued to break her own record, winning the New England’s, and then broke it again running a PR of 55.6 at the Nationals, where she placed tenth. (She also placed 2nd in the State 100m and 200m. Her PR’s are 12.0 and 24.8.)
Over the next several weeks we exchanged emails and then spoke on the phone, as she was now a freshman at Rhode Island College in Providence.
Interview with Jaimee Dorsey
Jaimee Dorsey: I got interested when my Mom told me a story about her feats in high school with Track and Field, and also how most of my family had been active in different sports in high school as well. I’m not really excited about long distances so I decided to be a sprinter. I just enjoy running shorter distances.
PH: Who has been the most influential in your development as a sprinter?
JD:My coaches from middle school to my current college coaches have all contributed equally; they all primed and shaped me and taught me so much.
PH: Do you have other passionate pursuits….music, art, etc?
JD: I enjoy drawing but that’s only for personal enjoyment. I’m not trying to make anything of it.
PH Is your family athletic?
JD: Yeah, my family has a history of Track athletes, Football, Weight Lifting, Throws (Field), Basketball, and more.
PH: How did you juggle academics and sports?
JD: I had a difficult time maintaining a balance between academics and Track.
PH: Did you feel you had to sacrifice usual teenage/high school things?
JD: I’m fine with sacrificing usual high school things because I like being dedicated to something that means a lot to me. So I never gave it a second thought.
PH: That’s a wonderful answer. How did it FEEL crossing the line and winning the State and New England championships?
JD: I was overly excited, though it hardly ever shows on my face after I finish a race. But for the State meet I was ecstatic, especially knowing that I broke a record that was 13 years old and finishing in sub-56 seconds. At New England’s though it was a completely different story. Having two girls ranked ahead of me scratch from the 400m race that day left so much pressure. Then after finishing first, it was nice but when I received that first place plaque I felt as though I didn’t deserve it. I honestly would have preferred to run against the best there is in New England and even take third, than win because they weren’t there.
PH: That shows a lot of class and pride….you set the bar high for yourself. Which is your best event?
JD: The 400m is best for me because I have the endurance for it. For shorter events I don’t have a quick enough turnover and then any event longer than the 400m would be a waste of my abilities. I can sprint but my ability is aimed more towards a long sprint because I have that long stride.
PH: Tell me about your training regimen?
JD: In high school….the warm up (4 laps) and the dynamics were always the same every day at practice. But workouts changed a lot; sometimes we did 300s at PR plus however many sets of 300s we were doing that day, and the same for 200s. Then other days there was cardio, abs and plyometrics. And then lifting days were by chance since there was a large group and a small weight room in high school, so I unfortunately didn’t get into much lifting.
PH: What are your future goals in sprinting?
JD: I just keep aiming to set personal bests in my Track career, mostly aiming towards getting sub-50…eventually.
PH: What do you plan to study in college?
JD: I recently changed my major from Psychology to Nursing. Mostly because I feel I could do so much more with a Nursing degree.
PH:Who are some athletes you admire?
JD:I admire three Olympic sprinters, Sanya Richards-Ross, Allyson Felix, Florence Griffith-Joyner and Olympic Basketball player Ruthie Bolton (who I met recently, May 2012, at my high school).
PH:What advice would you give a young sprinter, say a junior high school runner?
JD: Eat right, sleep well. Have an excellent coach! Have that dedication. And always have PAIRS of running shoes. With just this little amount it’s possible to get even better and faster.
PH: Thanks so much for speaking with me. Your discipline, passion and dedication are very inspiring. I hope that upcoming young sprinters get to read this. I wish you all the very best in the future, in all your endeavors.
About the Author
Paul Hoffman is a Masters sprinter, psychotherapist and musician in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. He writes a blog entitled My Two Cents: Thoughts of a Small Town Therapist.