Wednesday, April 23, 2014
WATERVILLE -- On a raw May day that felt more like March, Dom Kone worked at becoming the best sprinter in the country.
ON THE RUN: Colby College sprinter Dom Kone is the three-time defending New England Small College Athletic Conference champion in the 100-meter dash.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
A Colby College junior, Kone won the NCAA Division III title in the 60-meter dash at the indoor track and field championships in March. The outdoor championships are May 24-26 in Claremont, California, and Kone should be a contender for the national title in the 100. Now he is trying to find that perfect balance between fine-tuning his form and getting enough rest.
"All the work is out of the way," Colby track and field coach Jared Beers said. "Now you've got to rest."
On Saturday, Kone won the New England Small College Athletic Conference title in the 100 and 200. He won the conference title in the 100 for the third time, breaking his own school record and a conference record that stood for 19 years with a time of 10.56. Kone is currently ranked third in Division III, behind Jonathan Smith of Guilford (10.51) and Kenneth Turner of McMurry (10.52).
"At this point in the season, I don't think there's any workout that's going to get me any faster. I think I just need to stay healthy, rest, stay relaxed and make sure I'm getting a lot of sleep," Kone said. "I've done the preparation, and now it's just getting that mental focus. That's what's going to get me faster times."
That said, Kone is taking care of the finer details. On Tuesday, he worked with assistant coach Emily Hackert on driving his acceleration through the first 30 meters of the 100. When he's approximately one-third of the way into the race, Kone wants to be at his top speed.
"Ideally, he maintains that for another 30 or 40 meters. Then it's just what they have left," Hackert said.
Added Beers: "That's something he nailed in the 200 last weekend. He went from 22.0 to 21.7."
Kone already has exceeded any expectations Beers had of him when he came to Colby out of Bucksport High School. As a senior at Bucksport in 2009, Kone won the Class C title in the 100 in a state record time of 10.99, the fastest time in any of the three state meets that year. Kone also won the 200 and the long jump, not bad for a kid who wasn't even the fastest athlete on his team until his senior year.
"There was this one kid named Nate Warren," Kone said. "At a young age, he was just all pure muscle. I wasn't developed at that age, so he was always the fastest one, all the way up to our junior year. Our junior year, he won the Class C state championship in the 100. My senior year, my body just physically matured."
Kone's time in the 100 in 2009 would have won the NESCAC title the previous year, Beers said.
"We knew we were getting somebody who could be really good and could be a NESCAC champion and compete in New England. I had no idea how good he was going to get, or how good the NESCAC was going to get," Beers said, citing the three other sprinter who broke 11 seconds in the championship race: Wesleyan's LaDarius Drew (10.69), Daniel Lange Vagle of Tufts (10.94) and Waterville native Isaiah Spofford, who ran 10.98 for Bates. Kone is at the lead of a sprinting resurgence in the conference.
His freshman year, Kone opted to join the men's basketball team instead of running indoor track. Kone played in four games for the Mules, and when the season was over, considered taking the spring off.
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