TRACKING FLETCHER IT'S FAST TIMES AT USC FOR FORMER ALEMANY STAR.Byline: Kirby Lee Special to the Daily News
Miguel Fletcher is moving forward in football again at USC An abbreviation for U.S. Code. .
Fletcher, who played primarily tailback tail·back
The back on an offensive team who lines up farthest from the line of scrimmage.
Brit a queue of traffic stretching back from an obstruction
at Alemany High, experimented with playing cornerback last season as a redshirt freshman. It was an opportunity to move up faster on the Trojans' depth charts.
Midway through the 1999 season, however, Fletcher made the decision to return to the backfield.
``It was a drastic change at cornerback,'' the Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, resident said. ``I went in full force to try to do 100 percent. Defense is something you learn at a younger age and it is not something you can just hop into. I just felt more comfortable at my natural position.''
The return to tailback, a position where he earned All-Del Rey League honors as an Alemany junior and senior and rushed for 3,350 yards in his career, has also eased Fletcher's transition to track.
As a USC freshman, he earned All-American honors as the leadoff runner on the Trojans' 1999 NCAA NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association runner-up and Pacific 10 Conference-champion 400-meter relay. He culminated his season with an eighth-place finish in the 100 in the USA Track & Field Junior nationals.
Still, Fletcher said he never felt he reached his full potential with the distractions of football.
``I am learning to concentrate on each sport within its season,'' he said.
Fletcher, a two-time state runner-up in the 100 meters, had high hopes after opening the season with a 10.40 clocking in the 100, only four hundredths of a second off his lifetime best. But he never regained his form after leaving track at midseason to participate in three weeks of spring-football workouts. USC sprint coach John Henry Johnson For the baseball player, see .
John Henry Johnson (born November 24, 1929 in Waterproof, Louisiana) was an American football fullback.
Johnson played professionally from 1954 to 1965 for the San Francisco 49ers, Detroit Lions, and Pittsburgh Steelers of the National speculates the constant backward running Backward running, also known as backwards running, running backwards, retro running, or retro locomotion is the act of running in reverse, so that one travels in the direction one's back is facing rather than one's front. at cornerback was a detriment to sprinting.
``He opened the season really well, but when he came back from spring ball, he never really got back into the form he was in,'' Johnson said. ``I really don't have an answer. He was doing a lot of backpedaling, but this year it is going to be a smooth transition. He is way ahead of where he was last year physically.''
Particularly in his hamstrings.
Last season, Fletcher was limited to only 200 meters, an event in which he was a three-time Southern Section Division III
Division III (or DIII) is a division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association of the United States. champion in high school and was the sixth-fastest performer in the nation at 20.94 as a senior in 1998, when a muscle imbalance was discovered during strength testing strength testing,
n assessment procedure to determine the contractile strength of a muscle. .
``His hamstrings were pretty weak when we started the season and there was no way to properly prepare them to handle the 200,'' Johnson said. ``This year he is fine.''
Fletcher will get a gauge of his conditioning when he competes in the 55 meters in the San Diego San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay. Indoor Invitational in·vi·ta·tion·al
Restricted to invited participants: an invitational golf tournament.
An event, especially a sports tournament, restricted to invited participants.
Adj. 1. to start the season.
The 5-11 198-pound Fletcher believes his top-end speed is greater than ever with an overhaul of his sprint technique. He has focused on relaxation and lengthening his stride. He has also braced for spring football and being prepared to return to top track condition for the Pac-10 and NCAA championships only weeks later.
``It has been a learning process,'' Fletcher said. ``Football made me stronger mentally and physically. It is a world of difference. I am learning to adjust this year. I know what to expect and how to prepare.''
--What: San Diego Invitational
--Where: San Diego Sports Arena
--When: Saturday, 11:30 a.m. The high school competition will feature more than 2,000 athletes. The invitational portion, which begins at 6:30 p.m., has produced 42 world and American records in 23 years, more than any other indoor track meet.
Photo: Backpedaling in football drills probably hurt Miguel Fletcher's frosh sprinting season.
Kirby Lee/Special to the Daily News