Didn't Burcham dive in a high stakes race last summer? Personally, I like to see people putting every ounce of their being into trying to get to the finish. If done correctly, I think diving can help you extend your shoulders ahead of an opponent. Graf/Doughty/Burch are well aware that it is the shoulder and not the head that determines the victor. Meet officials looked at a photo to determine who crossed ahead of whom and you can bet that Mr. Dick Messenger had a chance to look at it...he works a number of big time NCAA meets and seems to know what he's doing.
From a distance, I thought Graf's dive was unneccessary. When I saw that there was only .03 seconds between him & Kirtner, I realized that it probably was close enough to warrant a dive...so hats off to Graf.
As for practicing that technique "up North," Jefferson is in the Eastern Panhandle (the thumbnail on your hand's version of a state map). Eric Graf has made a habit of emulating a lot of things that his friend Brandon did. That habit has helped him go from being a 5th runner on his XC team as a soph to scoring 20 points at the State Track Meet as a senior.
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