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Local Lab Asks: How Fast Can We Go?

Local Lab Asks: How Fast Can We Go?



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Ed Yeates Reporting How much faster can US Olympic athletes run or swim? The elite sprinters we've been watching in Athens could be coming to Salt Lake next summer for an unusual research project.

They’ll be coming to the Orthopedic Specialty Hospital's Human Performance Lab. Tuesday afternoon we watched a treadmill there smoke under the feet of a seventeen year old high school athlete.

17-year old Cole Miles has a goal. For now no Olympic dreams, just more speed to enhance his performance in high school. He's broken the speed record on this treadmill and it's not over yet.

Cole Miles: “I want to get up to 25 miles per hour.”

In Athens we've seen the top end of speed - with world records in swimming relays. And how about Justin Gatlan and Jeremy Wariner on their feet? No surprise to researchers here. Athletes at a very young age are learning on machines how much speed you can get from the human machine

Dr. James Walker, TOSH Human Performance Lab: "I really don't think we know what the limits are. The 1500 meter mile record now is so much faster than anybody ever imagined it would be. There are women running marathons now."

Equipment here shows high school athlete Cassidy Lance's repaired ACL injured knee is performing well. She'll be ready for competition next year.

More muscle mass equals more strength, equals more power, equals more speed. That's the equation. Coaches and trainers now focus on trunk and core strength to drive the legs.

US sprinters from Athens were here last summer. They'll return now for research on a new soon to be built treadmill that will measure every single foot strike.

Dr. James Walker: “Next summer we’ll bring those elite sprinters in again and really assess them and look at all those physical characteristics that make them what they are.”

Within that elite group, it's possible Gatlan, Wariner, Harris or Brew might come here to push that speedometer up and away - so scientists can see how they do it.

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