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American Council of Engineering Consultants of Florida (ACEC-FL)

Welcome to the American Council of Engineering Consultants of Florida (ACEC-FL)

Message From the President

Rick V. Baldocchi, PE
2018-19 ACEC-FL President

In high school and college, I was fortunate enough to be able compete as aTrack and Field athlete, running middle and long-distance events. There are many aspects of that experience that have stayed with me my whole life. Track and Field is a unique sport because each team has many different types of athletes competing in very different individual events, with a common goal of winning the overall meet. The miler, the pole vaulter and the shot putter have very different skill sets, and each focuses their training and preparation for their own event. Practices are very fragmented: sprinters over here, distance runners over there, jumpers, weight men, vaulters, each had their own coach, their own training sessions and goals. There is usually very little interaction between the specialty areas during a normal team practice.

However, on meet day everything changes. Every team member, while focusing on in their own performance, is also watching and rooting for every one of their teammates, encouraging them on, pushing them to excel for the greater good of the team. I have even witnessed entire teams lining the inside of the track to cheer on their team members running an event that might be crucial for the overall success of the team. It can be quite a cool experience for those of you that have never attended a track meet.

One of my favorite events that also seems to galvanize the team the most is the 4x100m relay. This is the event where four runners must carry the baton on time around the track with special zones designated for the baton exchange. The speed of this event is incredible, and it is over in the blink of an eye. The current World Record is 36.84 seconds set by the Jamaican Team in the 2012 Olympics. This is an average of almost 25 miles per hour.

Obviously, you want to have fast runner, like Jamaican Usain Bolt, to excel in this event and win the day. But there is much more to this race than running fast. You guessed it, the all-important baton pass. Many international competitions are won and lost within those three split-second baton passes. The Jamaican Team in 2012 had nearly perfect passes and shattered their previous record of 37.04. That might not seem like much, but at that level of competition it is a huge margin.

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