Coaches Q&A with Jason Cage of Westlake HS

When did you first become interested in Track and Field? 

In the 8th grade I won the mile at my middle school (Ridgeview) & then my parents got me involved in Summer Track & I ran the 200,400, & 800 for Quicksilver Track Club for Coach Foster & D.C. Express Track Club for Coach Williams.

Did you ever compete in Track scholastically, and if so where?

I ran for Banneker High School then Meridian JUCO in Mississippi,& Southeastern Louisiana University.

What are your favorite memories from competing in Track and did you win any honors?

 My favorite memories was when I left Atlanta & formed relationships & a brotherhood with my teammates who were from Jamaica, Kenya, Europe, Canada.  Those guys were like blood brothers & we would go all out for each other in practice & at meets.  During my first year our team at Meridian JUCO won the JUCO Nationals & everyone had to come together & make the finals so that we can score enough points to win. I also was a NJCAA All American & a NCAA All Conference Runner.

When did you decide to be a Track and Field coach?

I knew I wanted to coach track when I was in College because I have a love for the sport & I wanted to give back to other kids by helping them get into colleges & travel & see other parts of the country.

Tell me everywhere you have coached and for how long?

I was a volunteer Coach at Saint Thomas Aquinas High School in Hammond Louisiana during my last year of College & that team went on to win the State Championship in Cross Country.  After that I returned home & have been coaching at Westlake since 2005.

Who has been your most profound influence in shaping your mindset and program? 

At Westlake our Coaching Staff is like family so our whole Coaching Staff shapes our Program because every event & Coach is important from the shot put Coach to the distance Coach. On the same note I think our greatest influence within our program is our community coach (Coach Coverson) who we call the "godfather of Westlake Track" because has been with Westlake program for over 22 years.  

Have you coached any other Sports besides Track?

I coached swimming for 1 year.

If possible, what has been your best moment/memory as a Coach?

At Westlake there are a lot of great memories but my top 3 are the following.  In 2009 in Albany, GA we took 7 girls to the State Meet. We had a BAD day 1 in the field events only scoring 3 points & we had to change a leg on a relay.  Our Coaching Staff knew we had to have Perfect 10's (first place=10points) in every race on the final day.  We came out & won every race we ran (4x1,400,800,300h,4x4).  Another memory was when we ran out of town at a meet & we had a sprinter named Shekara Martin who we did not want to run in so many semi & final races.  However, she volunteered & kind of demanded to put the team on her shoulders & she ran 8 races in 2 days & she won every race she ran (100,200,4x1,4x4). The most recent memory happened this year when we had a Team Meeting & Kennedy Simon gave a speech on her love & passion for her teammates & track & field.  She is the type of person who doesn't care about all the accolades she just loves the sport & will literally give it her "last breath" for her team.

What are your favorite events to coach?

My favorite events to Coach are relays because they set the tone for a meet.

Do you have any specific Goals for your team this Outdoor season?

My goal is to run to our maximum potential & help unsigned seniors get into school.

How much has Track changed since the advent of and now MileSplit GA?

Back in the 90s there were no Instant Live Results we had to wait until the end of the meet for the handtime results or read the AJC Sunday Paper for Track Results.

What changes would you like to be made in the future for Georgia HS Track and Field?

Allow teams to participate in more out of state meets because GA has a load of talent to show at meets that are not sanctioned.  Have the State Meet in the Atlanta area because there a lot of young elementary kids who run track in the metro area but the meet is not convienent for them to make it.

If you could turn the clock back, would you do anything differently?