|Sprint & Relays Coach
Herbie Polk III moved to Santa Rosa from Richmond, California in 1998 in search of a more peaceful & quiet existence. His wife & young son Herbie Polk IV enjoyed quiet Rincon Valley while the couple soon welcomed a daughter; Assata Kinaya Polk. Before long the family would be working long hours while chasing their children’s various sport ventures on the weekends. Youth football for Herbie IV & Cheerleading for Assata would consume the family. Coach Herbie and his wife Georgia Polk; a lifetime Santa Rosa Native, were the consummate volunteers and were always pulled in deeper. Along the way dad (Coach Herbie), would immerse himself in their various sports learning all the details of them and how to maximize his children’s experience. Once the children showed promise in their focused disciplines, they were encouraged to pick one sport and try to thrive in it. Sprinting won the day!
It became apparent early on that simply training inside the high school season was not enough to compete on a bigger stage. Coach Herbie would eventually begin adding weight training, plyometrics, bio-elastic work and mental preparation as a compliment to the high school training. Herbie & Assata begin thriving! In Herbie’s junior & senior year, Coach Herbie would work with him and his teammates out of season to give them the edge while Herbie’s high school coaches dial in all their speed & recovery. In Herbie’s senior year (2013), the 4x100 team ran the fastest time in the history of the Redwood Empire 42.41, the 4x400 team ran the second fastest (3:17.59) while Herbie ended his high school career running 100m – 10.83, 200m – 21.73 & 400m – 47.21. Herbie would spend a year at Santa Rosa Junior College, another year at College of Sequoias before accepting an athletic scholarship to Arizona State University. Coach Herbie continued to use his knowledge of speed & power to help track, rugby and football athletes in the Rincon Valley area. Many Maria Carrillo high school athletes have used his speed workshops in the winter and the summer. Coach Herbie helped advance two athletes into the National Junior Olympics in 2015, two athletes in 2016 and six athletes in 2017. 2015 & 2016 were years that garnered much attention on his preseason camps; with his daughter running 59.03 in the 400m as a sophomore, a male student (Isaiah Smith) running 49.81 as a junior was creating a buzz. In 2017, a 4x100 MCHS women’s quartet shattered the previous time held in the region of 49.10 by running a blistering 48.64 at the Redwood Empire Championships. One week later at the State Qualifier, the same quartet set a new record running 48.24. Coach Herbie during this same time advanced his daughter to the Berkeley Meet of Champions where she would medal in the final running 58.61. The idea of getting the core of varsity athletes to train dynamically out of season was showing its worth ‘in’ season. To cap the 2017 season off, MCHS boys advanced to state and grabbed a sixth place in the final running 3:17.65; just missing the Empire record (3:17.59) set by his son & company by 7/100ths of second.
Barracuda Speed Academy was started by Coach Herbie with the intent to teach elite sprinting with a focus on character development and personal confidence. The roll out couldn’t have been anymore successful with 2018 beginning with raining Personal Records. At the 2018 Stanford Invite the 4x100 MCHS boys team ran 42.53; the second fastest time in the empire and nearly backed it up at the Arcadia Invite a few weeks later running 42.73. The 4x400 MCHS boys won the Sacramento Meet of Champions on 4/28/18 running 3:18.73. Herbie has shown that athletes may come & go throughout a program but if you have a winning formula, success will continue. Habibah Sanusi 100h – 14.88, Cameron De La Torre 110h – 14.79, Demetre Coffee 100m – 11.26, Isaiah Smith 400m – 49.16, Assata Polk 400m – 58.61, Noah Holzman (freshman) 200m – 23.77 and Severin Ramirez 100m – 10.98 are all athletes Coach Herbie has developed with the help of his most loyal supporters Greg Fogg & Ian Myers (Head Coaches of Maria Carillo high school) and encouraged athletes to join his out of season sprint Academy (BSA). Coach Herbie has now joined SRJC track & field and hopes to have an immediate & positive impact.