As with any "right place, right time" story, Loren Seagrave just happened to be at the airport, headed to the 2009 Prefontaine Classic track meetwhen LaShawn Merritt walked by. Noticing his athletic build and training gear, Seagrave invited Merritt to join him while they waited, assuming he too was headed to the meet.Unbeknownst to Seagrave, he was talking to the 2008 Olympic champion in the 400m dash.
This chance meeting with IMG Academy's dynamic speed coach eventually led Merritt to Bradenton for a weekend of training.Those two days turned into two weeks, ultimately leading to Merritt's move to Florida.
The duo has proven to be a great combination. Merritt has three of the top-10 times in the world this season and the chance to break the Olympic record in the 400m this year.
From the Virginia-Pilot:
"It wasn't like I said, 'I want to go to Loren,' " Merritt said. "But it wasn't until after I did some research on him, met him and went down there that I realized that I wanted to go with this guy."
Merritt liked Seagrave's coaching style. He wasn't aggressive or demanding, but laid out exactly what needed to be done. It was up to the athlete to do the work.
In addition to Merritt, Seagrave worked with Angelo Taylor, two-time Olympic champion in the 400m hurdles, and David Prince, who qualified for the 400m dash in this year's Paralympics.