jeff-albright

Jeff Albright competing in Maui on the American Windsurfing Tour. Photo by Si Crowther

Two local sports medicine specialists took their personal training to a whole new level this year to earn the podium in national competitions for their respective sports.

Jeff Albright, MD, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician, made a speedy recovery from a broken foot to earn enough points in Maui to finish first overall for the Masters division of the American Windsurfing Tour.

Timothy Mineo, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon, took second place in his age division at the national championships for Aquabike, a sport that combines open-water swimming with road cycling, and qualified for the 2017 world championships.

Mineo and Albright both work at Advantage Orthopedic and Sports Medicine in Gresham and are Mount Hood regulars who spend their weekends teaching their young children how to ski. They both competed in skiing in college, Mineo at the University of Colorado and Albright at Dartmouth.

10 Weeks to Heal a Broken Foot

Albright, who turned 50 in November, was the leading competitor in the Masters Division of the American Windsurfing Tour going into the final event in Maui after winning both the Amateur and Masters Divisions in Baja California in August.

Then on August 15th he broke his foot while windsurfing on the Oregon Coast.

“It’s a fall I’ve taken many times, but my foot didn’t come out of the foot strap this time and I felt it go snap,” he recalled. “So I knew it was broken.”

Albright had foot surgery on August 19th, with his colleague Mineo performing the operation. That left him with just 10 weeks post-surgery to prepare for the competition in Maui. He worked with George Eischen from SportsCare Physical Therapy in Gresham three days per week during his lunch hour, developing specific exercises to replicate the motions and stresses of windsurfing.

“In the beginning I couldn’t even stand on it,” he said. “It took me almost three weeks to balance on one foot. It was challenging, much harder than I thought it would be. But yeah, we worked really hard, and we came up with some really specific windsurfing exercises that helped a lot.”

Albright was unsure he would be able to compete in Maui, but he decided to try, arriving on October 29th. The first day on his board was painful; he couldn’t even turn. But after about three days he started getting the hang of it, and he ended up windsurfing 12 out of 15 days during his visit, including heats in the AWT’s Masters and Amateur events.

He finished ninth in the Masters Division at Maui, enough to earn the overall victory for the year. It was his lowest finish of the year, but between the foot injury and the level of competition, he was thrilled.

“Most of the guys I was competing against in Maui were on the pro tour while I was in medical school,” he said. “In my last heat I was the only guy out there who had never competed full-time on the pro tour.”

In addition to his overall win in the Masters division, Albright also took second in the Amateurs Division for 2016.

“My Maui performance was a little subpar, but I accomplished all my goals,” he said. “And the biggest accomplishment was, when I first went over I couldn’t stand on my toes on my right foot. But by the time I came back I had enough strength to do that. It really helped my strengthening and my rehab, to just windsurf day after day. It was definitely a challenge, and it was also a learning experience, to see what my patients go through.”

A 23-mph Average on the Bike

Mineo was a competitive cyclist at the University of Colorado in addition to his skiing, and he continued to compete at a high level up through 2002. His college roommate and coach Neal Henderson, who coaches top-tier athletes including Olympic triathletes, encouraged him to get back into serious training this summer, and set him up with a coach and a targeted program to train intensely for USA Triathlon's Aquabike Nationals.

“I started to get back into it, and when I get into things I really get into them,” Mineo explained. “I have a hard time doing things halfway.”

“I started to get back into it, and when I get into things I really get into them,” Mineo explained. “I have a hard time doing things halfway.”

Mineo worked closely with coach Mac Cassin, hooked up with the Portland Velo Racing Club and started riding hard 5-6 days per week, including double sessions with both morning and mid-day rides. Add in regular swimming, running and weightlifting, and Mineo was in peak form going into the 2016 Aquabike Nationals in Miami November 13.

The Aquabike course consisted of a 1.2 mile swim in open water followed by a 56-mile time trial bicycling route. Mineo has a nagging shoulder injury, so he did not perform particularly well in the swim. But he crushed the cycling section and ended up taking second place for his age division. “My goal was a 23-mile-an-hour average, and I was able to achieve that,” he said. “I was really happy with my finish.”

Mineo’s second place finish qualified him to join Team USA at the 2017 World Championships in Penticton, Canada, where he will compete in the same age division as his friend Neal Henderson, since he will turn 40 next summer.

You might think it would give Mineo an advantage to move up to the 40-44 age division. But as is the case with many endurance sports, Aquabike’s strongest finishers are in their 30s and 40s, not their 20s. Mineo believes that people are willing to train harder as they age; at least that was the case for him: “For me it was that moment in life when you’re like, I’m getting older, I need to get back into things. And when I get into things I like to get into them all the way.”

Mineo, Albright and their Advantage Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic partners Dr. Marc Davidson, Dr. Bret Dales and Physician Assistant Jess Meyers have been sponsors of Shred Hood since 2013. They handle everything from bunions to ankle fractures to hip replacement surgeries. Anyone with knee, foot, ankle, shoulder or hip issues can call them at 503-661-5388 to schedule an appointment.