Running kids

Two coaches from Mountain Pointe High School are starting a local track club to give younger kids a chance to experience track and field and provide additional training for competitive high school athletes.

“Unless you’re in the track community, people don’t know you can do track and field as a young kid just like any other sport,” said coach David Allison, the head cross country coach at Mountain Pointe since 2008. “I’m hoping this will open people’s eyes.”

Allison, who has done track and field since he was young, said he was talking with coach Larry Todd, a track and field coach since 1995, after the last track season. Someone asked the two how Chandler High School students are so consistently good at track and field each year. To Allison and Todd the answer was simple: There are more clubs in Chandler.

“He said, ‘Why can’t we do that?’” Allison said. “I said, ‘We can, but it’s a lot of work.’ I looked at Larry, he looked at me and we just thought I’ll do it if you do it.”

The coaches expect the club will mostly be for kids who are looking to start track at a young age, before they reach middle school and can join their school teams. They plan to allow ages 5 to 18. However, the club would also be beneficial for competitive high school students who want to do better during their short high school season.

“Three months is when you start to get in shape and in high school that’s how long your season is,” Todd said. “We have the club so they can be more prepared for the season.”

The club will begin Jan. 7 and continue through sometime in June. Practices will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at Mountain Pointe High School, 4201 E. Knox Road.

The coaches plan to only teach what they know. Allison has been a competitive middle distance and distance runner for 35 years so he will coach distance and sprints. Todd will share his knowledge about jumps. He had a successful collegiate career in the horizontal jumps and has trained Olympic athletes in the triple and long jump. As the season progresses, high jump, hurdles and throwing events may be added if they find coaches who specialize in those events.

Overall the two coaches decided to start the club because their coaching philosophy is the same. They want the kids to learn to do their best and have fun. Both coaches believe as the kids learn the skills taught by track and field it will make them better athletes in other sports and also prepare them for challenges they may face far into the future.

For more information on pricing or to contact either coach, visit www.phoenixtrackclub.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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