Sunday, July 18, 2010

Harrison Track Team

This spring and fall I worked with the Harrison Track Team. The Harrison Track team is a local neighborhood program that is affliated with Harrison Park and Community Center.

I met with the kids twice a week (Tues and Thurs) for 2 hours. We didn't have a track so we used  the two baseball fields and figured out how many laps were 400m. I am not really sure how accurate the measurements were but it really doesn't matter. The kids were a lot of fun and even though none of them had ever Cross Country Skied before, they still loved to get my posters and hear about the Olympics. We also had a week in the neighborhood when there was a lot of violence and gunshots. We heard the pop pop noise while we were cooling down and we had to evacuate to the far end of the fields. The kids stayed calm and collected as we gathered close together and stretched. I was very impressed with their maturity.

The head Track coach is Joe. Joe is the Pastor at a local church here in North Minneapolis. He has one of those deep soothing voices that commands attention but also inspires. I loved listening to him coach and speak to the kids and I know the kids all loved listening too. He has been coaching track for a number of years despite illness and injuries. His passion for the sport and the kids he works with is admirable. He suffered a heart attack and a kidney infection and after days in the hospital showed up for the next track meet and took this photo with me. He had to sit and watch from the sidelines during the meet, but he still knew everything that was going on!

The team did amazing this year, setting several city records and everyone had numerous personal bests! Our track banquet is next week and a number of athletes will be going onto the UAA Nationals this year :) I will update with their results.

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