Tri-City Relays heating up for summer

Tri-City Relays heating up for summer
June 04
00:00 2015

In photo above: Young athletes practice their takeoff during a recent Tri-City practice at Winston-Salem State University.
Tri-City welcomes all children ages 5 to 18. (Photo by Erin Mizelle for the Winston-Salem Chronicle)

By Tevin Stinson
The Chronicle

Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer. For some that means vacationing or heating up the grill. For the members of Tri-City Relays, the summer is just the beginning of what they hope will be a successful outdoor track season.

Tri-City Relays Track Club is a member of the NCAAU Track organization and exits to mentally and physically develop local youth from ages 5-18 through year-round athletic programs.

At the peak of the track season, Tri-City has been known to have over 50 participants competing in track and field events across the nation.
Head Coach Donald Grant fell in love with the sport while he was a student at Carver High School, and has been passing on his knowledge ever since.

Grant who is also the sprint coach at Reagan High, has been with Tri-City for over 15 years and enjoys helping the youth improve on and off the track.

“I fell in love with track a long time ago at Carver, probably before a lot to these kids were born,” Grant laughed. “I continue to come back because I want to pass my knowledge of the sport on to others. Track and field can really take you places if you are dedicated and put in the work.”

Over the years, Tri-City Relays has helped a lot of student-athletes obtain scholarships from a variety of schools, including Appalachian State, Guilford College and UNC Chapel Hill.

“All you have to do is put in the work,” Grant said. “The results will come.”

Chace Washington-Saunders, who has earned a full ride to Hampton University, enjoys running for Tri-City because it gives him a chance to focus more on his individual events unlike track practice at his high school. He feels like practice and meets with Tri-City are more exciting and competitive.

“Out here, it’s all business” Washington-Saunders said. “When I come to Tri-City practice, I know that I have to bring it every day.”
According to first-year volunteer Sandria Woods, children of all ages can get something out of running for Tri-City, like the value of hard work and discipline.

“Track can be very humbling,” Woods said. “When you’re out here running in 85-degree weather, it’s easy to just give up or quit. But when you learn to fight through that pain is when you really find out how strong you are.”

Although it is her first year volunteering, Woods’ son Tazhae Woods has been running for three years. Sandria Woods said she has seen the difference in her son since he began running.

“He had a few issues in school, but with the help of Tri-City and our coaches and volunteers, I have seen a major improvement in his behavior in school and home.”

On Saturday May, 23 Tri-City Relays hosted the 12th Annual Johnson-Riley Invitational at the High Point Sportsplex in High Point. Results from the meet can be found at

For more information on Tri-City Relays Track Club visit

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