Next Level Track Club excels at national meets

Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Next Level Track Club excels at national meets
August 10
03:03 2017

The Next Level Track Club is living up to its name.  The athletes are stepping up to the next level by competing at a national level and coming home with multiple medals.  Recently a few of the athletes competed in two national meets: the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic National Championship and the AAU Club National Championships.

The AAU Club National Championships were held at the ESPN sports complex in Orlando, Florida.  Next Level had seven athletes compete at the event.  Jamon Simes, Derrick Reid, Aiden Gaddy and Chance Orie competed in the 4×400 meter relay for the 9-10 age group in which they finished fourth overall, running a time of 4:31.00.

Head coach Buddy Hayes says he had a good feeling about the relay team prior to going to Florida.  He thought if they did what they had done all year, they would perform well.

“We thought all along that they would medal because their times were competitive all season,” said Hayes.  “They were pretty consistent all season, having one of the 10 best times all year.”

Coach Anthony Sims added, “We always had medal expectations because we knew how well they could perform.  The kids were all calm and did well, especially with this being the first time they have run against this type of competition.

The young men on the relay team were ecstatic about their performance at the meet.  They said they were confident in their ability and thought they would place well.

Gaddy said he was happy and a little surprised at the same time about where they finished at the meet.  Simes says he was so excited his team did so well because this was the first year the team has run together.

The parents were so proud of the young men for their hard work that paid off with a fourth-place finish. 

“We were fired up and excited,” said Gerard Orie, father of Chance Orie.  “We were extremely proud of where they finished, especially considering the level of competition they were running against.  I was telling the coaches I have never seen anyone that works as hard as Next Level works.  I credit the work they did in practice to the results they had down there.”

Terrell Robinson Jr. is a sprinter with Next Level and is fairly new to running track.  He progressed tremendously from the beginning of the year until the national meet.  He competed in the 200 and 400 meter dash, finishing fifth in the 400 meter dash and sixth in the 200 meter dash.

“My season was tough because I started running middle school track in March and this is my first year running,” Robinson said.  “I didn’t want to run at first and almost quit but my mom and dad told me not to.  I kept pushing through and was able to make it to Florida.  I was nervous but when I got on the track, I just let loose.  I was amazed with where I finished because I didn’t expect to get this far in my first year.”

Also competing at the national meet were Madison Perry, who finished third in the triple jump and Mariah Perry, who finished third in the 60 meter hurdles.

The University of Kansas hosted the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic National Championships.  Next Level had several athletes competing in the championship meet, such as Victor Davidson III, Jada Golden and Aiden Gaddy.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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