Worldwide Track Club off to strong start
Demopolis’ newly-formed Worldwide Track Club took 19 runners to its first meet last weekend and brought home 18 medals.
Club founder Royce McKinney, a former track, football and basketball coach at Demopolis High School, said the team exceeded expectations at the USA Track and Field Alabama Association Junior Olympics Championships at Birmingham Southern College.
“We’re in our first year, so we’re still trying to get organized,” McKinney said. “We’ve got a lot of young kids, but they’re developing well. I’m pleased with their work ethic so far.”
The runners that medaled at the meet were as follows:
•Alexzundria Abrams – third in girls 11-12 100-meter dash
•Antonio Besteder – third in boys 13-14 100-meter dash, third in boys 13-14 200-meter dash
•Demetrius Davis – second in boys 13-14 100-meter dash
•Datrion Fultz – first in boys 17-18 800-meter run
•Ny’Keria Grayer – third in girls 13-14 100-meter dash, second in girls 13-14 200-meter dash
•Madison Phillips – third in girls 11-12 800-meter run
•Shy’shawna Smith – first in girls 13-14 100-meter dash
•Samantha Williams – second in girls 15-16 shot put
•Ashleigh Ivory, Ny’Keria Grayer, Shy’shawna Smith and Yasmein Rainey – first in girls 13-14 4×100 relay
•Alexander Besteder, Anthony Jackson, Antonio Besteder and Demetrius Davis – first in boys 13-14 4×100 relay
McKinney said he was involved with a USA Track and Field team for six years in Atlanta and has wanted to start one in Demopolis since he moved here two years ago.
“This is the best parent support I’ve ever received with this program,” he said. “The parents have been great since we started in late April. It’s very encouraging.”
He added that he felt like a track program was needed in Demopolis.
“We have a lot of talent here – a lot of young talent – that just needs to be developed,” he said. “I hope to put Demopolis on the map for track, and I think this last meet was a step in the right direction.”
McKinney said his goal for the team is to perform well and finish in the top five at the regional championships on July 10-13 in Homewood.
“The top five qualifiers from regionals advance to the national championships in Humble, Texas, on July 21-27,” he said. “I hope we bring home some national championship medals.”
The team’s next meet will be the Alabama Games at Samford University this weekend.
Assisting McKinney with coaching for the team are Rodney Rowser, Ronnie Abrams, Ernest Taylor and Deborah Boykin.
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