Let’s Help Our Native Youth Represent!
The Opportunity: USA Track and Field (USATF) holds a National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championship each December. Many of our NM youth fundraise each year to travel to nationals, but this year we will be hosting the national meet at Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta Park, Saturday December 8th, 2012. In addition to making it easier for local athletes to travel to nationals, there are changes in the qualifying process that make it easier for athletes from the host state to make it to nationals – this is our year to get as many of our youth as possible to make it to the national race!
AGE GROUPS: USATF has designated a number of age groups so that runners may compete with athletes of similar age. To learn more about the USATF age group criteria and to learn which category your son or daughter belongs to, click HERE.
What does my child/athlete need to do in order to make it to Nationals?
1) Become an individual member of USATF, which currently costs $10 (Visit the USATF website to join HERE)
2) Once a USATF runner, the athlete can choose to compete unattached or they can join a USATF team. You can also form a new USATF club for $75.
Currently, here are a few of the teams with strong American Indian presence that athletes can join:
- Cougar Track Club: this youth club is based in West Albuquerque, with a diverse group of youth runners, including many Native athletes. Deadline to join: Oct 15th, 2012. http://www.cougartrackclub.com/
- Sports Warriors Track Club: this team does not currently have a youth team, but is open to forming youth teams if there are sufficient numbers of Native runners interested in forming a team. Deadline to join: Oct 15th, 2012. www.sportswarriorstc.com/
Benefits to joining a team: this gives an athlete a chance to qualify as an individual runner and also to qualify as a team member. Also, once on a team, an athlete would have access to a training plan/workouts that will help them stay in optimal running shape.
3) To qualify for the national meet, runners must qualify at the USATF Regional meet, November 17th at Balloon Fiesta Park. (Date of birth must be verified by 11/12/12 by submitting proof of birth to USATF NM Membership Chair, email@example.com, (505) 908-8996). Entry fee for this race is $15. There are two ways to qualify for nationals:
-finish as one of the top 20 individuals in your race
-the top 3 teams in each race will send their top 8 finishers to nationals
For more information on the NM (Region 10) Regional meet, click HERE for the meet flyer.
REGIONAL MEET REGISTRATION WILL OPEN ON NOVEMBER 1st
4) Once qualified for nationals, an athlete must register for the national race, including an entry fee of $20. USATF Nationals takes place Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at Balloon Fiesta Park.
I am interested – how do I find out more?
Wings of America and the Native Health Initiative (NHI) are interested in supporting Native athletes, and are excited to talk with athletes and their families to answer questions.
Both organizations will help individual athletes and teams through the process of getting registered, and will work to help groups of athletes pay their USATF team fees.
- Contact info:
Dustin Martin, Wings Program Director – firstname.lastname@example.org 505.977.5057
Anthony Fleg, NHI Coordinator – email@example.com, 505.340.5658
- Homepage for the 2012 USATF National Junior Olympics Cross Country Championship: