New Haven Age Group Track Club is one of the top track clubs in Connecticut. Running on the motto of “lead or get out the way”, the club has seen years of unparalleled success. New Haven Age Group was founded in 1974 by Jim Barber who took volunteer parents through the ropes of track and field. Through his hard work, he inspired Coach William Thompson who led the track club after Barber for 35 years before his passing two years ago.
The passing of Thompson, the most influential member of the track club, in 2014 was a very tough time for the club, but they came together as one to continue his legacy. Coach Major Ruth explains that this “unity” that this track club shares allows them to better themselves on and off the track.
“After the passing of our head coach William “Coach T” Thompson, we rebuilt the unity that was broken and formed an even stronger unity going from a group to a bigger community. We were able to expand our speciality and sprinting programs by adding new coaches as well as expanding our parent involvement to help run the team on the backend”
The track club, in addition to doing their best on the track, also serves their community to the best of their ability. They run several events and programs within the city of New Haven to promote health awareness through track and field. One such program is the Hershey Track program, a six-week track program that runs through Monday to Friday. This program is free to all New Haven youths and is designed to teach the basics of track and field. Through this program, young athletes will be able to stay fit throughout the summer and gain a love for track and field in the process.
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New Haven Age Group Track Club recently participated in the USATF Region 1 National Qualifier which took place in Albany, NY and the AAU Region 1 National Qualifier in West Haven, CT. Here are some of the notable performances that the track club had at the AAU Region 1 National Qualifier.
Alexis Holmes: 100m, 3rd Place (15-16yr) 12.68
200m, 2nd Place (15-16yr) 25.01
400m, 1st Place (15-16yr) 55.02
Leilani Gibson: 800m, 2nd Place (9-10yr) 2:38.79
1500m, 2nd Place (9-10yr) 5:27.11
Azaan Dawson: 1500m 2nd Place (13-14yr) 4:35.45
3000m 1st Place (13-14yr) 9:49.03
Parker Paragas: 800m 4th Place (12-13yr) 2:27.63
1500m 1st Place (12-13yr) 4:50.58
3000m 1st Place (12-13yr) 10:21.51
Jeremiah Shaw: 80H 1st Place (11-12yr) 14.85
Long Jump 3rd Place (11-12yr) 4.59m
These performances highlight the intense work ethic of all the athletes involved with New Haven Age Group Track Club: “Like all of our athletes participating on the team, their dedication, commitment and hard work ethics have brought them to where they are at now.” Ruth said. “Not only being role models for their peers, but also a positive representation of the values NHAGTC holds.”After their outstanding regional performances, the track club will move on to the USATF National Junior Olympics in Sacramento, CA which will take place from the 25th to the 31st of July and then the AAU National Junior Olympics in Humble, TX which they will will compete from August 1st to the 8th.
The New Haven Age Group Track Club is an inspiration to the sport of track and field. Their relentless attitude to win and to help their community of New Haven serves as a goal all track and field clubs can aspire to.