Youngstown, OH (WKBN)- For the second straight year, the Tri-County’s Team Elite is headed to the track and field Junior Olympics. Last year, 17 individual athletes advanced and this year, 19 will hit the road to represent the city of Youngstown at the highest level.
“The city is behind us,” said head coach Derrick Stredrick. “And you actually have kids that are being taught positive things, that are being led down a positive road.”
Stredrick founded the team two years ago to help grow the sport for the Valley’s youth. Kids can range from ages 7 to 18 and are taught the fundamentals of the events.
“It’s fun to compete because [of] coach Stredrick,” said competitor Ahleeah Abdullah. “Every time we come to practice he teaches me more things and I get faster.”
“I like racing people and competitions and working my hardest,” said Bryant Douglas.
“Whenever you go to meets you know [my teammates] will always be there,” said Daria Williams. “There’s always pairs that run together so they will always be there for us.”
Fun is had by all, but the goals are still high for Iowa later this month. The competition takes place July 28th-August 2nd at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I have a couple kids that could potentially big home some big jewelry, big jewelry,” said Stredrick.
As for the kids, they are equally optimistic.
“I want to try to make the podium,” said Christian Armstrong. “I want to experience a lot…and have fun.”