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posted Nov 12, 2011, 5:43 PM by Westwood Track

Westwood Track Club provides fun on the run



By Keith Pearson/Staff Writer

Westwood Press

Posted Aug 26, 2010 @ 12:01 AM


Two children racing to a predetermined point just might be athletics in its rawest form.

In an attempt to polish that athleticism and give youngsters an opportunity to get involved with track was the catalyst for Westwood cross country and track coach Jen Teahan to form the Westwood Track Club, which started this summer and already boasts 46 families.

“Parents were frequently asking if I could start a youth program during the school year,” said Teahan, who is a fourth grade teacher at the Martha Jones School. “Given my time frame, it was not manageable, however, I did say I would love to run something over the summer.

“I ran a recreation program in the past, but this youth program allows for more flexibility and versatility. I also think that having a newly created middle school track program has improved the visibility of our program.”

The WTC hosted its first meet last Wednesday, consisting of 51 athletes competing in the 50-meter hurdles, 100, 200, 400, 800 and mile in three different age groups ranging from seven to 13. The meet was free for those to enter and all of the kids ran in at least two races.

Nine-year-old Jake Murphy was the top overall runner in the mile (6:24), 800 (3:06), 400 (1:22) and 100 (15.06) while Zach Conant was the top 200 runner and Will McDonnell led the way in the hurdles. Eleven-year-old Sophia Devin was the top female finisher and led the way in the 11-13 group with wins in the hurdles, 100, 400 and 800.

The youngest “competitor” was three-year-old Noah Ilias.

“I had the most fun hosting the little kids,” said Teahan.

With the school year right around the corner, the WTC has gone into hibernation until next summer, but Teahan said something that started very quietly increased in popularity.

“This first year we really just did it as a word of mouth and the numbers grew each week,” she said. “The athletes love the program and meeting kids of different ages and abilities.”

“I believe we will at least double, if not triple, in numbers next year.”

The Westwood Track Club is accepting memberships for next summer with individual memberships costing $99 and $159 for a family if done before the end of the year with financial assistance available.

The program met four times a week, two mornings and two evenings per week and while it was geared toward the younger children, it helped get the high school athlete involved by getting involved with the younger ones.

“You have passionate high school and college athletes giving their expertise and background to younger kids,” said Teahan. “It’s a win-win all around.”

In addition to working with younger kids, it also provides a way for the high school athlete to extend track to a fourth season as a structured sport. Teahan said early on some have used it as a way to get a way to get in shape, others to get ready for their upcoming fall sports.

(Keith Pearson is Staff Writer for the Westwood Press. He can be reached at (781) 433-8371 orkpearson@cnc.com.)

Copyright 2010 Westwood Press. Some rights reserved



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