On Saturday, the USA track and field association held the Junior Olympics cross country state championship for Utah in Holladay. One team participating was Second Wind Running. It is a local club cross country team that helps kids participate in cross country. Caroline Ridge, a runner on the team said she has been running for, “I think three years.”
Adam Gibby, the coach for the team, wanted to provide a more affordable alternative to the many club cross country teams. Gibby said, “I started it to allow children from lower income families the opportunity to run at the highest level, at the Junior Olympics.”
The young athletes run either a 2k, 3k, or 4k. The 2k is for those that are 8 and under and is about 1.2 miles, a 3k is for those between 8 and 13 and is about 1.8 miles, and everyone above 13 runs a 4k.
Those who place in the top 15 for each age group qualify for nationals in December. Gibby said, “It’s been a really cool experience because a lot of these kids are just kind of your neighborhood typical kids but they come out to the state meet and they are qualifying for Junior Olympics nationals.”
Tony Glover, the United States Association’s for Track & Field Utah Youth Chair, said, “And the state of Utah has done very well at nationals. We have had numerous teams win nationals.”
The kids invest lots of time and effort and get to see the results of their work during the race. Reagan Herrod, another runner on the team, said “I’m going to run a 3k and I think I’m going to kill the hills cause for the past two weeks we’ve been killing it at working on the hills.”
Caroline said, “I just like running with my team.”
Seven of the thirteen kids on the team qualified for nationals in Reno, Nevada, and four plan on going.
It will be held December 8th.