Cameron Turner Photo
The Greater Chenango Track and Field Club, namedThe Bolts, is the first USA Track and Field team in our area.
This youth program is run by head coach Shannon Gawronski through the Norwich Family YMCA, and can proudly announce that they are the only track and field team for youth, sixth grade and younger, and the only USA Track and Field team for athletes post school season, whether it be modified, junior varsity or the varsity level.
The season began with a great deal of success for the younger Bolts at the' Future Stars' meet in New Hartford last Sunday.
“We swept most of the events, from the 100 and 200 meters to the Broad Jump and the middle distances. we had a big presence,” said Gawronski.
A few athletes took firsts in their age groups in multiple events, including George Bryant in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and the Standing Broad Jump; and also Gabe Sutton in the 200 meters, 400 meters and the Standing Broad Jump.
“It’s a lot of fun to see our kids winning events because they are better prepared and more comfortable competing,” said assistant coach Andre Bryant.
”Coach Bryant has been assisting with the Y's summer track and field camp for years now, and he’s definitely helping me take this to the next level”, said Gawronski. “Almost the entire coaching staff are athletes that I had the pleasure of working with or coaching when they were young, and now they’ve returned to help the next group of track athletes.”
Assistant coaches are Amanda Marks, Sydney Chaffee, Rece Camadine, and oftentimes a number of Norwich Varsity athletes.
One new Coach to the youth track and field team is coach Marjorie Grap. Grap boasts an impressive career, as a Division I Champion, as well as being a nine-time Patriot League Champion, all the way to being an assistant coach for Colgate University.
“Every athlete who competes in the throwing events should be looking for the opportunity to be coached by Marjorie Grap,” said Gawronski.
Although practices for the younger Bolts began in April, it is not too late and Gawronski encourages that now is the perfect time for the track and field athletes who just finished their modified or varsity seasons to join.
The Bolts will be hosting a very exciting meet in Oneonta this Saturday, June 11, at 10 a.m.
Gawronski explained that the hope for the program is that there will be another wave of kids joining now that the majority or school programs have finished.
“This USA Track and Field team provides all kids who love to run, jump or throw to qualify for bigger meets. Who knows, we might have some kids that will win the Regional meet in Albany and qualify for Nationals in their age group.”
It should be noted that The Bolts are also actively putting together relay teams as of now, and are hoping for new participation. Please contact Shannon Gawronski at the Norwich Family YMCA at (607) 336-9622 if you are interested in joining or for more information.