Local Track Club seeks funds to participate in Junior Olympics

DAYTON, Ohio — The Dayton Wolverines Track Club is hoping to make their way to the Amateur Athletic Union’s (AAU) Junior Olympics in Texas next week. The club is asking for the community’s help to get there.

The athletes have been working hard during the pandemic.

Keith Ways, Coach of the Dayton Wolverines Track Club, said, “If an athlete has qualified to go, that wants to participate, then we’ll get them there.”

Taylor Birdsong is determined to run in Texas and it’s first year running track.

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“I’ve been running really fast through all my meets and I feel like if I go to practice more and go harder in Texas, it’ll get me somewhere in life,” Birdsong said.

London Evans is also hoping to run next week. She said it’s all about family for her.

“I want my family to see me run,” Evans said.

Evans’ mother, Rachel, is just as excited to see her daughter run, especially after the pandemic led to the cancellation of many of the track meets last year.

“The kids worked really hard last year and this year to do their best. I believe that the Junior Olympics will allow them to continue to shine,” Rachel Evans said.

To make sure every athlete gets to shine at the competition, now a little more than a week away, a run-a-thon event is taking place this Saturday to raise money.

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Ways said, “We’re running for laps. Running for money per laps.”

The athletes solicited donors to pay for how many laps around the track they run.

“We’re hoping to raise some money from the run-a-thon this weekend to help fray the cost of transportation and room and board,” Ways said.

About $6,000 in scholarship money will also be handed out to six athletes at the run-a-thon, which begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Dunbar High School.

So far the Wolverines Track Club as raised just over $12,000 of their $74,000 goal.

* Links to donate to the run-a-thon: https://app.99pledges.com/fund/daytonwolverinestrackclub

* Link to donate to the Wolverines Track Club: https://www.daytonwolverines.com/donate