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About Atlanta Track Club Youth Team

Atlanta Track Club Youth Team is open to all Atlanta area middle school-age runners who have an interest in being part of a competitive cross country and/or track & field team, regardless of ability or experience level. The team is designed to develop and teach athletes life-long lessons on the following topics:

  • Physical development
  • Social and emotional development
  • Goal setting
  • Teamwork
  • Work ethic
  • Sportsmanship
  • Enthusiasm for athletics
  • Health and wellness knowledge

We are excited to announce that Atlanta Track Club Cross Country Youth Team will offer two training locations, personalized virtual training and a free downloadable training plan throughout the 2020 cross country season. Tuesday and Thursday practices will remain at Piedmont Park from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The new Monday and Wednesday practice sessions will take place under the lights at Marist School from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Team members will have the option of practicing at one or both training locations. More in-person and virtual training information is detailed below.

Please send inquiries to youthteam@atlantatrackclub.org

Learn More About the Team

Join the team meeting via Zoom on Monday, August 10 at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about the Atlanta Track Club Cross Country Youth Team and what to expect this upcoming season. Join the meeting via the link below.

Team Meeting link: us02web.zoom.us/j/83025697534


  • Date & Time

    Piedmont Park Practice Information: Tuesdays & Thursdays at Piedmont Park Active Oval from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Marist School Practice Information: Mondays & Wednesdays at Marist School from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. Personalized virtual coaching available

  • Distance

    • 3000 meters
    • 2 miles
    • 4000 meters
  • Event Swag

    • Singlet
    • Shorts
  • Cost

    • $150 per season
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In-Person Training & Competitions

  • Regular Season: August 17th - October 17th
  • Postseason: October 17th - December 5th
  • Marist School Practice Information: Mondays & Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
  • Piedmont Park Practice Information: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Cost: $150 per season, need based scholarships available

The regular season competitions include exhibition meets throughout metro Atlanta. Postseason competitions include championships meets outside Atlanta, including USA Track & Field Youth Championships. The Georgia Middle School State Championship is part of both the regular and postseason schedule. In-person team members will receive a team singlet and shorts.

Regular Season Competition Schedule (Subject to Change)
Starrs Mill Panther XC Meet
September 5 @ Heritage Christian Church XC Course, Fayetteville, GA

Alpha Crush Cross Country Meet
September 12 @ Milton High School, Alpharetta, GA

Big Peach Mustang Stampede
September 26 @ Allatoona Creek Park, Acworth, Ga

Nash Farms Cross Country Festival
October 3 @ Nash Farms Battlefield, Hampton, GA

Wingfoot XC Classic
September 20 @ Sam Smith Park, Cartersville, GA

Georgia Middle School State Championships
October 17 @ Bleckley County Elemetary School, Cochran, Ga


Virtual Training

Team members who register for Personalized Virtual Coaching will receive custom training plans and 1-on-1 virtual coaching. This option will be available during the regular and postseason for $150 per season with need based scholarships available. A free downloadable 10-week training plan is also available through registration.


Learn More About the Team

Join the team meeting via Zoom on Monday, August 10 at 6:00 p.m. to learn more about this Atlanta Track Club Cross Country Youth Team and what to expect this upcoming season. Join the meeting via the link below.

Team Meeting link: us02web.zoom.us/j/83025697534



COVID-19 Update

Atlanta Track Club continues to monitor news and updates surrounding COVID-19 from the Georgia Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Atlanta Track Club Cross Country Youth Team's upcoming practices at Piedmont Park and Marist School and the accompanying competition schedule will follow the Atlanta Public Schools' extracurricular policies and local regulations. This means that if the Atlanta Public School district decides to cancel fall sports or if the City of Atlanta or Brookhaven requires groups to be limited to no more than ten individuals, then the Atlanta Track Club Cross Country Youth Team will not practice or compete during that time or will identify methods to keep athletes divided into pods for practice. All practices will have mitigation efforts in place at both locations for the fall season in addition to local regulations. Safety is always Atlanta Track Club's number one priority and we are working hard to ensure a safe environment for all participants and coaches. For up to date information regarding Atlanta Public Schools plans for sports click here. For more information about GHSA guidelines of Covid-19 restrictions regarding practices click here. For recommendations from the CDC to maintain safety from Covid-19 click here.


Before Practice

  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to take their child's temperature before each practice session

    • See the end of the "What to do if you think your child has COVID-19" section for details on what to do if your child experiences COVID-19 related symptoms

  • Team members must arrive at practice wearing their face masks, which must be worn until practice begins

    • Team members can leave their masks inside their bags during practice

  • Team members must maintain a distance of six feet from other team members

  • Team parents/guardians must remain in the area designated for parents/guardians throughout practice

  • Team parents/guardians must wear face masks and maintain a distance of six feet from one another during practice

  • Team members must bring and drink from their own water bottles during practice

During Practice

  • Team members are encouraged to use either their own hand sanitizer or hand sanitizer provided for the team during practice

  • Team members must remain in their assigned groups and do their best to maintain social distancing when appropriate during warmup runs, workout cooldowns and transitions between these activities

  • Team members must maintain a distance of six feet apart during warmup drills and stretching

After Practice

  • Team members must wear their face masks once practice is over

  • Team members must maintain a distance of six feet from other team members

Before Competitions

  • Parents/guardians are encouraged to take their child's temperature before each team competition

    • See the end of this document for details on what to do if your child experiences COVID-19 related symptoms

  • Team members are encouraged to wait with their parents in a social distanced area near the competition area

  • Atlanta Track Club will provide a tent for team members who wish to sit with the team

    • Team members must arrive at the tent wearing a face mask and continue to wear their face masks until it is time for them to warm up

    • Team members must do their best to maintain social distancing while at the team tent

  • Parents/guardians who wish to accompany their child at the team tent must arrive at the tent wearing a face mask and continue to wear their masks while remaining in the designated area for parents/guardians

  • Team members must remain in their assigned groups and do their best to maintain social distancing during warmup runs, stretches, drills and transitions between these activities

After Competitions

  • Team members who are returning to the team tent must wear their face masks once they return

  • The team coach will meet with the athletes who will not be at the tent directly after they are finished running

What to do if your child is exposed to someone who has COVID-19

Please alert the team's coach If your child comes in contact with someone who has COVID-19. He or she cannot attend the team's in-person practices or competitions for 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

What to do if you think your child has COVID-19

If your child develops a fever or begins experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms please alert the team's coach and keep them away from team practices and competitions for at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared, 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication, and their symptoms have improved.

These measures are in accordance with the CDC's COVID-19 recommendations. Please read and follow the CDC's COVID-19 recommendations linked below. Parents/guardians will be notified if a team member is exposed or diagnosed with COVID-19 (no personal and/or medical information will be disclosed). For more information on when and how quarantining measures should be taken visit the website below.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html


Parent's Informational Guide

To learn more about what to expect during the cross country season and how to prepare for practice and competitions, please review the parent's guide linked below.

Parent's Guide: CLICK HERE

Team Code of Conduct

Each team members as well as one of their parents/guardians must sign and submit to the team coach the code of conduct form below.

Code of Conduct: CLICK HERE

Coach & Staff Bios



O'Neil Wright, Youth Team Sprints & Jumps Coach

After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2004, O'Neil Wright worked as an assistant coach at his alma mater, helping propel four of his athletes to All-American status. He went on to coach at the high school level, where five of his athletes earned conference championship titles and eight claimed school records. At Augsbrug University and Winston State University, Wright helped his teams win four conference titles, coached 11 individual conference champions and seven All-Americans. As a professional athlete, Wright represented Jamaica at the 2008 Olympic Games as well as the 2005 and 2007 World Championships. Wright joined the Atlanta Track Club Track & Field Youth Team staff in 2019.

Eric Heintz, Director of High Performance

During his thirteen year tenure as Marist School's head track and field and cross country coach, Eric Heintz led his teams to win a total of 24 GHSA state championships. Marist athletes also secured 32 individual GHSA State Championships during this time. Also a history teacher at Marist, Heintz received the 2017 Goizueta Chair of Excellence recognizing innovative teaching, high standards of professional development, promotion of cross-curricular understanding and global interest and involvement in student extracurricular activities.


Justin Gaymon, Youth Programming Manager

While at the University of Georgia, Justin Gaymon captured three SEC 400m hurdle titles and was a three-time All-American. He went on to compete on the professional circuit, finishing fourth and fifth during the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Trials, respectively. Justin has been a youth team program manager since 2018.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What will athletes do during a typical practice?

A: Athletes will begin each practice by running warm up laps, followed by stretching, active drills and running their workouts.

Q: What should athletes wear to practice?

A: During warm days, athletes should wear shorts and a t-shirt/singlet to practice. During cold days, athletes should wear layers. Bring warm athletic attire to wear during their warm ups with shorts and a t-shirt underneath to wear during the workouts.

Q: Who can join Atlanta Track Club Youth Team?

A: Atlanta Track Club Youth Team is open to all middle school age kids (11-14) who have an interest in being part of a competitive cross country and/or track & field team. The team includes a wide variety of ability levels, from beginner runners to state championship title contenders. Team members train with those who are close to their ability level to encourage a positive, competitive practice experience for all.

Q: What are the competition age divisions?

A: Youth competitions typically take place in two-year age divisions. These age divisions provide young athletes the opportunity to compete with other athletes of similar ability. The 2019 USA Track & Field age divisions are 9-10 (3K), 11-12 (3K), 13-14 (4K), 15-16 (5K), and 17-18 (5K).

Q: Will Atlanta Track Club provide travel to and from practice and competitions for athletes?

A: Travel for practices and competitions must be provided by the parent or guardian.

Q: How can parents/guardians stay informed?

A: During the season, team members' parents/guardians will receive weekly emails from their child's coach including information on upcoming workouts and competitions. Parents/guardians will also have access to the team's Facebook group page, which will include team photos and information on a range of topics including nutrition and recovery best practices.

Q: How can parents/guardians support the team?

A: Parents/guardians are encouraged to support the youth team by cheering on athletes during practice and competitions, assisting coaches during practice (starting athletes, resetting field event standards, etc.) and volunteering with meets (raking sand pits, distributing race numbers, etc.)

Q: What kind of shoes should team members wear to practice and competitions?

A: Team members should wear running shoes during practice and competition warm ups. Spikes are recommended during certain practice workouts and competitions. Most running shoes are fine for sprinters and distance runners to wear, as long as they fit comfortably, but sprinters should wear sprint spikes and distance runners should wear distance spikes. We recommend visiting your local specialty running store and speaking with an employee to learn more about what running shoes and spikes would be best for your child.

Q: What are the qualifying standards for the regular and postseason cross country meets?

A: There are no qualifying standards for regular season meets including the Georgia Middle School State Championships. The top 30 athletes and top five teams from the Georgia Middle School State Championships qualify for USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic XC Championships. The top 30 athletes and top five teams from USATF Georgia Association Junior Olympic XC Championships qualify for USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic XC Championships. The top 30 athletes and top four teams from USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic XC Championships qualify for USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.