Atlanta Track Club Youth Team
About Atlanta Track Club Youth TeamFounded in 2017, Atlanta Track Club Youth Team represents the competitive arm of the Club's youth running programs. Kids in grades 4-8 of all ability and experience levels from the Atlanta area are welcome to join the team during the spring Track & field, winter Speed Academy, and fall Cross Country seasons. The team's coaching philosophy focuses on long term development and incremental growth while creating an environment that encourages athletes to display sportsmanship, set goals, develop an enthusiasm for the sport, and learn health and wellness knowledge that can aid them throughout life.
Atlanta Track Club Youth Team Options
|Regular Season Dates
|August 14-October 14, 2023
|October 10-December 9, 2023
|Brook Run Park (Dunwoody) & Piedmont Park (Midtown)
|November 28- February 8, 2024
|Marist School & Peachtree Middle School
|Track & Field
|February 12- April 20, 2024
|April 15 - June 29, 2024
|North Springs High School & Cheney Stadium (Summerhill)
Mike Brown - Head Track & Field and Speed Academy Coach, Assistant Cross Country Coach
Coach Brown is a graduate of Villanova University, where he was an All-American and National Champion in the DMR (400) and captain of the track team while specializing in the 400-meter hurdles. He moved to Atlanta in 2005 to train at Georgia Tech and continue his post-collegiate career. Coach Brown has made several appearances at the USATF National Championships with a few U.S. top 15 rankings in the 400 hurdles. On top of Coach Brown's many personal accomplishments, he has 20+ years of track & field coaching at the youth, high school, and collegiate levels. When he is not coaching he is working as the President of Dream Scouting Network which assists high school student-athletes through the recruiting process. Outside of the running world, he is married and has four kids. He can be found on a track coaching or on a soccer field cheering for his kids.
Antonio Abney- Assistant Speed Academy and Track & Field Coach
Antonio Abney is a Graduate of Saint Augustine University. At Saint Augustine's University, he accumulated 17 All-American accolades, 6 Nationals Championships, and a Division-II National Record in the 4x400. Coach Abney now resides in Georgia with his wife and three children. When he is not coaching, he works as an operations supervisor, personal trainer, and wellness coach. Overall, Coach Abney enjoys helping others through fitness and emotional intelligence. He strives to find the correct balance between mind, body, and spirit, as he believes it is an essential step in functional fitness.
Stephen Jayaraj- Head Cross Country and Assistant Track & Field Coach
Coach Jayaraj comes to the Atlanta Track Club from Holy Innocents' Episcopal, where he was the Director of Track and Field and Cross Country for the past 13 years. His teams have won two State Championships (Girls XC) and (Boys TF) as well as eight Region Championships in TF and XC. His student-athletes have broken countless distance records previously held at HIE. He has instilled in all his student-athletes a love and passion for running. In his prime, Coach Jayaraj ran 31:19 for 10,000 meters, a 4:18 road Mile along with personal bests of 1:10:28 and 2:26:52 for the half and full marathon, respectively.
Parent's Information Guide
To learn more about what to expect during the cross country season and how to prepare for practice and competitions, please review the team parent's guide click here
Team Code of Conduct
Each team member as well as one of their parents/guardians must sign and submit the code of conduct form to the team's coach click here
Youth Team Accomplishments
Since 2017 Atlanta Track Club Youth Team members have recorded
- 3 USATF Georgia Association Individual Champions
- 5 USATF Georgia Association Team Champions
- 3 USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Individual Champions
- 2 USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Team Champions
- 22 Top 3 Team Finishes at USATF Georgia Association and Regional Championships
- 107 USATF National Junior Olympic Qualifiers
Track and Field
- 5 USATF Georgia Association Individual Champions
- 2 USATF Georgia Association Relay Champions
- 3 USATF Region 4 Junior Olympic Individual Champions
- 18 USATF National Qualifiers
Frequently Asked Questions
What will athletes do during a typical practice?
What should athletes wear to practice?
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 warmups with shorts and a t-shirt underneath to wear during the workouts.
Who can join Atlanta Track Club Youth Team?
Atlanta Track Club Youth Team is open to all kids in grades 4-8 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. Please note, some events restrict students in grades 4 and 5 from competing.
What are the competition age divisions?
Postseason 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 USA Track & Field age divisions are 9-10 (3K), 11-12 (3K), 13-14 (4K), 15-16 (5K), and 17-18 (5K). Regular season competitions are typically not divided by age.
Will Atlanta Track Club provide travel to and from practice and competitions for athletes?
Travel for practices and competitions must be provided by the parent or guardian.
How can parents/guardians stay informed?
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.
How can parents/guardians support the team?
Parents/guardians are encouraged to support the youth team by cheering on athletes during practice and competitions. Team volunteer opportunities will be included in the weekly team emails.
What kind of shoes should team members wear to practice and competitions?
Team members should wear running shoes during practice and competition warmups. Spikes are recommended during certain practice workouts and competitions, which will be indicated by the team's coach. 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. During competitions, team members should wear their team uniforms and team t-shirt.
What are the qualifying standards for the regular and postseason cross country meets?
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.
What's your refund policy?
Atlanta Track Club does not offer refunds for Youth Team once the season begins. The policy is in place to cover staff resourcing and planning for the season. An exception to this no refund policy exists if it is requested two weeks or more prior to the start date. In this event, a partial refund (not including processing fees) will be issued. Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.