In the track club’s first year in existence, they brought home four medals.
By Jason Lewis
Track Diamond Track Club was established in 2017, and by the end of their first season of competition, they sent seven youth athletes to the USATF National Junior Olympics, held at North Carolina A&T State University.
“Honestly I was shocked, because I would never expect a youth program to get to that level that quick,” said club founder Alicia Ross. “Especially with four women coaches.”
Track Diamond athletes won four medals. Balen Wade won the gold medal in the 1,500 meter and a silver in the 800 meter in the age eight and under division. Christian Rodriguez won silver medals in the 1,500 meter and 800 meter in the age 15-16 division.
Also competing were Alexandria Williams in the 100 meter and 200 meter in the age 15-16 division, Jaylen Durham in the 100-meter hurdles and 200-meter hurdles in the age 13-14 division, Jordan Kincherlow in the 1,500 meter in the age 9-10 division, Caleb Gray in the 800 meter in the age 9-10 division, and Majik Taylor in the 800 meter in the age eight and under division.
Ross’ philosophy to get the most out of her athletes is to make the training fun for them, and she’s quickly getting great results.
“One of my athletes had never played sports at all,” she said. “The improvement that he made to make it all the way to the regionals was a shock to me. So I know this program is doing something.”
Ross’ experience as a track athlete has greatly helped her athletes. She was a sprinter at Hamilton High School before competing at West Los Angeles College. As a college athlete, she was a part of state champion teams in the 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay, and she made it to the state meet in both the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter hurdles. She started coaching after college while she was obtaining a BS degree and a Masters degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix.
Ross’ coaching staff also had successful track careers before they became coaches. Katrina Smith ran for Beverly Hills High School and then Washington State University. Eve Walker ran for Dorsey High School and West Los Angeles College. Stacey Callis is the team mother figure who has been instrumental to the program’s success.
Besides excelling on the track, Ross expects her athletes to do well academically.
“I’m strictly with grades,” she said. “I ran in college and went all the way to get my master’s. I’m always asking the kids about their grades, and they know that if their grades are not good, they won’t be able to run. So it’s something for them to strive for.”
Ross helps the children stay on the right academic and career track by having them create goal boards
“I want to know what are their goals, dreams, and their aspirations,” she said. “Just in case track doesn’t happen for them, what’s next for them? As they get older, I want to be able to look at their goals and see how much they’ve accomplished. And I want to be one of the coaches that helps them accomplish all of their goals.”
Track Diamond Track Club trains athletes ages four to 18. They mostly train at USC’s track stadium, and they also train at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Rancho Cienega Sports Complex, Kenneth Hahn Park, the Culver City Stairs, and at the beach.
Training for next season begins in December, but they are currently performing offseason training. This track program is a 501c3 non-profit organization, and they accept donations. For more information, visit www.trackdiamondtrackclubs.com, or call (310) 405-3616.
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