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The Young Runners program is open to children from age 5 1/2 through 10 (as of July 1) who meet from 5:30 - 6:35 pm or from 6:50 - 7:55 pm two nights a week (usually Monday and Wednesday). The focus is on having fun, getting exercise, and learning new skills. Many children build their self-confidence from participating in the program.

Children are divided across several teams (Red Racers, Purple Power, Lime Lasers, Yellow Spark, Orange Flame, Royal Rockets) identified by a personalized T-shirt provided each child. Children convene in age groups with a focus on sprinting and field events, distance running and field events, or just distance running. Each small group may have 13-16 children on a given evening. NOTE: All children with the same color shirt will be close in age. This is different from previous summers.

During the first two sessions of the season, children get training in several fundamental areas: running technique, hurdling technique, high jumping, long jumping, throwing (shot put, softball throw, turbo jav), and starting technique.

During the rest of the season, we have practice sessions and meet days (see
schedule) that typically include:
  • Attendance, stretching, and warm up
  • Four events that vary from age group to age group from night to night
-- individual running / hurdle event (50, 100, 200, 400, cross country)
-- relay or other team event
-- field event (long jump, high jump, shot put, standing LJ, softball throw, turbo jav,...)
-- special fun event (tug of war, orange race, jumping race, etc.)
  • Team results and popsicle
  • Optional post session ribbon run
Note that on any given night, an age group could have more or fewer of the category of events used in this example. Children typically receive 4-5 ribbons per night (one per event and one for team finish). On special nights, children may win a medal or trophy. Each session is optional and designed to stand alone so that missing a session or sessions will not be a problem.

NOTE: Upon request, children age 9-10 to move up to the
Cyclone Program.
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Primary Program Directors

John Hrones and Michelle Geddes direct the program.

During his 30+ years with NYTC, John has revolutionized the program, adding to its scope and diversity and introducing significant new meets and popular innovations seen nowhere else. During his tenure, the Summer Program has become a national model and recognized leader in what such a program can be in its contribution to families and the community. John is a certified USATF Level 1 Coach.

Michelle Young Geddes was originally a participant in the NYTC Summer Program. Michelle was a Hershey National Finalist for 2 years, a standout star at Needham High, and an All-Ameican at Middlebury College. She has been a Head Coach of NYTC's Cross Country, Winter, and Spring track programs. Michelle is a certified USATF Level 1 Coach.
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