Local youth runners to compete in Florida

Steve Derderian

When he formed the Falmouth Track Club’s Youth Track & Cross Country team five years ago, coach Ken Gartner said he thought it would “almost be impossible” to have a full group qualify and run as a team in the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics Nationals in cross country.

Gartner now coaches about 25 kids and has only previously sent individuals to nationals.

But after Gartner formed what he calls a “Cape All-Star Team,” impossible became possible as a team of five local 11-to-12-year-old runners will join an estimated 3,000 athletes racing at the national meet today in Tallahassee, Florida.

This group will compete in the boys 11-12 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) race at 11:30 a.m. Gartner’s son Henry, 12, is on the team with Mashpee’s Tyler Theodore, 12, and Dennis’ Will Crowell, 11, Jackson Duarte, 12, and Nick Terranova, 12.

“It’s a good reward for all their hard work,” Ken Gartner said. “You don’t want to get too into it. Essentially the goal is to qualify for the nationals. How you do down there isn’t all that important.”

Brad Crowell, who coaches with Gartner and Monomoy coach Justin Torrellas, used to be in charge of the Wixon Middle School program. He said he noticed the kids with exceptional talent and collaborated with Gartner to help give Falmouth Track Club a competitive edge.

“I wanted to find something for them to do beyond locally,” Crowell said. “Falmouth is the only show in town.”

The team works out collectively once per week, but Will Crowell said getting to run with talented athletes just makes him better.

“They’re fun to run with,” he said. “It helps to have somebody to train with.”

The team qualified for nationals by finishing as a top-five team in

Read More Here...