Nearly 30 local faculties have been enlisted by Atlanta Track Club to create cheer zones for runners competing within the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.
Bodies painted in pink, white and blue and faces plastered with momentary tattoos, Milton High School cross-country and monitor athletes will line the streets of downtown Atlanta in the course of the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials on February 29.
Milton’s group of 75 teens, alumni, and fogeys are among more than 100,000 spectators anticipated to attend the Trials. They will cheer as more than 700 Olympic hopefuls vie for six tickets to the Tokyo Games.
The course is particularly designed with viewers in mind. In reality, the loop course allows onlookers to catch a glimpse of their favored athletes as much as six occasions– from the identical spot on the course.
This configuration additionally ensures that Milton’s thunder-stick-clapping, fathead-sign-waving teens can make a good higher influence.
Milton High School, situated 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, is certainly one of almost 30 native high faculties enlisted to help a female and male runner competing in the Trials, stated Jay Holder, the Director of Marketing & Communications for Atlanta Track Club.
All runners who qualified for the Trials have been provided a personal highschool cheer squad. High faculty groups then ranked their prime contenders (of the athletes who opted in) throughout an Olympic Trials Marathon Athlete Draft. Milton’s group was assigned Kelsey Bruce and Brogan Austin.
“Having Milton on my team brings a little home field advantage to Atlanta,” stated Austin, who gained Road to Gold–an 8-mile preview of the Olympic Trials course–held in Atlanta in 2019. “Atlanta Track Club has pulled out all the stops for the Trials, and I’m excited to share the experience with everyone down there.”
In the weeks leading up to the 26.2-mile race, Milton athletes have gotten to know Bruce and Austin by posting and messaging them on social media. They also determined to help three-time Trials qualifier Ann Alyanak, whose niece is on the staff. Now, within the days leading up to the race, they are making ultimate preparations for his or her cheer station.
“All of the kids are fired up for the cheer zone,” stated Andy Carr, who serves as considered one of eight coaches for the group. “They get that this is a once-in-a-lifetime deal. They realize they may never be this connected to an event like this again.”
Several students have gotten notably close to the motion. Two even attended the official pre-event athlete press convention on February 27 and obtained to ask the elite athletes questions.
“The whole situation has been really neat. It’s been really fun getting the whole team together for this. We’ve all bonded a lot,” stated Audrey Nichols, a junior and considered one of six incoming captains for Milton’s Cross Country Team.
But the Trials weekend gained’t simply be spent cheering–Milton’s high schoolers may even have alternatives to compete. On February 29, simply hours before the Olympic Marathon Trials race, the workforce will take part in a 4 x 1 mile relay on the Trials course, stated Carr. The race, a element of the Atlanta Relays, will end on the identical line that Olympic hopefuls will cross solely hours later. The group will end with simply sufficient time to make it to their cheer zone.
“This is really meant to bring new fans to the sport of professional distance running and inspire high school runners to keep chasing their athletic goals, no matter what they may be,” stated Holder.
Athletic aspirations abound at Milton High School, the place with a scholar body inhabitants of 2,300, there are almost 200 runners on the cross-country staff.
“It’s cool to share what we are doing–nobody wants to do it alone and the more people that want to “ride” with you, the extra enjoyable and meaningful it’s,” stated Bruce, 27, who additionally competed within the 2016 Trials. “It’s also particularly cool because it is a high school group, which is where the majority of the competitors started to have realistic dreams. Hopefully I can encourage one of them to fearlessly pursue theirs.”