October 23, 2009

Smokey Myrick Running Club serves as a model

Smokey Myrick Running Club serves as a model

By MARVIN BAKER
EDITOR
Hockey great Wayne Gretzky has often said had it not been for an outstanding youth hockey program in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario, he would have never become a legend.
The same holds true for the Smokey Myrick Running Club in Parshall.
The running club is an excellent program that teaches young kids how to run, how to stretch, how to breathe while they are running and many other aspects of running competitively. It also gives them an edge when they become high school students and compete on that level, often bringing area runners from Parshall, New Town, White Shield and Mandaree top scores in high school races.
“We have cross country in the fall and track in the spring,” said coach Angie Elison. “We also try to teach the kids the importance of stretching and proper technique. Almost all of the kids can name the muscle we are stretching when we warm up, so they are learning anatomy as well. Even though we don’t train year round, we stress that great athletes never take a “break” from their training in the hopes they will continue some form of trainnig on their own.”
It’s that type of youth program that Ken Wells Sr. should be proud of. Wells, who began the Smokey Myrick Running Club in 2001, started the fledgling program by teaching his own kids how to run. It didn’t take long for others kids in the community to ask Wells if they could join and learn something about running.
This unique running club in North Dakota has been coached by four people and typically sees 25 kids of elementary age participating each year. It is named after high school runner Smokey Myrick, who was killed in an auto accident at 15. Myrick, the son of Lynette Dixon and Joe Myrick, had a reputation as being an positive role model and excellent runner.
Elison has been working with the kids since 2006. She, along with Jason Two Crow and Lori Severance, are the other coaches. Elison agrees that this club not only gets young kids started in competitive sports in a positive way, it also teaches them life-long goals.
But what’s in it for the kids, who can join as early as the second grade and can compete through the sixth grade.
 


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