Friday, June 25, was a picture perfect day in Milwaukee. The blue skies and warmth of the sun were a great escape from the storms and rainy weather that had been a fixture in Southern Wisconsin during the week. The quietness of the area surrounding Milwaukee King High School was only interupted by the music coming from the Good Humor Ice Cream truck that was patroling the neighborhood. All that changed at 6:30 PM as adults using the track for walking and jogging were replaced by a large group of athletes of all age ranges.
The young athletes who converged on the Milwaukee King track were there for a practice of the Milwaukee Mustang track club. State Meet veterans were intermixed with youngsters who are working to be the 'stars of tomorrow' in Wisconsin track and field. Parents looked on as their children were trained by Mustang coaches. The athletes were divided into age groups. The emphasis of the night was on relay exchanges. The Mustangs train three nights a week during the summer. The Mustangs were preparing for the Wisconsin AAU Meet at Carroll College on June 27.
A few key figures were missing from the Mustangs. Mustang coach Ray Hale and Dezerea Bryant [Milwaukee Bradley Technical] were at the USA TF National Meet held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Bryant qualified for the USA Junior International Team. Result 100m. result 200m.
Coach Aberdeen Morton [above] works with some of the younger athletes while coach Todd Williams [below] starts building the fundamentals of relay exchanges.
Coach Damon Howard [above] worked with the older athletes. Coach Howard used a mirror to help athletes 'see' their mistakes and to improve running techniques. Coach Ken Myatt [below left] had recently completed his Level 1 USA TF coaching certification by completing USA TF training at Northwestern University. Coach Angelina Williams [below right, white shirt] sets up a drill with the younger athletes.
Athletes who have competed against each other during the school year get a chance to share memories and compete for the same team in summer competition.
At the Brookfield East Sectional and at La Crosse during the State Meet Milwaukee Bradley Technical and Sussex Hamilton participated in classic relay races. Below left: Sussex Hamilton's Danielle Barbian [left] practices relay baton exchanges with Milwaukee Bradley Technical's Tahje Whittley [right]. Whittley is pictured below center during warmup drills. UPDATE_ 4x1 Relay at AAU Junior Olympics at Norfolk State University. Day 6 and 7, Day 8.
Above left: Tahje Wittley hands off to Danielle Barbian. Relay teams practiced handoffs on the turns and on the straight-aways.
Below: Track athletes taking advantage of ideal weather to prepare for their meet at Carroll College on Sunday, June 27.