Most good athletes in their teens these days focus their talents on football, basketball and baseball. Some, however, even those involved in those other sports, are also concentrating on track and field, especially this summer.
That's thanks in large part to the Panhandle Track Club, which provides with an opportunity to remain in peak condition year round.
"We have a lot of fast and great athletes here in Bay County and during the summer most of them don't have anything to do, and the Panhandle Track Club and other programs like this are good opportunities to keep them in shape and get them ready for the fall, if they play in a fall sport."
The club also allows kids to compete in track at the state and national levels. In fact, eight Bay County athletes placed in the top 4 or better at the AAU State Track Meet in Orlando last weekend. Now those individuals and relay teams are headed to Knoxville in late July for the National Championships in a variety of events, from the 100 meter dash to the 400 meter hurdles.
"I want to win in the hurdles definitely, then you know in any of the relays, that would be great, but I know if we run our best times we'll place pretty good in all of them, but I'm aiming for winning nationals in hurdles."
He's not the only one, more and more kids are competing and even middle school athletes are getting involved.
"Usually we didn't have this many people come, but this year we've had a really good turnout of people and they all seem to be real good, we got a couple of young people coming from Jenks and all and we got a pretty good squad this year."
This squad hopes to bring home a couple of national titles this summer and in the future. The club needs financial help in traveling to nationals. If interested, call 814-8443.