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Department of Speed setting pace
by Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
July 10, 2013 12:09 PM | 1848 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Department of Speed Track & Field Club, based out of Alpharetta, has helped young athletes throughout the region increase their agility, improve speed and develop levels of endurance that may be translated into any sport. Founded four years ago by Sean Vanhorse and DL Warfield to help their sons prepare for their upcoming season in the Alpharetta Youth Football Association, the club has since evolved into an organization that has been racing competitively as a track club for two successful years.

“We would invite kids that we knew were hard workers and compete in various drills,” said Warfield. “Parents started to see what we were doing but there were too many kids who weren’t committed to track. We created the club with former coaches at the Alpharetta YMCA where track and field was the priority for student athletes.”

The club holds practices at various facilities such as the Milton Center, Alpharetta High School and Cambridge High School. Numerous All-State and All-America athletes recognized by USA Track & Field have come through the club. It had 18 athletes participate in the USATF Regional competition held in Orlando, Fla. in June. Eight athletes from the club will compete at the AAU National Qualifiers in Detroit starting on July 26 including Dakota Warfield, javelin and discus, Kevin Watkins, javelin and 400-meter dash, Gerard Hearst, 100-meter dash and long jump, Trinity Marshall, 100-meter dash and long jump, Audrey Bergert, 100, 200 and 400-meter dash and Solomon Vanhorse, 200-meter hurdles.

Incoming Centennial freshman Garrison Ramey will run in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter hurdles while Alpharetta high school alumnus and future Auburn University student Zach Gunnz will participate in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dash events at the same competition.

“Track and field is the foundation of all sports,” stated Warfield. “The speed endurance you receive from track training can help put you several steps ahead. We place emphasis on teaching athletes how to run right first and the speed comes next.”

The club still provides speed and agility training sessions for the young athletes at all levels who also gain mental benefits from the intense atmosphere.

“The young athletes develop a big sense of courage and pride with having to compete against other kids by themselves,” said Warfield. “They get immediate feedback on how hard they worked the week before. We hope that sense of achievement is something that will be carried off the track and apply it to everything that they do in life.”
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