July 1, 2011 – Flight101 Jets Qualify 29 Local Athletes to Nationals
Over the Fourth of July weekend, the Flight101 Jets traveled to Wittenberg University in Springfield OH to compete in the AAU Region 6A Track and Field Regional Championship Meet. Competing against athletes from Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, New Jersey and the rest of Ohio, the Jets qualified in 30 individual events and 4 relays. The Jets were led by gold medal performances in the sprints by Tobias Evans (Jackson Memorial Middle School) Chaneece Hall (Canton Elementary), Megan Mayle (Canton) in the high Jump and Alex Walls (Stow) in the Javelin. The Bantam Girls 4x100m relay team of Aniyah Hall, J’za Skinner, Vanessa Sales and Chaneece Hall and Youth Boys 4×100 with DeMarlo Fields, Razul Young, Malik Campbell and Tobias Evens also took first place.
This is the 4th consecutive year that the Jets have qualified 25 or more athletes to Nationals. The Jets will be joining thousands of athletes in New Orleans in a variety of sports ranging from Track and Field to Beach Volleyball all vying for the opportunity to be crowned National Champion.
The high school track and field season crossed the finish line with last week’s state meet, but some Stark County athletes remained on the run Saturday, with lots of company.
Some of the faces from the Columbus crowd were back at it during the Lake Erie District AAU Track and Field Championships at Malone University.
The group included Imani Bush, Taylor Thompkins and Sydney Vaughn of Canton South, who joined Katie Mokros of Central Catholic in a 400-meter relay, this time as Flight101 Jets Youth Track and Field Club teammates.
Adjustments had to made.
“We had to learn the handoffs,” Bush said.
The team adjusted well enough to advance to the AAU regional meet set for June 30 to July 3 at Wittenberg University.
“We look forward to hopefully making it to nationals,” Thompkins said.
The meet comes on the heels of a banner weekend for Stark County at the state meet.
Thompkins’ older brother, Eric, was part of the parade to the awards stand, finishing second in the Division II 200 meters and third in the 100. Eric Thompkins didn’t run Saturday, but he was on hand to support his sister and to greet other athletes. He especially liked mixing with the grade-school runners.
“It feels good helping kids that might be in my shoes one day,” he said.
“He’s been an inspiration,” Taylor Thompkins said. “I had been looking forward to having a season with him, and he’s just been an encouragement.”
Thompkins and her Stark County teammates mingled with hundreds of athletes and supporters from northern Ohio and parts of Illinois, Michigan and Indiana.
Athletes as young as age 6 and as old as 18 took over the Malone campus for nearly eight hours.
A city of small tents was pitched across the north end of the sun-baked Malone track. Concession stands hawked Italian sausage and pizza, giving the qualifying meet — in Canton for the first time in a long time — a fair-like feel.
One of the younger runners finished a race and was spotted shortly afterward with a big bowl of vanilla ice cream.
As the meet began to heat up, the crowd watched Canton’s Jacques Edwards earn the best preliminary time in the young adult division of the men’s 100.
Edwards, who just completed his junior year at Timken, happily found out he did well shortly after competition came to a close.
He checked the results posted on a dormitory near the track and declared, “Man … I had the best time.”
Edwards clocked in at 11.53, just ahead of McKinley’s Elijah Beach, who finished with the second-best time, 11.62.
Edwards and Beach will be back at it today in the 100 finals. The second and final day of the meet begins at 8 a.m.
“We’re going to show how much all of our hard work has paid off,” Edwards said.
Beach also won Saturday’s 110 hurdles with a time of 15.41.
June 6, 2011 – SCOPP Youth Development Program HostDistrict Track and Field Championships
Canton OH – The Flight101 Jets Youth Track and Field Club
Organized in 1981, the Lake Erie AAU District is comprised of the twenty two counties (22) in Northern Ohio, which includes Ashland, Ashtabula, Belmont, Columbiana, Crawford, Cuyahoga, Erie, Geauga, Huron, Jefferson, Lake, Lorain, Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Richland, Seneca, Stark, Summit, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Wayne. Because this meet is the first step to qualify for the AAU National Junior Olympic Championships later this summer in New Orleans, we anticipate between 700-800 athletes from the Lake Erie District as well as Michigan, Illinois and Indiana will be coming to Canton to compete in this 2 day event.
The registration deadline for the Lake Erie District Championships is Thursday, June 8th. The online entry fee is $18.00 per athlete payable on-line at http://www.coacho.com. The event is sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) of the U.S., Inc. and all participants must have a current AAU membership and must be obtained before registering for the event. Participants are encouraged to visit the AAU website http://www.aausports.org to obtain their membership.
With nearly 100 youngsters on our current roster, the Flight101 Track and Field Club is a youth development program of the Stark County Out of Poverty Partnership, (SCOPP). Now in our 25th season, the Flight101 Youth Track and Field Club, is open to youth ages 5-18 years old from all over Stark County. It is the mission of is the Flight101, through participation in organized athletics, to help young athletes develop their fullest potential regardless of athletic ability. Potential not limited to athletic achievement but to help young athletes develop their potential physically, psychologically, socially and academically.
Each year we recognize our athletes for their achievement in the classroom and in 2010 we honored 22 of our members as “High Flying Scholars” with GPAs of 3.0 or better and 12 of our graduating seniors went on to continue their education in colleges and universities around the country. One of our most distinguished alumni, Shawn Watson from Alliance, was recently inducted into the NCAA Division III Track and Field Hall of Fame.