Top cross country runners from Sunnyslope, Moon Valley, Glendale, and Independence High Schools are used to racing against each other during the high school season. But after the high school season is over, these athletes unite as one team for the Glendale Flash Running Club.
The runners practice together three days a week to push each other to new levels of athletic heights. As a team, the Glendale Flash competes as part of the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic Cross Country program.
In November, the team competed at the state level in Tuba City, placing first. This qualified the Glendale Flash to race at the regional level against Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and borderland Texas. The team placed second at the regional level.
The team recently traveled to Albuquerque, N.M., to compete at the Junior Olympic National Cross Country Championships where it placed sixth as a team against runners from across the country over the 5,000-meter course. Sunnyslope junior Alex Bates turned in the best individual result for the team, finishing in 16th place and being named 3rd team All Nation.
These athletes will now take some time off from training to allow their bodies to rest before returning to the club to prepare for their high school track season, where they will go from being teammates back to being rivals, but remaining friends.
Glendale Flash is a USA Track & Field sponsored club for youth athletes ages 6 to 18. The club competes as part of the Junior Olympic racing series for cross country in the winter and track & field in the summer. More information about the club and the teams experience at nationals can be found at www.glendaleflash.webs.com.