If I was 25 years younger and had visions of becoming an Olympic track athlete, it would be fairly easy to decide where and with whom I should train – The Miami Northwest Express Track Club, under the amazing leadership of Coach Jesse Holt.
For the past 34 years, the Miami-Dade track club has been finding, cultivating, and guiding youngsters to excel not only in athletics but also in life.
On a recent Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of attending the club’s Annual Awards Breakfast. It is a time to recognize all the boys and girls in the club for their focus and dedication to the team. It’s also the moment when Coach Holt reminds the youngsters that they can get as much out of the experience as they are willing to put in: regular training, following the rules, remaining dedicated to their education, keeping their grades up, and having fun while working toward a set goal.
Throughout the morning festivities, the young athletes were reminded of the value of team spirit; of the opportunities to earn scholarships that can help them work towards a successful future, on and off the track.
One young athlete is a shining example of a “work in progress.” Robyn Reynolds is a student at William H. Turner Technical Arts High School.
But this season, she will be running for Jackson High School. As she starts her high school career, she is already ranked number one in the United States in the 400 meters and the 200 meters! She is a young woman to watch!
Remember the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China? Well, a number of Northwest alum ran for the U.S., representing not only our country but also South Florida. Bershawn Jackson, better known to his fans and followers as “Batman,” got his career start with Northwest. You may remember watching Jackson speed into Olympic history claiming a bronze medal for the 400-meter Team USA hurdles.
I was lucky enough to be in Beijing and celebrate with Jackson and his friends and family that night. Coach Holt was there too! Jackson had flown him to Beijing to watch him race in the Olympics and bring home a medal.
Jackson has moved on to train with other coaches and strive for even higher levels of athletic success over the years; he has never been far from his roots and the support and guidance of Coach Holt. Not only did Jackson impart to the next generation of track stars the importance of staying focused and disciplined, he also gave back; ordering Nike Uniforms for all of the children of the Northwest Express Track Club team.
It seems Coach Holt and his runners are off to a great season!
For more information on the Northwest Express Track Club, contact Coach Jesse Holt at 305-836-2409. For more information on Bershawn Jackson at the Summer Olympics, follow the link below: www.nbc6.net/entertainment/17233598/detail.html
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Coach of the Year winner Brandy Dames, left, coach Jesse Holt, center, and Julia Yarbough, right.