COLUMBUS, Ga. — The West Georgia Jets is a club track and field team that has been sweeping the state since 2011. Marcus McGinty, head coach for the Jets says they have had an athlete compete in the national tournament every year since they’ve started.
“We actually compete in USATF which is the same league that the professional athletes compete in. But there’s also another youth league we joined this year called AAU,” says McGinty.
McGinty and his staff don’t just train high school kids either. Ages range from 5-18 years. And don’t be fooled by the number, these kids are fast. Seven year old Patrick Newton qualified for the Regionals in long jump but loves competing in the 200 meter sprint.
“Well that’s my best race. My best time is 31:68,” said Newton.
Can you imagine getting a bunch of 5-10 year olds out on the track 3 days a week for hours on end competitively training?
Well McGinty says it all comes down to their drive and determination.
“One thing about track and field is that there is no defense. So you have to dig within yourself,” said McGinty.
There is no doubt they are giving it their all. There is no spring break off and there is no summer off. They’re out here three days a week putting in the work.
And it’s paid off for the Jets. they are sending three relay teams, several long jumpers and one shot putter to Regionals. All hoping to add a second or third national championship trophy to the collection.
The team is leaving for Jacksonville, Florida this Thursday for the Regionals where they will compete from the 7-9th in the USATF. As for the 8 year olds and under, they are going to Orlando where they will compete in the AAU division.