The Hercules Running Rebels youth track and field club had strong representation at the AAU West Coast Junior Olympic Games Track and Field/Multi-Event Championships held in Reno last weekend and came away with equally impressive results.

The club, which is based in Hercules and includes children from Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano counties, had 39 of its 45 athletes competing in the meet. Of those, 33 qualified in at least one event for the National Junior Olympics that start at the end of this month in New Orleans.

Girls in the program's bantam division relay team took a silver medal in the 100 meter and the boys bantam relay team won gold in the meet at Reed High School. The Rebels' 400-meter youth division relay team won also won silver and the 100-meter youth girls relay team did well enough to qualify for the New Orleans meet with a top eight finish.

Individual events saw 16 Rebel entries in the 100-meter run take medals and qualify for nationals, along with seven in the 200 meter run, one in the 800-meter run, one in the 110-meter high hurdles, 12 in the long jump and two in the discus and shot put.

The Running Rebels aren't completely focused on medals, however. The parent volunteer-run track team for youngsters ages 5 to 14 emphasizes community service and academics, as well as a focus on physical fitness that so many young people don't receive. Our athletes are responsible, respectable, dedicated people who Advertisement are developing skills needed in life as adults, says club parent Anna Armstrong.

What makes it go is a dedicated group of parents providing coaching, guidance and support to the scholar athletes at each age level.

The club has raised funds to send its large contingent to the national competition set for July 30 to Aug. 6 in New Orleans, but could always use donations and or sponsors, Armstrong notes. The club can be contacted at rrtrackclub@gmail.com or anajoce@aol.com, or search Hercules Running Rebels on Facebook.