· What is the Oregon Track Club (OTC) Youth Cross Country program?
The OTC Youth Cross Country program is designed to fuel kids’ excitement and love for running. The goal is to give many more kids in the Eugene-Springfield and surrounding areas the opportunity to participate in this historic club, and be part of Eugene’s worldwide fame as TrackTown USA. It blends one of the area’s existing successful clubs, Shamrock, as well as adds a new outreach to the Springfield area, all under the OTC banner. The club will offer two different training locations, but will have an emphasis on “one team” through different events during the season. A particularly unique aspect of the program will be that, in addition to regular coaching staff, the youth athletes will receive encouragement and coaching from “special guest” coaches, including OTC Elite runners and other local celebrity runners.
· Is this a competitive team/program?
Yes, this is a competitive team but all skill and experience levels are welcome. Beginners are very welcome and racing is never required.
· What is your training philosophy for kids?
We believe kids should run, but we also believe they should play basketball, soccer, baseball, gymnastics and just overall be active. Our program has two scheduled runs/practices per week and an optional weekend run. This allows the kids to see fitness gains while still providing time to do other sports or activities. Running is a lifelong sport, we emphasize gradual steps in their progression. Kids will have training group and run an age-appropriate amount, regardless of skill. We would rather have kids hungry for more, rather than over doing it.
What is the age range to join the club?
Kids 8-14 years old can join the program, train and compete in the races.
· How long is the season?
The full season will run August 27th- December 5th:
September - October: consists of local developmental youth meets on Saturdays and/or a weekday. Some athletes may opt for this shorter season.
November - December 5th: includes USATF state, regional and national level meets on Saturdays. The regional meet is held each November and alternates between
Oregon and Washington, while the national meet is in early December and changes locations each year.
Participation in meets always optional.
*Those athletes who attend a school with a cross country program are encouraged to compete with their school’s team and may join the OTC youth program after their school season finishes in mid-to-late October.
· Where do you practice, and how many days per week?
The club offers 2 different training locations (Eugene/Sheldon Community Track and Springfield/Doris Ranch). We will meet Tuesday/Thursday evenings with an optional all-OTC youth run on Sundays, 3:00pm at Alton Baker Park. OTC youth athletes may choose to practice at either of the 2 training locations for convenience. Practice time will be determined by coaches at each training location.
· Can I join anytime during the fall season?
Kids can join the club throughout the bulk of the season. We will open online registration on August 1, and it will remain open until the November 1st.
· How much does it cost and how do I sign up?
The registration fee for the Youth Cross Country team is $120 per athlete or $240 maximum per family (2 or more children). Included in this fee is an OTC youth membership.
Optional Costs include purchase of the team singlet for $30 and team jacket/warm-up for $40. Families are also responsible for travel to all meets.
To register, click here.
· Do OTC members get a discount for their children?
If your child or family is already an OTC member, the registration fee is $100 per athlete or $200 maximum per family (2 or more children)
· Are scholarships available?
We never want finances to prevent an athlete from joining our program. We do have a need-based scholarship fund to help off-set the cost. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Does volunteering for this program count as hours for OTC members?
Yes, if you are an OTC adult member, and sign up to volunteer for this program through coaching, meet set up, etc. this does count as OTC volunteer hours and counts towards your annual pass to the Nike Company Store. For more information on areas where help is needed, click here.
· Will coaches be trained in “SafeSport” and have background checks?
Yes, all coaches who work with youth as coaches must complete the SafeSport program and will be required to have a mandatory background check.
· Is track offered in the spring?
OTC Youth only offers cross country in the fall. However, there are many opportunities in the spring to compete on the track in OTC All Comer Meets. For more information, click here.