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Pacers head to prestigious championship

Off to Tennessee: the Bermuda Pacers team will compete at the AAU Cross Country Championship this weekend. From left, Maximilian Reid, Jaelyn Grant, Jaeda Grant, Kahzi Sealey, Ellise Dickinson, Ryan Outerbridge and Jace Donawa (Photograph by Clevonte Lodge)

Seven youngsters from the Bermuda Pacers Track Club will become the first athletes from the club to compete in the American Athletics Union Cross Country Nationals in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Ryan Outerbridge will lead the team, which also includes Kahzi Sealey, Jace Donawa, Jaelyn Grant, Maximilian Reid, Jaeda Grant and Ellise Dickinson.

Outerbridge will compete in the 15-16 boys’ five-kilometre race, while Sealey will run in the 13-14 boys 4km and Donawa, Jaelyn Grant and Reid in the 11-12 boys 3km.

Jaeda Grant and Dickinson are entered in the 9-10 girls’ 3km. The squad, which leaves today, will be accompanied by Pacers’ distance coaches Jerome Richards and Gina Evans, head coach Cal Simons and club coach Freddie Evans.

The AAU Championships will take place at Victor Ashe Park, attracting more than 1,000 athletes between the ages of 6 and 18.

“The club has been looking for a cross country event for several years and we felt this event was a great opportunity to test the level of the club’s top distance runners,” Simons said.

The event is also timely for the youngsters with the National Cross Country Championships being held at Clearwater Beach next Saturday.

“For Outerbridge and Sealey, it’s an important event as it assists them as they prepare for the 2019 Carifta Games,” Simons added.

“The athletes have worked extremely hard during the cross country season and competed regularly in the Bermuda National Athletics Association’s Cross Country Series.”

Simons also gave credit to Freddie Evans, who was instrumental in getting the Pacers youngsters to the Nationals in Tennessee, as well as those parents who supported the club and the athletes. The team will compete on Saturday and return on Sunday.