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Pacers athletes racking up the miles

Photo by Akil SimmonsTwo to watch: Ryan Outerbridge (left) and Jayden Ming are part of the Pacers team that will be competing in Philadelphia this weekend.

Bermuda Pacers Track Club athletes will be accumulating more frequent flyer miles when they head to Philadelphia today to compete in the tenth annual United Age Group Track Coaches Association’s Championships.

The team are competing at West Chester University’s John A Farrell Stadium this weekend, fresh from trips to Florida and Canada, and their travels don’t stop there. Next Wednesday 14 members of the squad they will head to the Russell E Blunt East Coast Invitational in North Carolina.

“This is the third of four [trips] but the big one is next week when the 40-plus athletes will go to the East Coast Invitational,” said Cal Simons, who will be coach of the team to Philadelphia.

This will be the fifth trip by the Pacers to this track meet which attracts more than 900 athletes from the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. Competition begins tomorrow and will finish on Sunday, by which time the team will have competed in 50 individual and two relay events.

“They’re pretty excited about it, compared to the group that went to Canada, this is a much more mature group,” said Simons of the team. “All of them, except Aaliya Fadda, have been to the East Coast and other meets in the past.

“They know the competition is going to be extremely high and will be a good test for them and what I consider a major warm-up for the East Coast where they normally have about 1,500 athletes.”

The trips have come at great expense for the club. “I want to praise the parents because it couldn’t happen without their support and the support from the public to the fundraising,” said the coach. “We’re extremely grateful for the support that we’ve received.”

The team to Philadelphia consists of many of the club’s older athletes, led by middle distance specialist Aaron Jacobs and sprinter Syriah Lottimore. Jacobs will compete in the 400, 800 and 1500 metres while Lottimore, who has been aboard at AMG Academy for the past year, will race in the 100 and 200 metres.

Other multi-event athletes are Asia Leigh Hollis who will compete in the nine and 10 girls 100 and 200 metres, and long jump, and Tesyah-Mahle Astwood and Selah Tuzo who will compete in the 11 and 12 girls 400, 800 and 1500 metre races.

Fadda, Zakayza Parsons and Koa Goodchild will compete in the 100, 200, 400 and long jump. The girls will also compete in the 4x100 or 4x400 metre relays.

In the 13-14 girls division, Taylor Hines will compete in the 200, 400 and long jump while jumps specialist Zekiah Lewis will compete in the 100, long jump and triple jump. Ali Boyden, who will be making her debut appearance for the club, will compete in the 15-16 girls age group with Lottimore in the 400 and 800 metres.

The rest of the team consist of the 13-14 boys where Ryan Outerbridge and Jayden Ming will show their skills in the 800, 1500 and 3000 metres, while Clevonte Lodge will be tested in the 100, 200 and 400 metres. Malik Joell is set to compete in the 800 and 1500 metres. This group of boys will also run in the 4x400 metre relay.