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Powell, Williams hone track skills with SW Roadrunners

Since the high school sports season concluded in May, many younggirls and boys are continuing to hone their skills through avariety of summertime activities. Team camps, individual camps andposition camps are just a few activities for teenagers, who arelooking to get an edge in football, basketball, soccer andbaseball.

Add track and field to the list of sports that has become nearlyyear-round. USA Track and Field, the official governing body fortrack and field events in the USA, oversees numerous meetsthroughout the 50 states.

In McComb, the Southwest MS Roadrunner Club team services thesouthwest Mississippi area for high school students who are lookingto improve their track and field skills. Under the direction ofhead coach Alvin Hogan, the Southwest MS Roadrunner Club teachesyoung girls and boys the finer techniques of track and field.

“We work with the kids on the proper techniques of stretching,running form, preparing mentally and physically for meets, etc.,”said Hogan, who is assisted by his son Joe, a former basketball andtrack standout at McComb High School.

“The first and second (techniques) are used to focus onconditioning exercises, stretching, cardio vascular and nutrition(before and after meets), stressing proper stretching technique,”added Hogan. “We also videotape each individual to help improvetheir form and technique; along with their strengths andweaknesses.”

Hogan works the youngsters during the summer months. He has beena certified USA Track and Field coach and official for over 10years.

“During the winter months, we focus on indoor meets. Track andfield is fast becoming a year-round sport.”

Hogan holds several practice sessions a week at McComb High’sC.C. Moore Stadium during the summer practice sessions.

A pair of upcoming juniors at Brookhaven High School have takenadvantage of Hogan’s expertise in track and field. Jake Williamsand Keyondray Powell began working with Hogan in April and May.They have participated in numerous events at several tune-up meetsduring the summer.

“My grandfather (the Rev. R.C. McCall, Sr.) told me about CoachHogan,” said Williams. “Keyondray and I decided to give it atry.”

Both athletes dream of earning a track scholarship.

“We are looking to get better so that we might land ascholarship offer in track.” Both participate in football atBrookhaven High, with Williams working at wide receiver and Powellin the defensive secondary at cornerback.

“This also helps us stay in shape for football, too,” addedWilliams.

The Ole Brook duo recently participated the USA Track andField’s Southern Association (Louisiana and Mississippi) meet atBaton Rouge’s Woodlawn High, during the weekend of June 24-25. Thetop 5 finishers in each event advanced to the Southern Regionalmeet July 5-9, at Tennessee State University in Nashville.

In addition to Louisiana and Mississippi, the Southern regionconsists of participants from Alabama, Kentucky, North Carolina,South Carolina and Tennessee.

Williams, who participated in the Young Men’s (17-18 year old)Division, qualified for the regional meet in the long jump (5.06meters, fourth) and the triple jump (11.69 meters, third). Powell,in the Intermediate Division (15-16 year old), placed second inboth the long jump (6.05 meters) and triple jump (11.69meters).

Only the winners at the regionals will qualify for thenationals, to be held in Baltimore, Md., at the end of July.

For anyone seeking more information about USA Track and Fieldfor this area, contact Hogan at alvinjhogan@hotmail.com.