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Baltimore Track And Field heading to AAU Youth Olympics

Posted at 11:37 PM, Jul 17, 2018

More than 100 members of Baltimore City Track and Field will compete in this year's Amateur Athletic Union Youth Olympics.

While it's not their first appearance at the games, the team is working just as hard.

"You don't understand what's on your shirt right now.  It's a legacy," Coach Lutalo Bakari, told his team Tuesday evening.

114 students from schools across the city make up Baltimore City Track and Field. 104 are heading to this year's Amateur  American Union Youth Olympics.

"I've been running since I was four and this track team made me better and better through the years I've been running with them," said Vaugh Devaughn, one of the members heading to the AAU Olympics.

The club offers kids ages 5-to-18 the chance to compete with schools from across the nation.

Tuesday evening's practice was one of the last before the team heads to Iowa to compete. 

"It's really exciting and nerve racking at the same time because you feel like you have to perform well so you can get on the podium," said Azariah Jones.

A podium these students are anxious to run to; even if they fell along the way in the last games.

"The first time our relay team did not make it on the podium but we're hoping that this year we can," Jones told WMAR 2 News.

City Councilman Brandon Scott is a graduate of this program and says kids can really succeed here.

"Olympians have come through this program. So many young people have graduated from this program and now most of us are back working in the city that we love.  We know that if it weren't for this program, I wouldn't be a city council person."

And the team is trained in more than just athletics.

"Some of the coaches teach you respect to your elders and manners to other people and just to be friendly and family like to everyone," said Jones.

James Carter of MERVO High School is just one of the graduates of Baltimore Track and Field to go on to the Olympic games.

This class heads to Iowa for the youth Olympics on July 28.