Fresh off its second straight USA Triathlon (USAT) Mideast Region championship, Grim Reaper Fitness is taking on a new challenge – the formation of a Youth and Junior Triathlon team.
Coaches Erik Rankin and Tim Auth are certified USAT Youth and Junior coaches, who bring that education along with the past experience of coaching children.
“After extensive research, and taking advantage, of USAT education opportunities, we felt it was time to take the success of our adult club and apply it to youth and juniors,” said GRF founder Erik Rankin. “I was able to attend USAT Youth and Junior Nationals this past season and was honored to lead a clinic on transitions for youth and junior racing. That experience, along with the experience of coaching my own daughters, has stoked the passion for us take this challenge.”
The GRF program will include Developmental and Competitive teams. The developmental team will be for children ages 7 to 15 and focus on fun and safety.
“Our emphasis with this team will be to introduce young athletes to the multisport lifestyle and get them excited to train and race safely,” said Auth, who will lead the developmental team.
The competitive team will focus on taking their training and racing to a higher skill level. The early goal of the competitive team will be to compete as a team at the USAT Youth and Junior National Championships in Westchester, OH, next July.
“We aim to train our youth and junior to be the next crop of athletes competing for NCAA scholarships and to add multisport to their athletic resumes,” Rankin said.
GRF is also adding two new coaches to support the program. Stephanie Heppe and Wendy Smith will begin the road toward USAT coaching certification in 2016. Heppe will work with Auth and the developmental team, while Smith will work with Rankin and the competitive team.
GRF will host an informational meeting for parents and children in January. Contact GRF for details.