Gulf Coast Running Club
The Gulf Coast Running Club (a.k.a. the G.O.A.T. Farm "Greatest of All Time") is comprised of high school track and cross country runners who train together in the off-season (winter and summer) at Fricker Resource Center. Coaches Michael Mims and Lendward Griffin provide training sessions twice a week at the center and participants enter local races to train for larger meets.
The goal of the Gulf Coast Running Club is to provide opportunities for young men and women to train and compete in track and cross-country, while mentoring and coaching them to be outstanding young women and men representing the greater Pensacola and Gulf Coast area.
The team earned their first national award, 2nd Place at the AAU National Cross Country Championship on December 1, 2018 in Knoxville, TN. Team members include Francisco Ramirez-Pace High School, Brandon Knieja-Tate High School, Richard Whatley-Pine Forest High School, James Simkins, Jr.-Pensacola High School, Rory Carmody-West Florida High School, David Milburn-Booker T. Washington High School, John Trawick-Booker T. Washington High School, and Daniel Holzknect-Booker T. Washington High School.
In June 2019 the team traveled to Tallahassee for the AAU Regional Championships where nine GCRC athletes qualified to compete at the Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, NC in late July. Even with 100 degree weather and a blazing hot sun beating down on them, the team raked in four gold, three silver, and two bronze medals. Dalton Lewis, Richard Whatley, Aza Boykin and Daniel Holzknecht were successful both as a team and individually as they placed 1st in the Mens 800m Relay. Lewis and Whatley topped the podium in the Men’s 800m, placing 1st and 2nd respectively, while Holzknecht placed 3rd in the Men’s 1500m.
The club also took home gold and silver in the 15/16 division, with Francisco Ramirez placing 1st in the Boys 1500m, James Simkins placing 2nd, and Sa’Nora Campbell and Mariah Harris placing 3rd and 5th in the 100m, respectively. In the Girls 400m Hurdles Caliya Gee placed 5th.
All team members above qualified for the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Greensboro, North Carolina from July 24 to August 3rd. 16,000 athletes competing in twenty sports will attend the games, all vying for gold, and the G.O.A.T Farm might just be leading the pack. The team will be traveling to J.O.’s thanks funding from Pensacola Sports Foundation and Zarzaur Law P.A.
AAU Cross Country Nationals-December 1, 2018
Gulf Coast Running Club at AAU Regionals - Tallahassee, FL June 2019
Michael Mims, Fricker Resource Center
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