With the season wrapping up, the Huntsville Steppers will look to finish strong at their remaining two events.
The first event the Steppers will take place in is the TAAF Summer Games of Texas, which will take place in Corpus Christi from July 29-August 1, with three members of the team headed to Humble for the AAU Junior Olympics.
“We are really excited about it,” Huntsville Steppers assistant coach David Stroughter said. “With a lot of these kids being first-year runners, it’s gonna be something to look forward to next year.”
In the Games of Texas, the Steppers will be sending 29 members to compete at the event. One of the most notable names is six-year-old Bailee Simmons, who won two gold medals at regionals earlier this month.
Simmons will compete in the 50m run, as well as the 100m.
“I feel kind of good about it,” Simmons said, “It feels special to get to these games.”
While Simmons will not be a part of the three people competing in the Junior Olympics, she will have many more attempts to do so.
Caleb Franklin, 13, is one of the three members to represent the Steppers at both competitions. He will compete in both of the events in the long jump category.
“It’s a big thing to do,” Franklin said. “It means alot to do this at 13, and it takes a lot of work.”
With the events coming up quickly, Stroughter is very pleased with how the season went. He’s also looking forward to what’s next for the program.
With multiple members in their first year with the team, the Steppers are excited to keep building on the success they’ve had this year.
“It means it’s working for us as well as them,” Stroughter said. “It’s good for the program overall because if we can advance in two circuits one week behind, it says alot about the program. That means the work we are putting in is not going unshown.”
With all the hard work that has been put into this, Stroughter hopes that once they look past running, it becomes something more to these kids.
“Once they get in the groove and see that it is not just running, it’s more than just knowing how to run.” Stroughter added “Once they learn they enjoy it, it’s more than just track. It’s like one big family.”