Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Friday, August 8th in Jackson Park @ 3PM, the Chicago Striders will host an OLYMPIC SPIRIT INVITATIONAL to celebrate the achievements of all athletes young and old and to capture the essence of the olympics. Anyone interested in getting involved, please call Craig Collins, Head Coach of the Chicago Striders. Volunteers and/or donations are welcome. Please see the website for more details: or call 773/480-0106.

JOs in Nebraska a Success in Many Ways

There is nothing like a road trip to bring a team together in my opinion.  And to travel 9+ hours to the "heartland of America" will bring the most disconnected of teams together.  Not that we were a disfunctional unit, but we had our issues.  For instance, there were still some Striders who needed an introduction to other members of the team.  Needless to say, we left Omaha one unified group with a positive outlook on the future of the Chicago Striders.

I would be remissed if I did not acknowledge the many people who helped make the Jr. Olympic Nat'l trip a worthy cause.  I got to know and appreciate one of our "TrackMoms," Ms. Beverly on our journey.  Her tireless efforts to involve her children in worthwhile activities is a credit to the many parents who make sacrifices above and beyond for their children and I really appreciate her for believing the Chicago Striders is a worthwhile endevour for her daughter. Also, Coach Phil Wallace, whose concentration on making each athlete believe in his or herself is a constant reminder why I do what I do-----I thank you Brother Phil.  And of course, my true brother in the struggle to make the Striders what they are today---Coach Patrick Simon.  We've worked together since 2002 trying to make Chicago a more viable track and field entity, but alas, Coach Simon has gotten another calling and will no longer be with us on a permanent basis.  So, this trip to JOs was really special, because this could be our last with him as a member of our nuclear family.  Best of Luck Coach Simon and Thank You---Thank You All! Once a Strider Always a Strider

As for my thoughts on how the team did in Omaha...We did just fine!  Yes, we wanted to do better.  After all, we took more Striders to Nationals than we ever have in the history of the club. However, out of the 19 athletes that qualified, only three had been to a meet of that magnitude before.  I mean we are talking about USATF's National Jr. Olympics.  The same JO's that can make the claim that 89% of the members of the 2008 Olympic Team came through the same type of meet before their Olympic dreams came true.  So, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish.  

I am especially happy for and proud of Kawanna Brooks, who at this point must be recognized as a serious asset for a major track and field program in college next year.  Finishing 3rd with one more year to go in the young women's Heptathlon is a major achievement and puts her up there with one of the best athletes in Illinois hands down.  

Although Kawanna was the only Strider to leave Nebraska with a medal, the experience and the comraderie will last a lifetime for all of us.  I am so hyped about our potential, I making plans for JO's next year in Greensboro, NC.  I suppose I need to pay the bills from this latest trip first.  See the donation button on your way out...Please!!!

----Coach Collins

Don't forget!!!  Chicago Striders host their 1st Invitation August 8th @ 3PM @ Jackson Park. MARK YOUR CALENDARS AND SUPPORT TRACK & FIELD

Monday, July 14, 2008


The 2008 Chicago Striders have exceeded all expectations with 19, that's right nineteen athletes qualifying for USATF Jr. Olympic Nationals this past weekend.  19 is the most qualifiers we have ever had qualify for nationals and its a tribute to the commitment, dedication and talent of everyone involved including the coaches, parents and of course the athletes.  Great job Striders!!!
Here's a list of all the 2008 Qualifiers:
Jepheth Cato - Long Jump 2nd place
Jaiyvohn Davis, Marselis Barber, Maris Smith & Chris Redford - 4x800m Relay 3rd place
Kawanna Brooks - Heptathlon, 100m, 200m, Long Jump, & Triple Jump (national standard advancement)
Monet Washington, Porshia Gatewood, Icy Snoddy & Keteva Mosley - 4x800m Relay
Caja Calhoun, Nia Munson, Kora Johnson & Sharee Hassan - 4x400m Relay
Kora Johnson - Triple Jump
Mike Jones, Chris Adams, Nick Anderson & Michael Taylor - 4x100m Relay
Stephan Devroe - High Jump
Good Luck in Omaha, Nebraska!  Stride On!

Coach Collins

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Hello All!

We are having a very important Parent Meeting at Eckersall Stadium (81st & Yates) this coming Tuesday July 15th at 5:30pm. It is imperative that we get as many parents out to this meeting as possible. Our athletes need the support of parents and guardians!

  • Information about the USATF Nationals in Omaha, Nebraska
  • The Chicago Striders August Track Meet
  • The Striders Annual 'Season-End' Pot-Luck (Bring your favorite dish)
I am looking forward to seeing and meeting all of my Strider parents at this meeting!

Coach Collins

"If you build it, they will come."

Perhaps the best female athlete in Chicago, Kawanna Brooks prepares to qualify for the 2008 USATF National Junior Olympic heptathlon this weekend in North Chicago. Having qualified through to the nationals in Omaha, NE because of meeting the qualifying standards at the Age Group Championships a few weeks ago, Kawanna will be doing 5 events including the hep. We wish her all the luck in the world. She is truly a remarkable young lady. Although I am always excited about the athletes that we have participating in these meets, it never ceases to amaze me how much potential these talented athletes have.

My 9 year old son Cameron will also be trying to qualify for the USATF National Junior Olympics. This is his first year with the Striders and I am very proud of how well he has taken to the javelin. I have seen him progress mentally, socially and physically. Chip off the old block, if I do say so myself.

am also proud of the diverse group of athletes we have this year. Last year, the Striders set a precedent with 12 different high schools and 6 different elementary schools representing the over 70 student/athletes. This year though, we have twice as many elementary athletes competing, and our high school athletes are setting not just team records, but great examples of outstanding sportsmanship. "If you build it, they will come."

Coach Collins

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Chicago Striders take the 2007 Junior Olympics by Storm!

(Upper L to R) Alex Lee (Kenwood Academy H.S.), Maris Smith (Kenwood Academy H.S.)

(Lower L to R) Lewis Willard (Julian H.S.), Eric Hermagino (Kenwood Academy H.S.)

Striders 4x800m Take Home Medals!