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Qualifications for Membership

There are no qualifications except for age -membership is open only to boys and girls from 6 to 18. Previous track and field or running experience is not necessary. Although Junior Olympics is structured to providing high level competition for advanced athletes it is also known as the premier track and field program in America for beginners. Practices are geared to the age level and ability of the athletes, with some coaches working with advanced groups and others with beginning athletes. Competition is only against athletes in the same age group and advancement from one meet to the next is based on performance. In Association (State) Meet, the top five finishers in any age group event advance  to the next level. In the Regional Meet, only the top three finishers advance to the National Championships. Most Asheville Lightning team members come from the Buncombe County area but anyone from Western North Carolina is welcome to join the team. Teams in recent years have had over 125 members.

Practices

Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings 6:15 to 8:00  rain or shine at A.C. Reynolds High School track. Bring water bottles (sport drink and water only) and an inhaler if you use one. Athletes are expected to be on time for practice. Practices will be interrupted only if thunderstorms are present.

While practice-only memberships are available, full membership is recommended since participation in the meets is a necessary part of development for an athlete. Experience has shown also that participation in the meets, regardless of performance, is a highly positive experience for young athletes. Lots of fun! Membership is for the full summer season and athletes are encouraged to continue to practice with the team even if they no longer are  competing. No athlete/ family will be denied participation for financial reasons. If financial assistance is needed, please contact Coach Agrella (828 251-9900 Work or 299-4663 Home).

Birth Certificates

Two (2) copies of the athletes birth certificate are necessary. These should be included along with payment check made out to Asheville Lightning when the membership registration form is turned in. These copies are required by USATF at meets to verify the age of the athletes so that older athletes do not compete against younger ones. Practice Only Members do not need to provide birth certificate copies.

 Age Groups

Junior Olympics is divided into six divisions. The athlete’s year of birth shall determine the division in which the athlete shall compete. With each succeeding year each division shall be adjusted as shown below. * Athletes who turn 19 in any competition year can compete in Junior Olympics in the Young Men/Young Women Division providing they turn 19 after the final day of the National Championship Meet. If their birthday is before the last day of the National Meet, they may compete in the YM/YW division.

 

Divisions/Age Group201520162017
6-82007+2008+2009+
9-102005-20062006-20072007-2008
11-122003-20042004-20052005-2006
13-142001-20022002-20032003-2004
15-161999-20002000-20012001-2002
17-181997-19981998-19991999-2000

Fund Raising

The Asheville Lightning is a non-profit organization and relies on a number of ways of raising funds to purchase equipment, pay for practice venue expenses  and to provide travel and meet expenses for the team. These include sponsorships from individuals and businesses.

If you would like to be team sponsor, or you know of a company that could be approached, please contact Coach Lee Pantas at 828-779-1569 or Email. You can also download a sponsorship form.

Sponsorship is achieved by an annual monetary contributions or by in-kind donation of goods or services. The Asheville Lightning is a 501-c3 Not-For-Profit organization.