Local AAU Track and Field Club looking for competitors, volunteers for Saturday's meet

·2 min read
From left to right: Team United Stars athletes Camryn Brown, Chris Brown, Anesiuila Gardiner, Tanesia Johnson and Alana Mitchell all earned medals at the 2021 Junior Olympics.
From left to right: Team United Stars athletes Camryn Brown, Chris Brown, Anesiuila Gardiner, Tanesia Johnson and Alana Mitchell all earned medals at the 2021 Junior Olympics.

Team United Stars (TUS), a local AAU track and field club in Topeka, is hosting its second meet at Seaman High School on Saturday, and it's looking for competitors.

The event is designed to showcase area athletes as well as what the community has to offer, with TUS's season culminating in the AAU Junior Olympic Games from July 30 to Aug. 6

Last year, TUS members Camryn Brown, Chris Brown, Anesiuila Gardiner, Tanesia Johnson and Alana Mitchell all earned Junior Olympian All American honors with their placements at the Junior Olympics.

TUS, in its ninth year, has been coached by Aaron Gardiner for all nine of those years  with age ranges from 8U to 18U, with athletes going on to succeed at the next level.

Jensen Schrickel (Hayden), Tre Richardson (Highland Park) and Victoria Reed (Highland Park) are all members of TUS who claimed state titles at the most recent edition of this year's Kansas High School Activities Association state track and field meet

The season starts in February and ends depending on where the athletes qualify for the postseason with a season structured similar to the high school level with a regular season followed by district play, regionals and the junior Olympics.

While the meet on Saturday is more of a tune-up for the postseason, a four-day regional meet will take place the following weekend in Joplin, Mo., with teams from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and part of Nebraska.

"Anybody in the local area, if they want to get their kids out on Saturday just to run an event, see where their kid is," said Gardiner. "They're more than welcome to do that. It's a sanctioned meet but it's not a qualifying (meet).

Competing against AAU programs around the state, after Team United Stars hosted the first AAU track meet in Topeka last year in over 20 years, Gardiner said this second meet has a purpose.

"We're hoping to continue this trend with allowing people to come in to Topeka and see what type of facilities we have, what kind of venues and the talent, and all that stuff that we have here in Topeka," said Gardiner. "Because we go to all these places and we pretty much are elite, we're up there with all the elites, if not better.

"So we want to be able to say, 'Hey, you know what? You guys come into Topeka and see what we have to offer as well. The idea and the goal is to eventually host a regional meet here in Topeka."

Registration for the event, on www.coacho.com, closes on Wednesday, Jun. 15 at 11:59 p.m. and costs $20 per athlete.

With anywhere between 500-700 athletes scheduled to compete on Saturday, Team United Stars is looking for volunteers. Gardiner can be contacted at teamunitedstars@gmail.com or by calling (785) 845-0440.

Contact Seth Kinker at skinker@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @SethKinker

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Topeka AAU Track and Field club looks for competitors for Saturday meet