Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between cross country and track and field?

TRACK & FIELD is our spring program that includes sprints, distance, relays, throwing events, and jumping events. The competition team does additional events plus hurdles and high jump for athletes 11 and up.

CROSS COUNTRY is our distance running program in the fall. Distances for cross country are typically determined by USATF standards and birth year, but on our comp team, it may vary at some meets. Distances are anywhere between 1k and 5k. Most of our comp team competes in 2k, 3k, or 4k.

How does the competition team work?

This team is geared toward athletes who have some experience with track and field and/or cross country. Some of our comp team athletes got started in our elementary program.

We run track practices mostly on a high school track and cross country practices on trails and parks all over the Draper and Sandy areas. We train for 14-16 weeks per season with practices 3 days a week. We compete in state, regional, and sometimes national meets, sometimes traveling to a few out-of-state meets per season.

Do you have to try out for the competition team?

Nope, we don’t hold official tryouts. Our comp team is an advanced program though with some of the top athletes in the country. We have learned that if an athlete isn’t ready for that level of competition, they often get frustrated with themselves and don’t have as much fun. And since our goal is to empower athletes to love this sport, we don’t want that to happen.

To join our competition cross country team, an athlete should ideally be able to comfortably run 2 miles without stopping.

Any athlete in 3rd thru 8th grade is welcome to attend a couple of comp team practices to see if it will be a good fit. If you’re unsure or have questions on whether your athlete would thrive on our comp team, contact our Club President: Rachel Martinez at rachel@wolfpackrunning.org

How does the elementary program work?

Our elementary program is designed to introduce athletes in kindergarten thru 6th grade to the amazing sport of running. Registration is $100 per season and includes a team jersey, practices, enrollment in the 6-week training program, entry for 2 meets for the track & field season or 2 meets for cross country. At the meets they compete against other Wolfpack elementary teams.

How do I start an elementary team at my school?

If you or someone you know is willing to coach or wants to start a team at a new school or park, please reach out to our Elementary Program Director Tom Sharkey: elementary@wolfpackrunning.org or by phone 443-939-7133 to add your school or train your coach.

Is the elementary program or the competition team a better fit for my child?

The elementary program is ideal for beginners in kindergarten thru 6th grade where we introduce them to these amazing sports. Our competition team is geared more towards athletes who have at least a little experience with track and field or cross country.

The competition team is limited to ages 8–14 (or 3rd-8th grade). If you’re still unsure, contact Rachel at rachel@wolfpackrunning.org. She has coached both elementary and competitive teams and will help find the best fit for your child.

Can I switch from the elementary program to the competition team?

After the elementary season is over, the competition team allows space for a handful of athletes who have shown a love for the sport, an understanding of how to run, jump, or throw, and a competitive drive. It’s an honor to add a few athletes to continue for another six weeks with the competition team where they usually will compete at the USATF Utah state meet and possibly beyond.

What happens at a typical Wolfpack practice?
  • For elementary:

We start with a five-minute jog and then we teach basic drills and a principle (such as hydration or mental toughness). Next, we teach a new track and field skill, or running principle for cross county, followed by games that implement and reinforce the skills taught.

  • For competition:

We start with a warm-up jog, drills, and we discuss a principle that we continue to expand on all week. Then we split into groups by pace and/or specialty to do specific workouts. Lastly we join together for core and agility training, play a game to apply principles, stretch, and end with team-building exercises.

What are the benefits of having a USATF membership?
  • Access to more racing opportunities and clinics

  • Chances to compete in state and national races

  • For more specific information, visit the USATF website.

  • To sign up for a USATF membership, visit the USATF website select “Wolfpack Running Club Utah” or club 34-0222 on the drop-down menu for the team.

How can I get involved in the Wolfpack Youth Running Club?

We love volunteers; especially at our meets. Our meets are dependent on volunteers in a number of areas. These can include nurses and/or EMTs, officials and course marshals, registration table support, photography, awards distribution, crowd control, and set-up and take-down of courses. A SignupGenius link is emailed to our Wolfpack families before every meet with the hopes that parents will help out. We are so grateful to those who do.

If volunteering isn’t your jam and you’re looking for other ways to get involved with Wolfpack, click here to learn about how to become a Wolfpack Sponsor.

If you’d like to be a coach at your school or would like to help support our programs in another way, please reach out to our President, Rachel Martinez at rachel@wolfpackrunning.org.

Who are your coaches?

Our elementary coaches are comprised of local runners and/or parents who are invested in teaching the fundamentals of the sport while having a lot of fun with the kids. Many have been coaching with us for several years. 

Our competition coaches have competed at the highest levels; including the National and World Championships. Some have been professional runners, some have competed in high-level races as Elite Runners. They’ve all had USATF-level training and have been working with competitive athletes for years. Their experience in coaching and racing shows in their passion for helping our young athletes.

How do I become a coach?

If you’re passionate about building, teaching, and supporting young athletes, we’d love to have you as a coach! We provide a manual with lesson plans and activities, plus a coaches kit that includes all the supplies you’ll need for all the lessons and activities. Coaches and assistant coaches get free registration for their children, and head coaches will get an additional stipend at the end of the season.

Please reach out to Rachel Martinez at rachel@wolfpackrunning.org to learn more about becoming a coach.

What is your refund policy?

There’s a $20 bookkeeping fee on all refunds. No refunds will be given after the first week of practice.

What events will the kids participate in?

For track & field:
For the elementary program, they will learn about 6 events: 100m dash, 400m dash, 1600m run, 4x400m relay, long jump, and turbo javelin. They can choose 3 events to compete in at the meets.

The competition team participates in running and field events based on USATF age division standards. These can include sprints, mid or long distance, hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, javelin, and multi-events (pentathlon, triathlon, etc). 

For cross country:
Running distances vary on age division. In our Elementary Program, athletes race 1k, 2k, or 3k. On the Comp Team, they compete in 2k, 3k, or 4k races.

How much do each of your programs cost?

Registration for our Elementary Program costs $125 per season. It includes:

  • 6 weeks of training
  • registration in 2 meets
  • a racing t-shirt
  • loads of new friends

Our Competition Team is $325 per season and includes:

  • 11-16 weeks of training
  • 3 structured practices each week
  • training plan for workouts outside of practice (if desired)
  • registration in 1-3 meets
  • a racing singlet
  • opportunity to earn a training t-shirt
  • loads of new friends and new skills
How old does my child have to be to join Wolfpack?

The Elementary Program is designed for kids in kindergarten through 6th grade.

The Competition Team is for kids ages 8–14 (about 3rd thru 8th grade). Our comp team program ends at 8th grade because our athletes will ideally be competing on their high school teams. Our programs often give athletes an advantage in making their varsity teams!

Is the Wolfpack Youth Running Club right for my child?

For sure! Our program is challenging, empowering and fun. Kids of all skill and fitness levels are invited to join our Pack as we strive to bring out the best in each other, build friendships, and boost physical and emotional health.

Is Wolfpack a nonprofit organization?

Yes! It’s important to us that we’re a 501(c)(3) federal nonprofit organization.

This means that we love to partner with sponsors who seek to build our community and empower athletes as much as we do. If you or your company would consider sponsoring our program, please contact Yasmin Pixton, media@wolfpackrunning.org. Your donations can go to scholarships, supplies, coaches, and special awards to our amazing athletes. Click here to read about our sponsor benefits.

Board of Directors:

President – Rachel Martinez
Comp Team Director – Teren Jameson
Elementary Program Director – Tom Sharkey
Secretary – Sara Allen
Treasurer – Kristyn Mittelstaedt
Partnerships Director – Yasmin Pixton

Board Meeting Notes:

11/01/2021

03/08/2022

03/09/2022

08/07/2022

01/15/2023 & 02/07/2023

04/30/2023

11/12/2023

01/28/2024