A Need for Speed

Brooklyn Fletcher, right, is pictured with his EPIC SPEED coach Alonzo Hurt Jr. following a meet earlier this month in July. Hurt’s guidance helped Fletcher earn two spots at the TAAF Track and Field Championships in College Station.

When the mother of a local elementary school student saw her son may have the need for speed, she decided to find just the right program to develop his talent.

Stephanie Blackwelder’s son Brooklyn Fletcher, 6, isn’t even in first grade yet but he’s already making a name for himself in the track and field community in San Antonio. She said after watching her son compete in field day at Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary School she knew he had a unique skill that needed the right coach to unlock its full potential.

“He’s a really fast runner and I had been looking for track teams in San Antonio since Del Rio doesn’t have track for kids until seventh grade. That’s when I came across EPIC SPEED Track & Field in San Antonio,” Blackwelder said. “I spoke with Coach Alonso Hurt Jr. on June 24 that I was interested in putting my son in track because he is already a fast runner but with the proper training I know he could be even faster.”

Blackwelder said her son just enjoys running, but his coach wasn’t sure if what she said about his speed and ability were true. So she sent Hurt a video of Fletcher’s performance at field day and waited.

“His words were, ‘Oh my ... I just got an idea of time. With work he can be a beast.’  So he told me about a track meet on July 6 in San Antonio he said the top three qualifiers advance to the TX Championships in College Station.  He mentioned he may not qualify but just seeing him compete would be awesome,” Blackwelder said. “I was excited to have Brooklyn compete on July 6 but I was also mentally preparing myself for him not to qualify not because I didn’t think he was fast but because he only had two weeks to train and I knew the other kids had been training for months. It was a very exciting and proud moment as a parent to see my son do so well and qualify for state.”

According to Blackwelder, the top three runners in each event qualified to compete in the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation Texas Track and Field Championships in College Station. Fletcher finished second in the 50 meters in a time of 10.26 seconds and was second in the 100 meters in 18.56 seconds. Because of his age, Fletcher can only compete in the 50 and the 100, but Fletcher said once he turns seven-years-old he will be able to compete in additional events such as the 200 meters, the 400 meters and the 800 meters.

Currently Fletcher trains here in Del Rio, running at Walter Levermann Ram Stadium and the track at North Heights Elementary School. Blackwelder said Hurt was sending her workouts for Fletcher to complete. She would record the workouts and then send the video to Hurt and received feedback over the phone from Hurt.

Blackwelder said the future first grader at Dr. Lonnie Green Elementary will only get better if he continues to work with EPIC SPEED and she hopes that his success will lead to Hurt starting a track team here in Del Rio and help other local speedsters.

“Brooklyn is a very happy kid. He is always smiling and very humble. He was so excited when he found out he had advanced. He was proud to wear his medals. I am also very proud of him and all the hard work that he put in the two weeks leading up to his meet. He was very dedicated in training. After he would run around the track he would ask for his time and he would say I need to run faster, so he was always trying to beat his time,” Blackwelder said. “I am grateful to have found EPIC SPEED to give my son an opportunity to do what he loves and that’s run. It’s great exposure for him.”

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