Celebrating their 41st year, the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp located in Asheville, North Carolina, excites runners by teaching them the fundamentals and the skills they need to have while running for their high school/college. This camp uses the unique coaching skills of the great and former coach of the University of Oregon, Bill Bowerman. As the Nike Smoky Mountain Running Camp listed on their website, here are some of the highlights:
- Top notch high school and college coaching.
- Comprehensive running camp experience: featuring daily runs in the National Forest, informative breakout sessions and talks given by nationally recognized guest speakers.
- Videotaping with personal form analysis.
- Advanced Placement (AP) Cross Country Class is offered during all camp sessions for those elite runners who desire college level instruction about the Art & Science of Running.
- Superior facilities: beautiful campus surroundings, state-of-the-art track facility and new Wellness Center.
- Coaches are encouraged to accompany their cross country teams and attend the Coaches Workshop covering the latest in training and racing techniques. The workshop runs concurrently with the youth camp session. The Coaches Workshop runs July 14-19 session only.
- Fun evening recreational activities planned.
- Middle school running program with specific youth curriculum is offered July 14-19. The High School Program offers a different curriculum from the Middle School Program.
Matthew Brafford, Johnny Hogue, R.J. Weiford, Abe Merinar and Levi Snedegar
Currently five distance runners from West Virginia are enduring the long runs, the hot summer sun, early morning lectures, and making new friends with runners from all over the country before their 2013-14 cross-country season begins. These runners include Matthew Brafford, Johnny Hogue, R.J. Weiford, Abe Merinar and Levi Snedegar.
Matthew Brafford (front left) and Levi Snedegar (2nd front left)
Matthew Brafford is a senior at George Washington High School in Charleston, WV. He is the current West Virginia High School #1 ranked distance runner for AAA boys for the upcoming 2013-14 cross-country and track & field season. In October, he was State Runner-Up to Jacob Burcham of Cabell Midland HS in the West Virginia High School AAA Boys Cross Country Championship in a time of 15:42.10. In November, at the Footlocker South Regional Cross Country Championship, he placed first and made 1st Team All-South in the Junior Boys Race in a time of 15:38. In December, just one week later, he won the AAU National Cross-Country Championship in the young men’s high school division in a time of 16:05.36. In May, at the West Virginia High School State Track & Field Meet, Matthew ran a 9:21.71 in the 3,200 Meter Run, placing second and ran a 4:24.73 in the 1,600 Meter Run, placing fourth. In June, at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals he ran a PR of 15:07.52 in the 5,000 Meter Run, placing twenty-fifth and he ran a PR of 9:32.21 in the Two Mile Run, placing fourteenth.
Johnny Hogue is a senior at Ritchie County High School in Ellenboro, WV. He is the current West Virginia High School #1 ranked distance runner for AA/A boys for the upcoming 2013-14 cross-country season. In October, Johnny ran a PR of 16:11.30 in the 5,000 Meter Run at West Virginia State XC Championships, placing third. In November, he ran a 16:49.00 in the 5,000 Meter Run at Foot Locker South Regional, placing forty-seventh. In May, at the West Virginia High School State Track & Field Meet, Johnny ran a 9:51.94 in the 3,200 Meter Run, placing third, ran 2:09.68 in the 800 Meter Run, placing thirteenth and ran 4:30.03 in the 1,600 Meter Run, placing fourth.
R.j Weiford is a sophomore at Winfield High School in Winfield, WV. He is currently ranked 30th going into the West Virginia High School AAA boys 2013-14 cross-country season. In December, R.j. ran a PR of 13:42.74 in the 4000 Meter Run at AAU National Championships, placing eleventh. In May, he ran a 4:46.47 in the 1,600 Meter Run at the WV Region IV AAA Boys, placing seventh.
Abe Merinar is a senior at Bridgeport Senior High School in Bridgeport, WV. He is currently ranked 3rd going into the West Virginia High School AA/A boys 2013-14 cross-country season. In October, Abe ran a PR of 16:30.70 in the 5,000 Meter Run at West Virginia State XC Championships for the AA/A boys, placing ninth. In May, at the West Virginia High School State Track & Field Meet, Abe ran a 9:53.87 in the 3,200 Meter Run, placing fifth, ran a PR of 4:23.36 in the 1,600 Meter Run, placing first, and ran 2:02.66 in the 800 Meter Run, placing fifth.
Levi Snedegar is a senior at Greenbrier High School in Lewisburg, WV. He is currently ranked 3rd going into the West Virginia High School AAA boys 2013-14 cross-country season. In October, Levi ran a PR of 16:10.89 in the 5,000 Meter Run at West Virginia State XC Championships, placing seventh. In May, at the West Virginia High School State Track & Field Meet, he ran a new season best time of 9:45.28 in the 3,200 Meter Run, placing eighth, ran a PR of 4:30.74 in the 1,600 Meter Run, placing seventh, and ran a PR of 2:04.15 in the 800 Meter Run, placing fifteenth.
When asked about their overall experience at camp, one runner replied, “SMRC was a great experience. The trail running was challenging, but lots of fun. The staff was great and taught me a lot about form and pacing. They are amazing at teaching people how to become a better runner, they know how to have fun and make camp enjoyable, but also are serious about running. I loved all the activities at night and all the breakouts and morning lectures! I can't wait to go back next year.”
Pictures courtesy of Smoky MT Running Camp