The East Longmeadow Spartan Elite includes six track and field students from East Longmeadow High School. After qualifying, the runners are seeking financial support to help pay for participation at the event.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

EAST LONGMEADOW — The East Longmeadow Spartan Elite, a local track club of East Longmeadow High School students, is seeking financial support to attend the Nike Outdoor Nationals after the team qualified, the team stated.

The team’s six active members created a GoFundMe to help cover the student’s expenses for the trip, such as transportation, accommodations and the event’s entry fee, Erin Friedman said. Friedman is the parent of one of the students on the East Longmeadow Spartan Elite team. The funds raised with the GoFundMe will not support the parents and coaches attending with the students, she said.

The six members all run as part of the track team for East Longmeadow High School and are supported by the school to attend events up to state level, Friedman said. However, the school is unable to support the runners at the national level. As a result, the students formed the East Longmeadow Spartan Elite in early 2024 to participate in these competitions, she said.

The team includes seniors Dominick Gamelli, Charlie Klatka, Vincent Luu and Nolan Moore as well as freshmen Noah Davis and Ryan Haller, Friedman stated.

To qualify for the national level, each runner had to reach the standard qualifying time for their specific events. Unlike other sports, this allows runners to qualify at any competition level during the season, rather than following a traditional local, state, national progression, Friedman explained. Additionally, each student runs a different level within their event, based on their individual skill.

The East Longmeadow runners previously qualified and participated in the 2024 Nike Indoor Nationals in March at New York City, finishing in 10th place, Friedman said. Now, with all six active members qualified for the Nike Outdoor Nationals, the team is looking to attend the June 11-15 event.

While at the national competition, the six students will collectively participate in four events: the 100 meter dash, the 1600 meter sprint relay, the 110 meter hurdles and the 4 x 100 meter relay, Friedman stated.

The Nike Outdoor Nationals is also exciting for the East Longmeadow Spartan Elite team due to its “iconic location,” Friedman emphasized. Hosted at Hayward Field at the University of Oregon in Eugene, the field holds significance as a well-known track and field location in addition to connections with the founding of footwear company Nike.

In addition to helping to support their participation in the national event, the students also are looking to increase interest in track and field, Friedman said, stating that the team wanted to “[inspire] the next generation of runners.”

She highlighted that the team was “very inclusive” and accepted any members interested in joining.
For more information or to donate to the GoFundMe page, visit gofundme.com/f/support-east-longmeadows-journey-to-nike-nationals.

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