AAU track athletes prosper at Flint Hill


Photo Credit: SSSA Flicker

Senior Gabby Turner races towards the finish line.

Flint Hill has two decorated track athletes, seniors Darron Coley and Gabrielle Turner, who participate in both the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and Flint Hill track and field. Both of them started running before their high school tenure, and are now focusing on the upcoming season.

Coley began running in sixth grade and has become more and more involved in the sport over time. He has been improving since his high school career started, and he recently committed to Clemson University for track.

“Even though we had high schoolers on the team, I was looked up to by the younger kids when I was still in middle school,” said Coley. “Now I face the best of the best and this pushes me even more, which in turn leads me to drop my times.”

An AAU athlete’s hectic schedule has made Turner more disciplined, both in personal and school-related affairs.

“Track has allowed me to become a mentally [stronger] person, and I also have started to believe in myself more whether I am on or off the track,” she said. “I have learned to become a more self-motivated person and have more confidence in my own abilities.”

AAU is nationwide and includes individual events in combination with team relays.

“AAU ranges from ages 8-18,” Coley said. “I personally prefer AAU because it is an extension from my high school season, and I’m able to drop my times even more in the summer.”

Turner has not yet decided whether or not she will continue running after high school, and instead is focusing on her performance this season.

“Right now I want to focus on getting my 800 and 400-meter times down as low as possible and cherish my final moments has a high school athlete,” said Turner.