La Crosse track club emphasizes family, self improvement - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse track club emphasizes family, self improvement

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La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

What started with just a handful of parents and their children has grown into one of the premier recreational groups of the summer.

Now the La Crosse Track Club has more than 100 members this summer, ranging from elementary school runners to adults.

The club meets three times a week at La Crosse Central High School for about an hour. Throughout the summer, youth and adult athletes compete at local meets, state competitions like the Badger State Games, and national competitions like the Junior Olympics.

Youth numbers have nearly doubled each season since 2011, club co-founder and competitor Dan Schraith said. A big reason is because the club is family-friendly.

"Siblings can participate together, we have lots of brothers and sisters out on the track together at one location, makes it a little easier for families (that are) busy during the summer," Schraith said. "It's fun for families and it is fun for parents to be watching their kids and in time, sometimes participating with them."

Schraith's son Tarek was among the competitors Tuesday night. He was one of the original kids, and said he has made numerous friends through practice at home and at competitions around the Midwest.

The Haack family is a true representation of what the club has become. Peter Haack has been running competitively for years, and when Dan Schraith started the club with Dennis Kline, he agreed to help organize practices for the Master division, or adult group.

This summer, his kids Lori and Tony began participating, and now the entire family practices and competes together.

"It's always great when you can get the whole family involved in any activity," Peter Haack said. "Running is something that I really enjoy doing and to have the kids be a part of this is great and have them participate in the meets and I can cheer for them when I'm not running myself."

"It's kind of fun watching him compete," Tony Haack said. "I get to go with him and watch all the other guys. It's just really fun."

"It feels good because I get to see a lot of people that (work) with me in all my steps I take," Lori Haack said.

Soon the club will disband for the summer and school athletics will once again take the spotlight. For now though, you can find the Haack family, and many others, circling the track, clearing the jumps, and experiencing a greater level of connectivity at Central.

For more information about joining the Club next season, visit their website.

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