Rochelle Area Track Club enters 43rd summer season

The Rochelle Area Track Club began its 43rd summer season earlier this week. Practices will run every Monday through Thursday from June 6-30. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

43rd Annual RATC Invitational scheduled for Saturday, June 18

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Area Track Club is back for the summer, with RTHS head coaches Alison Vrana and Dale Bergeson as well as current assistant coaches and student volunteers leading over 60 local athletes through a variety of track and field workouts this past week.

The track club season opened with the club’s first practice on Monday, June 6. The club will hold practices every Monday through Thursday from 5:30-7 p.m. at the RTHS track and field facility. The season will conclude on Thursday, June 30 and the 43rd Annual Rochelle Area Track Club Invitational, which features athletes from across the area, will be held on Saturday, June 18.

“I’m excited to be out here and I’m hoping to foster a love for the sport that I’ve had my whole life,” Vrana said. “It’s fun to see the kids out here and it’s fun watching them grow into the sport. We’re teaching a lot of the fundamentals and we’re introducing the kids into a lot of different events. It’s the 43rd year of the track club and we didn’t want to let the track club fade away.”

The track club is open to all boys and girls as young as first grade and as old as high school seniors. While with the club, athletes will learn from RTHS coaches and volunteers, practicing proper warm-ups, core and leg strengthening exercises as well as jumping, throwing, block starts and relay exchanges. In addition to the track club meet on June 18, athletes will also have the opportunity to participate in USA Track & Field meets held throughout the summer.

“I think training with the track club helps prepare these kids for any sports they may do in the future,” Vrana said. “Whether it's cardiovascular preparation or strength and agility training… When our kids come out for track and field in high school, we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable or intimidated. Summer track helps prepare them for adjusting to the track and field atmosphere and they learn a better understanding of how track and field meets work.”

RATC Invite

The 43rd Annual Rochelle Area Track Club Invitational will be held on Saturday, June 18 at RTHS. Field events will start at 9 a.m. and running events will start at 10 a.m. Athletes between ages 6-18 are eligible to compete in the meet, which will feature track clubs from around the northern Illinois area as well as individuals who sign up online at More information about the meet can be found online at