About Us

The Girard Warriors Youth Track Club is a faith-based non-profit 501(c)(3) AAU sanctioned club that formed in 2016.  The purpose of the track club is to introduce students to track and field, foster a love for the sport, promote healthy lifestyle choices, and build character.

The team is located in Girard but is open to athletes in the surrounding communities.

**For questions, please see the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.

That is why you need to put on God’s full armor. Then on the day of evil you will be able to stand strong.
And when you have finished the whole fight, you will still be standing.
Ephesians 6:13 – Get your armor on.

Head Coach

Nate Clevenger is the head coach of the Girard Warriors Track Club.  He attended Erie High School where he was a state champion in the triple jump, a track athlete at Pittsburg State University, and coached high school track for seven years before becoming a middle school track & field coach in 2003-2004.  He is a teacher at Girard Middle School and is an active member of Living Faith Church of the Nazarene.  He is married to Maria, who is the Girard Warriors club manager.  They have four children, Brett (14), Chaz (would be 12), Reese (10), and Quinn (7).

Throwing Coach

Andrew Burnett attended Erie High School before he threw javelin at Allen Co. Community College.  He was an assistant coach with Coach Clevenger at St. Mary’s Colgan HS, working with several league champions and state qualifiers. He was also instrumental in the javelin and discus success of his sister in-law who set the Kansas state 4A javelin record, was an All-American AAU thrower and earned a scholarship to Oklahoma University.  Andrew currently works full time in electronics engineering and has a BS degree from Pittsburg State University.

Jumping Coach

Morgan Samuels ran track and field at Girard High School and was a state medalist in the high jump, long jump & 4x400M relay. She was also on the women’s basketball and track teams at Ottawa University where she was a KCAC conference champion in the long jump. She recently earned her Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center. She and her husband, Preston Samuels, currently reside in Osawatomie, KS.

Pole Vault Coach

Laney Lawson ran track for 4 years at Southeast HS and qualified for state 3 times in long jump and triple jump. She also ran cross country for 2 years in high school. Laney has coached at Pittsburg Community Middle School, Pittsburg High School, and coaches cross country and track & field at Southeast High School and Middle School. She currently teaches low incidence special education at Pittsburg Community Middle School.

Distance Coach

Damian Smithhisler (Coach S.) competed in a unique mix of events in high school & college (distance running, pole vault, & triple jump). He was the Head Cross Country and Track & Field Coach at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita, KS for 11 years, leading the girls team to a 5A State XC Title in 2003 & T&F Title in 2005 among other top 3 finishes. From 2012 to 2016 he was the Head XC & Men’s T&F Coach at Friends University in Wichita. During those 4 years his teams won 12 conference championships & national championships in 3 events (Javelin, Indoor 4×8 Relay, Outdoor 4×8 Relay). He is now Asst. Athletic Director at Pittsburg State and has overseen 5 Indoor National T&F Meets. He and his wife, Katie, have 5 children (Colton-10, Braven-8, Kannon-6, Skylee-4, & Haddee-2) and reside in Pittsburg attending St. Mary’s Colgan schools & Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church.

Javelin Coach

Leah Smith was an All American javelin thrower at Pittsburg State University.

Hurdle Coach

Nick Cheney

Assistant Coach

Brian Norton has been involved in the Warriors Track Club since the beginning in 2016.  After never before being involved in track and field, Brian has worked extremely hard at learning the proper techniques for many of the events.  He is an extremely hard worker and gives generously of his time.

Assistant Coach

Erin Knox attended Girard Schools where she was actively involved in many aspects of school life, including track and field.  This will be Coach Knox’s first year as an assistant and is excited to get started.  She will be helping in many different areas this season.

Club Manager

Maria Clevenger is the manager of the Warriors Track Club.  However, she has been trying to manage Coach Clevenger for more than 20 years.  Maria works hard to keep things organized and keep people informed.  If you have questions about anything, feel free to ask her.

Contact Us

Nate Clevenger
Head Coach
nate@warriorstrackclub.org

Maria Clevenger
Club Manager
maria@warriorstrackclub.org

FAQ

When is the club’s regular season?

We start after Spring Break and practice through June. If athletes qualify for the Junior Olympics, those athletes will continue to work with coaches until after the JO are over, which is late July/early August.

What is the commitment requirement for the team? Is it like other travel sports where you have to be at everything?

The short answer is that the commitment you have to the team is completely up to you as a family. The only requirements we have are that the athlete information form must be filled out for each athlete, the club fee must be paid for each athlete, and the medical release be signed and turned in for each athlete.

No one is required to be at practice and no one is required to attend meets. Most of our meets are in the KC area, and while meets are good for the athletes, we totally understand that some families don’t want to attend. We actually have quite a few families that only attend pratice when they can, and we’re totally okay with that.

What are the costs of the meets?

Meet costs range from $10-$25 per athlete.

Is there anything to do in the off-season?

While we don’t hold practices beyond our regular season, there are some meets in the off-season that athletes are welcome to attend. Most are for middle school and high school age athletes. The fee for those is whatever the meet fee is plus the $16 AAU membership that we require for insurance purposes. For more information on how to get signed up for those, please email nate@warriorstrackclub.org.

Spikes for indoor meets usually have to be 1/8 in or 1/4 in pyramid spikes. Athletes do have to have their spikes checked before each indoor meet.

When can my child start?

Kids K-6th grade can start right after spring break. Athletes that compete at the middle school level can join after their school season is over, and likewise, high school athletes can join after their school season is over.