Ed Waters Club reunion set Aug. 18 at Palladium Respected track group hopes 300 alumni show up

August 07, 1996|By Phil Jackman | Phil Jackman,SUN STAFF

Ralph Durant, the driving force behind the Ed Waters Track Club for what seems like forever, has announced that a reunion of everyone involved with the club over the past 25 years will be held Aug. 18 at the Palladium on Reisterstown Road (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

"We probably have 1,500 boys and girls who have competed with the club since 1971, and it would be great to see at least 300 of them come back and renew acquaintances, trade stories and have some fun," said Durant, who was a young competitor himself when the late Ed Waters got the idea for the organization.

The club is not just a loosely structured outfit whose members show up when school's out, practice their track and field skills and go their separate ways. Tutoring, monitoring of academic progress and other forms of aid are provided, in addition to access to the best age-group meets in the East.

Last month, for instance, 23 youngsters from the Ed Waters Club garnered 25 medals at the National AAU age-group championships in Texas, including a victory in the boys' 4 x 800-meter relay for the fourth straight year. Mainstays of the quartet were James Carter of Mervo, who finished third in the 400 meters, and Damian Johnson of Walbrook. A team of 15-16 girls finished third in the 4 x 800.

This week through Sunday, Durant has a younger group competing in the USA T&F Nationals in New Orleans with sprinter Brandy Preston, long jumper Alicia McClinton and a 4 VTC 100 relay in the 13-14 category expected to do well.

"Back in June, we had a 'Breakfast of Champions' get-together in which 300 people were present and we passed out bags, hats and T-shirts to 180 kids," said Durant. "Our efforts to mark the 25th anniversary of the club have gone well so far."

Present at the reunion will be four of the past five club presidents, at least 20 present and former coaches and former standouts Keith Brown, John Davenport and two-time Olympian Cliff Wiley.

The fete is being held in conjunction with the annual Cliff Wiley Meet, which will be held Aug. 17 beginning at 9 a.m. at Douglass High School. Wiley, a Douglass alum, is an attorney in Lawrence, Kan., where he attended the University of Kansas.

Tickets for the social and sit-down dinner are $25 apiece (two for $40) and can be reserved by calling 396-0343.

Pub Date: 8/07/96

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