The Warren Striders Track Club, Inc., a
non-profit tax exempt charitable youth organization, was founded January 25, 1977 by Jack
C. Thornton, Jr. the then Head Boy's Track and Cross Country Coach at Warren Western
Reserve High School.
Early Mentors - Five men encouraged and
supported Thornton during the formative years of this coaching career. Thornton
regarded them as his mentors, and for their concern and support, he is eternally
grateful. Three of the five were most helpful and supportive; Paul Gore, Bogan
Reed, and Bob Young.
Paul Gore and Bogan Reed were longtime track officials and track
enthusiasts. Bob Young was the founder of the Stueben Striders Track Club in
Thornton's hometown of Steubenville, OH. Chuck Smith and Ed Wilson rounded out the
group of five early Thornton mentors.
Chuck Smith founded the Warren Track Club in Warren and Ed Wilson
founded the Austintown Community Track Club in Austintown, OH. Smith and
Wilson had influences on Thornton and the creation of the Warren Striders Track Club.
The "Idea" - The idea for the Warren
Striders Track Club developed from the "W.W.R Track-A-Teers". whom Thornton
organized and supervised as a winter indoor track conditioning program for Warren Western
Reserve High School's Boys and Girls Track Teams. The winter conditioning program
extended into the summer to provide additional track and field development and
competitions. Thus the "Track-A-Teers" evolved into the
"Striders" as a "Grass Roots" Track and Field Development Program for
the youth and adults in Warren, Trumbull County, Ohio. Further expansion of the
Striders resulted in the formation of an affiliate group which included youth from Stark,
Wayne, Portage, and Summit Counties.
The Warren Striders affiliate club, The Massillon Jackson-Warren
Striders (Stark County), nearly doubles the club's membership annually. The Stark
affiliate is coached by former Thornton assistant Jay Murdock. Murdock served
as a Thornton assistant while teaching at Western Reserve. Thornton and Murdock have
maintained their close coaching relationship and both hold true to the club's motto:
"We Encourage Participation."
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