SMAC Winter Youth Practice Program

Sponsored by the Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club

Program dates for this year:

No practice 2/15 for Winter Youth Track Practice Program at Smith College – too cold

December 7, 14, 21, 2014  January 4, 11  February 1, 8, 15, 22  March 1, 8,  2015

Practices will be held from 5:00 to 7:00pm

Indoor SMAC meets – TBN

Northeast Indoor Classic, Reggie Lewis Track, Boston, MA.  February 8, 2015

Online registration:

From left to right, Gabrielle Goldin, Isabela Shepard, Elsie Adoboe and Lily Roberts

From left to right, Gabrielle Goldin, Isabela Shepard, Elsie Adoboe and Lily Roberts

Coaches:       Questions? Email us.

See you at the track!

Youth Track Mission: To foster the development of youth through participation in track and field training to develop athletic strength, sportsmanship, and a passion for lifelong fitness.

In order to help us achieve this mission we the coaches ask for your support in helping your child meet the following expectations:

— Come to practice with a willingness to participate and put forth your best effort.
— Be sure that you have had a snack before practice.
— Bring water and stay well hydrated.
— Wear comfortable athletic clothing and proper footwear.
— Be kind and respectful of your teammates.
— Encourage everyone’s effort.
— Listen to your coaches.
— Wear your name badges.
— HAVE FUN !!!!!

Get to know your coaches:

Mackenzie Gray

Coach Mackenzie Gray started his coaching career volunteering at Holyoke High School as assistant coach for 5 seasons of XC, indoor and outdoor track.  He now serves as a head coach for the Minnecheug Regional Girls’ XC, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams.

Coach Mackenzie is a 2007 graduate of Holyoke High School.  During his years at Holyoke, he ran cross country, indoor, and outdoor track for the Purple Knights.  Since then, he has competed in cross country at the D-III junior college level while earning a degree at Holyoke Community College in Health Fitness and Nutrition.  In May of 2011 Coach received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from Springfield College.

Coach Mackenzie’s personal accomplishments include 7 marathons, including the last five Boston Marathons with a PR of 3:18.28. Captain of the 2010 Mass Dash Relay Champions “The Dirty Dozen”, and hundreds of other races from the 5K to the marathon distance.  As a coach Mac has guided the 2010 Div I 400M Champion, 2011 WMASS 600M Champion, 2011 Outdoor 800M Champion, and numerous other Western MA, State, New England and National qualifiers.
Coach Mackenzie brings a wealth of information from his love of running, experience as a high school, collegiate, and national level track & field official, as well as his study of Exercise Science at Springfield College. Mackenzie is currently attending Springfield College, finishing a masters degree in sports management.

Allison Burnham (Belanger)

Allison Burnham (Belanger) has been involved in coaching the SMAC Youth Program for 6 years. She is an avid runner whose love for the sport began while attending Frontier Regional High school. During her senior year she led the Red Hawks to a Western MASS Championship at Northfield Mt. Allison continued her running career at Roger Williams University leading the team to four CCC Championships. Allison was twice awarded the RWU Female Athlete of the year for her athletic achievements and dedication to the team. She graduated with Bachelors degree in Communications and Sociology with a core concentration in Italian Studies.

Since graduating college Allison has maintained her commitment to the sport by running the 111th Boston Marathon with a PR of 3:18.47. Allison has competed and placed at numerous local road races. In addition to running Allison rode a wave of success participating in triathlons. Allison met Coach Laura while standing on the podium receiving place awards.

She has also participated in events including the Mass Dash and was a key leg in the 2011 runner up team, “The Dirty Dozen.” Allison currently is employed by a vascular surgery medical device company where she maintains herself as one of the top 5 Sales Representatives. Allison lives in South Hadley and is the mother of Jack.

Laura Fusari (Raybould)

Coach Laura Fusari (Raybould) was a high school athlete and started her athletic career as a competitive soccer player, playing for elite teams including the New Jersey ODP and the NJ semi professional team. Laura was also an indoor and outdoor track and field runner where she competed competitively in events ranging from the 400 to mile and field events. She was awarded the Heisman Award for her athletic and academic achievements.

While attending Amherst College and attaining her BA majoring in Psychology and Philosophy, she played 4 years of soccer, competing in the NCAA national championships before a series of knee surgeries that put her athletics on hold.

Since returning to running in 2007, Laura has competed in local road races and 5 marathons, while raising over $10,000 for Dana Farber and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Like Coach Allison, Laura has crossed over into the world of triathlon and has competed in numerous races ranging from Sprint to Iron Man Distances.

When not running, Laura is employed as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in trauma work with children and families. She also carries certifications in Spinning and Yoga instruction.

Sydney Henthorn

Coach Sydney has been a member of SMAC since 2004 and has served as the youth track advisor on the board of directors since 2009. Sydney started running in 2003 when her daughter Emma Larson was 11 and has found many opportunities to volunteer at track & field events and local road races. Beginning in 2008, Sydney took over coordinating the winter practice program that was started by Dr. James Clayton.  Working closely with the coaches, Sydney has grown the program from 40 to 100 participants. On Friday nights in June, she can be found at SYTL at Northampton HS or Amherst Regional HS working to help run our track league series. She became a certified track & field official in 2009 and has worked both high school and college meets, USATF Junior Olympics, and SMAC race events here in Western Massachusetts.  She is a certified official with WMTFOA and USATF (National level).

When her daughter Emma left for college in the fall of 2011, Sydney decided that she wanted to keep working with young children in track & field training. This will be the 7th year of the indoor practice program which started with one coach, Allison, and only 40 kids. The program now serves over 150 children and employs 5 coaches. Sydney has coached cross country at the high school level and now coaches middle school cross country at Amherst Regional Middle School. Sydney is a certified USATF Level 1 & 2 coach (July 2012, July 2014) and also has track and field technical coaching/specialty jumps from Track & Field Academy (September 2012, July 2013) through the U.S.Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. Her favorite distance is 15k and half marathon and is still working to improve her race times. Sydney also enjoys skiing, hiking and biking. Sydney is a self-employed seamstress and works out of her studio in Easthampton making interior design products.