6th annual Run for the Dream track meet inspires young athletes in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Save Mart Center in Northeast Fresno has been taken over by track and field athletes from throughout the state.

They're fast and determined to push themselves to the limits at the Run for the Dream track meet. These athletes come from all over California to Fresno to compete.

"It's a preview for state meet, for California outdoor state meet. So anyone who competes indoor will be at outdoor state meet is here right now," said Nicole Trenchard, a pole vaulter from Santa Cruz.

The invitational is a qualifying meet for the athletes, and the atmosphere was competitive and lively as some jumped to new lengths or sprinted and even tumbled.

John Rembao is a world-renowned high jump coach and brought Chinese athletes to compete in Fresno's indoor meet.

"I have the top male high jumper in China and the top two female high jumpers in China training with me, and the male was ranked 8th in the world last year and the females ranked 12th. Their federations want them to be medalists at the Olympics in Rio in 2016," said Rembao.

Over the two-day event, more than 1,000 athletes competed -- ranging from professional to elementary school level. Organizers believe young people can learn a lot from athletics.

"Track and field was a sport that was very similar to what I had learned. Really hard work. You keep chugging along and develop perseverance, and perseverance develops character," said Bob Fraley, event organizer and longtime track and field coach.

The event will also take time to honor McFarland High School. Its cross-country team's story recently came to life on the big screen.

"It's a great story about what a young person in the Valley that come in and begin to get involved in a sport and they do well in the sport. And then all of a sudden they turn around and say, 'By golly maybe I can do it in the math. Maybe I can do it in the English.' And you light a spark," said Fraley.

This is the sixth annual Run for the Dream track meet, inspiring more and more athletes to cross the finish line.

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